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We will not be talking about Honey in today’s presentation

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  1. We will not be talking about Honey in today’s presentation

  2. Where Adult Education needs to go Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical This will be the topic of today’s presentation The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Complex Simple Cognitive complexity: From simple one step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  3. Understanding Content and Problem Solving Difficulty. Richard Gacka Ed.D. PA ABE Professional Development System Content Expert Grant Webinar 1 of 3: Last revision done on 3/30/14 Associated narrative updated 3/30/14

  4. Teaching to the Test This might help in the short term…but is it really what students need?

  5. It’s “higher level thinking,” that lets you understand what makes some problems and content difficult. And that is the topic of this presentation

  6. Cognitive Processes: The Foundation For Problem Solving

  7. We all think in different ways and we all processinformation at different levels of depth and complexity. And all of that processing is dependent upon the degree to which our base of underlying mental abilities have been effectively developed.

  8. Let’s look at the progression of cognitive depth, from specific abilities to complex clusters of cognitive processes Specific individual abilities are the core: For example, sending impulses to your eye muscles to move a certain way. In most cases the abilities work together as complex and powerful processes. Minor process build on that core by combining abilities: For example, shifting your view to a specific object or noting size and color. A majorcognitiveprocess combine abilities even further: For example, keeping your view on several different items on the whiteboard, noting changes made by the instructor and storing the changes in short-term memory, all the while sustaining focus and attention.

  9. It is common for multiple major clusters to work simultaneously Visual component Listening component Multiple major processes simultaneously working together on a single problem is a characteristic of higher-level thinking. For example, listening and understanding what the teacher is saying while they write a formula on the board, remembering and assigning meaning to symbols used in a formula and copying them, while being aware that the teacher will soon call upon someone to explain what was just presented and feeling anxiety that it might be them. Writing component Memory component Attention component As questions or tasks become difficult, it is typical that more processes become involved. Some processes are always active, while others become active as they perform a specific component of a solution.

  10. Higher Order Thinking Involves Increasingly Sophisticated Integration of Processes Converting from one measurement system to another Holding items in short term memory Understanding the words and vocabulary being used Recalling a sequence of steps Weighing alternative responses Proposing, and then eliminating, possible alternatives Sustaining focus, attention and motivation All the while that the solution is taking place, planning, monitoring, evaluation, impulse regulation, memory exchanges, and many other processes are active. .

  11. If one or more processes are weak it can make the problem or task more difficult or impossible to solve Converting from one measurement system to another Holding items in short term memory Understanding the words and vocabulary being used Recalling a sequence of steps Weighing alternative responses Proposing, and then eliminating, possible alternatives Sustaining focus, attention and motivation The difficulty of a task or question reflects the total cognitive demands that are needed for a solution. A solution can break down because of a problem with one or more cognitive requirements, for example, having a specific fact, name, or date disappear from short-term memory will often result in an inability to reach a solution.

  12. Examples of Complex Cognitive Abilities Deconstruct from a whole to its parts Use symbols and codes Construct concepts from partial information Identify similarities and differences Understand spatial relationships Imagine the future Recognize cause and effect Hold information in working memory Attend, focus and persevere Let’s look at the minor processes that allow us to perform one of the complex abilities: Self Assessment and Monitoring (which is often called Executive Processing) Create new knowledge from old Establish rules by seeing patterns Manage and police cognitive functioning Use receptive, expressive, and inner language Sequence objects, ideas and concepts Self assess and monitor Recall previous facts and experiences Being curious about “why” or “what” Self assess and monitor what you are doing

  13. Awareness of why you are doing what you are doing Monitoring your position relative to the goal Knowing where you are in a process Observing and adjusting your focus The major process that enables us to manage and police our cognitive functioning, Is often called Executive Functioning, It is made up of simultaneous activity in many cognitive areas. Motivating yourself when tired or frustrated Recalling what you just did Assessing each action in terms of being “right” or “wrong” Keeping your goal in mind when distracted Let’s look at another cluster of skills that support the capacity for visual recognition and analysis Developing and recalling the rules for “right” and “wrong” as needed Monitoring what is going on around you Propose what lies ahead Pacing your performance given the time allotted Weigh alternative actions and consequences Selecting the right processes to use

  14. The major process referred to as decoding visual symbols Is often called “Reading” And what mental processes allow us to “read” each of these varying coding systems? It is made up of the simultaneous activity of many other sub-processes

