A Rubric for Thinking

Our school has five habits of learning for which rubrics have been developed: Communication, Creative Explorations, Collaboration, Independence, and Thinking.  Even though I have always assigned reflections to students, now I am asked to document their thinking using the thinking rubric.
The students have been given the five rubrics by many of their teacher and now students expect me to grade their reflections according to the rubric. In the past I have not graded reflections, just a "done" or "not done"; I've used them as informing of different students and concepts. My experience with following a rubric is that is all the student will do - the student will follow the letter of the rubric and not expand outside of the rubric.

Somehow the idea of a rubric for thinking bothers me, but I am not sure why. What do you think?


Damien said...

I gotta say, I like rubrics but from the perspective that they enable students to gauge where they are at and what they need to do to improve. I think the judgement on how skillful the thinking process is has to be made by the students themselves; this is at the heart of metacognition - thinking about thinking.

Paul said...

Students will jump through hoops to get the grade. This thinking rubric, for a 4, makes them think and apply what they are learning. The more they use the rubric, the more practice they get at thinking about what they are learning. Of course, they may just be getting better at jumping through hoops!