Pedagogy 4

Key Competencies: Thinking

William Golding Lord of the Flies

Once more that evening Ralph had to adjust his values. Piggy could think. He could go step by step inside that fat head of his, only Piggy was no chief. But Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains. Ralph was a specialist in thought now, and could recognise thought in another.

Thinking and the Key Competencies

Or Thinking and the Key Competencies

Think about it?

Activitating & Connecting with Prior Knowledge




Pedagogy 1 – 3
(See in full:



• The blindspot, … , is the place in the visual field that corresponds to the lack of light-detecting photoreceptor cells. Since there are no cells to detect light, a part of the field of vision is not perceived.
• The brain fills this in with surrounding detail so the blind spot is not normally perceived. (Wikipedia)

Blindspot Metaphor

The idea of a ‘blind spot’ can be seen as a metaphor for what we are trying to do as teachers.

Blindspot Metaphor

• We are trying expose the gaps in students understanding so they can become deeper learners.
• We are looking for the blindspot in their world view. (Remembering there will always be another blindspot to take its place.)

Jamie McKenzie Learning to Question, to Wonder, to Learn.
Those who think about serious issues and challenges
may ask the wrong questions and be captive of biases,
wishes, preconceptions and “gut” instincts. (p.v.)

Modes of ThinkingGroup Activity
This graphic shows several dozen types of
thinking that appear ungrouped and
uncategorized. Can you come up with a
grouping arrangement? Some types of
thinking provoke more originality and actual
production than others.

New Zealand Curriculum
Thinking is about using creative, critical, and metacognitive processes
to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas. These processes
can be applied to purposes such as developing understanding,
making decisions, shaping actions, or constructing knowledge.
Intellectual curiosity is at the heart at the heart of this competency.
Students who are competent thinkers and problem solvers actively
seek, use, and create knowledge. They reflect on their own learning,
draw on personal knowledge and intuitions, ask questions,
and challenge the basis of assumptions and perceptions.

Tools for talking about Thinking.

There is a varied vocabulary for talking about thinking and learning.

We are aware of

•NZ Curriculum

Richard White’s differentiation between shallow and deep learning.

Bloom’s hierarchy of thinking modes.

The difference between HOTS and LOTS. (Higher Order Thinking Skills as opposed to Lower Order Thinking Skills)


Transfer (understanding / Deep Learning / “top end” of Bloom’s

taxonomy: Analyse, Synthesise, Evaluate, and Create)

Two of the most important educational goals are to promote retention

and to promote transfer (which, when it occurs, indicates meaningful

learning)… retention requires that students remember what they have

learned, whereas transfer requires students not only to remember but

also to make sense of and be able to use what they have learned. (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001, p63)

Life outside of school is better characterised as a series of transfer

opportunities than a series of recall assignments to be done.

Critical Thinking (Project Zero at Harvard University The Artful

Thinking Palette, de Bono’s Black Hat)

Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on

deciding what to believe or do. (Norris & Ennis, 1989, p.3)

The goal of teaching here is seen as equipping students to be able to

reason, reflect, and make sound decisions. Wisdom and judgment are

particularly important in higher-order thinking tasks like judging the

credibility of a source or identifying assumptions.

As school and society become more diverse, it is less likely that

everyone’s assumptions will be similar. Identifying the assumptions

behind points of view – what students might call “seeing where you’re

coming from” – is a true life skill.

Problem Solving (Creativity)

A student incurs a problem when a student wants to reach a specific

outcome or goal but does not automatically recognise the proper path or

solution to use to reach it. The problem to solve is how to reach the desired

goal. Because a student cannot automatically recognise the proper way to

reach the desired goal, she must use one or more high-order thinking

processes. These thinking processes are called problem solving. (Nitko &

Brookhart, 2007, p.215)

Does problem solving have a role in creativity? Most human creations, both

inventions of things and inventions of social customs, were conceived to solve

some sort of problem.

Every academic discipline has problems. Some are closed problems, but many problems

are open-ended, could have many correct solutions or multiple paths to the same

solution, or are genuine questions for which answers are unknown.