Faculty learns about integrative thinking model

I-Think Faculty Workshop

On Monday, January 7th – one day before students returned to campus following the Christmas break – Senior and Junior School faculty gathered for a full day of professional development.

In the morning, teachers and administrators heard from Nogah Kornberg and Erin Quinn of the Rotman School of Management (UofT) I-Think Institute (http://www.rotmanithink.ca/). Ms. Kornberg is the associate director at I-Think, and Ms. Quinn is a teacher who led her fellow staff in designing a five-day integrative thinking program at their school.

Faculty started with an exercise in writing six-word stories about what drew them to the profession and what continues to motivate them as teachers. They then learned about the integrative thinking model, which is a tool used to promote critical thinking in the classroom. The model can be adapted to learners at any age. 

Faculty practiced using the model to address a case-study scenario. One of the key takeaways for many in attendance was the use of the “pro/pro” model of analyzing different options, as opposed to the traditional “pro/con” model. By strictly looking at the pros of one given idea from the perspective of a variety of stakeholders, and then doing a similar exercise for another, oppositional idea, a group can work to find the commonalities between the different ideas/options, and, ideally, come to an entirely different solution. This can help groups avoid common shortcuts in finding solutions to problems such as settling for an easy compromise or having one idea “win” and another “lose” which may not be the best solution.

In the afternoon, Senior School faculty then used the morning's professional development session as an entry point to discussing homework and how teachers can continue to improve homework practices at the School. Each of the academic departments met to discuss this topic, as well as to prepare for students returning to class the following day.

- By Myke Healy, director of faculty & learning