Based on the research of Richard Paul, Art Costa, Jean Piaget, and Benjamin Bloom, these lessons help adolescents use deeper thinking to make personal decisions and think about the future.
- Use language to express reasoning
- Identify problems, determine causes, infer, and justify opinions
This book is a compendium of language-based thinking skills. Each unit works on a specific skill and incorporates other thinking skills as well. Instruction guidelines and skill-specific vocabulary lessons are in each unit. The activities are a therapy companion to the Test of Problem Solving 2 Adolescent (TOPS 2).
The units are:
Sequencing—Organize objects and ideas quickly and logically.
Asking and Answering Questions—Ask the right questions to gather relevant information. Answer questions appropriately by giving relevant information in the right amount and staying on topic.
Comparing and Contrasting—Gain deeper understanding for problem-solving by thinking about similarities and differences.
Identifying Problems—Use clear, specific language to state the problem.
Detecting Key Information—Improve efficiency in problem solving by identifying the critical information.
Making Inferences—Students think about what they know from past experiences and personal knowledge to form an inference.
Expressing Consequences—Determine logical consequences and express them effectively.
Determining Solutions—Paraphrase the problem and list possible solutions.
Justifying Opinions—Express opinions and explain or justify them to others.
Interpreting Perspectives—Understand key factors in evaluating others' perspectives.
Transferring Insights—Apply knowledge to new situations by asking oneself thoughtful questions.
Integrating Thinking Skills—Twenty five realistic situations with a photo and a brief description of the situation. Students use their past experience, logic, and general knowledge to answer thought-provoking questions.
Extra helps include:
- glossary of vocabulary for problem solving
- outline of Richard Paul's higher-order thinking skills
- Art Costa's sixteen attributes of Habits of Mind
- overview of Jean Piaget's Concrete and Formal Operational Stages of Development
Copyright © 2007
- According to the Adolescent Medicine (2006), some common signs indicating a progression from more simple to more complex cognitive development include:
- Early adolescence
During early adolescence, the use of more complex thinking is focused on personal decision making in school and home environments (e.g., begins to demonstrate use of formal logical operations in schoolwork).
- Middle adolescence
Expands to include more philosophical and futuristic concerns (e.g., questions and analyzes more extensively).
- Late adolescence
Complex thinking processes are used to focus on less self-centered concepts as well as personal decision making (e.g., had increased thoughts about more global concepts such as justice, history, politics, and patriotism).
- Early adolescence
- Jean Piaget talks about "developmental stages" and times when children are acquiring new ways of mentally representing information. In the final stage of cognitive development, called the formal operational state (age 12 years to adulthood), children begin to develop a more theoretical view of the world. Thoughts become more abstract, incorporating the principles of formal logic. This stage is achieved by most children, although failure to do so has been associated with lower intelligence.
- According to the school Improvement Research Series (2006), teaching students to become critical thinkers is an essential education goal.
- Direct teaching of critical thinking enhances students' critical thinking skills and application.
- Students have the ability to improve their thinking skills if they are taught how to think critically.
Tasks of Problem Solving Adolescent incorporates the above principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Piaget, J. (1977). Studies in reflecting abstraction (Robert L. Campbell, Ed. & Trans.). London: Psychology Press. (Original work published 1977).