Cultivating 21st Century thinking

We often hear that 21st Century students need to be problem solvers. At BGS, we also encourage boys to be problem finders. What does our world need and how can we make it better place for all?

However, when completing assignments and other investigations, it is sometimes tempting for boys to simply ‘Google’ a topic and cut and paste chunks of information into their project – no defining, no analysing or comparing, no imagination, no depth of thought and no developing of lifelong learning and thinking habits.

Cultivating effective learning and thinking habits enables boys to confidently:

  • Define
  • Experiment
  • Imagine
  • Hypothesise
  • Analyse
  • Solve problems

Explicitly teaching boys such learning skills, along with how to research, present their findings and complete a bibliography will see them well prepared, for school, for the workplace, and for life in general.

We know boys learn best when they understand what is expected of them. This is why the boys have Assessment Rubrics for major assessment pieces. These rubrics help us to teach boys everyday learning practices such as:

  • Brainstorming – encouraging boys to think hard about and connect with what they already know about the topic.
  • Adventure and adaptability – learning in different ways, in different places and from different sources.
  • Metacognition – thinking about what type of thinking they need to use in particular situations.
  • Gathering and assessing information – being able to find information and be discerning as to its authenticity.
  • Reading between the lines – seeing beyond the written word and identifying patterns to investigate.
  • Synthesising – putting all their findings together in a coherent and stylish manner.

Travis Hopgood
Deputy Head of Middle School