Advertisement

Assessing the Thinking Curriculum: New Tools for Educational Reform

  • Lauren B. Resnick
  • Daniel P. Resnick
Part of the Evaluation in Education and Human Services book series (EEHS, volume 30)

Abstract

In America, educational reform and testing are intimately linked. Test scores signal the need for reform, as evidenced by the attention paid to declining scores on college entrance exams and standardized tests, to Americans’ weak performances on international comparisons, and to the percentages of students failing certain kinds of items on our national assessments. Tests are also widely viewed as instruments for educational improvement. Calls for better performance by American schools are almost always accompanied by increases in the amounts of testing done in the schools. New tests, or more active scrutiny of tests already in place, are frequently prescribed, both as a source of information for a concerned public and as a form of “quality control” and an incentive to better performance by educators and students. This link between testing and efforts at educational reform is not new—it has been a feature of efforts to improve American schools since at least the end of the nineteenth century (D. P. Resnick 1982). In each new round of reform, testing theory and practice have been refined and elaborated. Tests are so ubiquitous in this country’s educational life, however, and the test instruments we use are often so technically elegant, that it is difficult to imagine proceeding in a different way. Complaints about testing and tests, from those who claim that tests block opportunities for certain social groups and those who point to the limited range of human competence assessed by the tests, bubble up whenever the amount and visibility of testing increase. These complaints sometimes lead to modifications of tests, but there is rarely sustained or widespread consideration of the possibility that the very idea of using test technology as it has developed over the past century may be inimical to the real goals of educational reform.

