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Higher-Order Thinking in Chemistry Teaching and

Learning
Dr Carol K.K. Chan, The University of Hong Kong
Ivan C.K. Lam, Maryknoll Convent School
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Overview
What is higher-order thinking?
Model of learning and teaching of higher-order
thinking
Fostering higher-order thinking in chemistry
Concept Mapping
Questioning
Reflection Learning Diaries
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Group Work
Video on classroom implementation on higher-order
thinking
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What is Higher-Order Thinking?
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What are the characteristics of HOT?
HOT involves more than one fixed answer

HOT is brought about by complex tasks

HOT is about understanding

HOT is both content-free and content-related
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What are some common questions
about higher-order thinking ?
Are there lower-order and higher-order
thinking?

Are there specific thinking skills for
different age groups?

Are higher-order thinking skills applicable
for low-ability students?
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What are different kinds of HOT?

Educators from different backgrounds have different
conceptualization & classification systems.

Creative Thinking
Critical Thinking
Blooms Taxonomy
Marzanos Dimensions of Learning
Metacognition

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What is HOT?
Creative Thinking (e.g., De Bono;
Perkins)

Ability to generate novel and multiple solutions

Aesthetics, risk-taking, edge of knowledge

Lateral Thinking (I.e., six hats)
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What is HOT?
Critical Thinking (Ennis)
focus on a question
analyze arguments;
observe and seek supports for evidence
make inferences (induction & deduction)
identify unstated assumptions
decide on an action
employ strategies to interact with others in discourse
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What is HOT?

Blooms Taxonomy
Lower-level to higher-level questions

Marzanos Dimensions of Learning
Different Kinds of Thinking Skills
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What is HOT?


Metacognition & higher-level understanding
(Bereiter, Scardamalia, Resnick, Brown)

Thinking about thinking (meta-cognition)

Higher-order thinking is about students taking active
roles in constructing meaning and deep understanding
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What is HOT?
1 November 2002
What characterize metacognition?
Awareness of Own
Knowledge & Learning
Examine Own
Understanding & recognise:
1. What one knows (strengths)
2. What one does not know
(Weaknesses,
Misconception, Problems)
Control & Regulate Own
Learning Processes
Goal Setting, checking,
monitoring
Learning strategies
Knowledge building
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An example of metacognition
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An example of metacognition
.It was the first time that I really take a
chance to observe the things around me. I
deliberately took out the bleach and have a
look at it. In the past, I didnt have the sense
of observationI was greatly surprised
when I realized that milk and egg could be
used to neutralize bleach, which I could
never guess it
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Why choose this system focusing on
metacognition?

Framework that relates well with current
educational reforms in the knowledge-based era

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Model of Learning and Higher-
Order Thinking

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Prior Knowledge Good thinkers
build on and extend what they know

Can one be a good thinker without knowing
anything?

Good thinkers need to think with something
Good thinkers have well structured knowledge


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Prior Knowledge
Teaching Strategies Concept Mapping (&
analogies)
Maximize knowledge structure and organization

Students learn to
compare, contrast, classify, organize, and relate different parts
examine and reflect on their own understanding
process information deeply

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Learning Strategy Good thinkers self-
direct their thinking using inquiry-based
strategies
Ask higher-level questions

How do you develop HOTs other than teacher
questioning?

If you want your students to develop HOTs, teach
less and turn over to students what teachers would
do for them.
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Learning Strategy

Teaching Strategy From teacher questioning to
student-generated questions
Asking good questions is the hallmark of intelligence

Students learn to
formulate and find problems
inquire, hypothesize, explain, solve problem
check and monitor their own understanding
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Learning Strategy
Other teaching strategies for maximizing
student inquiry-based strategy

From teacher-designed experiments and
projects to student-designed experiment and
projects

From teacher assessment to student-directed
and peer-led assessment
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Collaborative Learning Good thinkers
work with others in creating
new knowledge

Do good thinkers only work by themselves?

In the current knowledge-based era, students need
to learn to work with others

Collaborative learning focuses on solving complex
problems (no fixed answers) for creating new
understanding in the learning community
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Collaborative Learning
Teaching Strategy

Concept mapping, generating questioning,
reflection, projects are best conducted in
collaborative group settings

Computer-supported collaborative learning
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Collaborative Learning
Students learn to
reflect on own knowledge
work with others
communicate ideas/develop standpoints
compare different viewpoints
agree and disagree with reasons
synthesize different ideas
extend own & community learning
AND many others HOTs
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Learning and Assessment
Purposes of assessment
assessment of learning vs. assessment for learning
Summative and formative assessment
Learning and Assessment (constructive alignment)
Backwash Effects
Consider how students would study differently if they
are assessed on MC, fill-in-blanks, open-ended
questions, essays, projects, & computer discussion
Assessments should be designed in ways to promote
student learning
Change assessment - To foster students higher-order
thinking, consider using different kinds of assessment
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A Framework for Promoting Higher-
Order Thinking Skills
Developing Higher
Order Thinking
Use of Prior
Knowledge
Deep, inquiry-based,
Learning strategy
Collaborative
Learning
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Fostering higher-order thinking
in Chemistry ??
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Classroom scenario
Students may do well on Chemistry questions, but
they may fail to acquire skills in solving everyday
problems.

