A simple test for any task: does this make my students really think or merely remember? It sounds silly, but the more I consider it, the more interesting this distinction gets.
All AboutThinking Or Remembering?
How many of our tasks ask students to truly think about a topic versus merely remember facts?
How Gallagher and Ascher’s Divergent Questions can ensure students are thinking rather than merely remembering.
One way to emphasizing Thinking over mere Remembering is to consider the level of abstraction we’re asking students to use. You might think of abstraction as a spectrum from highly specific, concrete details to really big (but vague) ideas.
Being able to generate many possible answers is key to high-level thinking. So why don’t we ask students to do it more often?
Early in my career, I mixed up “topics” with “lesson.” Here’s how I learned to plan real lesson objectives, not merely list my topic.