Learning and Thinking Honorably

7 08 2007

Like the bumper sticker says — are you the parent of an honors student? Not the grades and gold stars earned, mind you, but how honors-worthy their actual thinking and learning is, how high up the thinking skills ladder they like to climb for their mental gymnastics. . .just something to be mindful of this time of year.

Favorite Daughter is gearing up for the new college term, organizing calendars and materials etc, and we just came (back) across her honors program description.

This isn’t rhetoric, it’s true — this IS how the classes work and this critical thinking approach really DOES work here.

And of course the students aren’t forced to be there nor paid to be there: the same things that make home education — and online collaboration among Thinking Parents like us — honorable too. 🙂

Honors Program

The Honors Program consists of separate sections in [the college’s] general education curriculum. The goal of Honors classes is to promote critical thinking. We offer over a dozen Honors classes in the fall and spring semesters each year. Honors classes are usually limited to 20 students, which provides for more student-faculty interaction and collaborative learning.

Honors classes are different from regular classes in the way they are presented. With smaller classes, honors faculty can rely more on teaching strategies such as debates, group work, class presentations and class discussions.

These strategies are known to facilitate the development of critical thinking. Students are evaluated on their knowledge of the subject matter and on their ability to analyze, apply and synthesize the material.