Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking is at the centre of much that we aim to do as teachers. It is a fundamental academic and life skill. If it is something we have embraced, it should be present in all our lessons. But what exactly is it, and how do we teach it? 

Promoting Critical Thinking through Questions

One of the fundamentals in education is asking questions and receiving answers. Often the answers can end up being of the GWIT (Guess what I’m thinking) kind, and can be useful for checking superficial understanding. But if we want to promote thinking and deeper learning, we need to ask more searching questions, by raising debatable issues and introducing problems which might not even have answers.

Question Formulation Technique (QFT)

The QFT is a simple but rigorous step-by-step process designed to help students formulate, work with, and use their own questions.

Using Google Classroom Questions

A Google Classroom Question can promote learning in a number of ways.


Do you feel about some rubrics the way I do? Many rubrics are vague and/or combine too many different criteria in one box.

Better Writing: Because, But, So

Our students often speak and write in a superficial manner that is an indication of lazy thinking. We need to promote deeper engagement with ideas. Instead of using AND to join a series of unsubstantiated ideas, students should be encouraged to use BECAUSE, BUT and SO.

Feedback and Remediation

Hattie et al. have written extensively about the power of feedback. In a recent article, Hattie has gone on to try to specify what kinds of feedback work best. The conclusions are as follows.

Mid-year Exam Feedback

Mid-year exams provide an ideal opportunity to give effective feedback based on how students have managed their exams. We should use this opportunity (since we return the exam papers to the students) to do more than just mark correct vs incorrect.

3 Key Study Skills

Here are 3 key study skills to share with students as they approach exams.

Metacognition as a key Study Skill

Exam time is an ideal time to bring metacognitive strategies into the learning process. Encourage students to use the exam session to try new/better study methods, especially if it is a mid-year exam that does not count as much as the final exam.

Post-Test Reflection

After marking a test or exam, it is good to ask some reflective questions, and not simply take the marks as an objective measure of the students’ abilities. Data analysis is useful but it needs to lead to reflection.