Critical Thinking Creative Thinking

In Chapter 3 of this book, the author does a great job explaining that these are completely different thinking processes.The author provides the following definitions: I hadn’t thought about the differences between these two types of thinking…in fact, I’ve even used them as interchangeable terms for the same thing!Alongside the mathematics curriculum, we also have the General Capabilities, one of which is Critical and Creative Thinking – there’s no excuse! When we embed critical and creative thinking, we transform learning from disjointed, memorisation of facts, to sense-making mathematics.

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Your academic tutors can provide a variety of models for demonstrating how to put creative thinking into practice, and how they will encourage your intellectual curiosity.

Tutors will use questions to clarify and establish the facts; they will test assumptions and challenge viewpoints; and they will seek evidence to back-up any position or argument.

They need to move from consumers to producers of mathematics.

Secondly, teachers need to think critically and creatively about their practice as teachers of mathematics.

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Numeracy is often defined as the ability to apply mathematics in the context of day to day life.The author argues that using both thinking processes together creates a much more productive thinking process.An interesting analogy that he uses in the book is: Think of the thinking process as a kayak with 2 paddles.The mathematics curriculum in Australia provides teachers with the perfect opportunity to teach mathematics through critical and creative thinking. Problem solving and reasoning require critical and creative thinking ().This requirement is emphasised more heavily in New South wales, through the graphical representation of the mathematics syllabus content , which strategically places Working Mathematically (the proficiencies in NSW) and problem solving, at its core.All of the above activities can be used in class and/or for homework, as lesson starters or within the body of a lesson. First, it’s important that we model this type of thinking for our students.Often students see mathematics as black or white, right or wrong.They need to learn to question, to be critical, and to be creative.They need to feel they have permission to engage in exploration and investigation.This makes it a good topic for a discussion with your tutor as creative and critical thinking are likely to be important throughout your studies.Demonstrating creative and critical thinking is likely to be especially important when producing longer assignments such as dissertations, projects and theses.


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