Teachers

“I freely confess: It was the objection of David Hume which first, many years ago, interrupted my dog-matic slumber” (Philosopher Immanuel Kant)”

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*** Star Wars offers the image of the Teacher: Think of the wise, respected, and mysterious martial arts Teacher, and the focused, eager, and respectful student/learner.

Dear Teachers:

One of the difficulties in teaching citizenship, multiculturalism, and pluralism is integrating into lessons resources that are effective at encouraging differentiated instruction and fostering creative and critical thinking while being truly cross curricular and engaging.  I think you will find a springboard for all those things at this site as a whole.  Our goal here is not simply to provide set units and lesson plans, but rather offer a springboard from which lessons and rubrics can be drafted with students, grade/division teams, etc. 

There are a wealth of freely available creative and critical thinking resources from school boards and the web, so it is just a question of integrating them into lesson and unit building. If students are to be assessed on their creative and critical thinking skills, these need to be explicitly taught and modeled.

Darth Plagueis The Wise: Teacher of Darth Sidious

*** image fair Use Wiki: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Darth_Plagueis?file=DarthPlagueisHS-SWI130.jpg

Here are some of my favorite Lesson Building Resources:

  • Great Resource for Parents/Guardians/Teacher: Philosophy For Kids Site
    https://www.philosophy-foundation.org/philosophy-for-children
  • UNDERSTANDING HUMANISM: New Resource Site For Teaching Kids About Humanism
    https://understandinghumanism.org.uk/
  • Inquiry Questions and Metacognition
    One of the most important goals of teaching is fostering “Metacognition,” making implicit student thinking processes explicit for the students. One approach to this is teaching Inquiry Questions. All student work is going to be an answer to questions, and so getting students to become aware of the questions they are answering helps to create […]
  • Thinking about the difference between Conservative and Liberal Christians
    There is a big controversy about whether conservative Christians, or liberal Christians, are better interpreters of the message of Jesus. There is a massive amount of literature about this, but perhaps an easy way to help to begin talking to your students about it is this: Conservative Christians: The idea is there is basically something […]
  • Background For Teachers On The Argument For God’s Existence From Beauty
    Of the traditional arguments trying to prove the existence of God (ontological argument, cosmological argument, argument from design, and argument from beauty), the argument from beauty is one of the most popular, persuasive, and easy to understand. For instance, surely the beautiful image below is evidence of a divine artist … In helping students question […]
  • Possible Topic For Kids and Philosophy: Voting
    Queen’s Gate Junior School. Should people be forced to vote? What makes a vote fair? Is a vote a fair way to make a decision?🗳Questions which are being debated by III Form in their @philosophyfound workshop this afternoon.
  • Education and Censorship
    This is a recent post by Jeana Jorgensen, who studied folklore under Alan Dundes at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to earn her PhD in folklore from Indiana University. She addresses the issue of censorship in education. Also, consider this, because all religious people don’t look at this issue in the same […]
  • Warm up puzzles for a class on Critical Thinking
    These have been shared by philosopher Garrett Pendergraft 1 The Bridge Riddle 2 Coming and Going In 1978 the Chronicle of Higher Education mentioned an old exam question: Q. How far can a dog run into the woods? A. Halfway. The rest of the time he is running out. Harvard’s Richard E. Baym wrote in to take […]
  • Background Information For Teachers On The Cosmological Argument
    The cosmological argument basically says something like: I have parents, and my parents had parents, and so on in time back to the beginning of the universe, asking how the materials that made up The Big Bang got there in the first place? The theist says we must posit God as creator to start the […]
  • Organizer For Teachers Addressing Theistic Arguments With Kids
    Catholic thinker John Buck has shared this helpful graphic as one example of how different theistic arguments rank as evidence in favor of God/theism. This chart is helpful in planning a secularism unit, and in helping students understand that different arguments carry with them different weight in tipping the scales toward theism or secularism. There […]
  • Article on The Question Of Teaching Respectful Citizenship In Schools (In The Face Of Objections, Such As Religious Ones)
