Teaching students how to learn

 Integrative Thinking increased my enthusiasm - now I have a framework and strategy I can use to teach the things that I was trying to teach, but had found difficult to teach before.

After 25 years in the classroom, Craig Julseth was confident when it came to teaching scientific theory, but was looking for new strategies to "teach students how to learn."

In the early stages of his Integrative Thinking training, Craig connected with a teacher from a neighbouring community who showed him how to use the Causal Model.

"Right away, Causal Modelling seemed to be something that worked really well for me. I went home that day and I was so excited about it that I wanted to actually share it with my own children."

Craig brought the Integrative Thinking tool into his classrooms as a way to "help students see connections that aren't necessarily overt," and found that it fit very well with science, where "things happen in a cascade fashion." His second a-ha moment occurred when he discovered the applications of the Ladder of Inference to the scientific method: 

Students are really good at coming up with a hypothesis, doing the experiment, and making observations. The problem lies in the jump between making the observations, and then understanding what they mean. The Ladder of Inference helps students build a bridge from observations, to conclusions.

Now, Craig feels like he's truly starting to understand what it means as a teacher to have his "I win" moments when his students are having their "I win" moments. "When you let go of the class, and when the student voice is the voice that's being heard — they're generating the questions, and they're answering the questions themselves. All you're doing is standing on the side guiding it, with these strategies in place."