CLAREMONT COLLEGE

Thinking and learning dispositions term 4 2017

Thinking and learning dispositions term 4 2017

13th October 2017

THINKING AND LEARNING DISPOSITIONS FOR TERM 4

CJ Simister’s program uses 14 dispositions for active thinking and learning to explore and improve ‘intellectual character’. Our school divides these up across the year so that we explicitly teach these skills. This term we focus on the following: 

ALL SCHOOL

Flexibility of Mind

Revision & Consolidation of all dispositions when opportunities arise.

PRIMARY ONLY

Originality

Initiative

DEFINITIONS FROM ‘CHARACTER, GRIT & RESILIENCE POCKETBOOK’

Flexibility of Mind - Being ‘porous’: open to new evidence, ideas and arguments.

Originality - Generating ideas, making connections, approaching problems creatively. Initiative - Being Independently minded, resourceful and strategic.

(Simister, 2017)

HOW DO WE EMBED THESE DISPOSITIONS INTO TEACHING AND LEARNING?

At school we know that it is important to explicitly teach dispositions. Each and every one of us comes with a set of strengths and weaknesses as far as our personal dispositions, but these are our starting point for growth, not something we are stuck with. This is why it is important that we learn using a ‘growth mindset’ (Dweck) to develop our skills. Therefore, while embedding the dispositions we aim to:

a. Be consistent with our terminology and definitions;

b. Be explicit about what the students are learning;

c. Be collaborative by giving the same messages through a whole school approach;

d. Be balanced by treading that delicate line between enthusiasm and overkill; and

e. Be creative and present the dispositions in an engaging and meaningful age-appropriate way. (from Simister, 2017, p30)

HOW CAN YOU HELP AT HOME?

Here are some ideas that might help you have conversations about this term’s dispositions for learning at home:

1. Notice the specific dispositions in a friend, aunty, sibling or in a fictional character from a book you are sharing;

2. Rate yourself in relation to each disposition (1 to 10) and talk about what you might do to develop each disposition;

3. Role-model a disposition for your child;

4. Use ‘Thinking Aloud’ to reflect on a disposition you are displaying, reading about in a newspaper, or even seeing in your pet; and/or

5. Recognise and celebrate a disposition you observe your child demonstrate.

 “Dispositions provide an excellent guide for teachers, parents and everyone who cares about education to develop schools and communities as cultures of dispositional thinking.” (Zhao, 2014) Enjoy being a part of this learning journey with your child or children.

 

Mrs Janelle Ford

Deputy Principal