  15. Recognizing left and right, up and down Converting verbal directions or sounds into written symbols Knowing the names for that specific symbol system Recalling rules or patterns Perceiving small differences in symbols Talking to yourself using your “inner language” The Mental Process: Decoding visual symbols Often called “Reading” Recognizing the same symbol in different sizes and fonts Testing possibilities Recognizing sequences of symbols Judging if hypotheses are true Assigning meaning to a symbol Remembering what you just saw as your eyes move to something new Filling in missing parts Recognizing the meaning of colors or special markings Recalling things from short-term memory

  16. Some very important major types of cognitive processes Cause and Effect: Information about “A” is linked with outcome “B” Whole to Part:“A” is made up of “B,” “C,” and “D” Part to Whole: “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D” are all parts of “x” Classification: “A” “C” “F” and “K” are all types of “x” Rule Development: “A” is not a “C” because it does not have “K” Temporal Reasoning: “A” happened before “B” but after “C” Spatial Reasoning: Knowing the meaning of “Up,” “Left,” “Around,” “Behind” Seeing the relationship of shapes, angles and forms. Pattern Recognition:XoaXobXocXodthe next sequence will be Xoe Closure:Filling in missing parts or pieces Deduction:Coming to a conclusion based on isolated facts Inference:Drawing a conclusion without clear facts

  17. Cause and Effect Examples at both Simple and Complex Levels Simple Level: The Underlying logic of the question is: A causes B Example: At 2:30 AM, a car driven John Doe, was hit by a truck traveling in the opposite direction Higher Level: The Underlying Logic of the question is: A1, A2, A3 and A4 in sufficient strength, may cause B, but only if C. Thermoset, thermoplastic, polyethylene and polystyrene when heated beyond 180 degrees F may experience edge curling, but only if cooling stage temperatures drop below specified tolerances. Many major process can present at varying levels of difficulty

  18. EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING IS BUILT UPON A FOUNDATION OF INTACT COGNITIVE MENTAL ABILITIES • Ability to focus, attend and be persistent • Ability to store and recall information from short and long-term memory • Proficient working memory • Mastery of a core level of major cognitive processes • Ability to perform simultaneous problem solving • Ability to self-monitor your performance • Ability to sustain Intellectual curiosity • Effective receptive and expressive language skills • Effective vocabulary mastery • Ability to plan and to execute those plans • Mental flexibility

  19. “Problem solving” is the integration of major and minor processes for the purpose of understanding and dealing with conceptual and task difficulty.

  20. You mentioned “higher level thinking” several times, can you give an example of lower-level thinking? An example of lower-level thinking would be simple repetition. All that is needed is that you listen, remember, and repeat. Some other examples would be completing a basic one or two step computation, recognizing that you have heard something before, or following a memorized sequence.

  21. OK, now can you explain higher level thinking a bit more? • Higher level thinking involves abstract topics and simultaneous manipulation of multiple ideas and codes. For example, having to identify the potential impact of three alternative changes in a policy. Higher order thinking is often described as “deep,” “rigorous,” or “complex.” • Much of the content of higher level thinking is abstract, that is, you cannot see, touch, or directly experience it. There is often specialized vocabulary, symbol systems, and relationships that need to be understood.

  22. With that introduction to to the foundation components of thinking let’s take a look at the broader concept of: “cognitivedifficulty.” Think of “difficulty” as being an umbrella term that has two dimensions: Clusters of mental processes which make up a continuum of cognitive rigor that we will refer to as “depth,” and task characteristics which we will refer to as degrees of “complexity.”

  23. Understanding Depth and Complexity

  24. There are two critical factors that are important in understanding and solving problems: In this segment we will introduce a tool that you can use to analyze the difficulty of instructional materials so that you can mentor students in strategies that they can use to address a wide range of difficulty. You can also use it to design and assess how you measure a student’s content mastery.

  25. The Two Dimensions of “Difficulty,” Depth and Complexity Abstract / Symbolic The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Complexity can range from single step solutions to manipulation of multiple detailed items

  26. The First Dimension of “Difficulty,” Depth of Reasoning Required Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical High The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection A continuum of depth Moderate Low Concrete/ Identification / Recall Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  27. Overlaying Bloom’s Levels Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical Analysis: Breaking down material into component parts so that it’s organization and structure are understood Synthesis: Putting parts together The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection A continuum of depth Application” Use learned material in new and concrete situations Comprehension: Grasp the meaning of Material Knowledge” Recall appropriate Information Concrete/ Identification / Recall Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  28. Overlaying Webb’s Levels Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical Level 4 (Extended Thinking) Level 3 (Strategic Thinking) The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Level 2 (Skill/Concept) Level 1 (Recall) Concrete/ Identification / Recall Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  29. The Second Dimension of “Difficulty,” Complexity of the Task The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Simple Moderate Complex A continuum of complexity Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From single step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  30. The Two Dimensions of “Difficulty,” Depth and Complexity Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical Low to High Cognitive Demand The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Simple to Complex Task Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From single step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  31. The basic Depth/Complexity model The different types of thinking required The complexity of the task and the thinking required

  32. An important step in solving a more rigorous problem is figuring out exactly what the problem is . Depth Forces Complexity Forces

  33. . Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Those question need to be asked repeatedly because they are related, and each time they are asked they open the door for new information needed for the solution. To truly understand the problem, you need to know the type(s) of cognitive processing that will be needed, details about the information, external variables, and the layers of information and how they fit together.

