Sorry, I inadvertently deleted the message with the original question
concerning how to get students to go more deeply into course material.
Thus, I am attaching my response to Linda's comminique hoping those
interested will view it.

Last summer I attended a two-day workshop at Sonoma State University on
infusing critical thinking into the content.  The Workshop was conducted by
Dr. Richard Paul, director for the Foundation For Critical Thinking,Santa
Rosa, CA.  The workshop and the International Conference on Critical
Thinking that followed were excellent.  I have since purchased for our
learning center two sets of video tapes produced by Dr. Paul to teach students
 to think thoroughly about content material.

The "HOW TO TEACH SERIES: A Critical Thinking Approach to Teaching and
Learning" is a series of nine one-hour videos which focus on how to devise
assignments and activities that take students into a new paradigm for
learning that fosters critical reasoning about any content.  As Dr. Paul
suggests, all subjects have a logic to them, and each is a system of meanings
that enable students to reason effectively.

"How to Teach Through Socratic Questioning" is a series of three
videos that demonstrate that questions, not answers, are the
driving force in thinking.  Both the series provide methods for
teaching students to reason and assume responsibility for their
own learning.

I am currently reviewing our approach to tutoring and how to
encorporate many of these ideas into our tutor training program.  We want
to go beyond our current practices and teach our students that learning
is thinking about the content and the process, then demonstrate how to
think thoroughly about any content.

Those interested in critical thinking may want to tap into the
info provided at

Dee Bost
Coordinator, Sears Learning Center
Harding University
[log in to unmask]

On Fri, 13 Dec 1996, Linda L. Johnson wrote:

> Linda P
> It might help to directly answer the chemistry professor's question first.
> That he even asked you for help shows his concern--unless he was just griping.
> You imply any number of reasons why students aren't going deeply enough into
> the subject.  What happens in my experience is that the instructor is simply
> assigning so much reading and homework the students can't or won't keep up
> with it.  They can't plunge deeply into something they have read only
> superficially at best.
> Your chemistry professor might start by estimating how much time he thinks
> students should spend each week on his course.  Perhaps he will conclude
> that he can't cover so much ground if he expects indepth learning on each of
> his topic areas.  Obviously, if he uses himself as a model of how much
> students can absorb of chemistry in a week, he'll be way off.  He'd have to
> try to estimate how long it would take him to learn something brand new to
> him in chemistry.
> I think the best way to encourage students to plunge deeply into something
> is to make sure tests and other graded written assignments expect students
> to do so.   His homework now may consist only of problems.  He might want to
> consider other kinds of questions that delve into the information at the
> level he expects.  Of course he has to grade the responses in some
> meaningful way or most of the students won't do the work.
> If he is already doing these things, his expectations are too high.  Only
> some students have the interest in a subject to cause them to think deeply
> about it.  The other students have other priorities.  They tend to be taking
> too many classes and working too many hours to do justice to each of their
> classes.
> Linda J
> Linda L. Johnson
> Kirkwood Community College
> Iowa City Center
> Iowa City, IA 52245
> [log in to unmask]
> A