Critical Thinking Rubric High School

The purpose of assessment in instruction is improvement. The purpose of assessing instruction for critical thinking is improving the teaching of discipline based thinking (historical, biological, sociological, mathematical thinking…). It is to improve students’ abilities to think their way through content, using disciplined skill in reasoning. The more particular we can be about what we want students to learn about critical thinking, the better can we devise instruction with that particular end in view.

For deeper understanding of the relationship between critical thinking assessment and instruction, read the white paper on consequential validity by Richard Paul and Linda Elder:

The Foundation for Critical Thinking offers assessment instruments which share in the same general goal: to enable educators to gather evidence relevant to determining the extent to which instruction is teaching students to think critically (in the process of learning content).

To this end, the fellows of the Foundation recommend:

  1. that academic institutions and units establish an oversight committee for critical thinking
     
  2. that this oversight committee utilize a combination of assessment instruments (the more the better) to generate incentives for faculty (by providing the faculty with as much evidence as feasible of the actual state of instruction for critical thinking).

The following instruments are available to generate evidence relevant to critical thinking teaching and learning:

  1. Course Evaluation Form: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students perceive faculty as fostering critical thinking in instruction (course by course). Machine scoreable.
  2. Critical Thinking Subtest: Analytic Reasoning: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are able to reason analytically. Machine scoreable (currently being developed).
  3. Critical Thinking: Concepts and Understandings: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students understand the fundamental concepts embedded in critical thinking (and hence tests student readiness to think critically). Machine scoreable
  4. Fair-mindedness Test: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students can reason effectively between conflicting view points (and hence tests student ability to identify strong and weak arguments for conflicting positions in reasoning). Machine scoreable. (currently being developed).
  5.  Critical Thinking Reading and Writing Test: Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students can read closely and write substantively (and hence tests student ability to read and write critically). Short Answer.
  6. International Critical Thinking Test: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are able to analyze and assess excerpts from textbooks or professional writing. Short Answer.
  7. Commission Study Protocol for Interviewing Faculty Regarding Critical Thinking: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, critical thinking is being taught at a college or university (Can be adapted for High School). Based on the California Commission Study. Short Answer.
  8. Foundation for Critical Thinking Protocol for Interviewing Faculty Regarding Critical Thinking: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, critical thinking is being taught at a college or university (Can be adapted for High School). Short Answer
  9. Foundation for Critical Thinking Protocol for Interviewing Students Regarding Critical Thinking: provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are learning to think critically at a college or university (Can be adapted for High School). Short Answer. 
  10. Criteria for critical thinking assignments.  Can be used by faculty in designing classroom assignments or by administrators in assessing the extent to which faculty are fostering critical thinking.
  11. Rubrics for assessing student reasoning abilities. A useful tool in assessing the extent to which students are reasoning well through course content.  

All of the above assessment instruments can be used as part of pre- and post- assessment strategies to gauge development over various time periods.

