The Focus Factor: 8 Essential Twenty-First Century Thinking Skills for Deeper Student Learningby James A. Bellanca
Featuring practical “how to” classroom examples, this teacher-friendly introduction examines the importance of an essential set of thinking skills that supports the Common Core State Standards and future success for students in 21st-century life, school, and work. Starting with cognitive psychologist Reuven Feuerstein’s pioneering Theory of… See more details below
Featuring practical “how to” classroom examples, this teacher-friendly introduction examines the importance of an essential set of thinking skills that supports the Common Core State Standards and future success for students in 21st-century life, school, and work. Starting with cognitive psychologist Reuven Feuerstein’s pioneering Theory of Mediated Learning, the author provides a rationale for teaching skills that focuses on deeper learning and connects to CCSSs. These include distinguishing what is important from what is not, thinking critically and creatively, sorting and searching information, connecting ideas, and problem solving. Each chapter introduces the what, the why, and the how to do it for explicit, intentional incorporation of specific content-crossing competencies. The text is designed to make it easy for teachers to integrate the development of important cognitive functions into their daily lessons.
- Offers research-supported, best practices for developing higher-order thinking skills with all learners.
- Provides engaging, how-to examples of cognitive strategies that lead students to deeper learning of standards-aligned curricula.
- Provides the tools teachers need to escape the recall curriculum and make cognition central to daily instruction for all students.
Praise for The Focus Factor!
“Jim Bellanca's career has been devoted to helping teachers promote cooperative and critical thinking skills in their students, skills that are more important today than ever and are focused here for deep learning and success with common core standards.”
—Charlotte Danielson, educational consultant and president and CEO, The Danielson Group
“Jim Bellanca has written a highly useful and readable volume for educators, parents, and all others who are interested in the best of modern education. The Focus Factor provides guidance for incorporating critical and creative skills in schools of all kinds, and includes the core ideas of some of the leading thinkers in cognition. Each chapter has helpful guide questions to ensure that the reader absorbs the most important concepts. Highly recommended.”
—David S. Martin, past president, North American Feuerstein Alliance
“Jim makes the Common Core Standards accessible for classroom teachers by illustrating their connections with current brain research and the central 21st-century skills he has advocated for years. Resonating most strongly with me is Jim’s affirmation that defining a problem is ‘the quintessential sub-skill in problem-solving’ because it develops ‘other cognitive functions problem solvers can rely on as they work to turn loose problems into tightly structured problems with a strong problem statement. This quintessence of problem-based learning is one pathway into what Pellegrino describes as ‘deeper learning.’”
—Deb Gerdes, program director for problem-based learning, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
- Teachers College Press
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