The Online PD

Teachers working smarter

Higher Order Thinking & Problem Solving

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Higher order thinking is one of the most popular catch phrases in education. During workshops and staff meetings my colleagues and I used to count the number of times someone misused the phrase. Sadly, with all this talk about encouraging higher order thinking and problem solving in the classroom there are relatively few concrete, quality resources out there that reveal the best ways to do it. Fortunately, I’ve had a great thought partner in cracking the code this year – my corps member Grace.

Grace teaches geometry at our local KIPP high school and she wants her students to be able to think like true mathematicians – not just little plug-n-chug machines. Below are some of the resources & ideas that Grace & I have come across in our search. While we have not found the silver bullet (nor do I believe there is one – ablities so deeply rooted in our cognitive development are surely intricate and nuanced skills to nurture) we have found a few strategies that have worked well with Grace’s students. They were admittedly resistant to “thinking” at first and just wanted to know what the “right answer” was so if yours don’t seem super excited to tap into their full intellectual capabilities right away- be patient. We’re all guilty of choosing mental laziness over deep, scrutinizing thought every once in awhile.

Resources & Strategies

* Teaching Higher Order Thinking

* The importance of modeling (coming soon!)

* Inquiry-based instruction (coming soon!)

* Using real world examples and case studies (coming soon!)

What do you know about teaching higher order thinking & problem solving? Help Grace & I figure it out by sharing your ideas and resources!


Written by theonlinepd

March 6, 2008 at 8:50 pm

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