{"id":"400","title":"","author":"","content":"<!--- \r\n<table width=\"200\" height=\"299\" cellspacing=\"1\" cellpadding=\"3\" border=\"0\" bgcolor=\"navy\" align=\"right\" summary=\"\">\r\n<tbody>\r\n<tr bgcolor=\"white\">\r\n<td valign=\"top\" style=\"background-image: url(http://www.criticalthinking.org/image/pimage/Testing-pencil1.jpg); background-repeat: no-repeat;\" _mce_style=\"background-image: url(http://www.criticalthinking.org/image/pimage/Testing-pencil1.jpg); background-repeat: no-repeat;\">\r\n<div align=\"center\"><font color=\"#ffffff\"><b>National Academy on </b></font><font ><br /> </font> <font color=\"#ffffff\"><b>Critical Thinking</b></font><br /> <font color=\"#000066\"><b>Testing and Assessment</b></font></div>\r\n<br /> <br />\r\n<div align=\"center\"><font ><b>How Can We Best Test and Assess Critical Thinking?</b></font><br /> <br /> <br /> <font ><b>A Three-Day Academy<br /> <font color=\"#808080\"><font color=\"#993300\"> September 11-13, 2007<br /> **this event has ended**</font><br /> </font></b></font><font color=\"#0000ff\"><b> <br /> <a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/conference/Testing-Assessment.cfm\" _mce_href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/conference/Testing-Assessment.cfm\" style=\"; font-weight: bold;\" _mce_style=\"font-weight: bold;\"><b>Click to Read More...</b></a><br /> <a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/store-page.cfm?PageID=630&CategoryID=1&P=conference&itemID=266\" _mce_href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/store-page.cfm?PageID=630&amp;CategoryID=1&amp;P=conference&amp;itemID=266\" style=\"; font-weight: bold;\" _mce_style=\"font-weight: bold;\"><b><br /> </b></a> </b></font></div>\r\n</td>\r\n</tr>\r\n</tbody>\r\n</table>\r\n--->\r\n<p><span><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/assessment/machine_test.cfm\"><img src=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/image/pimage/CT_Test_onlineAd.jpg\" alt=\"Critical ThinkingBasic Understandings Online Test\" hspace=\"5\" align=\"right\" /></a></span><span>The purpose of assessment in instruction is improvement. The purpose of assessing instruction for critical thinking is improving the teaching of discipline based thinking (historical, biological, sociological, mathematical thinking&hellip;). It is to improve students&rsquo; abilities to think their way through content, using disciplined skill in reasoning. The more particular we can be about what we want students to learn about critical thinking, the better can we devise instruction with that particular end in view.</span></p>\r\n<p><span>For deeper understanding of the relationship between critical thinking assessment and instruction, read the white paper on consequential validity by Richard Paul and Linda Elder:</span></p>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/White%20PaperAssessmentSept2007.pdf\" target=\"_blank\"><strong><span>Consequential Validity: Using Assessment to Drive Instruction</span></strong></a></li>\r\n</ul>\r\n<p><span>The Foundation for Critical Thinking offers assessment instruments which share in the same general goal: to enable educators to gather evidence relevant to determining the extent to which instruction is teaching students to think critically (in the process of learning content). </span><br /> <span><br /> To this end, the fellows of the Foundation recommend:</span></p>\r\n<ol>\r\n<li><span>that academic institutions and units establish an oversight committee for critical thinking<br /> &nbsp;</span></li>\r\n<li><span>that this oversight committee utilize a combination of assessment instruments (the more the better) to generate incentives for faculty (by providing the faculty with as much evidence as feasible of the actual state of instruction for critical thinking).<br /> <br /> </span></li>\r\n</ol>\r\n<p><span><span style=\"color: #000099;\"><strong>The following instruments are available to generate evidence relevant to critical thinking teaching and learning:</strong></span></span></p>\r\n<ol type=\"1\">\r\n<li><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Course_Evaluation_Form.doc\"><strong>Course Evaluation Form:</strong></a> provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students perceive faculty as fostering critical thinking in instruction (course by course).&nbsp;Machine scoreable.</li>\r\n<li><strong>Critical Thinking Subtest: Analytic Reasoning:</strong> provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are able to reason analytically. Machine scoreable (currently being developed).</li>\r\n<li><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/online-critical-thinking-basic-concepts-test/679\"><strong>Critical Thinking: Concepts and Understandings:</strong></a> provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students understand the fundamental concepts embedded in critical thinking (and hence tests student readiness to think critically).