  34. Exploring areas of the matrix: Characteristics, Implications for Testing, Examples

  35. Low level depth and simple content - Characteristics Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical Problems and tasks are quite easy and uncomplicated. They usually consist of a single step and require little more than simple recall, naming, or identification. Information is clearly stated, obvious, and free of detail or unrelated distracting details. The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Point to the symbol for water Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  36. Low level depth and simple content – Testing Considerations Abstract / Symbolic • In terms of testing, tasks at this level would likely: • Involve multiple choice questions where the answers are clear cut. • Involve true-false questions where no explanation is needed, or • Include questions where the teacher expects to hear a response that simply repeats what was just told to the student. • Frequently, assessment at this level consists of little more than finding the specific information in the text accompanying the question and then repeating it. The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Point, identify, pick, repeat, read, select Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  37. Low level depth and simple content – Examples Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical • Examples of Concrete Low Complexity Thinking • Picking out a named object or item from a short list. • Repeating a sentence, definition, or statement just said by the instructor. • Following a simple one or two-step direction. • Finding a stated fact inside a simple reading assignment. • Finding the correct answer on a multiple-choice test where wrong items are obvious. • Giving a short basic verbal answer rather than explaining the answer in some detail. • Giving a generally correct answer, but one that lacks key details or supporting material. • Remembering only items that are deliberately identified as being “on the test.” • Responding with only “yes” or “no” answers. • Solving math problems that require rote procedural memory. • Memorizing basic facts with little supporting information. • Test questions where answers are either “black or white.” The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  38. Moderate level depth and simple content - Characteristics Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical Problems and tasks involve more sophisticated, often abstract, or analytical thinking. Frequently they involve projecting outcomes, consequences or implications. Generally the information deals with one or two threads or ideas, and may involve limited simultaneous analysis of multiple sets of data. Problems involve the use of mathematical symbols, using formulas, or “reading graphs.” There may be an emphasis on using the information to draw conclusions, complete a basic analysis, or estimate future outcomes. If x = 3 ft. how many 9 inch sq floor tiles will be needed for a 3x by 5x room. The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  39. Moderate level depth and simple content – Testing Considerations • In terms of testing, tasks at this level might involve “solving” a problemthat requires verbal or mathematical explanation or “proof.” • Oral testing, peer review, or field-testing may be used as the assessment. • Standardized testing may serve as a part of a broader assessment focusing on “the right answer,” but supplemented by a narrative that addresses “how” the solution was arrived at and what the implications of the answer might be. • Assessment might include development of a hypothesis followed by exploration of that hypothesis. • Assessment will show the transition from simply “knowing” or “memorizing” to questions asking the student to analyze, summarize, compare, find similarities, or note facts or events and their impact or future potential. • Higher order assessment will reflect a shift from “who” and “where” questioning to “why did” and “explain how” questioning. Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical Why did? What caused? Explain why… What might? The type of thinking: From Simple Recognition to Complex Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  40. Moderate level depth and simple complexity– Examples • Examples of Moderate Depth, Low Complexity Thinking • Giving multiple names for the same item or alternate names based on the description of an item. • Repeating sentences or lines from a play or story with effective phrasing and inflection. • Following multiple simple steps that represent a sequential movement toward a larger procedure. • Finding implied information or facts inside a reading assignment or within multiple documents. • Finding the correct answer in a multiple-choice test where wrong items differ very little or where there could be multiple right answers. • Giving a complete verbal answer that repeats the question and systematically addresses components or related facts. • Giving a correct answer to a simple question, one that provides details and supporting material. • Remembering information, facts, and dates judged to be relevant to the target objective. • Solving math problems that require extensive procedural memory and application and testing of rules or selection of alternatives. • Recognizing important characteristics and relationships in people, places and things. Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  41. Problems and tasks involve lower level problem solving (identify, collect, recall) but with complicating factors such as the need to process extensive amounts of information, demand speed of performance, or simultaneous processing of multiple simple problems. • The related information may involve one or two themes, events, or causal factors and may involve the simultaneous analysis of multiple sets of data. • The need for decoding skills of symbols, such as mathematical symbols, if unfamiliar, will make simple procedures or calculations much more complex. • Unfamiliar vocabulary can make simple concepts quite difficult to understand. Low level depth and complex content - Characteristics Abstract / Symbolic The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection What is the atomic weight of the heaviest metal on the periodic table? Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  42. In terms of testing, tasks at this level might involve “solving” a problem requiring the discrimination of multiple fine visual details, or conversions from one measurement system to another that is less commonly used. • In other cases, content that is familiar is presented using excessively complex grammatical terms or uses an unfamiliar tern in a foreign language, i.e. “pro bono.” • In some cases, the addition of a time limit for responding, unnecessary detail, or increasing the amount of information to be processed may make a simple task much more difficult. • Deliberate “tricky” questions may not add any need for deeper reasoning, but will increase the need for attention to detail. Low level depth and complex content – Testing Considerations Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Which is not… You have 3 minutes to … Rank the 5 items Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  43. Examples of Complex Low Order Thinking – LOT • Understanding an extensive ongoing conversation or reading lengthy written text containing easily understood vocabulary and grammatical styles. • Understanding Latin terms used in legal or business text such as a priori, ad hoc, et al, etc. • Reading history text, that contains multiple individual’s names, dates, actions, and locations. • Solving math problems that require recall of a three or four step computation. • Gathering information for development of a table comparing demographic and personal information about four different historical figures. • Competing in a “trivia” contest where factual information needs to be recalled as part of a competition with two other individuals. • Following written directions on a menu containing multiple items, a need for measurement, and close compliance with a given sequence and specified timing.. • Drawing a schematic based on actual measurement of a real object. Low level depth and complex content – Examples Abstract / Symbolic The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  44. Moderate level depth and moderate complexity- Characteristics • “Deeper” and more complex reasoning demands that the individual put seemingly unrelated concepts together and use the new insights to develop plans for innovative processes. • As depth increases all of the necessary information is not “given,” it is extracted from information that is available. • Higher-level reasoning requires consideration of permutations and testing of multiple simultaneous hypotheses for the purpose of weighing alternatives and consequences. • Complex coding and recoding is the norm rather than the exception. • Demands on working memory increase significantly. • Individuals are required to effectively use multiple measurements or recording systems. Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical How might the impact of Mr. Smith’s death been different if… The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  45. Moderate level depth and moderate complexity: Testing considerations • In terms of testing, tasks at this level might involve identifying the nature and causes of a problem as well as developing strategies for “solving” it and testing strategies for its solution. • In terms of multiple choice testing, the presenting information would be much less obvious, require generalizations or inference, or require testing of information for accuracy. • Complex models, theories, and supporting testing systems may be used. • In standardized testing the raw data will be diverse and sometimes contradictory. • Information and solutions are likely to be highly coded or dependent on complex vocabulary or high levels of content knowledge. • Information will be nuanced. • Assessment might include knowledge of associated theories that propose consequences or potential impacts. Abstract / Symbolic Explain the pros and cons of… Simplify 2(x+4) + 3 )x-5) – 2y What was the impact of apartheid on … The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  46. Moderate level depth and moderate complexity: Examples • Examples of Moderately High Level Reasoning and Complexity • Dealing with concepts that are presented in the form of Greek or Latin phrases or advanced mathematical symbols • Multiple sequential or concurrent content threads that need to be analyzed or monitored. • Sophisticated vocabulary or grammatical styles provide nuanced information that communicate subtle variations or meanings . • Multi-stage fluid processes and procedures that may change as variables are identified. • Solving math problems that require detailed procedural memory and use of symbols to represent theoretical concepts. • Seeing characteristics and relationships in multiple people, places and things. • Requires high levels of intellectual curiosity and perseverance. Answers are often highly dependent or learning from errors made. • Use of analogies and metaphors. Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Simple Complex Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  47. Applying The Depth - Complexity Matrix

  48. Plot this question of the matrix below. “Darnell, we just talked about the causes of the Civil War. Tell me two of those causes.” Q1 Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Complex Simple Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  49. If you make minimum wage (see table) and work an average of 27 hours per week, how much will you earn in a year? Q2 Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Complex Simple Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items

  50. The farm where you just started working has a vertical cylindrical oil tank that is 2.5 feet across on the inside. The depth of the oil in the tank is 2 feet. If 1 cubic foot of space holds 7.48 gallons, about how many gallons of oil are left in the tank? Q3 Abstract / Symbolic / Analytical / Critical The depth or type of thinking: Varies from Recognition to Symbolic Projection Concrete Complex Simple Cognitive complexity: From simple 1 step solutions to manipulation of multiple concurrent items