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Dimension 4

At Upper Coomera State College our goal is for every student to succeed. In order for this to occur students need to learn effectively and the best way to achieve this is for their knowledge to be meaningful. Using knowledge meaningfully requires students to engage in thinking and reasoning that is quite different from that required when they are asked to simply recall, restate, recognize, recollect, reiterate, or otherwise reproduce knowledge.

Using knowledge requires students to engage in complex thinking and reasoning processes as they complete long-term, meaningful tasks. Six of these reasoning processes have been identified and defined in this dimension.

They are:

  • Decision making: generating and applying criteria to select from among seemingly equal alternatives

  • Problem solving: overcoming constraints or limiting conditions that is in the way of pursuing goals

  • Invention: developing unique products or processes that fulfil perceived needs

  • Experimental inquiry: generating and testing explanations of observed phenomena

  • Investigation: identifying and resolving issues about which there are confusions or contradictions

  • Systems analysis: analysing the parts of a system and the manner in which they interact

  • When students are working through these processes, they need to engage with their pre-existing knowledge, and use it for a clear, predefined goal. This allows the students to keep hold of the knowledge, therefore truly learning it.

Adapted from Marzano, Pickering et al., 2006, Dimensions of Learning.