The Relationship between Cognitive Development, Teaching Creative Thinking, Assessment, and an Interdisciplinary Approach

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Cognitive development is widely considered to be one of the most important aspects of students’ learning. It relates to the identification of patterns, relationships, and the use of language. It concerns with the affective development, which is related to the emotions and the psychomotor development - the movement and activities that are associated with the mental process. One of the main issues is the challenges teachers face to address these categories in a specific topic. The standardized assessment tests such as Trends in International Math and Science Study TIMSS and the Program for International Student PISA have three main categories: knowledge, application and reasoning. It is interesting, and important to note, that learning has similar categories: knowledge, skills, and understanding. Considerable attention must be paid in aligning the learning domains to the assessment domains in order to raise students’ attainment in the standardized assessments. In order to achieve these results, it is important to understand the kind of knowledge being learned, how memory works, how best to teach for creativity, and how people learn. Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math STEM is a new reform in education which helps to develop students’ 21st century skills and creative thinking. A new framework is being proposed, to develop students’ skills through teaching them an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum using authentic tasks (problem-based learning) that leads them to higher-order thinking skills. This paper is presenting a critical reflection on cognitive development, teaching creativity, assessment types, and an interdisciplinary STEM approach, and the relationship between them.
Cognitive Development, Assessment, Creativity, Interdisciplinary STEM