Developing thinking skills in the primary classroom
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Professor Steve Higgins

Thinking skills lessons emphasise a style of teaching which necessitates a genuine need for teachers to listen to pupils’ responses in order to assess their understanding. Higgins argues that this type of learning has advantages over others, as pupils start to see learning as more attainable: a matter not of something you know, but something you can learn.

Higgins uses approaches which focus on the development of pupils’ thinking, reasoning and understanding, and writes that when pupils can share in, and practice, forms of academic discourse in a classroom that is normally dominated by the teacher, they are better able to learning critical thinking.

They do this by developing metacognitive skills and vocabulary by talking about thinking and learning. Higgins contends that what characterises the teaching of thinking is a more explicit balance between the processes of learning and lesson products, particularly written outcomes.

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Professor Steve Higgins

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Occasional Paper: No 2 2002 ISBN 0-9538154-1-2

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Examining ways of encouraging critical thinking in young pupils, this research will make for interesting reading for early years teachers keen to equip their pupils with a broader range of learning skills and abilities. 


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R096 / 238
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