Teaching an Astronomer's Ways of Thinking
Geoff Mathews



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One of the goals for the new majors in Astronomy and Astrophysics is that students acquire critical thinking or scientific reasoning skills. However, few scientists have themselves received explicit training in these skills, leaving them with few examples to draw from in their own teaching. This is further exacerbated by the trend towards losing an awareness of the details of our thinking as we develop expertise in a field (i.e., the use of shortcuts, rules of thumb, and highly refined models). A lack of awareness of the details of our own thought processes inhibits our ability to teach these skills to our students.

In this interactive workshop, I will use the Decoding the Disciplines approach to coach the attendees in the process of breaking down their thought processes into pieces that can be explicitly taught. Starting with this breakdown, I will then present time saving teaching tactics to convey these ways of thinking to your students.