Facts Do Not Teach Students How To Think

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Ok. That is great, but what motivated Columbus to set sail for new lands? What kinds of obstacles and unforeseen challenges did Columbus and his crew face as they set off? How did he interact with the people in the new lands he discovered? Should we regard Columbus as a hero or as a villain? Moreover, how would the Americas be different if Columbus failed his mission? – Facts do not teach students how to think.

With today’s technology, students can pick up their mobile device and say “Hey, Siri! On what date did World War One end?” and their phone instantly replies, “November 11, 1918.” So, what is the practical point if they do not understand what the war was about or the people or events that ended it? – Facts do not teach students how to think.

From the moment our students began taking the Summit Learning Assessments (tests), they complained, “Mrs. Moore, you never taught us how to answer questions like these.” She responds, “If you studied everything available in your online platform, you would already know that you have access to all the resources you need to answer these questions. Marcia, we are not interested in the facts you can memorize; our focus is helping you discover how to think and discover learning for yourself.”

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