&nbsp;Machine scoreable</li>\r\n<li><strong>Fair-mindedness Test:</strong>&nbsp;provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students can reason effectively between conflicting view points (and hence tests student ability to identify strong and weak arguments for conflicting positions in reasoning).&nbsp;Machine scoreable. (currently being developed).</li>\r\n<li>&nbsp;<a style=\"font-weight: bold;\" href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/store/products/the-international-critical-thinking-reading-and-writing-test/257\">Critical Thinking Reading and Writing Test:</a> Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students can read closely and write substantively (and hence tests student ability to read and write critically).&nbsp;Short Answer.</li>\r\n<li><a style=\"font-weight: bold;\" href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/assessment/ICAT-info.cfm\">International Critical Thinking Test:</a> provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are able to analyze and assess excerpts from textbooks or professional writing.&nbsp;Short Answer.</li>\r\n<li><strong><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Commission%20Study%20Appendix.PDF\">Commission Study Protocol for Interviewing Faculty Regarding Critical Thinking</a>: </strong>provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, critical thinking is being taught at a college or university (Can be adapted for High School).&nbsp;Based on the <a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/store/products/california-teacher-preparation-for-instruction-in-critical-thinking/147\">California Commission Study</a>.&nbsp;Short Answer.</li>\r\n<li><strong>Foundation for Critical Thinking <a style=\"font-weight: bold;\" href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/resources/PDF/Interview%20Questions%20for%20Teachers.pdf\">Protocol for Interviewing Faculty Regarding Critical Thinking</a>: </strong>provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, critical thinking is being taught at a college or university (Can be adapted for High School).&nbsp;Short Answer</li>\r\n<li><strong>Foundation for Critical Thinking <a style=\"font-weight: bold;\" href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/resources/PDF/Interview%20Questions%20for%20Students.pdf\">Protocol for Interviewing Students Regarding Critical Thinking</a>:</strong> provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are learning to think critically at a college or university (Can be adapted for High School).&nbsp;Short Answer.&nbsp;</li>\r\n<li><strong><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Criteria%20for%20CT%20Assignments.doc\">Criteria for critical thinking assignments.</a></strong>&nbsp; Can be used by faculty in designing classroom assignments or by administrators in assessing the extent to which faculty are fostering critical thinking.<a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Critical%20Thinking%20Grid.doc\"><br /> </a></li>\r\n<li><strong><a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Critical%20Thinking%20Grid.doc\">Rubrics for assessing student reasoning abilities</a>.</strong> A useful tool in assessing the extent to which students are reasoning well through course content. &nbsp; <span style=\"font-family: Arial;\"><span style=\"font-family: Arial;\"><br /> </span></span></li>\r\n</ol>\r\n<p>All of the above assessment instruments can be used as part of pre- and post- assessment strategies to gauge development over various time periods.</p>\r\n<p><br style=\"clear: both;\" /></p>","public_access":"1","public_downloads":"1","sku":"","files":[{"id":754,"filename":"data/pages/25/5d47996f9e66870c2e26307fc3feeb0a57d84a8f55f34.pdf","realfilename":"data/pages/25/5d47996f9e66870c2e26307fc3feeb0a57d84a8f55f34.pdf","title":"White Paper Assessment","order":0},{"id":755,"filename":"data/pages/0/f1932cf866b37b955d26368a3c8a22dc57d84a8f56ed3.doc","realfilename":"data/pages/0/f1932cf866b37b955d26368a3c8a22dc57d84a8f56ed3.doc","title":"Course_Evaluation_Form","order":1},{"id":756,"filename":"data/pages/18/418336441cd992e6f8c65c4ded7dbe2f57d84a8f579bc.doc","realfilename":"data/pages/18/418336441cd992e6f8c65c4ded7dbe2f57d84a8f579bc.doc","title":"Criteria for CT Assignments","order":2},{"id":757,"filename":"data/pages/75/70bf72d07d92201e3bb641a29070b28257d84a8f5849b.doc","realfilename":"data/pages/75/70bf72d07d92201e3bb641a29070b28257d84a8f5849b.doc","title":"Critical Thinking Grid","order":3},{"id":758,"filename":"data/pages/89/70c24f2faf54b6994d9f963f3b97cb6057d84a8f58ebe.pdf","realfilename":"data/pages/89/70c24f2faf54b6994d9f963f3b97cb6057d84a8f58ebe.pdf","title":"Interview Questions for Teachers","order":4}],"images":[]}

