NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

K-12 Professionals

Teaching Students How to Think Critically: Improving Executive Functioning and Comprehension Skills

EDUC 600




Instructor: Michelle Kalina

Grading: Graded

Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)

Instruction Mode: Correspondence

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

Partner Course Fee: $350

Partner Class Offered Through Northstar Continuing Education

Course Description:

Teaching children higher-order thinking skills has always been a challenge for educators. Course participants will learn how to instruct students to think critically, organize thoughts and materials, learn self-reflection skills, as well as how to increase reading, oral and written language comprehension, and math skills. Many students in our classrooms lack the ability to evaluate the information they receive and make sound decisions that will help them succeed academically and achieve personal fulfillment.


As a result of participation in this course, students should:

1). Define executive function skills and describe impact on student learning and thinking skills.

2). Learn specific interventions to increase reading and language comprehension, writing and math skills.

3). Learn how to teach metacognitive strategies throughout the school curriculum.

4). Understand the development of comprehension skills and the causes behind reading comprehension difficulties.

5)  Increase working memory, discourse and pragmatic skills for K-12 students.


Meltzer, L. (Ed.). (2007). Executive Function in Education: From Theory to Practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Textbook(s) not included in the cost of the course.

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