ICOT 2015 News

The 17th International Conference on Thinking (ICOT 2015), which will take place in Bilbao betweeJune 28th and July 4th 2015. The conference that will focus on the application of Thinking in Education, the Arts, Business and Sport is supported by EPA being FAPAE (our local member) actively involved in its organization. The focus is to develop understanding about the key competence of Learning to Think creatively and critically. Read a detailed report by FAPAE on the organisation and the event.

1.     We have almost 500 people registered.

50% come from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Trinidad Tobago, The Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Israel, India, Ireland, Turkey and Belgium.
We have already 50 papers submitted from all over the world wishing to share their knowledge and experiences.

2.      Inputs that could interest the EPA members:

Everyday there will be interesting lectures, workshops, round tables, posters…
The focus is to develop understanding about the key competence of Learning to Think creatively and critically.
This key competence is highlighted in the European Curricula and it is one of the recommendations of the OCDE worldwide Compulsory Education.
What is going to be said at the ICOT could stimulate parents´ understanding of this key competence.
Also we will go into more depth in dispositions and habits to develop effective thinking within the curriculum, which are essential both at school and at home.
The competence to learn how to think efficiently produces efficient learners this is why thinking skills need to be taught from a very young age for new generations to be prepared to make decisions and solve problems skilfully. Also they will need to develop their creativity for a world with no borders and in a time full of uncertainties.
Personal, social and professional life demands these aptitudes and thus this is the reason for OCDE and EU recommendations.
On the other hand, it is very necessary to educate for excellence, responsibility, citizenship, lifelong learning, engagement in work, and social and personal life.
As we have mentioned before, it would be advisable to introduce into the curriculum and home education Habits of mind such as:
·         Persisting: Sticking to task at hand; Follow through to completion; Can and do remain focused.
·         Managing Impulsivity: Take time to consider options; Think before speaking or acting; Remain calm when stressed or challenged; Thoughtful and considerate of others; Proceed carefully
·         Listening with Understanding and Empathy: Pay attention to and do not dismiss another person's thoughts, feeling and ideas; Seek to put myself in the other person's shoes; Tell others when I can relate to what they are expressing; Hold thoughts at a distance in order to respect another person's point of view and feelings.
·         Thinking Flexibly: Able to change perspective; Consider the input of others; Generate alternatives; Weigh options.
·         Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition): Being aware of own thoughts, feelings, intentions and actions; Knowing what I do and say affects others; Willing to consider the impact of choices on myself and others.
·         Striving for Accuracy: Check for errors; Measure at least twice; Nurture a desire for exactness, fidelity & craftsmanship.
·         Questioning and Posing Problems: Ask myself, “How do I know?”; develop a questioning attitude; Consider what information is needed, choose strategies to get that information; Consider the obstacles needed to resolve.
·         Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations: Use what is learned; Consider prior knowledge and experience; Apply knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.
·         Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision: Strive to be clear when speaking and writing; Strive be accurate to when speaking and writing; Avoid generalizations, distortions, minimizations and deletions when speaking, and writing.
·         Gathering Data through All Senses: Stop to observe what I see; Listen to what I hear; Take note of what I smell; Taste what I am eating; Feel what I am touching.
·         Creating, Imagining, Innovating: Think about how something might be done differently from
·         Responding with Wonderment and Awe: Intrigued by the world's beauty, nature's power and vastness for the universe; Have regard for what is awe-inspiring and can touch my heart; Open to the little and big surprises in life I see others and myself.
·         Taking Responsible Risks: Willing to try something new and different; Consider doing things that are safe and sane even though new to me; Face fear of making mistakes or of coming up short and don’t let this stop me.
·         Finding Humour: Willing to laugh appropriately; Look for the whimsical, absurd, ironic and unexpected in life; Laugh at myself when I can.
·         Thinking Interdependently: Willing to work with others and welcome their input and perspective; Abide by decisions the work group makes even if I disagree somewhat; Willing to learn from others in reciprocal situations.
·         Remaining Open to Continuous Learning: Open to new experiences to learn from; Proud and humble enough to admit when don't know; Welcome new information.
Experts in education at an international level consider fundamental that teachers and parents know about these aspects and learn how to do them well.
Also the network of thinking schools that applies strategic thinking skills, habits and dispositions in the curriculum will be taking part in the ICOT. Cooperative learning is fundamental to live interdependently.
Moreover, Neuroscience is giving the keys for the way that we learn. This discipline will be present in the Conference.

3.     Plenary Speakers who will deal with these themes will be:

David Perkins, Art Costa, Guy Claxton, Ron Ritchhart, Karin Morrison, David Hyerle, Peter Facione, Lane Clark, Howard Garner (videoconference), Carrie James, Johnson & Johnson, Francesco Tonucci, Robert Swartz, James Nottingham and Jose Antonio Marina.
By the way, Jose Antonio Marina has created a University for Parents in Spain due to the importance of the mentioned issues.

4.     Relationship between thinking skills and  learning languages.

Based on recent research, the infusion of thinking skills in the curriculum helps the improvement of  bi/plurilingual curricula which is urgent in the EU. Speakers dealing with this issue:
David Hyerle, Rebecca Reagan, Angela Salmon, Stee Lopez-

5.     Transformation of Education Communities (parents, teachers and students)  in advanced organizations of learning.
Peter Senge, Bill Martin, Brendan Spillane from OUR education and Jeff Clanon from SOL amongst others.

6.     Others.

Thinking, Youth & Sport: We want to transferee thinking to the strand of sport.
Excellence, Responsibility, Ethics, Engagement, Leadership, Team work, Shared vision, Critical and Creative Thinking are skills necessary to avoid behaviours like doping, fraud and organized crime.
On the other hand we want to deal with this question: How can sport encourage innovation and economic growth.

Finally, the infusion of arts in the curricular subjects will be an important point of interest for parents and teachers. The European Commission highlights this too. For that we will present the work carried out by Room13 International, ArtinEd, and Project Zero. In this subject we will have the opportunity to hear Richard Demarco, Shari Tishman, Ana María Fernandez and Cinzia Laurelli amongst others.

On the other hand, Harvard will give some workshops at the Guggenheim and the Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao in order to show how we can develop thinking through  the arts both in adults and children.

How your organisation can collaborate with the ICOT 2015 Organizing Committee?

·    By spreading publicity of the ICOT through your database all over Europe (Schools and Universities) and informing that there is a possibility of applying for an Erasmus+ grant. (Up to now we are surprised by the non-presence of France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Holland, and Eastern Europe except from Poland).
·         By informing about the Conference in the EU Department of Education and Youth in case of having contacts at that level. We would like to invite the Commissioner of Education to the Inauguration and/or the closing of the conference.
·         By advising us whether it would be worth going to Brussels in order to present the ICOT2015.
·         By informing us about EU funding for the organization of an International Conference in Europe.

Daily updated info in:
·         www.icot2015.com
·         Twitter: @ICOT2015
Subscribe to the ICOT 2015 Newsletter in: www.icot2015.com

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