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Teachers Response for a Radical Change in Classroom Teaching – A Reflection

From the paper presented by Abdullah Mohd Noor, “Teaching Thinking Skills: Redesigning Classroom Practices,” there are shifts and conditions educators have to face in blending thinking skills in classroom teaching. Most educators find it difficult to implement thinking skills to learners who are used to traditional and passive teaching approaches. One must familiarize with the thinking culture before successfully implementing thinking skills in the classroom. 

by Abdullah Mohd Noor


This paper discusses on changing the teaching approaches moving from teacher-oriented to student-centered approach in the classroom situation. In implementing a culture of thinking in the classroom situation a survey was conducted to seek the opinion of a group of university students who enrolled in Culture of Thinking in the Classroom course. A sample of 40 teacher education students were selected to elicit answers on changes to be made in the current classroom setting; the constraints a teacher faces in integrating thinking skills among students and redesigning a pedagogy for teaching thinking skills in the classroom. The results showed that there are changes to be made in the current classroom practice and teachers face many constraints and challenges in integrating thinking skills in the classroom.

by Barbara Limbach and Wendy Waugh


This paper identifies an interdisciplinary, five-step process, built upon existing theory and best practices in cognitive development, effective learning environments, and outcomes-based assessment. The Process for the Development of Higher Level Thinking Skills provides teachers with an easy to implement method toward a more purposeful and active-learning environment, which encourages higher level thinking.

Abdullah Mohd Noor mentions the two teaching approaches in teaching and learning: teacher-centered approach, known as the traditional deductive approach, and student-centered or a process-oriented approach.

The student-centered approach is a “higher-level” approach that needs creative teaching and learning that include thinking skills, creative and critical thinking skills to appreciate. This is a response to the challenges of the fast-changing world, where understanding is reorganized and redefined, aspects of living become more complex when usual jobs become obsolete, and there are needs for faster and more reliable information.

A thinking classroom is an environment where a culture of thinking thrives. The language of thinking, thinking dispositions, mental management, strategic spirit, higher-order knowledge, and teaching for transfer, are what a culture of thinking possesses. (Tishman et. al., 1995).

There have been efforts to create a paradigm shift in the education system to produce thinking students who are effective problem-solver, decision-makers, and life-long learners. This effort further creates independent thinkers and creative individuals who have acquired abilities to face the challenges and realities of real-world problems. Thinking skills become an essential and critical part of the school curriculum to raise the standard of education in equipping the learners to cope with the demands of the future. Thus, educators can only help learners enhance their skills by enabling reflective learning in every condition inside and outside the four corners of the classroom or school community premises.

Gallery Walk
HUMSS learners during a “Gallery Walk” – an activity for Introduction to the Philosophy of the Human Person subject.

Limbach and Waugh present the five-step Process for the Development of Higher Level Thinking Skills.

These are:

    1. Determine Learning Objectives
    2. Teach Through Questioning
    3. Practice Before Assessment
    4. Review, Refine and Improve
    5. provide feedback and assessment of learning

Revisiting the curriculum approach and the successful implementation of these processes will eventually lead to a student-centered learning approach. These require thorough planning and creativity that encourages the learners to a higher level of thinking. 

(2022). Retrieved 18 March 2022, from

(2022). Retrieved 18 March 2022, from


Significant Learnings and Insights

My subject taught in Senior High School is Introduction to the Philosophy of the Human Person, and Introduction to World Religions and Belief Systems. By nature, these are subjects that cannot just be a discussion about facts, dates, places, and names of thinkers in the history timeline. It needs critical thinking, creativity, and the art of questioning: provoking thoughts and eliciting critically reflected answers.

Most of the time, my learners find my subject boring and is too formal. And since it’s too formal, I had difficulty gaining 100 percent class participation. And there were learners whom I found timid in deep thinking activities. Most of them just wanted to memorize, and like to have objective quiz types. This always makes me anxious and reflective about my teaching strategies to the point that I admit I’m a failure as an educator in the subjects I am teaching.

I reflected and tried to find how to enhance my teaching strategies. I am resolved to adopt thinking skills after learning where my learners are coming from. Starting with philosophical questions somehow requires my learners’ complex thinking to answer questions without deviating from the lesson’s objectives. My teaching strategies were not only about memory-based learning but they became experiential.

Experiential learning became an effective strategy for me. My learners learn when they were able to demonstrate what is in their minds, and even express their feelings about certain ideas and knowledge that requires critical thinking. The class discussion turns out to be more interesting than a boring activity when everybody is engaged.

I learned that experiential learning allows my learners to reflect as they become deeply conscious and appreciative of our lessons. I have learned that a thoughtful curriculum is more effective as a teaching approach.

My Thinking Classroom

I consider my classroom as a thinking classroom. It is not because the subject is all about thinking or memorizing. During the lesson planning stage, I make sure that concepts and ideas are not limited to what the textbooks provide. Imagining what will be the reactions of my learners about certain concepts helps me use the language of thinking to be more high-level thinking. The terminologies and languages we use certainly prepare my learners for the disposition for openness in learning. Through their open-mindedness, they allow everyone to be creative and reflective while encouraging one another to think deeper. Each focuses on different ways how to solve problems using facts and thought-provoking inquiries.

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