“Good learning starts with questions, not answers.” –Guy Claxton
Critical thinking is required in the workplace, in educational settings, and to address everyday challenges. In ESL classes, teachers often ask only factual questions that rely on short-term memory, such as “What did Lee Pa do yesterday?” and “What is the capital of Minnesota?” While memory is an important skill, teachers should ask questions and plan activities that dig deeper. Even in beginning level classrooms, it is essential that learners are asked questions that challenge them to think critically.
One tool that can be used to incorporate critical thinking questions and activities into the classroom is Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification system that is used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. Bloom’s Taxonomy divides thinking into six categories, with one being the simplest level of thinking, up to six, which is the most complex.
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