One of the goals I have set for 2017 is to improve students 'higher order thinking' skills in my Accounting classes. As with most subjects, students are generally strong in knowledge/procedural style questions but struggle with more complex tasks requiring problem-solving, reasoning, developing logical and convincing arguments and interpreting data.
Our school-wide pedagogy states that teachers will explicitly teach problem-solving and higher order thinking skills. These are phrases thrown around a fair bit in my staffroom but rarely am I told of actual ways/strategies of improving/teaching these skills in a classroom. Here are some ways I have been trying to improve these skills but I need more ideas. Could you please share your best idea by commenting on this post.
My examples of teaching 'higher order thinking and problem-solving' in accounting:
1. Providing students with problem-solving questions - for accounting this may be complete questions with errors in them or questions involving many steps. We then discuss/share different problem-solving strategies. In this scenario, I am 'modelling' problem-solving.
2. Students creating their own questions with full solutions for a topic. Their task is to create an exam for the class. I use office lens (amazing app) and the collaboration space in OneNote to then share these with all students. Below is an example of a student creating a bank reconciliation style question which was shared with the class.
3. Students creating their own video content explaining concepts. I use my class OneNote and the office snip tool for this (amazing tool). See this blog :http://www.mrawebster.com/blog/use-of-the-snip-video-tool-in-onenote-for-reviewing-students-thinking
4. Students marking and critiquing each other's work - Often students will make similar mistakes, if students are looking at work from different students they can identify errors and help them not make the same ones.
5. Making connections to the real world. By connecting concepts where possible to real world scenarios students are better able to understand a topic. For example, in the budgeting unit I asked my schools Business Manager for a copy of the schools budget and for accounting for non-current assets I asked the schools accountant for a copy of the asset register. Providing students with source documents rather than narrative style business transactions also makes the student think more about 'real world' accounting.
6. To start a unit, giving students an exam style question which we work through. This provides students with an idea of where we need to get to in the unit. I then went back and taught the content as normal, linking/connecting each lesson to the end goal.
7. Where possible, making links to past units.
8. Questioning - This is something I have tried to focus on this term but am not quite there yet. I tend to ask a difficult question and not wait long enough for a student response. I will prompt the students/give them the answer after 5 - 10 seconds on silence. Perhaps I need to ask students to think about those difficult questions for homework and respond the next lesson?
9. Using flipped learning (see videos via clickview or youtube). I flip certain accounting topics which opens up class time for more problem solving, one on one feedback myself and more collaborative work.
I am out of ideas. How do other teachers explicitly teach problem solving and higher order thinking skills?