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ERIC Number: EJ991692
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep-4
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
The Importance of Undisciplined Thinking
Burger, Edward
Chronicle of Higher Education, Sep 2012
This past year, Baylor University created a program to reward some of its best teachers and challenge them to do something truly daring: teach their students how to think--not just how to think "about" course material, but rather how to think "through" the material. The idea is to help students learn how teachers, as practitioners of their disciplines, analyze, make meaning, understand, look at the world, and create. Such lessons on thinking will stay with students long after they have forgotten facts and figures, or the course itself--and forget they will. In fact, a focus on the thinking and creativity behind disciplines allows students (and colleagues) to discover that disparate areas of study are more alike than they are different. In fall of 2011, Baylor began honoring nine faculty members with the title of Baylor Fellow. Each received a modest cash prize and an anything-but-modest mission: to infuse the elements of thinking throughout their courses, and then assess the results. The details were left up to the fellows, who were provided with reading material as well as monthly lunch gatherings to share both triumphs and failures. And the experiment worked. The faculty members not only inspired their students in a deeper way than in the past but also profoundly inspired one another. The students were not the only beneficiaries; the faculty members themselves were led to unexpected places, including new collaborations with colleagues from across the university, new scholarly projects, and new ideas for interdisciplinary courses that focus on thinking and creativity. Moreover, they inspired other members of their departments and schools.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas