Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 543–560 | Cite as

Assessment of Critical-Analytic Thinking

  • Nathaniel J. S. Brown
  • Peter P. Afflerbach
  • Robert G. Croninger
Review Article


National policy and standards documents, including the National Assessment of Educational Progress frameworks, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards, assert the need to assess critical-analytic thinking (CAT) across subject areas. However, assessment of CAT poses several challenges for developers of both large-scale and classroom assessments: Current CAT assessments often suffer from questionable item contexts, subjective rubrics, and underdeveloped construct formulations. Attention to these aspects of assessment would improve understanding of the development of students’ CAT and provide tools for helping teachers teach and students learn. We discuss these challenges within the context of several content areas and highlight the importance of developing formative assessments that capture the development of CAT in different domains of learning.


Critical-analytic thinking Formative assessment Large-scale assessment Classroom assessment National Assessment of Educational Progress Common Core State Standards Next Generation Science Standards 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathaniel J. S. Brown
    • 1
  • Peter P. Afflerbach
    • 2
  • Robert G. Croninger
    • 2
  1. 1.Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation, Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, College of EducationUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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