Consequential Validity


All of the above assessment instruments, when used appropriately and graded accurately, should lead to a high degree of consequential validity. In other words, the use of the instruments should cause teachers to teach in such a way as to foster critical thinking in their various subjects. In other words, for students to perform well on the various instruments, teachers will need to design instruction so that students can perform well on them. Students cannot become skilled in critical thinking without learning (first) the concepts and principles that underlie critical thinking and (second) applying them in a variety of forms of thinking: historical thinking, sociological thinking, biological thinking, etc. 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.

{"id":401,"title":"Consequential Validity","author":"","content":"&lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt; All of the above assessment instruments, when used appropriately and graded accurately, should lead to a high degree of consequential validity. In other words, the use of the instruments should cause teachers to teach in such a way as to foster critical thinking in their various subjects. In other words, for students to perform well on the various instruments, teachers will need to design instruction so that students can perform well on them. Students cannot become skilled in critical thinking without learning (first) the concepts and principles that underlie critical thinking and (second) applying them in a variety of forms of thinking: historical thinking, sociological thinking, biological thinking, etc. Students cannot become skilled in analyzing and assessing reasoning without practice in it. However, when they have routine practice in paraphrasing, summariz&amp;shy;ing, 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.&lt;br style=\"clear: both;\" /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;","public_access":"1","public_downloads":"1","sku":"","files":{},"images":{}}



The VALUE rubrics were developed by teams of faculty experts representing colleges and universities across the United States through a process that examined many existing campus rubrics and related documents for each learning outcome and incorporated additional feedback from faculty. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. The rubrics are intended for institutional-level use in evaluating and discussing student learning, not for grading. The core expectations articulated in all 16 of the VALUE rubrics can and should be translated into the language of individual campuses, disciplines, and even courses. The utility of the VALUE rubrics is to position learning at all undergraduate levels within a basic framework of expectations such that evidence of learning can by shared nationally through a common dialog and understanding of student success.

Preview the Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric: click to expand

Download the Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric at no cost via AAC&U's Shopping Cart (links below):

Definition

Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

Framing Language

This rubric is designed to be transdisciplinary, reflecting the recognition that success in all disciplines requires habits of inquiry and analysis that share common attributes. Further, research suggests that successful critical thinkers from all disciplines increasingly need to be able to apply those habits in various and changing situations encountered in all walks of life.

This rubric is designed for use with many different types of assignments and the suggestions here are not an exhaustive list of possibilities. Critical thinking can be demonstrated in assignments that require students to complete analyses of text, data, or issues. Assignments that cut across presentation mode might be especially useful in some fields. If insight into the process components of critical thinking (e.g., how information sources were evaluated regardless of whether they were included in the product) is important, assignments focused on student reflection might be especially illuminating.

Glossary

The definitions that follow were developed to clarify terms and concepts used in this rubric only.

  • Ambiguity: Information that may be interpreted in more than one way.
  • Assumptions: Ideas, conditions, or beliefs (often implicit or unstated) that are "taken for granted or accepted as true without proof." (quoted from www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/assumptions)
  • Context: The historical, ethical. political, cultural, environmental, or circumstantial settings or conditions that influence and complicate the consideration of any issues, ideas, artifacts, and events.
  • Literal meaning: Interpretation of information exactly as stated. For example, "she was green with envy" would be interpreted to mean that her skin was green.
  • Metaphor: Information that is (intended to be) interpreted in a non-literal way. For example, "she was green with envy" is intended to convey an intensity of emotion, not a skin color.

Acceptable Use and Reprint Permissions

For information on how to reference and cite the VALUE rubrics, visit: How to Cite the VALUE Rubrics.

Individuals are welcome to reproduce the VALUE rubrics for use in the classroom, on educational web sites, and in campus intra-institutional publications. A permission fee will be assessed for requests to reprint the rubrics in course packets or in other copyrighted print or electronic publications intended for sale. Please see AAC&U's permission policies for more details and information about how to request permission.

VALUE rubrics can also be used in commercial databases, software, or assessment products, but prior permission from AAC&U is required. For all uses of rubrics for commercial purposes, each rubric must be maintained in its entirety and without changes.

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