Think for minute about how we learn. The easiest way to learn is studying facts – rote memorization. Unfortunately, this form of learning does nothing to help our students develop critical thinking skills, problem solving skills or creative thinking skills. Instead this simplified method of learning, called simple thinking skills, teaches our students only about the subject matter at hand.
Higher order thinking skills, or HOTS, is a teaching methodology that educates students to not simply memorize facts, but to develop plans, think creatively, solve problems and more. Still, many of our K -12 learning institutions do not focus on HOTS, focusing instead on teaching the information only.
In order for HOTS to be taught and for our children to reap the benefits of this advanced thinking methodology, educators must learn to focus on the following critical areas of education:
Remembering: The simple act of memory and recall is vitally importing. Students should understand how to recognize, list, describe, retrieve, name and find information, data and facts.
Creating: In order for our students to be successful, the must understand the process of generating new products, ideas, viewpoints, designs and more. Including in this skill is planning, production and inventing.
Understanding: The ability to clearly explain ideas to others is vital.
Analyzing: Students should be taught to analyze problems and objects and break them into component parts in order to more fully understand the underlying structure or issue.
Other critical thinking skills should be taught as well with the end result being students who can look at problems objectively and use their skills to solve them, create new and exciting ideas and better function in the world.
HOTS should be at the forefront of the K – 12-reform movement. This method of thinking, when compared to simple thinking skill, is simply better for students hoping for success.