Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Do you have the HOTS for science? Part 3

Making change in teaching and assessment
In my role as Year 11 curriculum leader this year, one of the projects I am involved in was an action research project into developing higher order thinking skills and assessment tasks for the Year 11 science curricula. This post is part of a series (See Part 1 and Part 2)

Over the course of this project it has become clear that teachers at my school are not very clear on what higher order thinking skills in science look like. They are not clearly defined. Without this, it is difficult to teach and assess such skills.

This project has shifted from trying to directly change what is occurring in the science classroom, to developing teacher awareness of such skills.

So what are higher order thinking skills?
There is a vast literature around higher order skills, yet they are not adequately defined. What are the higher order thinking skills needed in the science classroom? What do they look like? If we are to assess them, what is the standard against which we are assessing?

I have developed the table below to provide answers to teachers who are looking to develop their pedagogical skills in science, particularly in knowing how to teach and assess some of the key higher order thinking skills (HOTs) in science.