Do Your Instructional Materials Support Critical Thinking?

Critical thinkers ask questions, formulate and solve problems, use reasoning and evidence to reach conclusions, approach situations with an open mind, and so much more. School districts set goals designed to support students in becoming effective critical thinkers and problem solvers, but creating a learning environment that is conducive to the development of critical thinking rests with the teacher. Instructional materials can either greatly support or hinder teachers’ efforts.

Based on our experience reviewing thousands of instructional materials, this blog offers five considerations to help educators evaluate the degree to which an instructional material supports the development of critical thinking skills.

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Do the materials you are using for remote instruction support a high-quality learning experience for your students?

When implementing an instructional material during in-person instruction, teachers can adjust instruction, add instructional strategies, and differentiate instruction for their students. During remote instruction, however, teachers may not have as many opportunities to adjust instruction to meet their students’ needs. Therefore, the quality of instructional materials used for remote instruction is more important than ever.

Learning List has reviewed thousands of instructional materials, and we consider many factors in our qualitative reviews. In previous blogs we’ve written about considerations for selecting materials to support continuous learning and things to look for if selecting online materials.   This blog takes a deeper look at assessing the quality of instructional materials used for remote instruction.

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Assessing the Assessments In a Material

Assessing the Assessments In a Material

Having facilitated many districts’ adoption processes and listened to educators articulate what they are looking for in instructional materials, we have observed that assessments are often under assessed during an adoption/selection process. Assessments are a critical component of the instructional cycle. Therefore, as part of Learning List’s qualitative, Editorial Review of each instructional material, we evaluate the material’s assessments. Based on our review of thousands of instructional materials, we offer the following four key considerations to help you determine whether the assessments embedded in an instructional material will meet your needs.

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April 2021