Higher-order thinking, Engaged learning, Authentic Connections -by Alan Stange from edustange.posterous

H.E.A.T.

stands for Higher-order thinking, Engaged learning, Authentic Connections, and Technology use. The H.E.A.T. Framework measures the integration of these four factors in classroom instruction.

  • Higher-Order Thinking Look-Fors
    • Students taking notes only; no questions asked
    • Student learning/questioning at Remembering level
    • Student learning/questioning at Understanding level
    • Student learning/questioning at Applying level
    • Student learning/questioning at Analyzing level
    • Student learning/questioning at Evaluating/Creating levels
  • Engaged Learning Look-Fors
    • Students report what they have learned only
    • Students report what they have learned only; collaborate with others
    • Students given options to solve a teacher-directed problem
    • Students given options to solve a teacher-directed problem; collaborate with others
    • Students collaborate to define the task, the process, and/or the solution
    • Students collaborate to define the task, the process, and/or the solution; collaboration extends beyond the classroom
  • Authentic Connections Look-Fors
    • The learning experience is missing or too vague to determine relevance
    • The learning experience provides no real world application, or represents a group of connected activities
    • The learning experience provides limited real world relevance
    • The learning experience provides extensive real world relevance
    • The learning experience provides real world relevance and opportunity for students to apply their learning to a real world situation
    • The learning experience is directly relevant to students and involves creating a product that has a purpose beyond the classroom that directly impacts the students
  • Technology Use Look-Fors
    • No technology use is evident
    • Technology is used only by the teacher
    • Student technology use appears to be an add-on and is not needed for task completion
    • Student technology use is somewhat connected to task completion
    • Student technology use is directly connected to task completion with shared or limited resources
    • Student technology use is directly connected to task completion with one-to-one or unlimited resources

This link was shared with me in the course of the Powerful Learning Practice action research project this past year. We were looking for articulations of authentic integration of technology in learning. On our Video Workflow Wiki (http://videoworkflow.wikispaces.com/) we referenced TPACK`s Ven Diagram of the interrelationship between three domains of knowledge. “A teacher capable of negotiating these relationships represents a form of expertise different from, and greater than, the knowledge of a disciplinary expert), a technology expert and a pedagogical expert. Effective technology integration for pedagogy around specific subject matter requires developing sensitivity to the dynamic relationship between all 3 components.” (TPCK: http://www.tpck.org/tpck/index.php?title=Main_Page). Focus on the teacher or learner, in either case learning presents a complexity of interdependent factors. Contemporary testing models fail to measure this complexity.

Authenticity is a real challenge in my practice. “The learning experience is directly relevant to students and involves creating a product that has a purpose beyond the classroom that directly impacts the students.” This is hard to consistently achieve. I responded to a tweet about authentic math experiences recently. I responded by observing that the curriculum pressure is too great. By the time a student in my class grasps a concept in math they have to immediately abandon that concept and move on to a new one. There is never any time for applying the concepts. Doing practice questions is not applying a concept. It is simply part of learning the concept. For example, my fifth graders were learning polygons. The Math Makes Sense Unit ends with a bridge building challenge. There is application of the concept. However that amounts to a small fraction of the unit. There is no allowance for experimentation and learning from failure. It is always time to move on to the next concept. On to fractions fifth graders. I think this speaks to the bloated curriculum: breadth versus depth and abstract instead of authentic. Higher order thinking takes time. We don’t have time, so higher order thinking is not a priority.

 

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