Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion-list post “Re: Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills” [Hake (2011)].
The abstract reads:
ABSTRACT: David Musick of the DrEd list wrote (paraphrasing): “We are working on a project related to ‘critical thinking skills’ and how they might be assessed in medical students. I am aware of the ‘California Critical Thinking Skills Test series’ and the ‘Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal.’ I would be interested in learning more about similar instruments."
DrEd subscribers suggested the “Health Sciences Reasoning Test,” a test “developed for use by educators and researchers to assess the critical thinking skills of health science professionals and health science students,” commercially available from “Insight Assessment” http://www.insightassessment.com/.
Among other tests that might be of interest to Musick and others are:
a. Biologist Anton Lawson’s “Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning” (CTSR), a test of “ability to apply aspects of scientific and mathematical reasoning to analyze a situation, make a prediction, or solve a problem.” The CTSR has contributed importantly to physics education research, thanks to Coletta, Phillips, & Steinert.
b. The Council for Aid to Education’s “Collegiate Learning Assessment” (CLA) employed by Arum & Roksa (2011) to show (purportedly) that U.S. higher education is Academically Adrift. Arum & Roksa (p. 21) wrote: “According to its developers, the CLA was designed to access 'core outcomes espoused by all of higher education - critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving, and writing.’ ”
I give academic references to all the above tests as well as to valuable articles in the critical thinking area:
(1) “Assessing Critical Thinking Skills” [Stein et al. (2003)],
(2) “Responding Responsibly To the Frenzy to Assess Learning in Higher Education” [Shavelson & Huang (2003)].
To access the complete 13 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/oMew7d.
In response to “Re: Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills” [Hake (2011)], Steven Jones (2011) wrote:
“I would also encourage those interested in the assessment of critical thinking skills to consider using the Critical thinking Assessment Test (CAT), a tool created by folks at Tennessee Tech in consultation with a rather impressive national advisory board. The CAT may be of particular interest to subscribers of POD because - aside from its obvious use for assessment of critical thinking -- the test is intentionally designed so that it can be used as a catalyst for faculty development as well. Information about the CAT can be found at: http://www.tntech.edu/cat/home/”
According to information at http://www.tntech.edu/cat/contacts/, Barry Stein is the principal investigator.
In the abstract of Hake (2011) I wrote: “I give academic references to all the above tests as well as to valuable articles in the critical thinking area: (1) ‘Assessing Critical Thinking Skills’ [Stein et al. (2003)]”
Unfortunately I had earlier been unaware of the more recent work of Stein and his colleagues at Tennessee Tech that had culminated in the valuable "Critical thinking Assessment Test [CAT (2011)].
Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
“What we assess is what we value. We get what we assess,
and if we don't assess it, we won't get it.”
Lauren Resnick [quoted by Grant Wiggins (1990)]
REFERENCES [URL's shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 24 August 2011.]
Bransford, J.D. & B.S. Stein. 1993. The Ideal Problem Solver: A guide for improving thinking, learning and creativity. Worth Publishers; 2nd edition. Amazon.com information at http://amzn.to/n1fG5E.
CAT. 2011. “Critical thinking Assessment Test” Tennessee Technological University, online at
http://www.tntech.edu/cat/home/ . According to the Overview: “The CAT Instrument is a unique tool designed to assess and promote the improvement of critical thinking and real-world problem solving skills. The instrument is the product of extensive development, testing, and refinement with a broad range of institutions, faculty, and students across the country. The National Science Foundation has provided support for many of these activities.”
Hake, R.R. 2011. “Re: Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/oMew7d. Post of 24 Aug 2011 09:02:59-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to various discussion lists.
Jones, S.K. 2011. “Re: Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills,” online on the OPEN! POD archives at http://bit.ly/qCB4Yz . Post of 24 Aug 2011 14:08:59-0600.
Stein, B.S. A.F. Haynes, and J. Unterstein. 2003. “Assessing Critical Thinking Skills,” Paper presented at SACS/COC Annual Meeting / Nashville, Tennessee / December 6 - 9; online as a 385 kB pdf at http://bit.ly/mWzHkg . The Appendix lists “Current Critical Thinking Tests, Types, and Weaknesses (Based on Information Obtained from U.S. Department of Education, 2000).” Stein is coauthor of The Ideal Problem Solver: A guide for improving thinking, learning and creativity [Bransford & Stein (1993)].
Wiggins, G. 1990. “The Truth May Make You Free, But the Test May Keep You Imprisoned: Toward Assessment Worthy of the Liberal Arts,” AAHE Assessment Forum: 17-31; online at http://bit.ly/a7g09T.
Is education a constitutional right?
1 hour ago