SOBOCAN, Jan,, GROARKE, Leo

Critical Thinking Education and Assessment: Can Higher Order Thinking Be Tested?
The Althouse Press

Price $42.95 (All Canadian orders must include 5% GST)
ISBN 978-0-920354-66-7

This is not just another book on critical thinking. So-called “critical thinking” has been the focus of intense research and discussion over the past few decades and an increasingly fashionable goal in elementary and secondary education. Many education systems worldwide now cite the cultivation of critical thinking skills and attitudes as one of their central aims. And, most recently, the demand for broader notions of literacy and citizenship education has incorporated core elements of critical thinking. Despite all of this attention, assessment issues remain an underdeveloped facet of critical thinking pedagogy. This represents a serious gap in knowledge and practice, especially given that the assessment of critical thinking requires a mode of evaluation different from those used for traditional subjects and that available assessment tools are, at best, partial measures of critical thinking skills and dispositions and, at worst, controversial measures that fail to address many of the aspects of critical thinking explored in the literature.

This book includes essays written by a cross-disciplinary array of leading international scholars in critical thinking, creativity, and assessment, who represent all of the relevant disciplines and sub-disciplines: education, testing and evaluation, philosophy, and various branches of argumentation theory (informal logic, pragma-dialectics, and critical thinking). Together with discussing their conceptions—sometimes competing—of critical thinking, the authors explain and critique the available standardized critical thinking tests and explore the political, democratic, educational, and theoretical issues raised by attempts to assess critical and creative thinking and the ways in which the teaching and learning of critical thinking skills and dispositions might reasonably be evaluated.

The Editors: Jan Sobocan has lectured and published in the areas of informal logic, argumentation, critical thinking, citizenship education, and gender, and on the assessment and evaluation of literacy and higher order thinking. Her research focuses on the role of critical thinking in education to foster the skills associated with democratic citizenship. Leo Groarke has been a member of the Department of Philosophy at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada, since 1983 and has served as Dean of the Brantford campus of the university since 2000. His scholarly work encompasses the history of ideas; ethics and political philosophy; and informal logic and critical thinking. He has been an active contributor to the study and discussion of critical thinking for more than twenty years. With Christopher Tindale, he is the author of Good Reasoning Matters! (3d ed.) and numerous articles on informal logic and critical thinking, including the entry on informal logic in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.