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CASE for Newcomers

Tuesday 27 September 2005

Outline of the day
A taste of the theory
Applying the theory in the first lesson
How does it work in the other lessons?
CASE in action
Assessing thinking capability
Any questions?
My ethos of coaching
‘Tell me and I forget;
Show me and I remember;
Involve me and I understand.’
Kung Fu-tse [Confucius] (551-479 BC)
Introduction to Thinking

Finished files are the result of years of

scientific study combined with the
experience of many years.
What CASE is and isn’t
CASE is not a science course!
CASE is a thinking course!
It is a set of 30 activities designed to
develop a student’s general thinking
ability over a period of two years.
Used properly in can permanently
increase students’ intellectual ability
and academic achievement.
Origins of CASE
Originally a research project at King’s
College, University of London
Aim was to accelerate the cognitive
development of children at a particularly
appropriate time.
Science was chosen as a suitable subject
to act as the framework.
Curricular and INSET materials
Based on 1999 GCSE
results for schools
starting CASE in 25.00

1994 18.75

In comparison to 12.50
non-CASE schools 21.0

increase in A-C % 6.25

Science 21% 0
Science Maths English
Mathematics 18.8%
English 20.9%
Effects on GCSE:
‘added value’

1. Find levels of cognitive

development of all at
school entry
2. Find relationship
between non-CASE
schools’ entry level and
GCSE grades on leaving
school 5 years later
3. See by how much CASE
schools’ grades exceed
these expectations
… and the transfer effect
Points to note are:-
The transferability of the skills across the
Results are produced across a range of
schools, not ‘hot-house’ research
CASE shows greater effect in KS3 SATs
which was not anticipated
Most recent evidence
Evidence suggests that even learners
working at the 1 level can be
accelerated to level 2 A/B after
following the CASE programme for 2
On average CASE produces a one grade
(1.02)improvement at GCSE in science.
Piaget and CASE
CASE is informed by the work of Jean Piaget,
in particular reasoning patterns and that
children construct their own meaning.
There are stages of cognitive development
linked to age.
CASE is based on the work of Lev Vygotsky as well as Jean
“ The complex transition from internal to external speech
depends on shaping a thought first in inner speech, then in
meanings of words, and finally in words.”
“Talking provokes a representation of one’s thoughts - a
process which inevitably raises them to a more conscious
plane of awareness so that they can become the objects of
reflection and modification.”
His work stressed the social context of learning.
The Colour Activity
Look at the screen that follows and SHOUT
the colour the word is written in. e.g. this
WORD is written in blue so you would
shout out BLUE.
How does this activity promote thinking?

Discuss in your group what was

happening in your mind as you
attempted the task?
Discuss in your group how
understanding the difficulties posed by
this task reveals something about the
nature of learning.

Thinking Challenge 2
Jane planted some seeds in her garden.
One of the seeds produced a plant. She
18 measured the plant each week.
Here is a graph of its height, which
12 shows how well it grew.
When was the plant growing fastest?
What happened to the plant after June
8 May 15 May 22 May 29 May 6 June 13 June 20 June 27 June 2 July 9 July
Thinking Challenge 3
A lift travels from the ground floor to the fifth floor of a
building. It takes approximately 5 seconds to travel
from one floor to the next. It stops for 10 seconds at
each floor.
Which graph best represents the movement of the lift?
Thinking about your
Thinking (Metacognition)
Which of the two questions did you find easier?
Did the people in your group agree with you?
Did you all use the same thinking to solve the
What does this suggest about thinking strategies to
solve problems?
Classification of Thinking Levels

Consider a student thinking about

whether an object would float or sink in
Some children would treat each object
separately; form no rules and tend to
impute will to the object.
These are Pre-operational or level 1
Classification of Thinking Levels

Concrete thinkers (level 2) can perform

mental operations on concrete objects-
actual things, words or symbols.
An early concrete thinker (2A) would
group objects into floaters, sinkers and
perhaps sinkers when pushed. On
another occasion they may group them
as heavy or light.
Classification of Thinking Levels

Mature concrete thinkers (2B) can form

four groups Big/Heavy, Big/Light, Small/
Heavy and Small/Light, but still cannot
find an adequate explanation of why
some things float and others sink.
Concrete generalisers (2B*) can apply
concrete rules fluently to a range of
Classification of Thinking Levels

