Thinking- Based Learning


Thinking- Based Learning 

Thinking- Based Learning (TBL) is an active methodology that transforms the way of educating in schools: it fosters more effective learning in which student’s reason and develops the ability to think critically when facing different challenges, both in the educational field and in their daily life.

What is Thinking- Based Learning (TBL)?

Thinking-Based Learning (TBL) is an active methodology that allows students to develop skills such as independent thinking, communication skills, decision-making, reasoning, active listening, empathy, meta-cognition and data collection through the senses.

This pedagogical method arose as a result of the study on thought carried out in the 1980s by the leading TBL leaders, Robert Swartz and David Perkins. These North American experts came to the conclusion that there were four basic mistakes that people make when faced with different everyday situations, such as: making decisions, solving problems, comparing and contrasting information or explaining causes. They observed that when carrying out these tasks, the thoughts were usually hasty, unclear and disorganized.

To improve these processes, Swartz developed Thinking-based Learning, together with the teacher and dissemination Sandra Parks, with which students ask a series of questions when they receive information, with the aim of reasoning and reaching a conclusion for them themselves. For example, Swartz explains that, in general, the human body as a whole and its different parts is taught in the classroom, but it is not possible to reason what each part is for and what would happen if one is missing. Thinking and reflecting in this sense allows the information received to be internalized in another way, thus leaving aside traditional learning based on memorization.

Today it is a very popular methodology since it allows students to develop a more conscious learning, which changes the way in which they approach the information they receive. Students are not only trained to learn knowledge and achieve deeper learning that helps them retain what they learn, but they are able to become good thinkers and use this skill in the school environment and also in their everyday experiences throughout of their life.

For the application of this methodology to be effective, it must be applied at all educational levels in a school and involve all teachers.

Opportunities in the classroom:

A fundamental aspect of TBL is meta-cognition, that is, thinking about thinking. It consists in making a kind of later reflection about what has been done in the classroom with the help of the following questions:

    What kind of thinking have we used?

    As we have done?

    Has it been efficient?

    How would you do it again?

Other habits to develop according to these experts are those of being precise, questioning and posing problems, thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, applying knowledge of the past to a new situation and collecting data.

All of these skills can be worked on through the frequent use of thought maps, visual thinking, and graphic organizers, designed to organize types of thinking in a process that accumulates information and leads to a well-thought-out and informed conclusion.


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