Why “higher order” coaching?

Why did I name my business “Higher Order Coaching?”

If you have noticed that I function as a pastor, you may think “higher order” is a religious reference. But, that’s not the reason I chose it for the name of my business.

Educators describe two classes of thinking – lower order thinking and higher order thinking.

Lower order thinking involves remembering, understanding and applying facts. Questions that encourage lower order thinking use verbs such as list, describe, tell, explain, discuss, illustrate, construct, complete, and solve. Most of our educational tests use these kinds of questions.

Higher order thinking encompasses analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Questions that stimulate higher order thinking employ verbs like compare, contrast, examine, assess, choose, justify, invent, design, imagine, and construct. Coaching asks these kinds of questions.

Handling Facts and Ideas

Handling Facts and Ideas

Coaches assist our clients in dismantling information and exploring the relationships between the facts. Coaches encourage our clients to critically examine data and make judgements about it. Coaches embolden their clients to use information to create something new.

I chose “Higher Order Coaching” to remind me to ask questions that facilitate higher order thinking.

By the way, the religious implication of “higher order” makes me smile. I enjoy double meanings like that.


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