Let me be clear, as a Social Studies teacher I HATED textbooks. They're big, heavy, boring, filled with the same boring stories that were in textbooks 50 years ago and most importantly not what students are interested in. But I digress, another reason I didn't like my Social Studies textbook is that the questions were generic, lower-level thinking questions. One of the best lines I've read on Higher-level questioning was this, "If everything you need to know to answer the question has already been provided to the students, it's not a high-level thinking question." This was absolutely true to my experience with my Social Studies textbook. We need to break the cycle of LEARN, TEST, FORGET, LEARN, TEST, FORGET, etc. By teaching students how to analyze, evaluate and synthesize information, we are teaching them life-long skills that they can apply to just about any job in any field. The content is not the most important thing we teach, it's the critical thinking skills that will prepare them for the ever-changing 21st century demands. The content will for the most part be forgotten but the critical thinking skills that have been drilled over and over and over again will stay with your students forever.
Albert Einstein said, "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."
So how do we take the lower-level thinking questions found in the textbook and change it to require students to use higher-level critical thinking skill? Let's take a look at this infographic:
Have a great week!