Outlined below are commendations and recommendations focusing on the first target area of H.E.A.T./H.E.A.R.T.: Higher-order Thinking
One of the simplest ways to determine the level of Higher-order Thinking in a classroom is to note the questioning strategies being used; e.g., the types of questions being asked and perhaps, more importantly, who is asking the questions? Which level of Bloom's Taxonomy would these questions be categorized? Classrooms demonstrating "higher-order thinking" typically involve students asking these higher-order questions rather than the teacher. Most data reveals that the level of questioning is often teacher-led and at the knowledge/comprehension or application level of the Bloom's Taxonomy. So what feedback can we provide teachers to take it to the next level?
Higher-order Thinking Commendations
Start with a positive comment! Administrators can commend teachers on the level of Bloom's being achieved in the classroom walkthrough and/or the questioning strategies being used. Including specific examples of questions that were asked during the observation and discussing the level of Bloom's of the questions is an extremely valuable exercise to do with teachers.
Higher-order Thinking Recommendations
The most productive feedback is usually discovered through reflection after a lesson. This is why the feedback is such a vital part of the Classroom Walkthrough with H.E.A.T./H.E.A.R.T. process. As mentioned earlier, discussion of the lesson regarding the type of questioning strategies and questions asked will surface many ideas for future planning. An approach that often works is listening to the teacher reflect on the lesson and then providing advice and suggestions based on that reflection. In regards to Higher-order thinking there are many helpful resources available to direct teachers in order to enhance their current practice. Check out some of the recommended higher-order thinking sites that follow and utilize these in your own recommendations to teachers.
- Questioning Toolkit
- Bloom's Taxonomy with Verbs
- Verb Wheel Based on Bloom's
- Question Stems
- My Webspiration
By the way, elevating the Higher-order thinking in the classroom also increases the level of student engagement and promotes authentic connections to the content.