HOTS for Bloom’s, part 1

Kathy Schrock, Discovery Education Network, Jul 05, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

When you use an acronym in your title you have some obligation to define it in the article, but that doesn't happen here, so I did some searching to determine that 'HOTS' means 'Higher Order Thinking Skills' (presumably 'LOTS' means 'lower order thinking skills). This article relating HOTS to Bloom's Taxonomy (and Bloom's revised) gives some pause for thought, which is useful. But the meaning of 'higher order' bothers me. Verbs related to 'creating' are counted as HOTS. But ants create. Beavers create. Birds create. Are they capable of higher order thinking? We can find similar examples of lower-order thinkers such as cats and raccoons 'analyzing' and 'evaluating'.  Are these even 'skills'? My first thought on reading the acronym was that they were 'strategies'. So while this characterization seems natural at first blush, something else is going on.

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