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The phrase 'think about it' is often heard in the classroom, but if learners are not taught how to think, how do they know what is expected of them?
Thinking skills include different types of cognition such as information processing, enquiry, creative thinking and reasoning.
Schools take different approaches to teaching thinking skills, either introducing them within the curriculum as a discrete unit, or instituting them through the use of a specific methodology. The best approach however, is one that stimulates learners to use and apply thinking skills across the curriculum and upon their one learning.
Offering learners opportunities to apply their higher order thinking skills offers stretch and challenge and can reduce the boredom experienced in conventional lessons.
The teaching of thinking skills can be grouped into three broad categories.
- Brain based
- Cognitive intervention
London Gifted & Talented's e-TASC, designed for teachers and learners, is an online multi-media tool which provides a framework for developing thinking skills across the curriculum.
Relevant documents and links
- Philosophy in Primary Schools: fostering thinking skills – Report on the Philosophy in Primary Schools project which encourages philosophical discussion to add value to work in literacy.
- TASC information – PDF document showing the problem-solving wheel.
- TASC questions – Belle Wallace"s questions to develop thinking in the TASC problem-solving network.
- Teaching Thinking and Problem-solving Skills by Belle Wallace – Belle Wallace"s article presenting the summary of a widely researched base for the systematic teaching of thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Complexity – Find out how you can effectively introduce complexity into students" thinking and learning.
- What is necessary for successful thinking? – Checklist of what is needed to encourage successful thinking.
- From thinking skills to thinking classrooms – Article on research by Carol McGuinness focusing on thinking classrooms.
- Overview of thinking skills – Flash film on thinking skills and gifted and talented.
- Bloom"s Taxonomy and Holes – Flash interactive using Bloom"s Taxonomy to sort questions.
- Thinking skills PowerPoint to match Flash animation – Powerpoint presentation (to match flash animation) on thinking skills.
- Questions PowerPoint to match Flash animation – Powerpoint presentation (to match flash animation) on questioning skills.
- Robert Fisher – Teaching thinking and creativity.
- The Standards site DfES – Thinking skills in primary classrooms.
- Newswise – educational resource based on citizenship and literacy.
- Teaching thinking and creativity – Teaching thinking and creativity.
- Brain Research – Exploring the nature of the brain, memory, perception, etc.
- Active Questioning Techniques – Active Questioning Techniques.
- National Association for Able Children in Education – appropriate provision for children to develop their gifts and talents to the maximum.
- Edward de Bono – Edward de Bono's theory of types of intelligence.