Recent Posts by Robert Swartz

TBL for PBL: Enriching Problem and Project Based Learning with Skillful Thinking

Part one. What can we do to save the bees?1. Since 2010 various movements to introduce innovations in classroom instruction have broken teaching away from using the school day as a centerpiece of instruction and learning. And in many cases, it has been replaced with learning built around extended units that replace what used ...

Summer Institute 2021

I was scheduled to do a featured presentation at the International Conference on Thinking in Melbourne, Australia, the week of July 4th. But that conference has now been postponed and, at the same time, many of you have been asking me when I will be doing more workshops on Thinking-Based Learning. So now I am ...

Pablo and his students want to save the world – part two

2.1. What's in the box?“Well” the student explained, “this is for people stranded in the desert. It gives them drink-ing water. All they must do is to urinate in this bottle at the top and in a few minutes out of the spout at the side water will flow. And it is clean fresh water.” ...

Pablo and his students want to save the world – part one

1.1. What’s in the Box?This is what I saw when I visited Pablo Carrion’s Grade 6 classroom at Colegio Lope de Vega in Benidorm, Spain, a few years ago. This student was showing the other students an invention of his and explaining what it does. The students looking on were fascinated.1.2. Solving Problems CreativelySo what ...

Teaching the Thinking that Counts – part two

Based on Robert Swartz’s editorials for ENIAC published in Madrid, Spain, September, 2015 – January, 20164. Can Creativity Be Taught? Inventions.A few years ago I visited a classroom in which the teacher of a group of 5 year olds had brought in a few medium and large empty cardboard boxes that the school had put ...

Visual Thinking

Garbiñe Larralde, who has a wonderful talent to express ideas visually, in a format that she calls "Visual Thinking", attended the three-part workshop series that we offer to teachers about how to bring TBL into their classrooms. And as she went through the workshops, she, of course, took notes and wrote what she was learning ...

Teaching the Thinking that Counts

Based on Robert Swartz’s editorials for ENIAC published in Madrid, Spain, September, 2015 – January, 2016PART 11. Why Do We Need to Teach Students to Think?Well, everybody thinks. Maybe there is no need to teach thinking. But wait – while everyone thinks, not everyone thinks as carefully and as well as they could. ...

A Critical Thinker’s Challenge

DisasterIn June of 1995 the roof of a five-storey department store, the Sampoong Department Store, in Seoul, Korea, collapsed, falling through all five floors in less than 20 seconds and killing over 500 shoppers and employees.Within a week the authorities had ascertained what caused the roof to collapse: an air conditioning unit weighing four times ...

Basing Good Learning on Good Thinking

I. In 1976, the Direction of My Professional Life Changed ForeverI was a full professor with tenure at the new Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts. I went there in 1972 as Philosophy Department chairman, redesigned the philosophy program to ground it more in important concepts that speak to the lives of our students. ...

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