Getting to Rigor through Webb’s Depth of Knowledge

deep thinkingStudents need access to academic rigor throughout their content experiences. Many teachers have worked to embed higher order thinking by planning with Bloom’s taxonomy in mind. In her article Pursuing the Depths of Knowledge, Nancy Boyles encourages teachers to examine Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and provides direct links to the rigor available in each level (pp. 46-50):

  1. Recall and Reproduction: Students use facts to answer simple questions using sources available to them. The rigor is found in students choosing the very best evidence to support their responses.
  2. Skills and Concepts: Students employ some decision making regarding how to approach the problem or activity. The rigor is found in students achieving independence with the skill.
  3. Strategic Thinking and Reasoning: Students use logic and evidence to think more abstractly about responses. The rigor is found in the quality of student insights.
  4. Extended Thinking: Students integrate information from multiple sources to create responses. The rigor is found in students creating multiple connection points for greater levels of understanding.

As you plan for the final quarter of the school year, think about ways that you can employ Webb’s depth of knowledge to help your students dig deeper into their understanding.

For more information from the article, please see the October 2016 issue of Educational Leadership published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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