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Measuring Thinking Skills through Classroom Assessment

Richard J. Stiggins, Maggie Miller Griswold and Karen Reed Wikelund
Journal of Educational Measurement
Vol. 26, No. 3 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 233-246
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1434989
Page Count: 14
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Measuring Thinking Skills through Classroom Assessment
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Abstract

The classroom assessment procedures of 36 teachers in grades 2 to 12 were studied in depth to determine the extent to which they measure students' higher order thinking skills in mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts. A wide variety of assessment documents were analyzed, teachers were observed asking oral questions in their classrooms, and each teacher was interviewed. The results revealed that paper-and-pencil assessment documents were dominated by recall questions across all grade levels. However, inference was assessed also, especially in mathematics. Oral questions tended to tap recall too, with analysis and inference reflected to some extent. Across grades, subjects, and forms of assessment, comparison and evaluation questions were rare. Although these teachers had been trained to teach thinking skills to some extent, they were less often trained to assess such skills. Those who were trained tended to ask a higher proportion of thinking skills questions than those who were not. The training implications of the results are discussed.

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