Rote versus meaningful learning

Teaching does not necessarily lead to learning, but
learning can occur without teaching.
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Teaching and learning strategies for
promoting higher-order thinking in
classroom
Concept mapping
Questioning
Learning journals/diaries
Computer-supported collaborative learning
Analogy
Inquiry-based experiments
Project work
Decision making exercises
More.
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Concept Mapping
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WORDS
SYMBOLS
CONCEPT
LABELS
CONCEPTS
PERCEIVED
REGULARITIES
EVENTS OBJECTS
CONCEPT MAPS
LINKING
WORDS
PROPOSITIONS
COGNITIVE
STRUCTURE
RELATIONSHIPS
HIERARCHY
CONTEXT
DEPENDENT
MOST
GENERAL
MOST
IMPORTANT
MOST
SPECIFIC
LEAST
IMPORTANT
ROTE
KNOWLEDGE
CLAIMS
LEARNING
MEANFUL
RAINING
EXPLOSION
PHOTOSYNTHESIS
DOG
LEAF
WOMAN
Can be
To form
is
are
are
are are
Can be
Achieved by
from
to
Perception is
are
in in
e.g. e.g.
Are stored in
form
for
Concept Map Showing Key Concepts in Concept Mapping
Adapted from: Joseph Novak (1991) Clarify with Concept Maps. The Science Teacher, 58(7), 45-49.
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Components of a concept map
Concepts: chemical terms or ideas
Proposition: a combination of two nodes (concepts)
and a labeled line
Hierarchy: concepts drawn from general (most
important) to specific (least important)
Cross-links: connections between one segment of
concepts and another segment
Examples: specific events or objects
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Components of a concept map

l abel
l abel
l abel
l abel
l abel
l abel
cross-li nk
l abel l abel
Key
concept
Example
Concept
General
concept
General
concept
General
concept
Concept
Concept
Example
First level
of
hierarchy
Second
level of
hierarchy
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Concept mapping :
a metacognitive tool

includes
has
contains
has
includes
Food
Vegetables
Meat
Pork
Carrot
Vitamin
A
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An example of concept map
Francisco, et al. (2002)
bond to form
basic
unit of
can represent can represent
represent
with lowest ratio
between
components is represent
compounds of all
nonmetals are
are formed by
reactions between
nonmetals
can be formed
between metallic &
nonmetallic
with metals &
nonmetal
represent
basic
unit of
represent
react to form
chemical
symbol
atom
molecule
element
compounds
chemical
formulas
empirical
formula
molecular
compounds
ionic
compounds
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An example of concept map

Taber (2002)
not
not
reacts with
identify
found
from
measures
measures
property
of
identify detect
detect
property
of
reacts with
reacts with
reacts with
reacts with
causes
a type of
needed for
can cause
increased by
increases
weathering of
treated with
type of
increases
corrosion of
causes
treated with
weathers
corrodes
type of
identify
Acid
Neutral
Acid
indigestion
Acid soil
Indicators
Pollution
Atmospheric
acidity
Metal
Metal
oxide
Metal
carbonate
Base
Alkali
Digestion
Stomach
acid
Rock
Acidity
Alkalinity
pH
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Variations of concept mapping
Select and fill-in concept mapping
Fill-in concept mapping
- The blanks can be concepts or linking words
- Found mostly in revised CE textbooks

Student generated concept mapping
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How to construct a concept map ?
1. Brainstorming stage:
identify facts or ideas associated with the topic
make a list of single words or short phases

2. Organizing stage:
create groups or sub-groups of concepts
rank order the concepts (general to specific)
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How to construct a concept map ?
3. Linking stage:
add labeled lines to show relationships
look for cross-links between concepts

