Blog Archive

Thursday 5 December 2019

Maximising higher order thinking in the classroom.

In order to maximise higher order thinking students need to feel challenged, excited, motivated and fully involved in the lesson.

Zoe Elder ‘Full on Learning’ has the tagline to her book: ‘Involve me and I’ll understand’. ZoĆ« Elder starts (and ends) Full on learning with a metaphor about boat-building. It was only when humans were faced by a river and decided the best way of getting across it might be by floating, that we began having a go at constructing something to do the job. In other words, the skills involved in boat-building only came to the fore when they were needed. No problem, no skills.

She explains, taps into this ability to “learn new things as a way of overcoming problems.” It’s long been argued – from this site included – that we’re sending our students out into a rapidly-changing world and so it’s our duty to develop skills that will help them out there. Which is difficult when the only two things we can predict are “the unpredictable and the unexpected” (Full On Learning, p.4).
During last Fridays Teaching and Learning briefing, Tiff Partridge expertly demonstrated some effective strategies for how we can overcome these challenges and engage students in higher order thinking. 

1. Six Degrees of Separation: This activity is designed to give learners an opportunity to very deliberately practice creative and connective thinking. The activity can be developed and adapted in a multitude of ways - you can reduce the degrees of connection; you can place strict time limits on the activity to add a different kind of thinking pressure; you can insert your own topics/concepts/key words or you can add your own 'stop-off' points.

2. Speculation, Knowledge, Speculation:

With the speculative learning method, the idea is to try and have learners invent the future by employing and, in doing so, immediately contextualizing the variety of things they have learned to shape their speculation.
Basically, the goal is to answer the question every student has ever asked which is “why are we learning this?” 

No comments:

Post a Comment