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by Bill Peirce
(Professor, English))

The  Web site of the Maryland Community College Consortium for the Teaching of Reasoning will soon get its 15,000th visitor! The MCCCTR web site also hosts the RAC web site. Here's an annotated list of some RAC documents that might interest you.


Metacognition: Study Strategies, Monitoring, and Motivation
Text version of workshop presented April 2 and 3, 2003. (about 15 pages)

Review and Summary of Creating Learning Centered Classrooms
by Stage, Muller, Kinzie, and Simmons. Association for the Study of Higher Education, 1998. (about 3 pages)

Review and Summary of Learner-Centered Teaching
by Maryellen Weimer. Jossey-Bass, 2002. (about 6 pages) 

Strategies for Teaching Thinking and Promoting Intellectual Development in Online Classes
A variety of effective active learning strategies. (About 19 printed pages)

Understanding Students' Difficulties in Reasoning:
Part One: Perspectives from Several Fields (About 25 printed pages)
Why do students resist analytical and critical thinking in our courses?  Several perspectives offer explanations:
          I. Poor High School Preparation
         II. Perspectives from the Field of Critical Thinking
        III. Psychological Resistance to Thinking
        IV. Levels of Intellectual Growth
                   Perry: Stages of intellectual and ethical growth
                   Belenky et al.: Perspectives on women's ways of knowing
          V. Perspectives from Gender Differences

Understanding Students' Difficulties in Reasoning:
Part Two: Perspectives from Learning and Cognitive Styles
Abstract:  The print version of an interactive workshop, somewhat revised.  I review several approaches to learning and cognitive styles.  For some models I provide a brief overview (1-3 paragraphs):  auditory/visual/kinesthetic, reflective/impulsive, holistic/analytic, right brain/left brain, learning-oriented/grade-oriented, and independent/dependent.  I give the most attention (2-5 pages) to the popular models of field dependent/independent, David A. Kolb, the Myers Briggs personality types, and Robert Sternberg’s thinking styles.  Throughout the presentation are suggested teaching strategies for applying the models in the classroom.  The chief purpose of the presentation is to confront you with the problem that ALL teaching strategies and ALL testing methods will advantage some students and disadvantage others. (About 36 printed pages.)

How To Get Students To Do Their Homework
A procedure for ensuring that students arrive in class with their homework done, ready to participate in small group tasks.

Cashin on Questioning
Condensed version of article providing classroom tips and examples of questions that promote thoughtful class discussions.

Creating A Comfortable Classroom Climate
Article by Marlene Cohen of PGCC speech faculty.

Strategies for Teaching Critical Reading
How do you as a disciplinary expert teach poor readers, writers, and thinkers to function well in your course if they arrive unprepared?  Several strategies can help students read, write, and think better without taking a lot of the professor's time.

Ways to Improve Thinking
Six ways to improve students' thinking. One-page workshop handout.

Designing Writing Assignments That Teach Thinking (9 pages)
1.  Teaching Thinking Through Writing
2.  Improving Assignment Instructions
3.  Limitations of the Traditional Term Paper
4.  Speech 109 Interpersonal Communication Assignment
5.  Designing Grading Criteria for Formal Writing Assignments
6.  Checklist Assessment for Article Review
7.  Develop a Repertoire of Thinking Tasks
8.  Ten Strategies for Designing Thinking Tasks

Oakton CC Videotapes on Teaching Thinking
Brief descriptions of seven videotapes for community college faculty on how to teach critical thinking; produced by the Critical Literacy faculty at Oakton Community College. In PGCC library.

Questioning Techniques
One-page workshop handout from Maryland State Department of Education.

Resources for Teaching Thinking
List of books, publishers, addresses, and prices of basic books on teaching thinking. Two-page workshop handout.

Useful URLs for Argument and Persuasion
A list useful to students writing researched persuasive arguments:  public policy sites, guidance for web searches, general information.

Web Sites About Teaching Reasoning and Critical Thinking
Over 30 useful Web sites.


The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 19, No. 1

Fall 2003