The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
by Edward B. Burger, Michael Starbird
Princeton University Press, 2012
$19.95, 136 pp, adult press.
Edward Burger and Michael Starbird have drawn on their many years as mathematics teachers to share ideas about how to use strategies to become effective thinkers. By relating thinking strategies to the four elements—earth, air, fire and water of Greek philosophy— the authors create an easy metaphor to structure approaches to solving real life and academic problems so that students can become successful. By “understanding deeply,” “making mistakes,” “raising questions,” and “following the flow of ideas” students can create pathways leading to successful learning. Using this model, classrooms can become thinking communities which lead to improved performance.
Classroom Connections: Teachers from primary grades to university courses can use the model in this book to deliver curriculum in a way that students are forced to develop thinking skills to successfully understand the material they are being taught and to identify their own next steps in learning. Although the authors draw most of their examples from the learning of mathematics, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking can be applied in any classroom where thinking is emphasized.
Review by Kent Miller.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2013 issue.