Critical Thinking – April 2014 Meeting

Fellow futurist and professional educator Chuck Crawford will lead a discussion on his work with critical thinking.  (Read Nexus of Critical Thinking and Decision-Making and Critical Thinking and Evaluation Framework.)

As a high school science teacher who often shares clips such as this  – Reinvent the Toilet | India | #Toilets4All –  he is firmly entrenched in the development of processes that his students use, not merely content.  “In order for us to be able to solve the problems that we are faced with locally, regionally, and globally, we need to be able to rethink the processes that are in place.  And we need to instill the ability for students to think critically.” Crawford said as he shared his framework of critical thinking which he calls his Four Cs – Characterize, Classify, Compare and Communicate – and believes his framework can be applied to any subject matter, not just science.

When Crawford is asked what it is that he does for a living he will often responds with “I corrupt young minds.”  He claims that this is a conversation starter and after hearing him talk about his profession you will understand the passion he has for helping students develop critical thinking.  “If you teach them to think, the content will automatically follow and students will be better prepared to enter into whatever it is they want to after high school,” Crawford said.  But how is it assessed is always the difficulty.  He has a methodology that he believes works that is not based on the content.

Crawford has been working on for the last several years and will be seeking input on how to develop it into a more robust platform.  For the first time, he has tried to write down his process and how he uses this Framework for Critical Thinking: A Corruptive Approach in his classroom to prepare the future generation.  It is available as a pdf and in an iBook format.

See a full conference presentation – Evaluating Growth of Critical Thinking – of Crawford’s ideas.

About Chuck Crawford:

Crawford has been teaching since 1998.  He has a B.S. from Findlay University and an M.S. in classroom technology from Bowling Green State University.

Since the summer of 2012, Crawford has been working with Educational Projects and Partnerships on developing content that can be used in classrooms that help students understand agriculture and the growing needs of food production.  Different parts of his work is being funded by the Ohio SoyBean Council and DuPont Pioneer.

Crawford continues to work with the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley which houses the Science Education for Public Understand Program (SEPUP) in the area of contextual learning.  He has provided professional development to schools on contextual learning through LabAids.

He has been named an ATEEC Fellow in 2007, ’09, ’10, & ’11. ATEEC is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded organization that studies the energy and the environment.  Click for information about ATEEC and the Fellows Institute.

Crawford also spent the summer of 2011 with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio Wesleyan University in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET).  His research was based on using Wolfram Mathematica as a vehicle to deliver content in an electronic classroom environment.  This program is funded in part through the NSF.

You can follow him on twitter @ChuckCrawfordSr.

— Posted by Rich Bowers

Social Entrepreneurism

Our March discussion topic was Social Entrepreneurism.  Is “social good” a sustainable business goal, alongside profit?  Can the two co-exist, or thrive?  From micro-banking to social service, from non-profits to “privatization” – ideas are struggling to take form and emerge as new business models, and opportunities for emerging societies, and socially-conscious capitalists.  This meeting and discussion will take place two days before the latest APTE (Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit) on the Ohio state campus (registration is free).

Is social entrepreneurism really a new model, a new idea?  Here’s a general definition.  Maybe it is simply an additional consideration for the traditional business of capitalism.  Perhaps it is different enough to require new kinds of accounting and investing structures, like the “B” corporation (taking its place next to the S corp, and other goals and organizational styles).  And now traditional charities – like foundations – can make “investments” that can drive and support social entrepreneurship, mixing several old metaphors.

These links courtesy of Tony Wells, of the Wells Foundation, a local investor in a variety of social enterprises and non-profits. And here is a broad knowledge base of related and similar ideas.

It is doubtful anyone will read all this material, but the conversation resulting from the varying readings and interests of our members, will prove interesting indeed.

We look forward to seeing you and pursuing a unique discussion at this meeting of the Columbus Futurists!