    This article examines the question of schools teaching students to be respectful citizens with a view to universal human rights. From the article: “Teaching tolerance in schools cannot avoid controversy” “The children’s picture book And Tango Makes Three (2005) tells the true story of two male penguins who raise a chick together at a New York zoo. Initially […]
  • ** Sample Teacher Inquiry Topic For Students: Secular Holidays and Religious Holy Days
    We know that Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc have holidays when they celebrate their faith.  Do secular people have holidays they celebrate?  It’s an interesting question because even the word “holiday” originally meant “holy day,” and secular people don’t see a particular day as holy.  [And, there are a few words like that.  “Goodbye” originally meant […]
  • (C3) Creative/Critical Thinking Anecdotal Notes.
    One of the core tenants of modern teaching is accountability to one’s principal, students, and parents/guardians.  Anecdotal notes are a key piece in constructing a learner profile, identifying next steps, and communicating that data.  Such strategies can be invaluable in assessing/evaluating student products that are a result of a lengthy process, like a student created […]
  • (C2) Creative/Critical Thinking Checklists:
    This Venn Diagram below may be helpful in generating Creative/Critical Thinking checklists to assess/evaluate student learning:
  • (C 1) Sample Creative And Critical Thinking Assessment Rubrics:
    Ultimately, rubrics should be developed with students to foster a strong understanding/interest of expectations and achievement levels.  It is less than ideal to assess and evaluate students according to standards they don’t understand or unaware of, since the goal is not simply communicating a grade but helping the student to understand where they are and […]
  • (B6) LESSON PLANNING: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
    (B6) Debating with Oneself/Others: Devil’s Advocate To say Darth Harley is on the Dark Side most importantly means he is more interested in Socratic Questions than building systems of answers.  The Devil’s Advocate used to be a traditional role in the Catholic church to see if there were problems with someone who was going to be made […]
  • (B5) LESSON PLANNING: MIND MAPS
    A visual alternative to products like essays, mind maps and concept maps can be highly effective at showing student thinking. (B5) Mind Maps/Concept Maps see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map
  • (B4) LESSON PLANNING: MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
    (B4) Multiple Intelligences or Aptitudes Teaching about secularism addresses a number of different areas, but especially “existential intelligence,” thinking about the Big Questions. In Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) and its sequels, Howard Gardner  proposed eight abilities that manifest multiple intelligences. Musical-rhythmic and harmonic This area of intelligence with sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms, […]
  • (B3) LESSON PLANNING: DE BONO’S 6 THINKING HATS
    HAT OVERVIEW TECHNIQUE BLUE “The Big Picture” & Managing CAF (Consider All Factors); FIP (First Important Priorities) WHITE “Facts & Information” Information RED “Feelings & Emotions” Emotions and Ego BLACK “Negative” PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting); Evaluation YELLOW “Positive” PMI GREEN “New Ideas” Concept Challenge; Yes, No, Po ACTIVITY HAT SEQUENCE Initial Ideas Blue, White, Green, Blue […]
  • (B2) LESSON PLANNING: SCAMPER
    SCAMPER is an activity-based thinking process that can be performed by Cooperative Learning. Here the teacher assists the students in choosing a particular topic and helps them to develop it through a structured process. After choosing an idea, the students are given a tale where they perform the activity in steps corresponding to the letters in the name. Substitute comes […]
  • (B1) LESSON PLANNING: BLOOM’S TAXONOMY
    (B 1) BLOOM’S TAXONOMY 1 Knowledge Knowledge involves recognizing or remembering facts, terms, basic concepts, or answers without necessarily understanding what they mean. Its characteristics may include: Knowledge of specifics—terminology, specific facts Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics—conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field—principles […]
  • (1) CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
    (A) Curriculum Connections Consider the Ontario, Canada, diversity and pluralism in education directive (2009): http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/equity.pdf.   From the document it says: Religion: By 2017, about one-fifth of our population will bemembers of diverse faith communities including Islam, Hinduism,Buddhism, and Judaism, in addition to a growing number of individuals without a religious affiliation (8) Curriculum and Courses – Revised curriculum policy […]