Formal (abstract) thinkers (level 3) can

operate simultaneously on three variables
and establish formal relationships between
An early formal thinker (3A) would reject
hypothesis that buoyancy is determined by
volume alone or mass alone and understands
the need to consider mass of a given volume.
Classification of Thinking Levels

A mature formal thinker (3B) can

complete the formal relationship and go
beyond to recognise that floating and
sinking depends on the density of the
object compared to the density of the
The development of
Concrete Formal
operations operations

Floating and No consistent groups: Heavy things sink, Relative

‘Stay down, silly’ light things float densities

Acids and Lemon tastes sour Acids turn pH paper red, Hydrogen ion
bases alkalis blue
We must breathe to live Oxygen in, CO2 out
Respiration processes

2-variable ≥ 3-variable
relationships, relationships,
General reversible abstractions
A CASE lesson
Designed as a thinking lesson in a
scientific context NOT a science lesson
Activities rather than experiments
Implicit structure to lesson
One lesson per fortnight
Timing of lesson critical
The Five Pillars of CASE
The foundation of a CASE activity are the
five pillars

Concrete Preparation
Cognitive Conflict
TS1 variables
What is
A variable?
A value?
A relationship?
Black cars have more accidents than yellow cars.
What are the variables?
What are the values?
TS1 continued

What are the variables here?

What are the values?
Is there a relationship?
What is it?
TS1 continued

What are the variables here?

What are the values?
Is there still a relationship?
What is it?
Look at the jars.
What are the variables here?
What are their values?
Is there a relationship? What is it?
Is there another variable, that perhaps we
cannot see? What would its values be?
Can you predict a relationship using the
weight of the jars? Why?
Describing relationships

Working in your groups using the

Identify the variables
Identify the values
Describe the relationship
Workcard 1
Workcard 2
Workcard 3
Time for Lunch
The First 5 Thinking Science Activities
The next 4 Thinking Science activities
Try an activity
What are the objectives of each
Where is the conflict and reflection?
Are there any obvious practical
Be prepared to explain to the others.
Feedback on TS2

Give a brief description of the activity

What was the objective of the activity?
Could you spot any of the 5 pillars?
Any practical issues?
Any other thoughts?
Feedback on TS3

Give a brief description of the activity

What was the objective of the activity?
Could you spot any of the 5 pillars?
Any practical issues?
Any other thoughts?
Feedback on TS4

Give a brief description of the activity

What was the objective of the activity?
Could you spot any of the 5 pillars?
Any practical issues?
Any other thoughts?
Feedback on TS5

Give a brief description of the activity

What was the objective of the activity?
Could you spot any of the 5 pillars?
Any practical issues?
Any other thoughts?
CASE in Action
Watch the video clip
Which of the 5 pillars is it illustrating?
Discuss in your group
Now watch the next clips
Which of the 5 pillars are they
illustrating? Discuss in your group
Clip 1
Clip 2
Clip 3
Clip 4
Cognitive Conflict
Generates Talk
Some Questions to Encourage
Social Construction
Do you agree? Why/why not?
Are the results of this practical investigation reliable?
How do you know?
What do you mean by that?
Are you contradicting each other?
Are there any other alternatives?
Explain why you think that.
Science Reasoning Task 2
You administer this tool after 2 weeks of the
autumn term.
Standardise the test by using a script.
Familiarise yourself with the tool before the
Use the assessments to organise groups and to
measure value added.
Working in Groups
Groups of three
Mixed Cognitive Ability encourages ‘ratcheting’
Intersubjectivity so...
non-friendship groups
mixed gender
change groups frequently
Lessons in Context
2 years - variation in delivery
See plan at beginning of Thinking Science
First run through keep to suggested order
DON’T try to match up with science syllabus!
My Research into Thinking
How CASE develops teachers
The role of technicians in innovative curriculum
Generic thinking lessons
Thinking and Learning styles
Critical and Creative Thinking
Personalised learning
Any questions/concerns?
Please complete the evaluation sheet
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Contact me :-
Website www.thinkingandlearning.co.uk