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ERIC Number: ED544689
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-25
Pages: 47
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
Thinking & Learning Skills: What Do We Expect of Students?
Kendall, John S.; Ryan, Susan; Weeks, Sandra; Alpert, Alan; Schwols, Amitra; Moore, Laurie
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
This descriptive study identifies the thinking and learning skills--such as good decision-making strategies and monitoring one's own learning progress--that students should acquire, as described in standards documents from state departments of education, from national subject-area organizations, and from organizations concerned about adequate student preparation for post-secondary work. Because such skills are frequently embedded within standards that address subject-area content, it is often not clear which thinking and learning skills are commonly expected of students. This project seeks to clarify the scope and characteristics of these skills and to identify how they are addressed in subject-area standards from national organizations, as well as standard documents for the Central Region states. As states conduct their periodic review of standards for students, they seek better understanding of the skills and knowledge expected of students in other influential standards documents. In an effort to address this need, REL Central set out to examine these documents to determine what types of thinking and learning skills are commonly anticipated. The study asks the question, "What is the scope of the thinking and learning skills expected of students as identified in three significant sources of standards--state standards in the Central Region, subject area standards from national organizations, and standards from post-secondary education across four major areas of study: English language arts, mathematics, sciences, and the social studies?" To conduct the review, analysts collected standards documents from seven states in REL Central's service area (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming); from the national groups that have established specific standards in each of the four subject areas; and from organizations that have identified what graduating seniors should know in order to successfully pursue post-secondary schooling or advanced training. In order to communicate what types of thinking and learning skills appear in these standards documents, the authors selected and adapted an educational taxonomy (Marzano & Kendall, 2007) that provides useful definitions of and distinctions among these skills. The taxonomy is organized in six levels in which the findings are discussed -- four in the area of cognition, or thinking skills; one in metacognition, or knowing about the learning; and one in the self-system, or knowing about attention and motivation to learn. Three appendixes present: (1) A survey of cognition, metacognition, and self-system in the learning process; (2) Data sources and the limitations of the study; and (3) Protocol used for the analysis. (Contains 2 tables, 4 figures, and 1 footnote.)
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). 4601 DTC Parkway Suite 500, Denver, CO 80237-2596. Tel: 303-337-0990; Fax: 303-337-3005; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Kansas; Missouri; Nebraska; North Dakota; South Dakota; Wyoming