Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Judith Collison

Second Advisor

Janet DiTullio

Third Advisor

John Murray


This thesis presents a curriculum for a workshop on teaching thinking skills in the content area designed for secondary school teachers. In-service time for the workshop is twenty hours. The first fifteen hours are scheduled for one week in the summer. Two follow-up sessions, each two and a half hours in length, are scheduled during the school year. The purpose of this curriculum is to establish a foundation for skillful thinking-purposeful thought that is aware not only of its objective but of its own processes. In order to accomplish this purpose the workshop has two goals. The first goal is to teach the method of direct instruction in teaching thinking skills developed by Barry K. Beyer. The second goal is to model active learning strategies that support skillful thinking in the secondary school classroom. The method of direct instruction features the following procedure for teaching thinking skills in the content area: Determine what you want your students to be able to do better. Note places where this activity occurs in a particular course. Identify the key thinking skill involved in the activity. Describe that thinking skill. Plan a sequence of skill teaching lessons. Write the lessons using appropriate skill teachingstrategies. Determine your assessment strategy and write the necessary evaluation instructions. Teach the thinking skill. Repeat this process for one or two other thinking skills that are critical to learning your subject matter. Active learning strategies that support skillful thinking include the following: Creating a classroom atmosphere that fosters positive attitudes about thinking and its teaching; sing several cooperative learning activities to teach the workshop's content. Guiding instruction in metacognition. Leading discussions using techniques that facilitate skillful thinking. Assessing the learning in the workshop with a final project that requires the participants to synthesize and apply their knowledge. This workshop thus provides a practical way for teachers to begin the complex but rewarding task of teaching thinking in their classrooms.