Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ting Wang's Seminar

Ting's seminar was presented on Wednesday 5th August 2009 at 12.30pm in room 1C29 at the University of Canberra.

Some of the things Ting mentioned resonated with me.  The first of these was the need to teach the definition of critical thinking.  While Ting was making the point about her students, I think the issue is broader than that.  We use the term so frequently that we forget that this concept can be new to students and that we should define it.  The problem Ting pointed out is that without this guidance, students associate the term "critical" with negativity.  We need to get students to overcome this preconception so we need to demonstrate what we mean by critical thinking.  Ting gave a quote from Lipman (1995) as her definition.  I think this quote is a little narrow.  Maybe I have been too polluted by the post modernists but I think that emotive, dogmatic and analogous thinking also have a role.  However students have to be aware of the style of thinking they are applying, the strengths and weaknesses inherent in that type of thinking, and the appropriateness of that form of thinking to the context and environment.  I like to adapt de Bono's 6 thinking hats for this purpose.

Ting also discussed the types of silences: no idea; germinating; and conflict avoiding.  John Gilchrist added disengaged.  She discussed strategies for creating space for the germinating and conflict avoiding silences to become less silent.  I have not considered this issue before and it has given me an immediate tool to apply.

She also addressed how to draw-out the knowledge of students, particularly when there power differences in the classroom (Frances - in an aside - that this was a problem at ADFA when students were at different military ranks).

Ting also presented her photovoice assessment item.  I think this is wonderful but I do not know how to apply it in accounting yet.

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