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Thinking Skills

Thinking Skills

Imagine a classroom where . . .

A first grader says, “I think so too. The boy in the book thought it was a good idea to steal the dog. I would be sad if my dog was stolen. I bet the owner is sad too but we don’t know because it doesn’t say in the book.”

A sixth grader argues, “I used to agree with you that people shouldn’t be allowed to come and live in this country illegally, but I was reading an article in the paper today, and now I’m not so sure.”

A tenth grader wonders, “I don’t think this Web site is very credible. I couldn’t find anything out about the school where the author supposedly got his medical degree.”

Students in classrooms that emphasize thinking, seek the truth and have the skills they need to find it. The teachers in those classrooms are knowledgeable about the information and processes that help students grow into good thinkers.

Thinking Frameworks >
Educators such as Howard Gardner, Benjamin Bloom, and Robert Marzano have proposed various ways to describe the components of thinking. Read more about how these frameworks describe thinking in different ways for different purposes.

Higher-Order Thinking Skills >
To develop a deeper understanding of content, students need to be proficient at higher levels of thinking such as analysis, using knowledge, and metacognition. Learn more about these complex kinds of thinking and what they look like in elementary and secondary classrooms.

Beliefs and Attitudes >
You can lead students to thinking skills, but you can’t make them think. The psychologists Arthur Costa, Bena Kallick, Shari Tishman, and Ellen Langer have studied how people’s emotions influence their thinking. Read about the relationships between attitudes and thinking.

Teaching Thinking >
To develop the skills and strategies necessary for deep and careful thinking, students must be engaged in projects that require critical thinking and problem solving. Learn what kinds of classroom environments and what instructional practices work best to help students develop good thinking habits.

Thinking Skills