4. Finalizing stage:
attach specific examples
give a title of the map
But remember, there is no single
way to draw a concept map
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Highlights of concept mapping strategy
Start with daily life concepts (e.g. food, animals or cars)
in the training period
Construct maps collaboratively to encourage deeper
understanding through social interaction
Ask students to think and prepare list of concepts
beforehand that save more time for discussions
Have students to present their maps and obtain feedback
from classmates. Make changes and draw the final
maps for assessment.
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An example of concept map in the training period
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Evaluation of concept maps:
Qualitative assessment
Are all important concepts included ?
Are there any incorrect or missing linkages between
concepts (misconceptions) ?
Is the map laid out in a way that higher order
relationships are apparent and easy to follow ?
Is there a substantial amount of branching hierarchy
and cross-linking (the complexity) ?
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Evaluation of concept maps:
Quantitative assessment
Scoring rubric (modified from Mason, 1992)
No effort
0
Poor
1
Fair
2
Good
3
Excellent
4
Number of concepts
Focal concepts
Propositions
Validity of linkages
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Evaluation of concept maps:
Quantitative assessment
Basics for determining the level of adherence
No effort
0
Poor
1
Fair
2
Good
3
Excellent
4
Number of concepts too few or too many concepts vs. only the major concepts
Focal concepts
misses the major foci vs. hierarchically indicates the
major foci
Propositions propositional links are vague or missing vs. explicit
Validity of linkages inaccurate linkages vs. accurate linkages
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Uses of collaborative concept maps in
promoting HOT
To interconnect the abstract chemistry concepts or
terms
To relate the macroscopic, microscopic (particulate)
and symbolic levels in chemistry
To communicate the complex ideas by extending
the prior knowledge
To assess the connected understandings and
diagnose misconceptions
To engage students in reflective thinking
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Learning Strategy and Deep Processing

Questioning (Blooms Taxonomy &
Marzanos Dimensions of Learning)
Learning Diaries, Self-Generated Questions,
and Reflection
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Asking higher-level Questions
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Blooms taxonomy of cognitive levels
To recall facts:

Define the term rusting.
State two substances that are
needed for rusting to occur.
1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation
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Blooms taxonomy of cognitive levels
To understand the meanings
/ organize facts:

Explain why rusting of iron
nail occurs faster in salt
solution than in tap water.
1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation
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Blooms taxonomy of cognitive levels
To use (apply) facts, rules or
principles:

Suggest a metal that is used to
protect underground steel pipes.
Explain your choice.
Calculate the e.m.f. of the
rusting process from the
electrode potentials of half
reactions.
1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation
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Blooms taxonomy of cognitive levels
To break down the whole
into it component parts:

Can you distinguish between
tin-plating and zinc-plating to
prevent iron cans from rusting?
1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation
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Blooms taxonomy of cognitive levels
To put parts together into a
new whole

Design an experiment to show
that oxygen is essential to
cause rusting.
1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation
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Blooms taxonomy of cognitive levels
To justify the value or merits
of an idea/problem

Discuss the effects of rusting on
social, economic and
environmental aspects of a
society.
1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation
Construct higher-level questions HOTs
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Marzanos Dimensions of Learning -
Questions for Different Thinking Skills
Acquire and Integrate Knowledge
Construct meaning - How does X relate to something you
already know?
Extend and Refine Knowledge
Compare - How are X and Y alike? How are Y and Z
different?
Classify How can you group XYZ into groups?
Induce - Based on such information, what would you
conclude?
Construct support What evidence do you have to support
this..?
Abstract What patterns can you observe from ?
Analyze perspectives What are the reasons for the different
explanations? Which is better?
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Marzanos Dimensions of Learning
Use knowledge meaningfully
Decision making What course of action is the best and
why?
Investigation/Experimentation What information is
needed to solve this problem? Design an experiment to
examineHow would you investigate that
Problem Solving Identify the problemWhat are the
possible solutions..
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Learning Diaries
From Teacher Questions to Student-Generated
Questions
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Reflection Learning Diaries
Guidelines for Self-Questioning (from Y.L. Chong)

Identifying Topics and Tasks
What is the topic/objective of todays lesson?
What is the topic/objective of last lesson and what is
the relationships between them?
What is the main thing I have to do or find out? What
is the aim of this experiment?
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Compare new and old understanding
What do I know about this topic? What is the
new concept? What are the differences
between them?
Can my ideas explain this phenomenon? Can
this new concept explain this phenomenon?
Which one is better?
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Evaluation and Application
Are there any concepts I do not understand?
What do the new concepts say? What are the
common misconceptions? What have I learned
in this experiment?
Can I use this new concept to explain a novel
phenomenon in daily life? What is the
explanation?
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Computer-Supported Collaborative
Learning
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Computer-supported collaborating
learning
Knowledge Forum (KF)

Online database for knowledge building
Community of learners
Knowledge-transforming
Students pose questions, negotiate meanings (talk
chemistry), and generate new ideas
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Related websites to KF
http://www.knowledgeforum.com

http://csile.oise.utoronto.ca/CSILE_biblio.html

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How KF promotes HOTs ?
Questions / topics initiated by students
A high level of control over own learning
Shared ideas or written discourse about a problem
(content, process & product) recorded
More ownership created
Minimize competition in learning community
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Group work
&
break
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Final words on promoting HOT in
classroom
To create a classroom environment with positive
climate
To build on students existing knowledge
To ask high-level thinking questions or even get
students to ask and inquire into these questions
To engage students in collaborative group learning
tasks
To use a variety of authentic assessment strategies
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