Professional learning and planning

Program description

Higher-order thinking is a key to success in learning. Critical and creative thinking are foregrounded in the Australian Curriculum through the general capabilities.

Program rationale

Critical and creative thinking are foregrounded in the Australian Curriculum through the general capabilities. Intellectual rigour must underpin everything we do in school.

The ‘What and How’

In this session, participants explore building intellectual rigour in:

  • curriculum e.g. through the learning context in which the required curriculum is enacted, through the use of BIG questions, to drive teaching/learning units, that:
      —are 'conceptual' i.e. have a higher-order thinking focus
      —are connected to students' lives and the world; and
  • assessment tasks
  • teaching/learning activities which involve the explicit use of:
      —thinking skills frameworks (such as taxonomies including the 'three-storey intellect'3
      —questioning frameworks (e.g. 5Ws + 1H or Socratic questioning)



    See learning ajency resources: Intellectual rigour: Thinking skills taxonomies; Intellectual rigour: Questioning frameworks

3 'Gathering', 'processing' & 'applying' (Bellanca & Fogarty, 1991).

Specific focus areas within:

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Standard 3: Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning; Standard 6: Engage in professional learning