Infusing higher-order thinking and learning to learn into content instruction: a case study of secondary computing studies in Scotland
This case study examines ideas on a thinking curriculum and learning to learn in the context of secondary education, by exploring one subject area- computing studies- at the Scottish secondary 3/4 (S3/S4) level with 14- to 16-year-olds. The infusion approach used in this project combines direct teaching on problem solving strategies, modeling of solution processes, on-going formative assessment, and developing metacognition through processes of reflection, articulation and exploration. The case study provides an example of how these approaches can be interweaved within a problem-based learning methodology for teaching computer programming at an introductory level. The study demonstrates how an appropriate balance can be struck between content objectives and broader educational goals within an infusion approach, resulting in the achievement of successful learning outcomes. Extending the approach to other subject domains could greatly enhance the connectedness of the secondary curriculum, thus enabling students to learn more efficiently. This would require cross-curricular collaborations and a reformulation of existing curricula.