Questions, Comments, or Corrections? Let us know!

Skills and Best Practices

Activity 4: Skills and Best Practices

Demonstrating Understanding

Teaching requires that teachers “close the loop”. The act of teaching is never complete until students can demonstrate that they can apply the content that they have leaned in the classroom to a real-life situation. Models for raising the level of student thinking are based on the notion that students begin at the knowledge level and move from one level of thinking to another until they reach the application level and beyond. Every teaching unit must include opportunities for students to move from one level of thinking to another. Bloom’s Taxonomy still remains the model for all hierarchical arrangements to promote student thinking. This site will also provide information on the following topics:

  • What is higher-order thinking?
  • Questions that invite higher-order thinking
  • Approaches to teaching higher-order thinking
  • Writing to promote higher-order thinking
  • Sources of more information

The Constructivist Classroom

Understanding by Design discusses understanding as the ability to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Explanation
  • Interpretation
  • Application
  • Perspective
  • Empathy
  • Self-knowledge

This activity provides the opportunity for students to develop empathy with children around the world who are still feeling the effects of abusive child labor practices.

Activities for the Constructivist Classroom argues that reforms in social studies must become more constructivist, involving students in critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. An effective way of doing this is to incorporate technology into the social-studies classroom. Suggestions elaborated on include:

  • News broadcasts
  • Internet field trips
  • Traveling through foreign countries via the Internet
  • State web pages
  • Developing a database