Assessing the cognitive demands required of students in class discourse, homework assignments and tests

Anat Zohar, Noa Schwartzer, Pinchas Tamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

An important question which is often overlooked addresses the nature and quantity of higher-order thinking activities when teachers are not explicitly ‘teaching for thinking’ but rather acting and behaving routinely. This study investigates the scope and nature of tasks demanding students’ application of higher-order thinking skills while studying biology in junior and senior high schools in Israel. The method used is the collection and analysis of questions asked by teachers during classroom discourse, in homework assignments and in tests. The main findings show: (a) that the frequency of higher-order thinking questions in biology class discourse in Israel is approximately 20%; (b) that the cognitive level of teachers’ questioning in HS is higher than in JHS; (c) that the matriculation exam has a strong influence on tests given by teachers; and (d) that while inquiry questions permeated HS testing they are less salient in HS class discourse, indicating the need for remedial treatment which should include the integration of more inquiry-oriented pedagogies into classroom practice.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)769-782
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998

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