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HOTS: HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS

“He who learns but does not think is lost”…. (Chinese Proverb)

One of the major recommendations of National Curriculum Framework-NCF2005


emphasizes upon the shift from testing rote learning to testing of Higher Order
Thinking Skills of learners. Consequently, CBSE decided to change the design of
question papers as well as the typology of questions to be included in the question
papers in all major subjects.

Thinking is a mental process. Thinking skills are the intellectual skills such as the
skills of memorizing and recalling facts and information, clarifying, making
analysis, generating ideas, making decisions, problem solving, and planning.
Different authors of thinking skills have proposed different models and
approaches in teaching thinking skills.

Tony Ryan’s “Thinkers Keys”, Edward De Bono’s “Six Hats”, Bob Eberle’s
“SCAMPER” and Benjamin Bloom’s “Taxonomy of Cognitive Domain” are the
major models. Each has its own scope and advantages. Bloom’s Taxonomy of
Cognitive Objectives is a means of expressing qualitatively different kinds of
thinking. It is the most useful for classroom use and continues to be one of the
most universally applied models. It provides a way to organize thinking skills into
six levels, from the most basic to the higher order levels of thinking: Knowledge,
Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation.)

This was revisited by Anderson and a few changes were incorporated. These are:-
Remembering: Recalling information, Recognising, listing, describing,
retrieving, naming, finding.
Understanding: Explaining ideas or concepts, Interpreting, summarising,
paraphrasing, classifying, explaining.
Applying: Using information in another familiar situation, implementing,
carrying out, using, executing.
Analysing: Breaking information into parts to explore understandings and
relationships, comparing, organising, deconstructing, interrogating, finding.
Evaluating: Justifying a decision or course of action, checking, hypothesising,
critiquing, experimenting, and judging.
Creating: Generating new ideas, products or ways of viewing things, designing,
constructing, planning, producing, inventing

The first three Categories (Remembering, Understanding & Applying) are


regarded as Lower Order Thinking Skills, while the other three Categories
(Analysing, Evaluating and Creating ) are called the Higher Order Thinking
Skills.
It is imperative that our Teaching Strategies are modified and we develop thinking
skills in our students. Assessment would be the next stage.

“A good teacher makes you think even when you don’t want to.”
(Fisher, 1998, Teaching Thinking)