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When students receive instruction in higher-order thinking skills, they perform better on a whole range of measures, from large-scale standardized tests to classroom tasks. Students who are regularly and routinely challenged to think, and whose teachers assess higher-order thinking in a manner that yields useful information for both students and teachers in their pursuit of improvement, will learn to think well.
This conclusion is no surprise, but as we have seen in this book, it takes intentional work to make these things happen in the classroom. Extemporaneous classroom discussion questions tend to be recall-level questions: "Who can tell me who Abraham Lincoln was?" Assessing higher-order thinking doesn't mean you don't assess knowledge of facts and concepts, too. But it is easier to assess recall than it is to assess thinking, so in this book we have concentrated on the assessment of thinking. I hope this book has helped you see how to construct higher-order-thinking questions and tasks, in two ways.