Category Archives: My Purpose

International School Library Month

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” BATTLE OF THE BOOKS”

” There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who are reading the wrong books.” ——James Patterson.

This post comes a bit late because I had misplaced my file and was unable to locate it . Apologies for that. So now coming to point, the month of October was celebrated as the International School Library Month worldwide. Several activities and programs were organised in school libraries all over the world to promote reading and develop a love for books. Imbibing the spirit and the theme this year, we at Delhi Public School decided to give a flavour to the celebration.

The Senior Library organised a “Battle of Books”, wherein students of classes X-XII, were engaged in a variety of quizzes and puzzles based on their favourite books. Four books namely, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson and Game of Thrones were chosen for the same. The intention of the battle was to determine the most popular book among the students and to see how much they know about it. The students were highly enthusiastic about the event and there was whole hearted participation from the students. Some avid readers attempted quizzes on all four books. The library was buzzing with excitement and thrill. There were challenges among the fans to show their support and knowledge for their favourite book.

Quizzes, Crosswords and Word search were designed on each book to assess the knowledge and familiarity with the book. The students were thoroughly surprised when they sometimes fell short of getting correct answers even as they prided themselves as being the biggest fans. The students loved the energy and enthusiasm that surrounded the library. Thus the theme for the year: ” Why I Love My School Library”   was justified as students reiterated that they love their school library as its their route to a land where they can be anyone and can possess the power to their world. More power to School Libraries!!!

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Critical Thinking: Skillset for 21st century

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Critical thinking…the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself.

The importance of critical thinking skills cannot be undermined in a student’s life. No matter which industry he/she is interested in pursuing critical thinking skills can act as the determining factor for success and growth. Moreover it has been observed that students lacking such skills suffer a downfall in their studies and further education. This is primarily because of the inability to process and analyze information effectively .

Developing critical thinking skills takes concentrated and rigorous work on the part of any student. The best way to commence the task would be by exploring the definition of critical thinking and the skills it includes. Once this is clearly understood, he/she can progress towards improving the same.

Q. What is critical thinking?

A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987. 

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.

Critical thinking can be seen as having two components: 1) a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and 2) the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior. It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated; 2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and 3) the mere use of those skills (“as an exercise”) without acceptance of their results.

Simply put, critical thinking is the analysis of an issue, situation, state or topic and the facts, data or evidence related to it. Ideally, critical thinking is to be done objectively, without being influenced from personal feelings, opinions or biases—and it focuses solely on factual information. Critical thinking allows one to make logical and informed decisions based on facts and information.

6 Crucial critical thinking skills

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1. Identification

The first step in the critical thinking process is identification of the problem and the factors that may influence it. Once you have identified a problem, dive deeper and try to recall information and facts pertaining to it, thereby arriving at a probable solution.

2. Research

When collecting facts and information about an issue, the ability to conduct independent research is the answer. The facts thus collected need to be selected and organised diligently. One may come across facts and figures presented in a way that they favor a particular opinion or thought, or they might be lacking in context or come from questionable sources. The best way to resolve this conflict is to ascertain the source of the information and evaluate them. It is also useful helpful to develop an eye for unverified claims. Does the person /author tender where they got this information from? If there’s no clear answer, that should be considered a red flag, and should alert you towards biases. It’s also important to know that not all sources are equally valid. Students should know the difference between popular and scholarly articles.

3. Identifying biases

This skill is extremely complicated and even the smartest fail to recognize biases and popular opinion versus genuine facts. Strong critical thinkers evaluate information objectively. A critical thinker acts as a judge and evaluates the claims of both sides of an argument, keeping in mind the biases each side may possess. It is equally important and also more challenging to set aside own personal biases that may cloud the judgement.

When evaluating information , ask yourself the following:

  • Who does this benefit?
  • Does the source of this information appear to have an schema?
  • Is the source overlooking, ignoring or leaving out information that doesn’t support its beliefs or claims?
  • Is this source using unnecessary language to sway an audience’s perception of a fact?

4. Inference/Analysis

The ability to conjecture and draw conclusions based on the information is another important skill for mastering critical thinking. Information doesn’t always come with a synopsis that defines or explains what it means. One needs to assess the information given and draw conclusions based upon raw data. Students need to be able to segregate information and facts from whole into parts or components. The ability to infer allows you to determine and discover potential outcomes when assessing a scenario. It is also important to note that not all inferences will be correct..

