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Are low attaining children capable of higher order thinking?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bethanywhite93, Apr 12, 2018.


Are Low attaining pupils capable of higher order thinking?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  3. Sometimes

    2 vote(s)
  1. bethanywhite93

    bethanywhite93 New commenter


    I am a student teacher who is currently carrying out research on the exclusivity of higher order thinking skills. I am trying to find out some other teachers perspective/ experiences on higher order thinking, how you have guided children (of all abilities) to develop critical thinking and how it impacted on their progress.

    Thank you in advance for any information you can provide me, it is greatly appreciated!

  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    How do you define lower attaining ?
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I would say, yes of course.
    When I think of generally lower attaining group in year 3, they are still working above the level of the highest attaining in year 1.
    If the highest attaining in year 1 are deemed capable of higher order thinking, then so must those in my class.

    To be fair the lower attaining are often great at higher order thinking. They are only deemed lower attaining because they haven't collected lots and lots of facts to spew back out in an exam.
    Billie73 and minnie me like this.
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Depends why they are lower attaining. I’ve taught some lower attaining children who have global delay. Honestly, not sure how much higher order thinking was possible for those children. I currently teach a very dyslexic girl. Her attainment in writing is very poor - looks like a year 1 (she’s y6) wrote it because her handwriting and spelling is so bad - her ideas and language are great but it doesn’t come through in her writing unless scribed. She is one of the most intelligent children in my class and absolutely capable of higher order thinking.
  5. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    And how do you define 'higher order'?

    This is a ludicrous question (the initial one, that is), that is open to limitless different interpretations. Thus, it cannot be answered.

    But, I will anyway. The answer is clearly yes.
  6. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I used to give 11+ exam questions to my class for registration time and I would often have ‘lower attainers’ succeeding at them first. I think it helps when the topic is something new and in an area which the children don’t already think they know who is good and who is bad at it.
  7. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    So many things need clarifying here. Low/high- attaining; higher order thinking skills; critical thinking; progress.

    I think it might help to make the focus of your research a lot clearer.
    minnie me likes this.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    yes of course.

    whatever the definitions are in your original question, academic success is only one type of intelligence
    Vince_Ulam and minnie me like this.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Yes, I have come across many children labelled 'low attaining' who are definitely capable of higher order thinking. They may have that label because of dyslexia; slow processing or poor retention - but their insight and understanding during debates or P4C can match (or exceed) that of any other child in the class.
  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    What kind of thinking and how do you think it is exclusive?

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