The 5 Step Model to Teach Students Critical Thinking Skills

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One of our priorities as teachers and educators is to cultivate a culture of critical thinking within our classrooms. Such an endeavour ,while possible and doable, does take so much planning and efforts. I am talking here about efforts from both teachers and students, and on a larger, scale curriculum designers as well.

Critical thinking is a cognitive skill that can be developed through a well-planned instructional process. This process, according to Duran et al. (2006) requires five fundamental steps:

1- Determine learning objectives

This is the initial phase where you need to identify the behaviours you want your students to exhibit and work on encapsulating these behaviours in an overarching higher order thinking schema.

2-Teach through questioning

The importance of integrating questions into instruction is uncontested. Thought-provoking questions help students explore learning from different perspectives. The art of posing well-formulated questions is regaled by a set of techniques, some of which are included in this wonderful poster: Questions A Critical Thinker Asks.

3-Practice before you assess

This is where hands-on learning activities are called for. To consolidate their understandings and therefore increase the retention rate of information taught, students need to utilize all components of active learning such as simulation, experimentations, rehearsing...etc

4- Review, refine, and improve

Students' feedback that you can garner either formally or informally constitute the backbone of your teaching procedure. It provides you with insights into areas that students need help with and also informs your teaching objectives and methodology. There are a variety of tools you can use to collect feedback from your students, check out the  8 Practical tools to easily gather students feedback.

5- Provide feedback and assessment of learning

As you need students feedback to help you inform your teaching methodology, students, too,  need your feedback. They need to know how they are learning, track their progress, and receievd constructive feedback in regards to their overall learning strategies. One way to do this is to provide them with grading rubrics for self-assessment. Here are some other resources to help you provide better feedback to your students: