Thoughtfulness can be a key to Meaningful Student Involvement. When students learn to be deliberate, take time, and understand multiple perspectives they are using thoughtfulness. It can be a key because the student/adult partnerships at the core of Meaningful Student Involvement are reliant on thoughtfulness from both sides of the equation. With so much of the onus for classroom relationships are placed on adults, it becomes vital to teach students about their part of the equation, too. Teaching thoughtfulness can be one step in that direction.
Ways to Foster Thoughtfulness
Whether in the classroom, through afterschool programs or anywhere students and adults work together in education, thoughtfulness can always be invoked and supported. Here are some ways to do that.
- Reflect: Provide learners with opportunities to reflect on what they already know about the topics they’re about to engage in
- Connect: Facilitate opportunities for students to connect what they already know with what the goal is for learning right now
- Apply: Provide plenty of opportunities to test, apply, critique and recreate prior learning in current experiences
- Question: Teach students to think twice about what they think they know, how they learned it, and what it means
- Visualize: Encourage learners to visualize different opportunities to apply new knowledge, no matter how they acquired it. Share out loud and open group conversation this way.
Thoughtfulness can provide a logical, meaningful and substantial gateway into deeper learning, more significant classroom connections and Meaningful Student Involvement.
- Barell, J. (1991) Teaching for Thoughtfulness: Classroom Strategies To Enhance Intellectual Growth. Longman Publishing Group.