Complex Thinking

As we will indicate in this chapter repeatedly, forms of thinking require choices among instructional strategies. To support this idea, we begin the chapter by discussing three kinds of complex thinking in turn: critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. We consider how each can be facilitated by appropriate teaching strategies. Then we discuss several broad strategies for encouraging complex thinking, including some that are teacher-directed and others that rely more heavily on students’ initiative.

Although instructional strategies differ in their details, they each encourage particular forms of learning and thinking. The forms have distinctive educational purposes, even though they sometimes overlap, in the sense that one form may contribute to success with another form. Consider three somewhat complex forms of thinking that are commonly pursued in classroom learning: (1) critical thinking, (2) creative thinking, and (3) problem-solving