This cognitive process
creating linkages among concepts, skill elements,
people, and experiences" (Ewell, 1997b, p.7). For the individual learner,
this will be about "'making meaning' by establishing
and re-working patterns, relationships, and
connections" (Ewell, 1997b, p.6). New
research reveals that "connection-making"
is the core of
both mental activity and brain development (Ewell,
Checklist of Observable Behaviors
thinking (Ewell 1997b, p.6): The student is able to
adapt to new learning contexts and tasks by connecting,
organizing, and working previous skills and
___ 2. Critical
(Ewell,1997b, p.7): The student
a task comparing,
refining, and selecting from
what he or she
knows to find the best
solution to the
___ 3. Transfer
(Woolfolk, 1998, p. 320):
transfer, the student
makes connections to
transfer the student makes
connections to how the information will be
used in the
___ 4. Sense-making (Ewell, 1997a, p.6):
Given a specific learning
context, the student is
able to use familiar patterns that are
re-organized and extrapolated so that they become
meaningful in a new situation.
Ewell, P. T.
(1997a, December). Organizing for learning: A new imperative.
AAHE Bulletin, 3-6. [2000, May 17].
Ewell, P. T.
for learning: A point of entry. Draft prepared for
discussion at the 1997 AAHE Summer Academy at
Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).
A. (1998). Educational
psychology (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn
senior high English literature class,
students create a production that combines the
traditional script of Hamlet with original,
In doing so, they will be applying the ideas
and themes of the play to modern problems. Thus,
critical thinking is applied to making connections
between a fictional and a real world.
During this activity, several opportunities
occur for students to apply knowledge acquired by
means of classical literature, that is, Shakespeare’s
Hamlet, to day-to-day life situations.
The instructor organizes the class to work in
groups and to select a scene from the play.
As they interpret the scene, students will
have to analyze it and connect it to a
modern idea. One
example is connecting Hamlet’s “To be or not to
be” soliloquy to the modern topic of teen suicide rate.
This activity requires students to see
patterns and make connections between the past and
present, finding similarities between conditions
then and now.
The insights they gain will help them better understand
the present through the past.
Hamlet dramatization [On-line].
[2000, May 17]