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Friday, May 3, 2013

Introduction to Dr. Chuck Weiderhold’s Q-Matrix as a web tool to promote skillful, creative and critical thinking

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion of  how the Q-Matrix of Dr. Chuck Wiederhold can be used to promote skillful, creative and critical thinking in the Judaic Studies classroom.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although the Q-Matrix cognitive construct can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

Note: The Q-Matrix cognitive construct can be used in a face to face and virtual classroom.

In previous blog posts we have defined thinking skills and processes, creative thinking, critical thinking and Benjamin Blooms taxonomy of educational objectives. We have also shared creative and critical thinking tools developed by Dr. Donald J. Treffinger

What is the Q-Matrix cognitive construct?

Below  you will see an image of the questioning prompts created by Dr. Chuck Weiderhold. Dr. Wiederhold called his visual cueing chart, the Q-Matrix. Note that the matrix provides a list of question starters that relate to different horizontal categories (i.e. event, situation, choice, person, reason and means) and vertical  categories (i.e. present, past, possibility, probability, prediction, imagination). Let’s explain how the matrix works. Let’s assume that the teacher intends to conduct a classroom discussion on the State of Israel, and wants her students to select the questions for discussion. After explaining the Q-Matrix, the teacher invites the students to pose any question on the matrix. For example a student might say,  “I want to ask a Present/Event question. I want to know: What is the capital of Israel?” Another student might say, “I want to ask a Probability/Person question. I’d like to know: Who Can bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians?” Last, a third student might want to pose an Imagination/Means question and say: “I’d like to know How Might the resources of Israel, and her surrounding neighbors be used to help each other in the region?”

Note: to copy the above image, right-click on it.

For additional resources on Dr. Wiederhold’s Q-Matrix refer to the sources listed below:

For more information on how to use Dr. Chuck Wiederhold's Q-Matrix for Judaic instruction, see these two sources:

On the next post we will share an example of how Dr. Wiedehold’s Q-Matrix construct can be used to promote Judaic instruction and teacher training.

[1] For elaboration on Dr. Wiederhold’s questioning framework including a Q-Matrix chart see this website: Retrieved January 30, 2009.

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