ERIC Number: ED237399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Reference Count: 0
A Proposal for Measuring Critical Thinking.
Moss, Pamela A.; Petrosky, Anthony R.
The diagnostic testing component of the Critical Thinking Project of the Pittsburgh schools is described and a rationale for the project's particular choice of testing procedures is provided. The purpose of the project was to help students develop skills for thinking critically and communicating critical thought through reading, discussion, and essay writing within the social studies curriculum. The project defined critical thinking as a dynamic process of questioning and reasoning that reflects a trusting, yet skeptical orientation toward the world. Critical thinking skills are interdependent emphasizing both oral and written expression. Because no existing tests suited the project's conceptualization of critical thinking or met its practical needs, the project developed a testing procedure that asked students to read passages relevant to their social studies curriculum and write essays in response to questions which asked them to do such tasks as evaluate or draw inferences from what they had read. Asking students to state their ideas clearly and to justify or defend those ideas with coherent explanations and evidence provides insight into the thinking process. An analytical scoring guide which teachers can apply to their student essays quickly to obtain relevant diagnostic information was also developed. Included are two sample essays followed by excerpts from the project's teacher training materials which provide the rationale for the scores given and suggestions for providing feedback to the students who wrote the essays. Appended are a field test version of a critical thinking test and a detailed version of a diagnostic scoring guide. (RM)
Publication Type: Tests/Questionnaires; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Pittsburgh Board of Public Education, PA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revised version of paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).