University of Edinburgh

Developing higher level thinking skills in deaf pupils/students

Presented in February 2000

Students taking Ownership

Students need to UNDERSTAND the processes of thinking required for tasks - TUB - BINE

Teachers/Facilitators need to TEACH the processes of thinking required for tasks - TUB - BINE



Set goals - set goals in conjunction with students - teachers know the curriculum and the educational expectations - let the students into the secrets too - let them know what they are aiming for so that they have some way of knowing if they are getting there.

Evaluate goals - evaluate goals in conjunction with students. Let students have their own input. Your job is to recognise where they are on track and where they need to improve. Students must become their own best evaluators and they will when they see others around producing better work than they have. (Think about how we, as adults, react when we have been assigned a new task, we do our best and we get ripped apart for it - we hate being put on the spot - and we need encouragement - Rome was not built in a day and neither is good teaching mastered in a day.) Avoid labelling students as slow even in you mind - expect them all the self-evaluate and treat them gently when they exaggerate.

Choose products/vehicles to demonstrate the learning process. Make a variety of products available and understandable to students - initially, and occasionally thereafter, you will want to specify the product to ensure that the students understand the work attached to a good product. Initially, there will be a lot of comparative discussion of the products to lead the students into the skill of criticism.

Work individually using time management skills. Set tasks for working individually - individual projects - four square paper for initial research - SEE IT/SAY IT/SIGN IT. Mad Monday, Tricky Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Thinking Thursday, Freaky Friday - these are great occasions for talking individually with students about their overall evaluations (report cards) which the students will already have prepared and are ready to discuss with you. OR for simply observing the workings of the individuals/pairs/groups in order to suggest ways to improve their efficiency. Discuss first efforts at MM.

Work cooperatively with a partner sharing the workload equitably. Set tasks for working in pairs - ensures participation or immediately highlights the lack thereof. MM-FF (above)

Evaluate the completed work. Evaluate work - making sure the students know the criteria for evaluation when they begin the task.

Recognise the strengths of the work produced. Applaud areas of success.

Indicate areas in which the work could be improved. Indicate areas for improvement - suggest students choose ONE area to be worked on in the next project.

Teacher may wish to choose ONE specific area for all of the students to work on if it is generally lacking in all of the students' work.