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A different way of thinking: Higher order thinking

DOUGLAS COUNTY-- Every day, Douglas County School District (DCSD) students learn amazing amounts of information. As educators, our goal is for them to remember as much of the important stuff as possible so they are well prepared for their futures.

According to research, how we teach students can impact just how much of that knowledge “sticks” with them long-term. When we ask kids to memorize information, they only remember about 5 to 10 percent of that information.

“That is not a very good return on our investment,” DCSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “If we, instead, ask students to evaluate, create or invent with their knowledge and skills, their long-term retention rate goes up to about 90 percent.  This is an excellent return on investment.”

That is why in DCSD, we not only teach our students reading, writing and arithmetic, we want them to engage in higher-order thinking. When the students are empowered to invent new solutions using all off this knowledge together, along with the skills they are learning, it better connects neurons, making the learning more sustainable.

Watch what happens when these students put higher order thinking skills to work 


More: What students, teachers and parents are saying about higher order thinking


April 29, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category:

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

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We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

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glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.