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Thinking Ahead


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Table of Contents

Dedication Acknowledgments Introduction 1. What is a Good Education? 2. Current Realities 3. Values and Critical Thinking 4. Education at the Crossroads 5. Critico-Creative Thinking: Tools and Strategies 6. Pre-Service Teacher Preparation Scripts Appendix A: Resources for further information Appendix B: Action Research Appendix C: A Note to Professors on Building Their Own Scripts References Index About the Authors

About the Author

Dr. Paul Wagner is author of half a dozen books and over 100 publications. Senior Ranking Professor, College of Education, University of Houston-Clear Lake. Has held senior office in several national professional organizations. Dr. Daphne Johnson teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Education at Sam Houston State University. She brought Project Based Learning to the Education courses at Sam Houston State, increasing critical thinking amongst the teacher candidates. Dr. Frank Fair taught philosophy for many years at Sam Houston State University and started one of the first Critical Thinking courses in the country there. He served as Managing Editor of the journal INQUIRY: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines from 2010 to 2017. Dr. Daniel Fasko, a Fellow of the Psychonomic Society, is a Professor of Educational Psychology, at Bowling Green State University where he teaches educational psychology and life-span development. His research interests are in critical and creative thinking, and moral reasoning and education.


To foster success for their students in our chaotic world, teachers must model deliberative reasoning and critic-creative thinking. Across a range of subjects, Wagner, Johnson, Fair and Fasko's book highlights effective instructional practices that infuse deep cognition and dialogue into classroom learning. A valuable resource for pre-service and in-service teachers.--Chris Dede, Wirth professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard University
This is an extremely important topic for education. I particularly like the treatment of critical thinking as dually important for both intellectual and social/moral aims--for exploring the great questions of human existence and also for developing caring/understanding relations with those with whom we converse. I'll look forward to seeing more on this.--Nel Noddings, Lee L. Jacks professor of Education, Emerita, at Stanford University
As a college professor for four decades, it is a great irony that we are never required to take even one course in "How to Teach." If I had read Thinking Ahead before I started teaching, I would have been a much more effective teacher. But, even as I approach the end of my teaching career, it is not too late to apply many of its lessons.--Donald Hatcher, professor of Philosophy, Baker University, author (with Anne Spencer) of Reasoning and Writing: From Critical Thinking to Composition
Many educators and policy makers advocate for instruction in critical thinking and related higher-order skills in K-12 classrooms. But as Wagner, Johnson, Fair, and Fasko rightly point out, K-12 teachers cannot effectively nurture and model skills that they themselves haven't yet mastered. In Thinking Ahead, Wagner et al. provide concrete guidance for teacher educators who hope to foster critico-creative thinking--analytical yet open-minded inquiry and evaluation of ideas and evidence--in preservice and novice teachers. This book offers a goldmine of strategies and discussion topics that can help students in teacher preparation programs to think deeply and critico-creatively about things they might do both in their individual classrooms and in their broader educational communities.--Jeanne Ellis Ormrod, professor Emerita of Psychological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado
What is the purpose of education? What is education for? Why do we teach what we do? ... the way we do? These bedrock questions are topics Wagner, Johnson, Fair, and Fasko pose, answer, and - notably - invite you and your students to consider. Their tack is novel. Using what they term "scripts," they guide thought and summon explanations originating in questions such as whether the American system of checks and balances in government is fragile. With commitment, this can hone 21st-century skills and generate resources needed to wrestle with deep issues about education. My advice: Engage!--Phil Winne, professor and Canada Research Chair, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

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