Measuring Critical Thinking

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Although the concept of critical thinking goes back to Socrates and his Socratic method in 400 B. E., many educators have relied on memorization recall to assess their students.

Because memorization is easier to teach and test than critical thinking skills, it has snuck into the assessments of many school districts over the years.

The most effective way to measure critical thinking is to use a validated critical thinking skills test to assess the skills used to solve problems and make decisions AND to use a critical thinking mindset measure to assess the level of the person's consistent internal motivation or willingness to use his or her critical thinking skills when it counts in decision making.

Costly mistakes and poor judgments might be the result of deficient thinking skills, but an equally likely cause is a mindset that predisposes the decision-maker to biased, hasty or superficial analysis of the situation at hand.

A student should be able to develop their own perspective of the material.

Justifying this position and recognizing what bias they might be bringing to it are advanced skills.

Students cannot become skilled in analyzing and assessing reasoning without practice in it.

However, when they have routine practice in paraphrasing, summariz­ing, analyzing, and assessing, they will develop skills of mind requisite to the art of thinking well within any subject or discipline, not to mention thinking well within the various domains of human life.

A student with critical thinking skills should be able to make a reasonable argument for the opposing view point.

Assess the student’s ability to develop a reasonable conclusion.


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