Keywords

Reading Comprehension Performance Assessment Steel Ball Ball Bearing Educational Reform 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American College Testing Program. 1973. Assessing students on the way to college. Vol. 1. Iowa City: ACT Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. R. 1983. The architecture of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Angoff, W. H., ed. 1971. The College Board Admissions Testing Program: A technical report on research and development activities relating to the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Achievement Tests. New York: College Entrance Examination Board.Google Scholar
  4. Blumberg, F., M. Epstein, W. MacDonald, and I. Mullis. 1986. A pilot study of higher-order thinking skills assessment techniques in science and mathematics. Final report. Princeton, NJ: National Assessment of Educational Progress.Google Scholar
  5. Bransford, J. D. 1979.Human cognition: Learning, understanding, and remembering. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  6. Bransford, J. D., and N. J. Vye. 1989. A perspective on cognitive research and its implications for instruction. In Toward the thinking curriculum: Current cognitive research. 1989 ASCD Yearbook, ed. L. B. Resnick and L. E. Klopfer, 173–205. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, A. L. 1978. Knowing when, where, and how to remember: A problem of metacognition. In Advances in instructional psychology, ed. R. Glaser, vol.1, 77–165. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Callahan, R. 1962. Education and the cult of efficiency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Chapman, P. D. 1989. Schools as sorters: Lewis M. Terman, applied psychology, and the intelligence testing movement, 1890–1930. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Christie, T., and G. M. Forrest. 1980. Standards at GCE A-level: 1963 and 1973. London: Macmillan Education.Google Scholar
  11. Cohen, S. A. 1987. Instructional alignment: Searching for a magic bullet. Educational Researcher 16 (8): 16–20.Google Scholar
  12. Deffenbaugh, W. S. 1926. Uses of intelligence and achievement tests in 215 cities. U.S. Bureau of Education, City School Leaflet No. 20. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior.Google Scholar
  13. Driver, R., E. Guesne, and A. Tiberghien. 1985. Children s ideas in science. Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Frederiksen, J. R., and A. Collins. In press. A systems theory of educational testing. Cambridge, MA: BBN Laboratories.Google Scholar
  15. Fuhrman, S. 1988. Educational indicators: An overview. Phi Delta Kappan 69 (7): 486–87.Google Scholar
  16. Glaser, R. 1987. The integration of instruction and testing: Implications from the study of human cognition. In Talks to teachers, ed. D. C. Berliner and B. V. Rosenshine, 329–41. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  17. Graham, P. 1966. Joseph Mayer Rice as a founder of the progressive education movement. Journal of Educational Measurement 3:129–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heller, K. A., W. H. Holtzman, and S. Messick, eds. 1982. Placing children in special education: A strategy for equity. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  19. Jeffreys, J. R. 1978. Education for children of the poor: A study of the origins and implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Joint Matriculation Board, Examinations Council. 1982. General Certificate of Education: Engineering science (advanced) instructions and guidance for centres. Manchester, England: Author.Google Scholar
  21. Just, M. A., and P. A. Carpenter. 1987. The psychology of reading and language comprehension. Rockleigh, NJ: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  22. Kellaghan, T., G. F. Madaus, and P. W. Airasian. 1980. The effects of standardized testing. Dublin/Boston: St. Patrick’s College/Boston College.Google Scholar
  23. Kevles, D. J. 1968. Testing the army’s intelligence: Psychologists and the military in World War I. Journal of American History 55:565–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lakatos, I. 1978. The methodology of scientific research programmes. In Philosophical papers, ed. J. Worrall and J. Currie, vol. 1. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Leinhardt, G., and A. M. Seewald. 1981. Overlap: What’s tested, what’s taught? Journal of Educational Measurement 18 (2): 85–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Monroe, W. S. 1918. Existing tests and standards. Seventeenth yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Part 2. Bloomington, IN: Public School Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  27. Murnane, R. J., and S. A. Raizen, eds. 1988. Improving indicators of the quality of science and mathematics education in grades K-12. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  28. National Assessment of Educational Progress. 1987. Learning by doing: A manual for teaching and assessing higher-order thinking in science and mathematics. Report 17-HOS-80. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  29. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1989. Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.Google Scholar
  30. National Research Council. 1989. Everybody counts-A report to the nation on the future of mathematics education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  31. Newell, A., and H. A. Simon. 1972. Human problem solving. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  32. Nitko, A. J. 1989. Designing tests that are integrated with instruction. In Educational measurement. 3d ed., ed. R. L. Linn, 447–74. New York: American Council on Education/Macmillan.Google Scholar
  33. Niven, J. 1978/1979. Grading the advanced placement examination in American history. Princeton, NJ: College Entrance Examination Board.Google Scholar
  34. Noble, G. L. 1970. Joseph Mayer Rice: Critic of the public schools and pioneer in educational measurement. Ph.D. diss., State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.Google Scholar
  35. Perfetti, C. A. 1985. Reading ability. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Popham, W. J. 1987. The merits of measurement-driven instruction. Phi Delta Kappan 68 (9): 679–82.Google Scholar
  37. Resnick, D. P. 1982. History of educational testing. In Ability testing: Uses, consequences, and controversies. Part II: Documentation section, ed. A. K. Wigdor and W. R. Garner, 173–94. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  38. Resnick, D. P., and L. B. Resnick. 1984. Standards, curriculum, and performance: A historical and comparative perspective. Educational Researcher 14 (4): 5–20.Google Scholar
  39. Resnick, L. B. 1987. Education and learning to think. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  40. Resnick, L. B. 1989. Developing mathematical knowledge. American Psychologist 44 (2): 162–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Resnick, L. B., V. Bill, and S. Lesgold. 1989. Developing thinking abilities in arithmetic class. Paper presented at the Third European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, September, Madrid.Google Scholar
  42. Romberg, T. A., E. A. Zarinnia, and S. Williams. 1989. The influence of mandated testing on mathematics instruction: Grade 8 teachers’ perceptions. National Center for Research in Mathematical Science Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.Google Scholar
  43. Scribner, S. 1984. Studying working intelligence. In Everyday cognition: Its development in social context, ed. B. Rogoff and J. Lave, 9–40. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Shepard, L. A. 1988. Should instruction be measurement-driven: A debate. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April, New Orleans.Google Scholar
  45. Shepard, L. A. 1989. Why we need better assessments. Educational Leadership 46 (7): 4–9.Google Scholar
  46. Thorndike, E. L. 1922. The psychology of arithmetic. New York: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Toulmin, S. E. 1972. Human understanding. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Venezky, R. 1980. From Webster to Rice to Roosevelt: The formative years for spelling instruction and spelling reform in the USA. In Cognitive processes in spelling, ed. Uta Frith, 10–30. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  49. Wigdor, A. K., and W. R. Garner, eds. 1982. Ability testing: Uses, consequences, and controversies. Part II: Documentation section. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  50. Wise, A. E. 1979. Legislated learning: The bureaucratization of the American classroom. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  51. Zuboff, S. 1988. In the age of the smart machine: The future of work and power. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren B. Resnick
  • Daniel P. Resnick

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations