QUESTION/PROBLEM: Critical Thinking Skills - Definitions and Assessmentlast updated September 8, 1997
How do I incorporate the development of critical thinking skills into the curriculum?
What assessments are available for measuring students' critical thinking skills?
What type of critical thinking might be associated with acquiring any type of masters degree in alternative medicine?
Table of Contents
Two of the most important issues pertaining to the promotion of critical thinking skills in the classroom are: 1) changes in teachers' classroom management techniques, and 2) assessments that go beyond the measurement of mere recall. Therefore, the appended citations reflect: 1) both interdisciplinary and subject-specific approaches to the incorporation of critical thinking skills into elementary, secondary, and postsecondary curricula, and 2) the assessment of critical thinking skills by both standardized and non-standardized measures.
Use the ETS/ERIC Test File and the Test Review Locator to identify descriptions and critiques of appropriate measures by typing in the phrase "critical thinking" at the prompts.
/cthink - The Critical Thinking Community
Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project
ERIC DOCUMENTS CITATIONS
ED381748 CS012101 Critical Thinking. Fastback 385. Beyer, Barry K. 1995 35p. ISBN: 0-87367-385-9 Available From: Phi Delta Kappa, 408 N. Union, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789 ($1.25 plus processing fee). EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS. Document Type: POSITION PAPER (120); TEACHING GUIDE (052) This fastback distills the essential features of critical thinking, as identified by prominent specialists in the field, and presents them in a way that is immediately usable in the classroom. After presenting a definition of critical thinking, the fastback discusses the necessary elements of critical thinking--dispositions, criteria, argument, reasoning, point of view, and procedures for applying criteria and judging. The fastback also presents an example of critical thinking in action and a discussion of using critical thinking. It addresses the trouble with critical thinking and discusses why critical thinking is so important. Contains 19 references and 11 resources for further study. (RS) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; Definitions; Elementary Secondary Education; *Persuasive Discourse; Skill Development; Thinking Skills Identifiers: Educational Issues EJ530564 CS752283 Critical Thinking Lacks Definition and Uniform Evaluation Criteria. Ruminski, Henry J.; Hanks, William E. Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, v50 n3 p4-11 Aut 1995 ISSN: 1077-6958 Document Type: RESEARCH REPORT (143); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Investigates how members of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication define, teach, and measure critical thinking. Finds that members believe they are teaching critical thinking, but they seem not to do so in a systematic or well-defined manner. Finds that evaluation of critical thinking is neither uniform nor systematic. (SR) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; Definitions; Educational Research; *Evaluation Criteria; *Evaluation Methods; Higher Education; *Journalism Education; National Surveys; School Surveys; *Teaching Methods ED368478 PS022203 Developing 21st Century Strong Sense Critical Thinkers. Fluellen, Jerry 30 Jan 1994 21p. Document Type: POSITION PAPER (120) Drawing on the writings of Jean Piaget, Paulo Freire, Yoneji Masuda, John Naisbitt, and others, this paper examines the purposes of education and posits a model for developing strong sense critical thinking (SSCT) skills among elementary school students. Part I examines the purpose of education, while Part II discusses SSCT, defined as the ability to question one's own framework of thought, to understand the arguments and rationale of others, and to reason dialectically in such a way as to determine when one's own point of view is at its weakest and when an opposing point of view is at its strongest. Part III examines possible scenarios for developing SSCT skills at Philadelphia's Joseph Pennell Academics Plus elementary school, outlining best case, worst case, and probable scenarios. Parts IV and V look at the historical context for developing SSCT, while Part VI outlines future possibilities for an SSCT program at the Joseph Pennell school. Contains a 40-item annotated bibliography. (MDM) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; *Curriculum Development; Definitions; *Educational Theories; Elementary Education; Elementary Schools; *Elementary School Students; Models; Persuasive Discourse; Program Descriptions; *Thinking Skills Identifiers: Freire (Paulo); Masuda (Yoneji); Naisbitt (John); Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); Piaget (Jean) ED366988 CS214240 How Persuasive Writing Aids Critical Thinking. Burkhalter, Nancy Nov 1993 17p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993). Document Type: CONFERENCE PAPER (150); POSITION PAPER (120); REVIEW LITERATURE (070) Even though the importance of critical thinking skills has been recognized and studied by experts in several fields, the research has not yielded a clear definition, nor has a clear explanation been proffered of how writing can foster critical thinking. This article reviews the literature on the various definitions of critical thinking and examines how critical thinking can be promoted through writing. Persuasive writing can especially help the acquisition of critical thinking skills because: (1) that genre calls upon several of the same higher-level thinking skills as critical thinking; (2) it forces students to think in concepts because the organizational structure requires connection of ideas through a hierarchy of thesis statements and topic sentences; and (3) it teaches writers to create their own alternatives to problems instead of merely analyzing those of others. (Contains 52 references.) (Author) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; Definitions; Higher Education; Literature Reviews; *Persuasive Discourse; *Thinking Skills; Writing Research Identifiers: *Writing Thinking Relationship EJ455703 EA527445 Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions, Implications for Implementation. Young, Lynne E. NASSP Bulletin, v76 n548 p47-54 Dec 1992 ISSN: 0192-6365 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); EVALUATIVE REPORT (142) Despite problems of skill definition and implementation, educators are now being urged to incorporate higher order thinking skills and instruction into their classrooms. A primary barrier is teachers' orientation toward covering or dispensing knowledge, rather than working with it. The current teacher-dominated format must change to a more student-centered approach with interactive learning opportunities. (15 references) (MLH) Descriptors: *Class Activities; *Creative Thinking; *Critical Thinking; *Definitions; Elementary Secondary Education; *Thinking Skills EJ390022 UD514211 Critical Thinking and Subject Specificity: Clarification and Needed Research. Ennis, Robert H. Educational Researcher, v18 n3 p4-10 Apr 1989 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120) Examines the meaning of subject specificity, a crucial aspect of teaching and assessing critical thinking. Discusses a number of distinctions, including a distinction among domain, epistemological, and conceptual subject specificity. Outlines future research needs. (FMW) Descriptors: Academic Education; *Concept Formation; *Critical Thinking; *Definitions; Elementary Secondary Education; Epistemology; Instructional Development; *Intellectual Disciplines; Research Needs; *Semantics Identifiers: *Specificity; *Subject Content Knowledge ED320015 CE055109 Critical Thinking in Adulthood. Fulton, Rodney D. 1989 16p. Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070) Critical thinking is often defined as that which a particular instrument measures. The most prominent tests are the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test, and the Cornell Critical Thinking Tests. Watson and Glaser's (1980) view of critical thinking is "a composite of attitudes, knowledge, and skills." Ennis (1984) uses the terms "critical thinking," "informal logic," and "reasoning" roughly interchangeably, defining critical thinking as "reflective and reasonable thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do." Based on this definition, Ennis's model posits 13 dispositions and 12 abilities that together make up critical thinking. From the field of adult education, a simplified concept of critical thinking emerges. Brookfield's (1987) definition of critical thinking is a productive and positive emotive and rational process that is triggered by both positive and negative life events. The following definition of critical thinking was used for the learning strategies instrument developed by the Kellogg Center for Adult Learning Research, Montana State University: "a parallel process by which individuals analyze given information in a contextually specific situation and create new ideas, concepts, or constructs based on their analysis." According to this model, there are four general strategies necessary for critical thinking, two of which are analytical (recognizing and testing assumptions, and assessing contextual parameters) and two of which are creative (generating and testing alternatives, and conditional acceptance). (105 references) (KC) Descriptors: *Adult Education; Adult Students; *Critical Thinking; *Definitions; Educational Philosophy; Educational Research; *Learning Strategies; Measures (Individuals); Postsecondary Education; * Thinking Skills Identifiers: *Ennis Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test; *Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal EJ316045 SO513858 Critical Thinking: What Is It? Beyer, Barry K. Social Education, v49 n4 p270-76 Apr 1985 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners Developing an accurate, commonly accepted definition of critical thinking is absolutely essential. This article proposes and discusses such a definition. Critical thinking is defined as the process of determining the authenticity, accuracy, and worth of information or knowledge claims. It consists of a number of discrete skills. (RM) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; *Definitions; Educational History; *Educational Needs; Educational Objectives; Elementary Secondary Education; Skill Development; *Social Studies EJ307583 SO513233 What's in a Skill? Defining the Thinking Skills We Teach. Beyer, Barry K. Social Science Record, v21 n2 p19-23 Fall 1984 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); TEACHING GUIDE (052) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners To improve the teaching of thinking skills, social studies teachers need to identify and select a few key skills on which to focus continuously throughout the K-12 social studies curricula. They also need to identify the attributes of these skills. A model skill description is included. (RM) Descriptors: *Basic Skills; *Critical Thinking; *Curriculum Development; Definitions; Elementary Secondary Education; Models; *Skill Development; *Social Studies
ERIC Documents Citations for Assessment of Critical Thinking
ED392781 SP036529 Diversity in Assessment Procedures. Boe, Barbara L. Feb 1996 22p.; Paper presented at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Conference (48th, Chicago, IL, February 21-24, 1996). Document Type: PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); CONFERENCE PAPER (150) This paper looks at using collective critical thinking about issues as an assessment technique instead of or in addition to written tests. A substantial literature review examines the role of assessment and alternative strategies such as group oral exams in classes where cooperative activities and learning have been emphasized. The review reveals that a group oral exam works effectively. In a non- threatening environment, students use individual input and reflection as well as group skills to synthesize group responses. Examples of use of group oral exams as an assessment procedure are described, including the group dynamics and outcomes: (1) a final group oral exam for an experimental class which focused on cooperative activities, panel discussions, forums, etc.; (2) a fourth-grade class preparing a letter to a state senator regarding rain forest destruction; (3) a mock school board meeting; and (4) a final exam from an experimental class. Findings from the use of group oral exams indicate that such exams reduce anxiety, promote critical thinking and analysis rather than just retrieval of information, are applicable in many disciplines, develop consensus building skills, and demonstrate democracy in action. Though not applicable to every content subject or unit of work, where it is an appropriate assessment/evaluative instrument, group oral testing appears to be very effective. Examples of final exams and study guides are included in an appendix. (Contains 16 references.) (ND) Descriptors: *Cooperative Learning; *Critical Thinking; Elementary Education; *Evaluation Methods; *Group Activities; *Group Testing; Higher Education; Literature Reviews; Preservice Teacher Education; *Student Evaluation Identifiers: Group Oral Review; *Oral Examinations EJ534552 JC507590 The Disposition to Think Critically Among Community College Students: The California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory. Bers, Trudy H.; And Others Journal of General Education, v45 n3 p197-223 1996 ISSN: 0021-3667 Document Type: RESEARCH REPORT (143); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Describes the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI), highlighting the test's seven subscales: inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, systematicity, analyticity, truth-seeking, critical thinking self-confidence, and maturity. Presents findings from a study using the CCTDI to determine the relationship between community college students' disposition to think critically and their characteristics and academic performance. (37 citations) (AJL) Descriptors: *Affective Measures; Community Colleges; Correlation; *Critical Thinking; Measures (Individuals); Student Attitudes; *Student Characteristics; Thinking Skills; Two Year Colleges; *Two Year College Students Identifiers: *California Critical Thinking Dispositions Invntry ED403302 TM026026 Assessing EFL Student Progress in Critical Thinking with the Ennis- Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test. Davidson, Bruce W.; Dunham, Rodney L. 1996 22p.; Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (21st, Nagoya, Japan, November 5, 1995) and at the International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform (16th, Rohnert Park, CA, July 18-31, 1996). Document Type: RESEARCH REPORT (143); CONFERENCE PAPER (150) Recent trends in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) have emphasized the importance of promoting thinking as an integral part of English language pedagogy; however, empirical research has not established that training in thinking skills can be combined effectively with EFL/ESL instruction. In this study, the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test was used to assess progress in critical thinking after a year of intensive academic English instruction for 36 Japanese students enrolled in a private two-year women's junior college in Oaska, Japan. A control group received only content-based intensive English instruction, while the treatment group received additional training in critical thinking. The treatment group scored significantly higher on the test ("p" =0.000). The results imply that critical thinking skills can indeed be taught as part of academic EFL/ESL instruction. (Contains 3 tables and 26 references.) (Author/SLD) Descriptors: *College Students; *Critical Thinking; *English (Second Language); Essay Tests; Females; Foreign Countries; *Second Language Learning; *Teaching Methods; Two Year Colleges Identifiers: *Ennis Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test; Japanese People ED398554 CS012572 Improving Higher Order Thinking Skills in Language Arts. Fairgrieve, Susan; Walton, Nancy May 1996 62p.; M.A. Project, Saint Xavier University. Document Type: DISSERTATION (040); RESEARCH REPORT (143) This report describes a program that used both critical and creative thinking skills to enhance the educational process in language arts. The targeted population consisted of fourth- and seventh-grade students in two growing, middle-class communities located in northern Illinois. The lack of higher-order thinking skills was documented through teacher-made inventories, teacher-made content area tests, and a thinking skills rubric. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students lacked skills related to higher-order thinking, lacked the ability to explain problem-solving strategies, and lacked the ability to transfer knowledge to new situations. Educators consistently fail to provide explicit instruction in higher-order thinking skills and resist change in teaching practices and curriculum to include the needed instruction. Reviews of curricula and instructional strategies revealed a curricular under-emphasis on information pertaining to higher-order thinking skills. A review of solution strategies combined with an analysis of the problem setting resulted in the selection of one intervention--an implementation of a teacher-constructed program with an increased emphasis on higher-order thinking processes. Post intervention data indicated an increase in student use of higher- order thinking skills. (Contains 30 references, and 4 tables and 2 figures of data. Appendixes present assessment instruments, rubrics, and 10 sample lessons concerning brainstorming, predicting, compare/contrast, questioning, cause/effect, sequencing, problem- solving, and inferring.) (Author/RS) Descriptors: Action Research; Creative Activities; *Critical Thinking; Educational Research; Grade 4; Grade 7; Instructional Effectiveness; Intermediate Grades; Junior High Schools; *Language Arts; *Problem Solving; *Thinking Skills Identifiers: Illinois (North) EJ508301 EC611702 Curriculum-Based Measurement in Middle and High Schools: Critical Thinking Skills in Content Areas. Tindal, Gerald; Nolet, Victor Focus on Exceptional Children, v27 n7 p1-22 Mar 1995 ISSN: 0015-511X Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120) The application of middle school and high school curriculum-based management (CBM) to critical thinking in content areas is discussed. The article outlines essential features of critical thinking assessments, development of CBM problem-solving prompts, and examples of scoring systems. An example involving a student with learning disabilities is included. (SW) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; *Curriculum Based Assessment; * Evaluation Methods; Evaluation Needs; High Schools; Intermediate Grades; Junior High Schools; Learning Disabilities; *Measurement Techniques; Middle Schools; Problem Solving; Secondary School Curriculum; Student Evaluation; *Thinking Skills EJ499944 JC506985 The Disposition toward Critical Thinking. Facione, Peter A.; And Others Journal of General Education, v44 n1 p1-25 1995 ISSN: 0021-3667 Document Type: RESEARCH REPORT (143); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Describes characteristics of critical thinking and the relationship of critical thinking skills to a disposition toward critical thought. Reviews the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory, a research instrument designed to measure several elements of student critical thinking skills. Highlights findings from a study of college freshmen using the inventory. (58 citations). (MAB) Descriptors: *Cognitive Processes; College Students; *Critical Thinking; *Evaluative Thinking; Higher Education; *Logical Thinking; Measures (Individuals); *Thinking Skills Identifiers: *California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory EJ507467 SO526615 Demystifying Critical Thinking. Halonen, Jane S. Teaching of Psychology, v22 n1 p75-81 Feb 1995 Theme issue topic: "Psychologists Teach Critical Thinking." ISSN: 0098-6283 Document Type: PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners Contends that no single definition of critical thinking is widely accepted. Describes issues related to critical thinking and offers suggestions for demystifying the concept. Presents a framework for a psychology curriculum using performance-based assessment practices. (CFR) Descriptors: Classroom Techniques; Cognitive Processes; Cognitive Psychology; Competency Based Education; Course Descriptions; *Critical Thinking; *Curriculum Development; Developmental Psychology; Educational Strategies; Higher Education; Instruction; *Learning Strategies; Psychologists; Social Sciences; *Student Evaluation; *Teaching Methods; *Thinking Skills Identifiers: Alverno College WI; Performance Based Evaluation EJ507452 SO526600 Using Writing to Develop and Assess Critical Thinking. Wade, Carole Teaching of Psychology, v22 n1 p24-28 Feb 1995 Theme issue topic: "Psychologists Teach Critical Thinking." ISSN: 0098-6283 Document Type: PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); TEACHING GUIDE (052); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners Asserts that written work has advantages over oral discussion in the development and assessment of students' critical thinking skills. Describes a set of short writing assignments that focuses on eight essential aspects of critical and creative thought. Provides examples of how to use writing assignments in college psychology courses. (CFR) Descriptors: Classroom Techniques; Cognitive Processes; *Cognitive Psychology; Creative Thinking; *Critical Thinking; Curriculum Development; Developmental Psychology; Educational Strategies; Higher Education; Instruction; *Learning Strategies; Psychologists; Social Sciences; *Student Evaluation; *Teaching Methods; Thinking Skills; Writing Across the Curriculum; *Writing Assignments ED391185 CS509116 Multiple Measures of Critical Thinking Skills and Predisposition in Assessment of Critical Thinking. Spicer, Karin-Leigh; Hanks, William E. Nov 1995 11p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (81st, San Antonio, TX, November 18-21, 1995). Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070); POSITION PAPER (120); CONFERENCE PAPER (150) A panel of 46 experts from philosophy and education defines critical thinking as "purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based." At present, there are seven standardized critical thinking tests available, and several performance assessment approaches can be used as outcome measures within various subjects in communication. Standardized tests can provide useful information that is diagnostic and may help to guide instruction. However, multiple measures of critical thinking should be used in assessment. Critical thinking is not a general ability but rather a complex set of general and specific factors. Psychologists generally favor multiple measures of critical thinking because no single test covers the dimensions of a good conceptual definition of critical thinking. R. A. Ennis and S. P. Norris suggest that in lieu of appropriate multiple choice tests, open-ended assessment tests are needed; other measures could include interviews. College educators should first decide what students should be able to demonstrate and what they know and can do. Then, they should decide what to teach students. When educators are clear about the intended performance and results, they will have a set of criteria for selection of content. Then in devising their means of assessment, educators should consider guidelines concerning meaningful contexts in exams, novel situations, relevant products and performances, and the various levels of student ability. (Contains 21 references.) (TB) Descriptors: *College Outcomes Assessment; Communication (Thought Transfer); *Critical Thinking; Higher Education; Logical Thinking; Problem Solving; Standardized Tests; *Student Evaluation; *Thinking Skills; Undergraduate Students Identifiers: Authentic Assessment; *Critical Thinking Skills Performance Assessment; *Multiple Measures Approach; Reflective Thinking EJ497603 EC610314 Productive Thinking: Toward Authentic Instruction and Assessment. Treffinger, Donald J. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v6 n1 p30-37 Fall 1994 ISSN: 1047-1885 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055) This paper discusses a multicomponent approach to assessment of productive thinking with gifted students. It presents a model of productive thinking encompassing creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Emphasis is on planning/profiling, instruction, evaluation, and documentation. Profiling, performance assessment, portfolios, and authentic instruction are seen as important assessment tools. (DB) Descriptors: Creative Thinking; Critical Thinking; Decision Making; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; Problem Solving; *Productive Thinking; *Student Evaluation; Thinking Skills Identifiers: *Performance Based Assessment EJ478876 CE526211 Critical Thinking Skills Research: Developing Evaluation Techniques. Sormunen, Carolee; Chalupa, Marilyn Journal of Education for Business, v69 n3 p172-77 Jan-Feb 1994 ISSN: 0883-2323 Available From: UMI Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Reviews methods for assessing critical thinking: multiaspect commercial tests, aspect-specific commercial tests, and teacher- designed tests. Suggests ways to modify commercial tests. (SK) Descriptors: Business Administration Education; *Critical Thinking; *Evaluation Methods; Higher Education; Student Evaluation; *Teacher Made Tests; *Test Construction EJ473735 SP522754 Critical Thinking Assessment. Ennis, Robert H. Theory into Practice, v32 n3 p179-86 Sum 1993 ISSN: 0040-5841 Document Type: POSITION PAPER (120); TEACHING GUIDE (052); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Suggests that critical thinking assessment is difficult to do well, but it is possible. Notes that difficulties and possibilities vary with the purpose of the assessment and the format used. After examining published critical thinking tests, the paper explains how to create customized tests. (SM) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; *Student Evaluation; *Teacher Made Tests; *Test Construction; *Test Reviews; Tests; *Thinking Skills ED367400 JC940154 A Model for Assessing Critical Thinking Skills. Kiah, Carmon J. Nov 1993 11p.; Paper presented at the Annual Student Assessment Conference of the Virginia Assessment Group and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (7th, Richmond, VA, November 11-12, 1993). Document Type: PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); CONFERENCE PAPER (150) In response to a statewide call for a review of general education in Virginia community colleges, the Student Assessment Committee (SAC) was formed at John Tyler Community College (Virginia) to evaluate student outcomes for the college's general education component. After concluding that standardized tests did not provide an adequate measure, the SAC decided to focus on the evaluation of students' critical thinking skills as a measure of college success. A flow chart for interviewing students to determine their critical thinking capabilities was developed based on the following elements of critical thought: (1) identifying the problem; (2) stating the problem; (3) interpreting facts which must be known to solve the problem; (4) posing a possible answer; (5) developing an applicable solution from the answer; and (6) applying the solution to similar problems. Interviews were conducted with 47 of 100 associate degree candidates for graduation in 1993 which identified students by program and noted differences in critical thinking levels. The flow chart strengths include the tangible character of the model, which allows interviewers to physically see relationships of thought, while weaknesses include the possibility that the structure may be difficult to change if evidence suggests it is no longer appropriate. The SAC plans to further clarify the model and expand interviewing in the future. Flow charts and SAC members are included. (BCY) Descriptors: Associate Degrees; *College Outcomes Assessment; Community Colleges; *Critical Thinking; *Flow Charts; General Education; Institutional Evaluation; Interviews; *Measures (Individuals); *Models; *Student Evaluation; Thinking Skills; Two Year Colleges; Two Year College Students Identifiers: John Tyler Community College VA EJ476384 JC506582 Assessing the Effectiveness of Critical-Thinking Instruction. Halpern, Diane F. Journal of General Education, v42 n4 p239-54 1993 ISSN: 0021-3667 Document Type: POSITION PAPER (120); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Reviews research on the outcomes of college-level critical thinking classes, focusing on outcome variables, the design and selection of assessment instruments, ecologically valid indicators, multiple comparison groups, time of testing, classroom strategies, and educational measurement issues. Describes seven types of outcomes evaluation, all of which supported the value of critical thinking instruction. Includes 34 references. (MAB) Descriptors: *College Students; *Critical Thinking; Educational Research; Higher Education; *Outcomes of Education; *Program Effectiveness; *Research Methodology EJ476208 IR527865 Expanding the Evaluation Role in the Critical-Thinking Curriculum. Callison, Daniel School Library Media Annual (SLMA), v11 p78-92 1993 ISSN: 0739-7712 Document Type: POSITION PAPER (120); PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Discussion of the evolving role of the school library media specialist focuses on a model of the teaching role in the development of a critical thinking curriculum. Topics addressed include literacy redefined; restructuring media programs; collection development and information access; staffing changes; and intervention and evaluation strategies. (Contains 36 references.) (LRW) Descriptors: Access to Information; *Critical Thinking; *Curriculum Development; Educational Change; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; Information Literacy; *Learning Resources Centers; Library Collection Development; Library Personnel; *Library Role; *Media Specialists; Models; *School Libraries EJ456179 IR526003 Assessing and Evaluating Student Gains. Poirot, James L. Computing Teacher, v20 n4 p30-32 Dec-Jan 199 1993 ISSN: 0278-1923 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120) This article, the fourth in a series on work conducted at the Texas Center for Educational Technology and the University of Texas, discusses evaluative measures needed to assess the improvements that educational technology may have on students' problem solving, critical thinking, and content-level abilities. An annotated list of standardized tests is included. (EA) Descriptors: *Cognitive Development; Continuing Education; *Critical Thinking; *Educational Technology; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Needs; *Problem Solving; *Standardized Tests; Student Attitudes; Student Motivation EJ454853 JC506204 The Fourth "R": Checklists for Assessing Thought in Action. Miles, Curtis Journal of Developmental Education, v16 n2 p32-33 Win 1992 ISSN: 0894-3907 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120); NON- CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners Presents a checklist of core behaviors for use in assessing students' strengths, weaknesses, and changes in thinking skills. Lists persistence, decreased impulsivity, flexibility, metacognition, checking for accuracy, problem posing, drawing on past knowledge and experience, transfer of skills to new situations, precision of language, and enjoyment of problem solving. (DMM) Descriptors: Check Lists; *Cognitive Development; College Students; *Critical Thinking; Higher Education; *Informal Assessment; *Problem Solving; *Thinking Skills ED353296 TM019311 A Model for the National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking. Paul, Richard; Nosich, Gerald M. 1992 26p. Available From: Foundation for Critical Thinking, 4655 Sonoma Mountain Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 ($3). EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS. Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142) This document provides a model for the national assessment of higher order thinking and consists of a preface and four main sections. The preface discusses the problem of lower order learning, summarizes the state of research into critical thinking and instructional reform, and explains the structure of the paper. Section 1 of the paper describes 21 criteria for higher order thinking assessment. Section 2 makes the case for how "a rich substantive concept of critical thinking" meets these 21 criteria, and highlights the dangers of a non-substantive concept of critical thinking. Section 3 outlines four domains of critical thinking (elements of thought, abilities or basic modes of reasoning, affective dimensions, and universal intellectual standards). Section 4 makes substantive recommendations regarding how to assess the various domains of critical thinking, the test strategies that may be used (including multiple rating items and essay items), the value of the proposed strategy for educational reform, and the suggested implementation of the proposed assessment. An assessment of the results of critical thinking instruction should focus on thinking within the framework of particular academic subjects and thinking in interdisciplinary contexts that are important for functioning as an autonomous well-informed productive member of a democracy. Seven figures are included. (RLC) Descriptors: *Academic Standards; *Cognitive Measurement; *Critical Thinking; Educational Assessment; Educational Change; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Criteria; Intelligence; Models; National Competency Tests; National Programs; Problem Solving; *Student Evaluation; Testing Programs; *Thinking Skills Identifiers: *Elements of Reasoning; Reform Efforts ED353295 TM019307 Using Intellectual Standards To Assess Student Reasoning. Paul, Richard; Nosich, Gerald M. [1992 11p. Available From: Foundation for Critical Thinking, 4655 Sonoma Mountain Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (free). EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS. Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners This document provides specific examples of what is involved in applying intellectual criteria and standards to students' reasoning, focusing on elements of reasoning (EORs). The significance of reasoning having elements and the need for standards in assessing reasoning are described. The following are the EORs: (1) purpose, goal, or end in view (all reasoning has a purpose); (2) question at issue or problem to be solved (all reasoning is an attempt to figure something out, settle some question, or solve some problem); (3) point of view or frame of reference (all reasoning is done from some viewpoint); (4) the empirical dimension of reasoning (all reasoning is based on data, information, and/or evidence); (5) the conceptual dimension of reasoning (all reasoning is expressed through and shaped by concepts and ideas); (6) assumptions (all reasoning is based on assumptions); (7) implications and consequences (all reasoning leads somewhere and has implications and consequences); and (8) inferences (all reasoning contains inferences by which conclusions are drawn and meaning is given to data). The interface between EORs and standards is considered. Eight three-columned charts, one for each of the EORs, briefly characterize differences between how good and bad reasoners handle components of their reasoning. The charts provide samples of feedback that teachers might give to students about each component of students' performance as reasoners. (RLC) Descriptors: *Academic Standards; Charts; *Cognitive Measurement; Critical Thinking; Educational Assessment; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Criteria; *Intelligence; Problem Solving; *Student Evaluation; Teacher Role; *Thinking Skills Identifiers: *Elements of Reasoning EJ443440 JC505990 Assessing Critical Thinking. Cromwell, Lucy S. New Directions for Community Colleges, v20 n1 p37-50 Spr 1992 ISSN: 0194-3081 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners Offers guidelines for the assessment of critical thinking ability, suggesting that assessment be integral to learning, involve a range of behaviors, emphasize expected course, program, or institutional outcomes, incorporate structured feedback and an external dimension, and be cumulative. Lists steps in developing an assessment plan. (DMM) Descriptors: College Curriculum; *College Outcomes Assessment; Community Colleges; Course Content; *Critical Thinking; *Evaluation Methods; Program Evaluation; Two Year Colleges Identifiers: *Alverno College WI ED340642 SO021681 Classroom Thoughtfulness and Students' Higher Order Thinking: Common Indicators and Diverse Social Studies Courses. Final Deliverable. Newmann, Fred M. 11 Feb 1991 41p. Document Type: RESEARCH REPORT (143) This project developed a conceptualization of higher order thinking, dimensions of classroom thoughtfulness, and an assessment exercise applicable to diverse topics taught in more than 70 classes in 11 high schools. Generic qualities of classroom thoughtfulness were not generally associated with the persuasiveness of student writing on a constitutional issue. The impact of classroom thoughtfulness on higher order thinking in subjects that teachers actually taught was not assessed. The study illustrates issues in devising observation schemes and assessment tasks that at once honor diverse forms of domain-specific competence in social studies, but that also yield common indicators of teaching quality and student performance. A 38-item list of references is included as are a number of tables of statistical data. (Author) Descriptors: Classroom Observation Techniques; Critical Thinking; Educational Assessment; Educational Research; High Schools; Learning Processes; *Persuasive Discourse; *Social Studies; Statistical Analysis; Student Behavior; Student Educational Objectives; *Student Evaluation; Teacher Effectiveness; *Thinking Skills; Writing EJ438704 CE523348 Thinking Skills Instruction: What Do We Really Want? Frisby, Craig L. Educational Forum, v56 n1 p21-35 Fall 1991 ISSN: 0013-1725 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120) Misconceptions about thinking skills instruction are that it will make students "smarter," raise achievement levels, and create better citizens. Reasonable expectations are that thinking skills instruction should be measured by short-term goals, a changed classroom atmosphere, concrete behavioral criteria, and the improvement of specific task performance. (SK) Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; *Citizenship Education; Classroom Environment; Cognitive Development; *Critical Thinking; Evaluation Criteria; *Intelligence; Outcomes of Education; *Thinking Skills ED340766 TM018022 Assessing Higher Order Thinking and Communication Skills: Literacy. Venezky, Richard L. 30 Sep 1991 44p.; Commissioned paper prepared for a workshop on Assessing Higher Order Thinking & Communication Skills in College Graduates (Washington, DC, November 17-19, 1991), in support of National Education Goal V, Objective 5. For other workshop papers, see TM 018 Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142); CONFERENCE PAPER (150) Assessment of higher order literacy skills encounters three initial problems aside from assessment methods: (1) definition of literacy; (2) range of skills to assess; and (3) whether or not higher order literacy can be assessed independently of a particular content area. Regardless of definitions, the general performance areas to be covered must be decided. Issues to be resolved are the question of how many lower-level literacy skills to include in a higher-level assessment and the degree to which a pure literacy assessment can be separated from any particular content. The cognitive base for assessment of adult literacy is thin, and that dealing with higher- level skills is almost non-existent. In the future, text-based tasks might be developed from analyses of basic reading comprehension processes. These tasks might be aligned with the Delphi classification of core critical thinking skills. To be compatible with the basic directions of critical thinking and communications research, it is suggested that literacy assessment be built around a definition of human expertise, confined primarily to reading and writing, and integrated with content-area assessments, at least for areas where text-based information must be integrated with information previously acquired. Three figures illustrate the discussion, and a 52-item list of references is included. Reviews by R. Calfee, M. A. Miller, and M. Scriven of this position paper are provided. (SLD) Descriptors: Adults; Cognitive Measurement; Communication Skills; *Critical Thinking; *Educational Assessment; *Evaluation Methods; Evaluation Problems; Higher Education; *Literacy; Reading Comprehension; *Thinking Skills; Writing Evaluation Identifiers: *Higher Order Learning; *National Education Goals 1990 ED337498 TM017349 Using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test in Research, Evaluation, and Assessment. Facione, Peter A. 1991 22p. Available From: California Academic Press, 217 La Cruz Avenue, Millbrae, CA 94030 ($7.50). Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142) The California Critical Thinking Skills Test: College Level (CCTST) is a standardized test that targets core college-level critical thinking skills. It has been characterized as the best commercially available critical thinking skills assessment instrument. Building from CCTST validation studies in 1989 and 1990, this paper proposes avenues for further study and suggests ways that the CCTST might be used. After briefly summarizing the conceptual basis of the CCTST, the paper examines questions from the validation studies, which suggest needed inquiry into the differential impact of typical college-level critical thinking (CT) instruction. Preliminary findings indicate differences among students by academic major and by degree of CT self-esteem. Other findings suggest the need for research into factors that predict student CT ability and characteristics of effective instructors. The use of the CCTST in pretest-posttest studies is considered, given that there is only one form of the CCTST. Strategies for development of local CCTST posttest norms and placement scores are recommended. Possible uses of the CCTST in personnel screening and psychological research are outlined. Five tables present data from previous related studies. (SLD) Descriptors: *Cognitive Tests; College Students; *Critical Thinking; *Educational Assessment; Educational Research; Higher Education; Personnel Selection; Predictive Measurement; Pretests Posttests; Psychological Testing; *Research Needs; Standardized Tests; Student Evaluation; *Test Use; Test Validity; *Thinking Skills Identifiers: *California Critical Thinking Skills Test (College) EJ452893 EC604260 Assessing Critical Thinking in Mathematics. Enright, Brian E.; Beattie, Susan A. Diagnostique, v17 n2 p137-44 Win 1992 ISSN: 0737-2477 Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); TEACHING GUIDE (052) Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners A five-step hierarchy for problem solving in mathematical word problems, called SOLVE, involves Study the problem, Organize data, Line up a plan, Verify plan, and Evaluate the match. Implementing the SOLVE strategies enables teachers to assess and teach skills needed by students with mild disabilities and improves students' success rates. (Author/JDD) Descriptors: *Critical Thinking; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; Learning Strategies; *Mathematics Instruction; *Mild Disabilities; *Problem Solving; Student Evaluation; *Word Problems (Mathematics) ED308221 TM013578 A Critical Thinking Bibliography with Emphasis on Assessment. Facione, Peter A. 20 May 1989 12p. Available From: California Academic Press, 331 Susquehanna Ave., Placentia, CA, 92670 ($4.50). Document Type: BIBLIOGRAPHY (131); RESEARCH REPORT (143) In January 1988 the Committee on Pre-College Philosophy of the American Philosophical Association undertook a survey of the state of the art of critical thinking (CT) assessment. Using Delphi research methodology, a panel of 60 scholars and teachers from throughout the United States and Canada, with backgrounds in Philosophy, Psychology, Education, and other disciplines and a strong interest in CT assessment, examined the conceptualization of CT and analyzed its skills and dispositional dimensions. The panel also produced the 150- item bibliography of research materials, testing instruments, and position papers on CT and its assessment contained in this document. This bibliography is presented independently of the findings of the Delphi project because of its potential usefulness for persons interested in CT assessment. (SLD) Descriptors: Cognitive Processes; *Cognitive Tests; *Critical Thinking; *Educational Assessment; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; *Position Papers; Problem Solving; Publications; Reference Materials; *Research Reports; Resource Materials ED306225 TM012917 Assessing Inference Skills. Facione, Peter A. 20 Feb 1989 30p. Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142) Four major problem areas inhibit the standardized assessment of critical thinking (CT): (1) content validity; (2) construct validity; (3) technical jargon; and (4) background knowledge. Practical examples of framing multiple-choice items for assessment are suggested. In the area of content validity, new agreement about the definition of CT now allows it to be seen as a combination of personality traits, cognitive affects, and cognitive skills. Construct validity is a more troublesome problem because it presumes that one can write questions focusing on the process of thinking as distinct from other factors. Avoiding jargon is a necessity in framing multiple-choice questions. The background knowledge problem can only be addressed by trying to write CT items that presume only the most universal social and human experiences. Specific multiple- choice items that might resolve these difficulties also serve as paradigm frames for targeting three core CT abilities--analyzing, drawing, and evaluating inferences. Every aspect of CT may not be amenable to multiple-choice testing, but the question of whether or not multiple-choice assessment tools framed as suggested above might be suitable is an empirical question that can be addressed by research. A 64-item list of references is provided. (SLD) Descriptors: *Cognitive Measurement; Construct Validity; Content Validity; *Critical Thinking; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; *Inferences; Knowledge Level; *Multiple Choice Tests; *Standardized Tests; Test Construction; *Testing Problems; Test Validity Identifiers: Jargon; Technical Language ED299322 TM012357 Measurement of Thinking Skills--An Historical Perspective. Iowa Testing Programs Occasional Papers. Number 34. Coffman, William E. Jun 1988 21p.; Paper presented at a Meeting to discuss future directions for the California Assessment Program (Berkeley, CA, July 16-18, 1987). Document Type: CONFERENCE PAPER (150); REVIEW LITERATURE (070) A historical review of educational literature concerning measurement of cognitive skills is provided, with reference to test construction. Focus is on assessing abilities beyond recall of information. In light of interest in assessing critical thinking in the California Assessment Program, it must be noted that concern with critical thinking is not a new development. As early as 1937, C. H. Judd anticipated the need for the kinds of cognitive studies that currently are of interest. California has been in the forefront of upa, Marilyn Journal of Education for Business, v69 n3 p172-77 Jan-Feb 1994 ISSN: 0883-2323 Available From: UMI Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080) Reviews methods for assessing critical thinking: multiaspect commercial tests, aspect-specific commercial tests, and teacher- designed tests. Suggests ways to modify commercial tests. (SK) Descriptors: Business Administration Education; *Critical Thinking; *Evaluation Methods; Higher Education; Student Evaluation; *Teacher Made Tests; *Test Construction
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