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THINKING SKILLS Robert Fisher Unit 7.4 Pages, 374 - 387 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Robert FisherUnit 7.4
  • Pages, 374 - 387

Lectures Objectives
  • Inform your understanding of thinking skills
    and their role in learning
  • Understand some key principles that emerge from
    research into teaching thinking
  • Identify the main approaches to developing
    childrens thinking
  • See how you might integrate a thinking skills
    approach into classroom teaching and research.

What are thinking skills? Why is it important
to develop your thinking skills? Can we apply it
in our teaching approach, how?
What are thinking skills?
Thinking skills is a term that refers to the
human capacity to think in conscious ways to
achieve certain purposes. Such processes include
remembering, questioning, forming concepts,
planning, reasoning, imagining, solving problems,
making decisions and judgments, translating
thoughts into words and so on. Thinking skills
are the habits of intelligent behaviour learned
through practice. Robert Fisher
Blooms Taxonomy The Cognitive Goals of Education
Blooms taxonomy of thinking skills has been
widely used by teachers in planning their
teaching. He identifies a number of basic or
lower-order cognitive skills knowledge,
comprehension and application, and a number of
higher-order skills analysis, synthesis and
  • You can plan or analyze many learning activities
    in term of the above categories (read example p,

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Why Are Thinking Skills Important?
  • The complexity of modern jobs requires people who
    can comprehend, judge and participate in
    generating new knowledge and processes.
  • Modern democratic societies require its citizens
    to assimilate information from multiple sources,
    determine its truth and use it to make sound

So, the challenge is to develop educational
programs that enable all individuals, not just an
elite, to become effective thinkers because these
competencies are now required of everyone.
What does research tell us about thinking?
Research key principles include the need for
teachers and carers to provide
1. Cognitive challenge Most of the growth in the
human brain occurs in early childhood by the age
of six, the brain in most children is
approximately 90 of its adult size. This implies
that intervention, while the brain is still
growing, may be more effective than waiting until
the brain is fully developed. 2. Metacognitive
discussion We need to develop the higher
metacognitive functions involved in
metacognition. This involves making learners
aware of themselves as thinkers and how they
process/create knowledge by learning how to
3. Collaborating learning
  • It is through dialogue that children develop
    consciousness, learn control over their internal
    mental process and develop the conceptual tools
    for thinking. No wonder recent research
    emphasizes that teacher-pupil interaction is the
    key to improving standards of teaching and
  • Our understanding of the term thinking has
    extended including the importance of
    dispositions, such as attention and motivation.
    This has prompted a move away from a simple model
    of thinking skills as isolated cognitive
    capacities to a view of thinking as inextricably
    connected to emotions and dispositions, including
    emotional intelligence, which is our ability to
    understand our own emotions and the emotions of

Should thinking be taught in separate lessons or
across the curriculum?
Research suggests that one-off thinking lessons
are less effective than teaching thinking and
learning strategies that can be applied in
subjects or as dialogic strategies across the
So, teachers are developing teaching for
thinking approaches in new directions,
integrating them into everyday teaching to create
thinking classrooms and developing whole-school
policies to create thinking schools.
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Creative Thinking
Critical Thinking
A way of thinking that generates something new or
A way of thinking that assesses the worth and
validity of something.
  • These are some creativity tips to help you to
    develop your creative-thinking skills
  • Dont be into finding the right answer. There can
    be many right answers in a creative process.
  • Dont always be logical and practical.
  • Break the rules of thinking.
  • Let yourself fail. You get better with practice.
  • Critical thinkers are able to do the following
  • Ask questions.
  • Base their judgments on evidence.
  • Look for connections between subjects.
  • Analyze and understand concepts, information, and
  • Break things down and separate fact from opinion.
  • Try to avoid common mistakes in reasoning.

I want you to connect all nine dots by drawing
only four straight lines with your pen or pencil
never leaving the paper.
How Do We Teach Thinking In The Classroom?
  • Cognitive acceleration
  • Brain-based techniques
  • Philosophy for children
  • Teaching strategies across the curriculum.

Cognitive acceleration
Cognitive Acceleration through Since Education
CASE was developed by Philip Adey and Michael
Shayer. The following is a typical format of a
CASE lesson for thinking format that builds in
time for cognitive and metacognitive discussion
1. Concrete preparation stimulus to thinking, introducing the terms of the problem.
2. Cognitive conflict creates a challenge for the mind.
3. Social construction dialogue with others, discussion that extends thinking.
4. Metacognition reflection on how we tackled the problem.
5. Bridging Reviewing where else we can use this thinking and learning.
  • Lets Think! lessons for young children. (read
    example p, 380)

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Accelerated Learning
  • Accelerated learning approaches include applying
    VAK learning styles to teaching. VAK stands for
  • visual learning best through pictures, charts,
    diagrams, video, ICT, etc.
  • auditory learning best through listening.
  • kinaesthetic learning best through being
    physically engaged in a task.

Thinking Hats
Information What do we know?
Feelings What do we feel?
Problems What are the drawbacks?
Positives What are the benefits?
Creativity What ideas have we got?
Control What are our aims?
Edward de Bono's teaching strategy helps learners
try different approaches to thinking. Each
thinking hat represents a different way to
think about a problem.
Philosophy for children
Matthew Lipman believes that children are natural
philosophers because they view the world with
curiosity and wonder. Thus, he developed a
program called Philosophy for Children. It is
childrens own questions stimulated by specially
written philosophical stories that form the
starting point for enquiry or discussion.
Teaching strategies across the curriculum
  • Learning to Teach in the Primary School. Arthur
    Cremin,2010. 2nd edition. Routledge Taylor
    Francis Group, London.
  • Center for Literacy, Education and Employment at
    UTK http//