Lesson Planning for Higher Order Thinking
Essential Question: How do teachers support students in developing critical-thinking and problem solving skills and persisting in the application of these skills in their learning?
In this activity we begin the challenging, yet crucial task of developing lessons that promote and encourage critical thinking. Proficient teachers in our focus teacher quality standard need to explicitly teach “higher-order thinking and problem solving skills.” But as you will read in this activity’s anchor resource, critical thinking is not a skill that can truly be taught. Students need “background knowledge and practice” in order to think deeply and apply that knowledge. In this activity you will collect data about students’ thinking through a classroom observation, then engage in an analysis of this data with a peer. As you dive into this process, keep in mind that “Teaching students to think critically probably lies in large part in enabling them to deploy the right type of thinking at the right time.” The hope is that by the end of this activity, you will have a better understanding of how to guide your students’ to know what tools they need and when they need them in order to address complex problems and challenging learning opportunities.