Core Body of Knowledge for Critical Instruction Pedagogy

  • The Three Essential Elements of Critical Instruction Pedagogy
  • Core Curriculum for Critical Instruction Pedagogy
  • Resources For Critical Instruction Pedagogy

 

 

The Three Essential Elements of Critical Instruction Pedagogy

In the professions, a core body of knowledge is necessary for expert preparation, practice, and research. A core allows professionals to practice effectively even though matters, conditions, and settings change.

A typical core includes three essential elements: 1) a common language of practice, 2) foundation principles and skills, and 3) related standards. These elements are present in the medical, engineering, and legal professions. Instructionally, they are not present in the teaching profession. Their absence throughout centuries of preparation, practice, and certification is why the education culture continues to define itself by self-defeating roteism instruction.

With the advent of Dr. Maiorana’s Body of Knowledge for Critical Instruction Pedagogy, teacher educators, school and college faculty, and textbook authors can transform their instructional practice from self-defeating roteism instruction to mind-expanding critical instruction. The consequences of critical instruction are deep learning and critical language-literacy (both defined here), in all students.

Here, for the first time in the history of the profession, is a summary of the Core Body of Knowledge for Critical Instruction Pedagogy.

[1] A Common Language of Instruction Professional practice, research, scholarly writing, and discourse require that the meaning of key terms of practice be commonly understood, accepted, and used within a given profession. Research [see Fixing Instruction (2015)],  shows this is currently not the case within the teaching profession. Key instructional terms such as strategy, technique, method, understand, comprehend, and explain are used in wildly different ways. The core establishes a common language for instruction.
[2] Instructional Foundation Theory and Principles Teaching its a profession built on thinking directed at subject matter. As a profession, we prepare and practice without foundational concepts in either.
Said another way, the essence of teaching is instruction. The essence of instruction is critical thinking, reading, and writing directed at subject matter. Yet, through the centuries the profession has long had no foundation ideas for addressing these essential teaching and learning activities critically when engaging new and revisited subject matter.
Dr. Maiorana’s core body of knowledge for critical instruction pedagogy includes two essential concepts that  are key to preparation,  practice, and certification. The first is the critical grammar of mind possessed innately by all human beings. Mind grammar is based on the natural science of how the mind thinks and learns critically. Mind grammar provides the means to engage new and revisited subject matter concurrent with the development of critical thinking, reading abilities. The second addresses subject matter universals, which allows teachers, and students to connect and integrate the objectives, processes, and consequences present in all subject matter topics.
[3] Operational Standards for Critical Thinking, Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking When Engaging New and Revisited Subject Matter An operational standard is process oriented. This means its description contains within it the means to achieve the standard. Such standards do not exist for teacher educators, school and college faculty, instructional materials developers, and school and college students. The core provides the conceptual foundation for establishing critical literacy standards.

Core Curriculum for Critical Instruction Pedagogy
The profession’s foremost responsibility is to explain subject matter for critical comprehension and to develop critical language-literacy  abilities in all students. For this to occur, teacher educators, teacher candidates, teachers, textbook authors, professional developers, curriculum and instructional designers, principals, superintendents, and education deans must themselves possess the ability to think, read, and write critically in the context of explaining new and revisited subject matter.

This requires study that provides a foundation for critical instructional practice. Three core courses can provide that foundation. These are Thinking Foundations, Critical Learning, and Critical Instruction.

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Foundations Course
The objective of this foundations course in critical language-literacy is to have teacher educators, teacher candidates, and school and college students learn to think, read, and write critically to comprehend the world’s subject matter. 

This course emphasizes Mode 1 of critical thinking in the form of Mind Grammar 1 and 2. These provide the basis for critical thinking, reading, and writing processes to understand, comprehend, and explain new and revisited subject matter. These processes provide:
(a) critical understanding and critical comprehension of new and revisited subject matter in oneself and,
(b) instructional strategies for the design of student-centered classroom assignments. Based on MG1 and MG2 thinking processes,  critical reading and writing are integrated into this course.

Table 3.1 – Cogeracy of the Mind’s Palette—The Four Categories of Thinking, serves as a basis for a course outline. Table 3.1 appears on page 35 in Preparation for Critical Instruction – How to explain Subject Matter While Teaching All Learners to Think, Read and Write Critically. A short version of the table can be found here.

Critical Learning Course
The objective of the Critical Learning course is to show all learners how to engage in explicit critical thinking, reading, and writing processes that lead to comprehension of new and revisited subject matter. The course outline would include topics such as the nature of subject matter, how to understand subject matter, critical writing, consequential thinking, how logical thinking supports critical thinking, critical reading, and critical studying. High-school students and students early in their college career should take this course.

The table of contents in Preparation for Critical Instruction – How to explain Subject Matter While Teaching All Learners to Think, Read and Write Critically serves as a basis for the course outline.

Critical Instruction Course
Critical instruction for comprehension and critical language-literacy is the integration of subject-matter universals with mind grammar. The objective of the Critical Instruction course is to show teacher educators, teacher candidates, teachers, and professional developers how to develop classroom critical thinking, reading, and writing assignments in the context of gaining comprehension of new and revisited subject matter.

The table of contents in Teach Like the Mind Learns – Instruct So Students Learn to Think, Read  and Write Critically serves as a basis for the course outline.

Implementing the Core Foundation Courses for Critical Instruction
Undergraduate students declaring as teacher candidates in their first year of college should take all three foundation courses as early as possible. For example, they should take Thinking Foundations and Critical Learning in their first year of college and Critical Instruction in the second year. Those declaring as teacher candidates at the start of the third year of college, or at the start of graduate-school study, should take the three foundation courses in the first year.

To show teacher candidates how to instruct critically, teacher educators must first learn to learn critically. This can be accomplished by taking the courses in Thinking Foundations and Critical Instruction. For teacher educators, schools of education and alternate preparation programs can implement a certificate program for the practice of critical instruction. The same training applies to professional developers. Eventually, there should be specific master and doctorate degree programs for those wishing to practice as teacher educators.

Practicing school and college faculties, curriculum designers, and instructional coaches can learn to instruct and design critically by taking courses in Thinking Foundations and Critical Instruction through workshops arranged by their schools and colleges.

Principals, assistant principals, superintendents, and education deans can take professional development courses or workshops in Thinking Foundations and Critical Instruction.

Resources For Critical Instruction Pedagogy

Preparation for Critical Instruction – How to explain Subject Matter While Teaching All Learners to Think, Read and Write Critically.

Teach Like the Mind Learns – Instruct So Students Learn to Think, Read  and Write Critically

Fixing Instruction – Resolving Major Issues With a Core Body of Knowledge for Critical Instruction