Enhancing Learning and Thinking

By Robert F. Mulcahy; Robert H. Short et al. | Go to book overview

PART 2
SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS TO SCHOOL CONTENT

In this section the role of learning and thinking skills is discussed in relation to specific content. In chapter 8, Robert S. Patterson and Sharon I. Jamieson present the view that courses in the history of education for university students can be used to teach thinking skills as well as content. Because history is not just fact but also interpretation, they designed an approach to instruction that is characterized by student inquiry and investigation. They discuss the development and implementation of this approach, which is intended to promote a student's ability to think about history in a meaningful way, facilitating thinking skills such as judging, analyzing, reasoning, decision making, and evaluation.

In chapter 9, Dan G. Bachor discusses the role of thinking skills in arithmetic word problems with particular reference to instruction and assessment. Central to Bachor's discussion is the fact that both the problem and problem solver must be taken into consideration when determining how students think and behave and in making decisions about appropriate instructional strategies. In terms of instruction, Bachor stresses the importance of strategy competence over content coverage, and discusses an instructional procedure that moves from the student tentatively acquiring and applying effective problem-solving strategies to eventually becoming confident and in control of learning. In terms of assessment, Bachor stresses the importance of using a variety of assessment techniques to obtain a reasonable estimate of a student's thinking skills and describes a number of techniques that can provide information about a student's strategic behavior under a variety of conditions.

The next two chapters focus on the role that thinking plays in reading ability.

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