40 Years of Teaching Thinking Video from Harvard Stated Description: Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Speaker: David Perkins, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, HGSE; founding member, former co-director and current steering committee member of Harvard Project Zero; and cofounder of WIDE World

Today, national and international educational frameworks commonly include a range of thinking skills, often as part of 21st century skills or competencies. Although policy probably promises more than practice delivers, teaching thinking in some form has become a presence in many classrooms. All this began with revolutionary zeal in the thinking skills movement of the 1970s and 80s. Over the decades, skepticism about teaching thinking emerged from IQ advocates (‘people can’t get smarter’), the back-to-basics movement (‘no time for frills like thinking’), and the notion of situated learning (‘good thinking requires saturation in a discipline’). Meanwhile, both research and practical classroom experience have evolved our ideas about what thinking skills are, whether and how they can be taught, and what place they might take amidst competing educational agendas. David Perkins has been involved in these issues throughout. In this forum, Perkins will follow the journey of findings and changes in practice that have led us to today, and will look to the decades ahead.


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