How Should You Think about Thinking?

Metacognition seems so much more important for learners than is a focus on engaging in the act of thinking itself.  What I mean is that curiosity about how we think offers so much more promise in terms of future skill at thinking than would my thinking about root canals or even my thinking about fairness.

Most of us have learned to think of thinking as a set of discrete processes represented in some form of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.Bloom’s Taxonomy represents mental skills hierarchically with evaluation  or synthesis occupying the apex of thought, depending on which version you use.

The first 3rd of Making Thinking Visual  challenges us in 2 ways to rethink what we have learned about the various elements of thinking:

1. It urges us to think of cognition as a set of overlapping and integrated skills.  In other words, it builds a case that we lose a great deal when we see the elements of thinking as existing without the assistance of the other skills.

2. It elevates “understanding” to the premiere position in any conception of thinking that sees some skills as being more complex or fertile than others.   See what you think about the argument.

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