3 ways to engage students in productive struggle

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Think about it for a minute. You are facing a new challenge – whether it be learning to fix a burst pipe, tackling a new hobby, or just struggling to figure something out. What do you do?

I’ve asked hundreds of people this question and the first thing they often say is, “I Google it.” (Then I joke about the times before the internet when we needed to spend time looking through the Encyclopedia Britannica to find our answers.)

In education, a big challenge is how to teach students what do to do when they don’t know what to do. What systems are needed for productive struggle to take place in classrooms and schools? How do students learn to struggle so they can eventually problem solve for themselves?…Read More

Teaching Argumentation and Reading for Evidence

BritannicaDec2014200x300Students are experiencing a shift in every grade from narrative reading and writing to evidence-based reading, writing, and argumentation. This white paper reviews current thinking on this topic and provides sample activities for helping students acquire these key skills.

Using Online Resources to Build Critical Thinking Skills

Britannica200x300Thanks to the Common Core, an increased emphasis on developing higher-order or critical-thinking skills is occurring to prepare students for K-12 success as well as in higher education and employment. How to help students use these skills to analyze and synthesize information from online articles, primary sources, images, and videos is the subject of this practical white paper. A research overview and cross-disciplinary activities for grades K-12 are also included.