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HOP's Future Thinking Programme

Hello there! Welcome to our Future Thinking Blog. You have either landed here because you have successfully completed the Future Thinking Programme (CONGRATULATIONS!) or you want to know more about the programme.

If you are a student that’s completed the Future Thinking Programme then you know already know how the programme works! So, feel free to scroll down and access the diagrams used in the sessions and take a quick refresher of how to use them.

Are you a parent/carer or teacher and want to know more about the programme? Read on!

Future Thinking was born from the OFS wanting us as UniConnect to focus on helping local students across the Humber raise attainment. We at HOP felt really strongly that our best shot at achieving this goal was to look at self-regulated learning and metacognition- in other words thinking how to think.

Want to know more about what metacognition is? Watch this video:

About the programme:

The aim of the Future Thinking Programme is to give learners an opportunity to learn and develop metacognition through self-regulated learning, using a focus of careers, pathways and Labour Market Information (LMI) content. The programme is designed for the skills learnt to be transferred across curriculum subjects. Carefully designed guided practice, with support gradually withdrawn as the pupil becomes proficient, can allow pupils to develop skills and strategies before applying them in independent practice.

Sessions have been developed using the EEF Metacognition Guidance Report for explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies which can be applied to different subject content at different phases of learning.

This involves:

1. Activating prior knowledge

2. Explicit strategy instruction

3. Modelling of learned strategy

4. Memorisation of strategy

5. Guided practice

6. Independent practice

7. Structured reflection.

The programme will provide guided support at the start through clearly modelled approaches and support will be reduced over time to allow students to assume more responsibility and become more proficient and independent. The Future Thinking programme also takes note of the evidence suggesting that being given timely feedback forms the basis for successful, independent learning. The programme incorporates several opportunities for students to be provided with feedback to allow them opportunities to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning.

There are 5 sessions at schools and then in session 6 learners will apply the theory and strategies they have learnt during a campus visit at the University of Hull.

On completion of this programme learners will have an increased ability to:

  • Ask Questions
  • Organise thinking
  • Make connections between ideas
  • Linking concepts
  • Generate hypotheses
  • Edit and review work

Future Thinking Diagrams

Question matrix

Good questions can help you to understand subjects in more depth, help you explain concepts, complete tasks and help you remember what you have learnt. Asking a good question is a skill that can be developed using this question matrix. As you follow the arrow on the diagram you will progressively create more difficult questions to help widen your knowledge of the area that you are looking into- i.e. a ‘’What is?’’ questions are not as challenging to answer compared to a ‘’How might?’’. Deeper questioning and more detailed responses are developed from top left to bottom right.

Question Matrix

Lotus Blossom

When looking deeper into questions, idea’s or concepts it can be hard to be break things down and for creativity to flourish. A lotus diagram is a structured brainstorming tool for generating new ideas and finding creative solutions for problems you may encounter in your school work. You can use these diagrams to visually represent your ideas and concepts similar to mind mapping but easier and more efficient. These diagrams help you break down problems or statements in small bits, so you can focus on all of the details and generate new ideas to solve the problem. You can easily use it to analyse a complex topic by dividing it into components. For example, you may put weather in the center, then from the eight words that you think of relating to weather you would put in the center of the 8 boxes surrounding the center box.

Lotus Blossom

Diamond 9

It can be really difficult choosing to expand on the most important information you have discovered. Ranking your ideas is a way of working on your judgement and decision-making skills and it helps commit knowledge to memory. A Diamond Nine Diagram helps to prioritise and categorise key factors. The most important factors are placed towards the top of the diamond 9 and the least important factors are placed towards the bottom. Factors of equal importance are placed in the same row. The diamond 9 diagram can really help prioritise ideas, viewpoints, or pieces of information into what you consider highest to lowest importance.

Dimond Nine
Plus Minus Interesting

Plus Minus Interesting (PMI)

Sometimes when looking into an idea, questions or concepts it’s easy to get stuck in your opinion or how you feel about something. PMI (plus, minus, interesting) is a brainstorming, decision making and critical thinking tool, which can be used to encourage the examination of ideas, concepts and experiences from more than one perspective.

Step 1. What is good (a plus) about it?

What are all the positives you can think of? Don’t critique yourself along the way, just get out all of the points you can think of.

Step 2. What was a negative (a minus) about it?

What are all the negatives you can think of? Again, to critique yourself just get out all the negatives you can think of.

Step 3. What was something (interesting) about it?

What are all the interesting points you can think of? Try to steer away from positive and negative and focus more on points of interest.

Step 4. What is your conclusion.

What is your conclusion? You can now make your judgement because you’ve scanned and organised three important aspects: the positives, the negatives, and the interesting.

PMI is a great tool for critical thinking, focusing your attention, evaluating and analysing.

If you would like to meet the coordinators who are delivering the Future Thinking Programme watch the video below. You can also speak with them directly on our live chat here.

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