Higher-Order Thinking and Graphic Organizers


Graphic Organizers are tools for encouraging higher-order thinking.

The "order" in Higher-Order is...

  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation

These levels (a hierarchy) represent successively more complex thought processes.

Encouraging students to engage in successively more complex thought processes seems to be valued higher than pressuring students to memorize just the right answer.

The important question is whether Graphic Organizers are a tool that helps students achieve this more valued kind of thinking.

The second question is whether the use of these tools is easy and inexpensive enough so that the already burdened teacher can implement the strategy without undue trauma or personal stress.

The tool should increase students' learning without minimizing the teacher's family time and without diminishing the teacher's personal life (because the tool is too time consuming to manage easily).

Fortunately, Graphic Organizers are inexpensive, easy to create and easy to use.

But, Higher-Order Thinking doesn't happen just because there is a Graphic Organizer on the students' desks. Higher-Order Thinking is sparked because there is a master teacher in the room.


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