On teaching thoughtfulness

I’m doing a lot of thinking about how I can focus more on my students’ thinking this year, as opposed to just their products. The book Making Thinking Visible is giving me many ways to try to do this.  Grant Wiggin’s recent post on teaching “thoughtfulness” captures why this is so important far better than I ever could.  I want to quote the entire article here, but these two points had me wanting to scream in acclamation:

So, none of this is original thought, as I said above in reminding us of Plato’s Cave. Tyler’s thought, too, is an old thought: Kant, Whitehead, and Dewey all said as much. That’s what makes me think about it all. The wonder here, the true food for thought, is not that teachers everywhere and from time immemorial cover content. The thought-provoking issue here is that most educators agree with these thinkers – but then fail to see that when their work deviates from what they assented to.


More knowledge, more content mastery is thus NOT the antidote to a lack of thought, in either teachers or students. That’s what differentiates me from many reformers. I don’t think most so-called good schools are particularly good; I don’t think “bad” schools should strive to be “good” suburban schools because most of those schools are intellectual stultifying.

Reading the whole piece will make you a better human being.