Archive for January, 2003

Higher Level Thinking: A Learner’s Perspective

January 26, 2003


Life is full of situations that require each of us to solve problems, make decisions, and deal with issues. This is true both in the workplace and in the rest of our lives. Such has been the case since the dawn of time but as the world has become more complex the demand on our intellect has increased immeasurably.

The problem is this: School programs are currently marginalizing higher order aspects of intellectual development. “Higher standards” translates to more standards, often of a trivial nature. Proponents argue that their standards include the higher order thinking skills called for here, but close examination reveals that low-level skills dominate the lists. Further, our classroom visits and discussions with teachers indicate the time spent is shifted far in the direction of rote memorization of content.