Higher Order Thinking Skills in The Classroom (H.O.T. Skills) Bloom’s Taxonomy Begona Farwell, Susan Grandle, Susan Kreger and Eva Navarro What is higher order thinking? • Higher order thinking essentially means thinking that takes place in the higher-levels of the hierarchy of cognitive processing. The Griney Grollers Thinking Skills Test The griney grollers grandled in the granchy gak. The griney grollers grangled in the granchy gak. 1) What kind of grollers were they? 2) What did the grollers do? 3) Where did they do it? 4) In what kind of gak did they grangle? The griney grollers grangled in the granchy gak. 5) Place one line under the subject and two lines under the verb. 6) In one sentence, explain why the grollers were grangling in the granchy gak. Be prepared to justify your answer with facts. 7) If you had to grangle in a granchy gak, what one item would you choose to have with you and why? Why Higher Level Thinking is Important In addition to content (the what of student’s learning and achievement) we also need to be concerned with student’s thinking skills or mental processes( the how in learning). Thinking provides the software for the mind. Higher level thinking allows student’s memory to be used effectively. Planning for Productive Thinking and Learning by Treffinger and Feldhusen, 1998,p.24 Need for Problem Solving Ability Because the pace of societal change shows no signs of slackening, citizens of the 21st century must become adept problem solvers, able to wrestle with ill-defined problems and win. Problem-solving ability is the cognitive passport of the future (Martinez, 1998). Need for Problem Solving Ability Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But like many other skills, such as riding a bike, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. http://www.cia.gov/csi/books/19104/art4.html Theory Critical thinking theory finds its roots primarily in the works of Benjamin Bloom as he classified learning behaviors in the cognitive domain. Bloom (1956) developed a taxonomy of learning objectives for teachers which he clarified and expounded upon over the course of approximately two decades. His ideas continue to be widely accepted and taught in teacher education programs throughout the United States. Six Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy 1. Knowledge 4. Analysis 2. Comprehension 5. Synthesis 3. Application 6. Evaluation Bloom’s Taxonomy Bloom classifies learning behaviors according to six levels ranging from Knowledge, which focuses upon recitation of facts, to Evaluation, which requires complex valuing and weighing of information. Each level relates to a higher level of cognitive ability. This taxonomy is useful in designing questions, lessons, tasks for students. Bloom found that 95% of test questions focused on the lowest level…the recall of information. Question Levels Critical thinking may be thought of in terms of convergent and divergent questioning (Guilford 1956, Gallegher and Aschner 1963, and Wilen 1985). Convergent questions seek to ascertain basic knowledge and understanding. Divergent questions require students to process information creatively. Convergent questions tend to align with the first three levels of Blooms Taxonomy of Learning Objectives while divergent questions relate to the latter three levels. Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy Level: Knowledge • Materials/Situations: Events, people, newspapers, magazine articles, definitions, videos, dramas, textbooks, films, television programs, recordings, media presentations • Measurable Behaviors: Define, describe memorize, label, recognize, name, draw, state, identify, select, write, locate, recite Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy Level: Comprehension • Materials/Situations: Speech, story, drama, cartoon, diagram, graph, summary, outline, analogy, poster, bulletin board • Measurable Behaviors: Summarize, restate, paraphrase, illustrate, match, explain, defend, relate, infer, compare, contrast, generalize Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy Level: Application • Materials/Situations: Diagram, sculpture, illustration, dramatization, forecast, problem, puzzle, organizations, classifications, rules, systems, routines • Measurable Behaviors: Apply, change, put together, construct, discover, produce, make, report, sketch, solve, show, collect, prepare Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy Level: Analysis • Materials/Situations: Survey, questionnaire, an argument, a model, displays, demonstrations, diagrams, systems, conclusions, report, graphed information • Measurable Behaviors: Examine, classify, categorize, research, contrast, compare, disassemble, differentiate, separate, investigate, subdivide Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy Level: Synthesis • Materials/Situations: Experiment, game, song, report, poem, prose, speculation, creation, art, invention, drama, rules • Measurable Behaviors: Combine, hypothesize, construct, originate, create, design, formulate, role-play, develop Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy Level: Evaluation • Materials/Situations: Recommendations, self- evaluations, group discussions, debate, court trial, standards, editorials, values • Measurable Behaviors: Compare, recommend, assess, value, apprise, solve,criticize, weigh, consider, debate Steps to Constructing a Mini- Center/Activity Using The Engine-Uity Process 1. Select a topic 2. Brainstorm 6 concepts related to the topic 3. Using a grid select a verb from Bloom’s Taxonomy for each level, one of the concepts, and a product for each task 4. Translate grid into complete sentences. Example of Grid- Comprehension Level Concept: Verb: Product: Range and Identify map population of the mountain lion Example Mini-Center /Activity Comprehension Level Task Draw a map with a legend identifying the current range and population of the mountain lion. What is Critical Thinking? • This involves using your own knowledge or point of view to decide if something is right or wrong about someone else’s ideas. http://www.cdl.org/resources/reading_room/print/hot_and_successful.html CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS • Inductive thinking • Deductive thinking • Determining reality and fantasy • Determining benefits and drawbacks CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS • Identifying value statements • Identifying points of view • Determining bias • Identifying fact and opinion CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS • Determining the accuracy of presented information • Judging essential and incidental evidence • Determining relevance Looking For Evidence Of Critical Thinking You may be a critical thinking teacher if... Learners are active and in a continuous dialogue with teacher Learning is constructing, not feeding Truth is discovered, not delivered Teacher "leads from behind" Teacher functions as a facilitator/mentor instead of lecturer Questions are answered with explanations or questions, not simply "yes" or "no" Looking for Evidence of Critical Thinking Pertinent discussions on related issues often break out Debate is common Peers exchange ideas Learner and teacher satisfaction increases "Rabbit chasing" becomes an art - explore related issues, yet remain on task Teachers often face questions for which they have no answers Social interaction and acceptance in the class is generally high Personal Check-up Answer the following questions: 1. Are your teaching objectives, activities, and assessments are tied to higher level behavioral verbs? 2. Do all learners have the opportunity to interact with you and others? 3. Do you allow time in your course for debating? 4. Do your learners have to use inductive and deductive strategies? 5. Do you find yourself using "shock" statements and questions to get learners' minds running? Personal Check-up If you could say "yes" to most of these questions, critical thinking is probably happening in your classroom. Bibliography http://www.lgc.peachnet.edu/academic/educatn/Blooms/critical_thinki ng.htm http://www.bena.com/ewinters/Bloom.html Planning for Productive Thinking and Learning by Treffinger and Feldhusen, 1998, p.24 Sandra Kaplan, National/State Leadership Training Institute Engine-Uity, Ltd.,P.O. Box 9610, Phoenix, Az 85068 Martinez, M. E. (April, 1998) What is Problem Solving? Phi Delta Kappan. 605-609.
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