An inference is an educated guess, and your ability to infer correctly can be refined by making a conscious effort to gather as much information as possible before jumping to conclusions. When faced with new circumstances or situation to evaluate, first try read quickly for clues—things like headlines, images and prominently featured statistics—and then make a ask yourself what you think is going on.

5. Determining relevance

One of the most challenging parts of thinking critically is figuring out what information is the most important for your contemplation. You’ll be presented with information that may seem important, but it may turn out to be only a minor data. The best way to get better at determining relevance is by establishing a clear direction and thought about what you’re trying to outline/ search for. Even with a clear objective, however, it can still be difficult to determine what information is truly relevant. One approach for solving this is to make a list of data ranked in order of relevance. Doing this you will have a list that includes a couple of obviously relevant pieces of information at the top, in addition to some points at the bottom that you can likely ignore. From there, you can narrow your focus on the less clear-cut topics that reside in the middle of your list for further evaluation.

6. Curiosity

It’s incredibly easy to sit back and take everything presented to you at face value, but that can also be also a recipe for disaster when faced with a scenario that requires critical thinking. It’s true that we’re all naturally curious—just ask any parent who has faced an onslaught of “Why?” questions from their child. As we get older, it can be easier to get in the habit of keeping that impulse to ask questions at bay. But that’s not a winning approach for critical thinking.

How to improve: While it might seem like a curious mind is just something you’re born with, you can still train yourself to foster that curiosity productively. All it takes is a conscious effort to ask open-ended questions about the things you see in your everyday life, and you can then invest the time to follow up on these questions.

These are just my thoughts, please feel free to add or correct any information found here. waiting to hear from you.

The Qualities of a True Information Manager

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The Qualities of a True Information ManagerApril 9, 2016 

I recently discovered that schools do not teach how to be a successful information manager.  To be a successful and effective information manager today, one must grow and practice integrating many qualities and characteristics on the job. The most important of these are not related to training or skills gained but attitudes effective for organising information and serving people. All true information managers therefore possess the following common attitudes:

Vision – the capacity to see beyond one’s immediate data environment; it is a picture of the future of information useWisdom – the capacity to study history and apply knowledge effectivelyDecision making – the ability to study consequences and make decisions on the management of information without fear; a willingness to fail rather than avoid responsibilityA positive attitude – the ability to see information and people in a positive wayCourage – the ability not to be controlled or paralyzed by voluminous data; the effective management of uncertainty in informationHigh energy – strength and stamina to work hard and not be worn down by technology or data complexityPersonal warmth – a manner and attitude that draws and connects people to informationHumility – being in touch with oneself and knowing that one is part of the information system and not above itRighteous anger – a capacity to resist and stand against information misrepresentation and ignoranceIntegrity – consistency in one’s words and in the information handled; trustworthinessResponsibility – an ability to understand data and respond to the needs of people that use itA good self-image – feeling good about self, others, and the information generatedMental horsepower – the ability to keep learning as information and people changeAuthority – a highly positive influence over information and how people use itPeople skills – the ability to connect people to information and help them achieve their goalsInspirational power – the ability to simplify and communicate new information to peopleSense of humour – the ability to laugh at oneself and the state of information todayResilience – the ability to pore over complex data until patterns for problem solving are discoveredTrack record – experience in succeeding as well as in failing when it comes to organising informationPassion – a hunger and continous pursuit for information and knowledgeSelf-discipline – a willingness to count the cost of handling valuable informationCreativity – an ability to see new patterns in old data and information to fix current and future problemsFlexibility – not afraid of environments with lots of change in data; fluid;Sees “big picture” – able to look beyond the immediate space and see a global view of informationInitiative – the ability to understand how information needs to be organised and commence actionExecutive ability – the ability to organise information towards a tangible goal that benefits people

Whilst information management is a word that is used on a daily basis, it is one that is often greatly misunderstood. One can have all the wealth and money in the world, have power but still not be a true information manager. It is possible to inherit wealth but passing on the philosophy required to sustain our information centric world in a similar manner is not possible. Many of the great inventors and problem solvers in history were simply very diligent information managers. In the world today, if the qualities mentioned above are assessed, then there is a great need for true and effective information managers.

Written byJones Lukose Ongalo, MBA Information Management Officer – International Criminal Court

Busy Busy!!!!!

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Phew!!! The past two months went by in a blur. I have been busy setting up the school blog as children these days seem more attuned towards their computers, mobile phones and other gadgets.So decided to connect with them via the internet and bring in more readers to the library.

Well a lot of activities were conducted in the last months and a lot many will be done in the following months. So lets go with it.