The effects of higher order thinking on student achievement and English proficiency

Annela Teemant, Charles S. Hausman, James Chamwada Kigamwa


This quantitative study investigates the effect of urban teacher (N = 18) use of higher order thinking on language arts achievement and English development. Using Bloom’s six level hierarchy of higher order thinking, teachers were designated as high (levels 3 to 6) or low (levels 1 or 2) users of higher order thinking. Findings demonstrate statistically significant gains in coached teachers use of higher order thinking, and simultaneous gains in their students language arts achievement. Regardless of the coaching status of their teachers, when teachers used higher order thinking, their students made significant gains in both language arts achievement and English proficiency. Implications point to the value of increasing, not decreasing, the level of cognitive challenge when teaching culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students.

Key Words: Cognitive Challenge, Achievement, English proficiency, Instructional coaching; Professional development; Urban Elementary Teachers.


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