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Seven Tools for Thinking via Didau and Dennett

     As I plan my lessons each year, I consider Harper Lee's quote "The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think." David Didau, @learningspy,  this summer wrote a series of posts on Daniel Dennett's book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.  Didau's series of posts specifically elaborates on Dennett's Seven Tools for thinking. As an AP English language teacher, I am always looking for readings that will encourage my students to think about their thinking. My students will read and respond and then work to hone their thinking using one tool a week for the first seven weeks of school.

     It is my hope that the Seven Tools will help make the "implicit explicit" as Didau suggests. My students need the time to grow to use each tool. By providing a week to use explicitly each tool in our reading, writing, and class discussions the students can begin to hold each other accountable for each tool. Will these seven tools ultimately produce more critical readers and writers? It will provide the time and place for them to grow into a critical reader and writer. Ultimately, it is their choice.

*If you’re interested, according to Didau Dennett’s seven tools for thinking are:
  1. Use your mistakes
  2. Be wary of “surely.”
  3. Answer rhetorical questions
  4. Employ Occam’s razor
  5. Don’t waste your time on rubbish
  6. Beware of ‘deepities’ or ‘truthiness‘.

Comments welcome! Please share your pedagogy for making the implicit explicit.

@learningspy   David Didau's twitter handle
@danieldennett  Daniel Dennett's twitter handle
David Didau's blog "The Learning Spy
Wikipedia Definition of Intuition Pumps
"An intuition pump is a thought experiment structured to allow the thinker to use their intuition to develop an answer to a problem. The term was coined by Daniel Dennett."
Buy: Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking Kindle Edition
Daniel Dennett: "Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking" | Talks at Google

AoW based on Didau's posts

Suzanne Rogers, M.Ed.
District Director of Professional development, AP English Teacher, ELA Coach and cradle United Methodist.
 Arkansas, USA


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