Process for the Development of Higher Level Thinking Skills in a Learner-Centered Environment
Dr. Barbara Limbach, Professor, Chadron State College
Dr. Wendy Waugh, Professor, Chadron State College
Using antiquated teaching methods in modern day learning environments is no longer acceptable. The challenges of the 21st century demand that educators seek out and utilize new methods to enhance the education of students where teachers empower learners to solve problems and think critically. A five-step pedagogical process to transition courses, in any discipline, toward one that develops critical thinking skills in a learner-centered environment is presented.
Step 1: Determine Learning Outcomes and Objectives
Considering the importance of a course, course placement in a program, and the course role in providing a base of discipline knowledge, a teacher should carefully identify key learning outcomes and objectives that recognize what learners should know when they exit the course. The development of well-written outcomes and objectives will greatly accelerate a learner’s movement into higher level thinking (Ball & Garton, 2005). To make critical thinking happen, these learning outcomes and objectives, as well as the linked activities and assessments, must require students to perform and demonstrate higher level thinking. Read Full Post