musings…and random thoughts

I read a lot of different articles. Most are research based, peer-reviewed articles. Some are research based…sort of, but not peer reviewed…some are just interesting.

I recently came across one regarding critical thinking…and it caused me to … you know…THINK

…critically. Actually, if I’m honest…

It was the “how to build a die” that caught my attention (yes, I’m one of those SLPs that still uses “games” in therapy. I firmly believe most kids learn better when they’re having fun and most of my kids have little enough “fun” in school…but that’s a completely different rant).  Anyway, when I read the article, it made me ponder.

The first article I was reading is called “The question game: A playful way to teach critical thinking.” What’s not to love about that? I am a firm believer in that we need to actively teach kids (and some adults) how to think critically. It is paramount to their success in college and in the world. Without the ability to truly think critically, they are forever doomed to believe that reality TV is … well…real…and always vote for whatever political moron happens to catch their attention first without giving a conscious thought to what is actually being said and acted on (okay…that wasn’t nice, but come on…you know it’s true!).

For SLPs, I think this ties in nicely with the deeper knowledge aspect that Common Core brings to mind (yes, I know those are dreaded words). For instance, in the language arts for 5th grade CCSS, there are numerous mentions of inferring, summarizing, explaining relationships and interactions, and analyzing multiple accounts of the same event in order to compare/contrast different points of view. If that’s not critical thinking skills in a nutshell, I’m not sure what is.

If we give these skills early on – aren’t we building a better base of critical thinkers…people who actually think about and maybe understand the materials being taught rather than the meaningless binge and purge of memorization that typically happens in classrooms (no offense to any teachers reading – I’d love to be shown that the binge and purge isn’t happening).

As I was reading and pondering the article above, I saw some links to other articles, and of course I had to follow them. (It really should come as no surprise why I can’t get my work done….oh shiny!)  This article, entitled: 25 Question Stems Framed Around Blooms Taxonomy …. Made me think (again!)

We, as SLPs, are all used to creating task analysis (even when we don’t know we’re doing it…quick, what order would you target pronouns or verbs?)…

Could this framework that’s in the article work as a task analysis for CCSS language intervention?


from:       and if you haven’t already, please go read the article. I don’t want to be accused of copyright infringement or anything and it’s actually interesting 🙂

Do we already do this? Am I way off base and simply rambling with no coherent direction?

Do YOU address critical thinking in your therapy? If so, how do you do it? If you don’t, is there a reason why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please…drop me a note here and let me know.

Until then…Adventure on!


8 thoughts on “musings…and random thoughts

  1. I think we teach critical thinking embedded in our therapy, while targeting other skills. However, I feel there is the need to address it as a goal in and of itself. Thanks for writing about this!

  2. Definitely not rambling….good points. Thanks for attaching that task analysis; I enjoyed reading the steps….and I’m thinking that this would be useful for planning how to teach more abstract, critical thinking skills in high functioning children on the spectrum, too. I also am definitely going to keep these thoughts on my mind as I work with language students. I could encorporate specific questioning to encourage more critical thinking. Thanks, Mary!

    • Thanks Amanda. It’s interesting to see how we grow isn’t it? I definitely feel the need to incorporate critical thinking with some of my younger kids too. It seems more automatic with the older ones…but I’d like it to be more … structured I think.

  3. AWESOME musings, Mary! Thank you so much for this blog and the accompanying articles and great graphics. I wholeheartedly agree with everything and am going to pass this on to my assistants and colleagues (with all credit intact, of course).

  4. Hi Mary,
    This really interests me too. Until recently, I was working as a community speechie in Sydney, Australia and most of the kids I saw had so many other things going on that I didn’t always think about critical thinking when doing their goal setting. But once I started doing it for some children, I decided to do it for ALL children. Now in most activities I do, I have a component of critical thinking – analysis, problem solving, reasoning, etc. For example, a favourite activity with children who stutter is to look at a busy picture and take turns giving each other clues about something on the page. And within that, I might point out a “problem” or ask the child to comment on one, eg “Oh look the window is broken! Why did it break?”. We casually talk about solutions/responses etc. Eg, “Would your mum be mad if the window was broken?”, “What will the boy say to his mum?” etc etc. And kids can surprise you with how much awareness and understanding they have!

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