Move Students from Lower- to Higher-Order Thinking

Bloom's (new) taxonomy with lower-order thinking skills (remembering, understanding, applying) explicitly distinguished from higher-order thinking skills (analyzing, evaluating, creating)

 

"'Teaching Moves' to Achieve Learning Outcomes" (web page) presents practical and easy-to-use "strategies for achieving ... particular learning outcome[s]" - specific suggestions that "can be matched with different learning practices as you see fit."

  • Cued to Bloom's (new) taxonomy, the lists include practical, specific, immediately implementable actions that instructors and students can each do to help students develop both lower- and higher-order thinking skills.
  • Many of the listed actions can also become learning outcomes, starters for activities, assignments, test questions, etc.

1. Remember

a. For the Instructor to Do

  • "Suggest prior knowledge to which students can link new and future information and knowledge."
  • "Chunk knowledge into coherent groups, categories, or themes."
  • "Share devices to improve memory such as mnemonic patterns, maps, charts, comparisons, groupings, highlighting of key words or first letters, visual images and rhymes."
  • "Point out parts, main ideas, patterns, and relationships within sets of facts or information."

b. For Students to Do

  • "Practice recalling and restating information."
  • "Practice recognizing or identifying information."
  • "Practice recalling and reproducing information."
  • "Practice restating concept definitions and principles."

2. Understand

a. For the Instructor to Do

  • "Outline new or upcoming material in simple form."
  • "Concept-map or mind-map new or upcoming material."
  • "Explain with concrete examples, metaphors, questions, or visual representations."

b. For the Students to Do

  • "Restate or paraphrase and summarize information or knowledge."
  • "Describe or explain phenomena or concepts using words different from those used in the initial teaching."
  • "Identify the correct meaning of concepts or terms."
  • "Add details or explanations to basic content."
  • "Relate new to previously learned content."
  • "Construct visual representations of main ideas (mind or concept maps, tables, flowcharts, graphs, diagrams, or pictures)."

3. Apply

a. For the Instructor to Do

  • "Give multiple examples of a phenomenon that are meaningful to students."
  • "Define the procedures for use, including the rules, principles, and steps."
  • "Provide the vocabulary and concepts related to procedures."
  • "Explain steps as they are applied."
  • "Define the contexts, problems, situations, or goals for which given procedures are appropriate."
  • "Explain the reasons that procedures work for different types of situations or goals."
  • "Ensure students’ readiness by diagnosing and strengthening their command of related concepts, rules and decision-making skills."
  • "Provide broad problem-solving methods and models."
  • "Begin with simple, highly structured problems and gradually move to more complex, less structured ones."
  • "Use questions to guide student thinking about problem components, goals, and issues."
  • "Give students guidance in observing and gathering information, asking appropriate questions. and generating solutions."

b. For the Students to Do

  • "Generate new examples and non-examples."
  • "Paraphrase the procedures, principles, rules, and steps for using or applying the material."
  • "Practice applying the material to problems or situations to gain speed, consistency, and ease in following the problem-solving steps."
  • "Practice choosing the types of problem-solving strategies for different situations."
  • "Solve simple, structured problems and then complex, unstructured ones."
  • "Practice recognizing the correct use of procedures, principles, rules, and steps with routine problems, then complex ones."
  • "Demonstrate the correct use of procedures, principles, rules, and steps with routine problems, then complex ones."

4. Analyze

a. For the Instructor to Do

  • "Point out the important and the unimportant features or ideas."
  • "Point out examples and non-examples of a concept, highlighting similarities and differences."
  • "Give a wide range of examples, increasing their complexity over time."
  • "Emphasize the relationships among concepts."
  • "Explain different types of thinking strategies, including how to think open-mindedly, responsibly, and accurately."
  • "Emphasize persistence when answers are not apparent."
  • "Ask students questions that require their persistence in discovering and analyzing data or information."
  • "Encourage students to self-evaluate and reflect on their learning."
  • "Ask questions that make students explain why they are doing what they are doing."
  • "Explain and model how to conduct systematic inquiry, detect flaws and fallacies in thinking and adjust patterns of thinking."

b. For the Students to Do

  • "Classify concepts, examples, or phenomena into correct categories."
  • "Summarize different types of thinking strategies."
  • "Use types of thinking strategies to analyze and evaluate their own thinking."
  • "Practice choosing the best type of thinking strategy to use in different real-world situations and explaining why their choice is superior."
  • "Detect and identify flaws and fallacies in thinking."
  • "Identify and explain instances of open- and closed-mindedness."
  • "Identify and explain instances of responsible versus irresponsible and accurate versus inaccurate applications of thinking strategies."
  • "Answer questions that require persistence in discovering and analyzing data or information."

5. Evaluate

a. For the Instructor to Do

  • "Create conflict or perplexity by posing paradoxes, dilemmas, or other situations to challenge students’ concepts, beliefs, ideas and attitudes."
  • "Explain how to recognize and generate proof, logic, argument, and criteria for judgments."
  • "Explain the consequences of choices, actions, or behaviors."
  • "Provide relevant human or social models that portray the desired choices, actions or behaviors."
  • "Explain with examples how factors such as culture, experience, desires, interests, and passions as well as systematic thinking, influence choice and interpretations."

b. For the Students to Do

  • "Evaluate the validity of given information, results, or conclusions."
  • "Draw inferences from observations and make predictions from limited information."
  • "Explain how they form new judgments and how and why their current judgments differ from their previous ones."
  • "Identify factors that influence choice and interpretations, such as culture, experience, desires, interests, and passions as well as systematic thinking."
  • "Detect mistakes, false analogies, relevant versus irrelevant issues, contradictions, and faulty predictions."
  • "Critique a research study."
  • "Use research and analysis to devise the best available solutions to problems and explain why they are the best."
  • "Choose among possible behaviors, perspectives or approaches and provide justifications for these choices."

6. Create

a. For the Instructor to Do

  • "Promote careful observation, analysis, description, and definition."
  • "Explain the process and methods of scientific inquiry."
  • "Explain and provide examples of how to identify a research problem, speculate about causes, formulate testable hypotheses, and identify and interpret results and consequences."
  • "Model inquiry and discovery processes."
  • "Encourage independent thinking and avoid dead ends and simplistic answers."
  • "Show students examples of creativity to solve problems."
  • "Encourage students to take novel approaches to situations and problems."
  • "Explain phenomena using metaphors and analogies."
  • "Give students examples of reframing a problem — turning it upside down or inside out or changing perceptions about it."
  • "Explain and encourage brainstorming."
  • "Pose questions and problems with multiple good answers or solutions."
  • "Give students opportunities for ungraded creative performance and behavior."

b. For the Students to Do

  • "Explain their experiences with inquiry activities and the results."
  • "Resolve a situation or solve a problem that requires speculation, inquiry, and hypothesis formation."
  • "Resolve a situation or solve a problem requiring a novel approach."
  • "Design a research study to resolve conflicting findings."
  • "Write the limitations section of a research study."
  • "Write the conclusions section of a research study."
  • "Develop products or solutions to fit within particular functions and resources."
  • "Manipulate concrete data to solve challenging thinking situations."
  • "Practice reframing a problem — turning it upside down or inside out or changing perceptions about it."
  • "Explain phenomena using metaphors and analogies."
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