• Employee Resources
  • Language

A different way of thinking: Higher order thinking

DOUGLAS COUNTY-- Every day, Douglas County School District (DCSD) students learn amazing amounts of information. As educators, our goal is for them to remember as much of the important stuff as possible so they are well prepared for their futures.

According to research, how we teach students can impact just how much of that knowledge “sticks” with them long-term. When we ask kids to memorize information, they only remember about 5 to 10 percent of that information.

“That is not a very good return on our investment,” DCSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “If we, instead, ask students to evaluate, create or invent with their knowledge and skills, their long-term retention rate goes up to about 90 percent.  This is an excellent return on investment.”

That is why in DCSD, we not only teach our students reading, writing and arithmetic, we want them to engage in higher-order thinking. When the students are empowered to invent new solutions using all off this knowledge together, along with the skills they are learning, it better connects neurons, making the learning more sustainable.

Watch what happens when these students put higher order thinking skills to work 


More: What students, teachers and parents are saying about higher order thinking


April 29, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category:

District News

The Douglas County School District Board of Education welcomes Dr. Thomas S. Tucker into the role of Superintendent of Douglas County School District. Dr. Tucker officially leads the 68,000 student district as of July 1, 2018.


Nearly 1,500 Colorado students applied for the prestigious Boettcher Foundation Scholarship this year, with 42 being named recipients. Of those, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) is proudly home to four recipients.


When it comes to mental health services, communities traditionally focus on supporting kids as needs arise. This work is crucial for the safety of our students. Equally important, though, is prevention-based programming that can help, early on, prevent the social-emotional challenges our kids may be experiencing from escalating.