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Nurturing the Reflective Practitioner: Enhancing pedagogical robustness through active inquiry. Presented at: Redesigning Pedagogy Conference 3 to 5 June 2013 Presented by: Mary George Cheriyan (Chairperson) Jarina Peer


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Title: Nurturing the Reflective Practitioner: Enhancing pedagogical robustness through active inquiry. Presented at: Redesigning Pedagogy Conference 3 to 5 June 2013 Presented by: Mary George Cheriyan (Chairperson) Jarina Peer

Nurturing the Reflective Practitioner
Enhancing pedagogical robustness through active
inquiry. Presented at Redesigning Pedagogy
Conference 3 to 5 June 2013Presented by
Mary George Cheriyan (Chairperson)
Jarina Peer Tan
Yen Chuan Masturah Abdul Aziz
Lucille Yap Yeo Jun Han
The 4 Presentations in the Symposium
  • Enhancing pedagogical robustness through active
  • By MARY George Cheriyan
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Practitioner
    Inquiry Teachers Perspectives
    Abdul Aziz
  • Effective Questioning, Effective Learning
  • Correlations between Article Review and
    Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal
  • By AZAHAR Bin Mohamed Noor

Is good teaching hinged on reflection?
Reflective Practice
  • Reflective practice is the habit of inquiring and
    investigating a problem situation in order to
    understand how to frame a solution (Donald

The Moral-Ethical Dimension in Reflective
Practice Attitudes (Dewey, 33)
Respect for diversity Humility Hope in the
Considers consequences Makes meaning of
experiences for teacher learner
Whole-heartedness/ Engagement
Curious about subject and impact of teaching on
Teaching as an artistry
Refines hones the craft
Assertion Reflective Practice boosts teacher
Assertion Reflective Practice strengthens
theory-practice nexus
3 levels of teacher knowledge and inquiry
(Cochran-Smith Lytle, 1999)
PeRL Research Ecosystem
How and in what ways can teachers be supported in
their development as thoughtful, reflective
practitioners, so that they may be active
contributors to the teaching community?
Schoolwide driven by Specialists policy
implications Practitioner Inquiry conducted by
indv/ grp of teachers to inquire into a classrm
or departmental practice
Protocols submission Oversight Ethics Guidance Pla
Benefits and challenges faced within this
ecosystem by teachers who have embarked on
Practitioner Inquiry
Is Good teaching hinged on reflection ? Yes Is
Good teaching hinged on systematic inquiry? ie,
research design, data gathering and
analysis? Possibly impact on teacher
professionalism If the goal is to share it with
the larger educational fraternity, it is
Reflective Practice
Systematic Enquiry Professionalism Participation
in educational fraternity
Metacognition Stepping Stones questions
Enhance student learning Teacher growth
The Motivations, Benefits and Challenges of
Practitioner Inquiry Teachers Perspectives
  • Dr. Jarina Peer, Ms. Tan Yen Chuan, Ms. Masturah

  • To develop an understanding of the factors that
    influence teachers readiness in embarking on
    Practitioner Inquiry (PI) by
  • investigating the motivations, benefits and
    challenges faced by them
  • looking at the support system in place

  • Several teachers in this school have been
    involved in practitioner inquiry projects
    however, there are emerging issues related to
    this effort to promote PI in the school as
  • teachers are not researchers and some teachers
    may not have the necessary research knowledge
  • experienced teachers often have sufficient tacit
    knowledge to be able to reflect and improve their
    pedagogy without research
  • the ability to do research was not perceived to
    be a core competency of a teacher

  • RGS PeRL is now looking at lifting the baseline
    towards encouraging and enabling teachers into a
    path of a systematic inquiry
  • Focus is on RGS PeRL facilitated research

Research Question
  • Overarching research question
  • What are the factors that influence teacher
    readiness in embarking on practitioner inquiry?
  • Guiding research questions
  • What are the motivations, benefits and challenges
    faced by teachers on embarking on practitioner
  • What are the infrastructure and system in place
    to support a culture of informed practice?

Literature Review
  • The Teacher Growth Model
  • Due to the multi-faceted nature of teachers
    work, this implies that having a repertoire of
    strategies and content mastery is not sufficient
    for a teacher to be a competent professional in
    the 21st century.
  • The teacher will have to pursue professional
    development through multiple modes of learning,
    which include reflective practice, research-based
    practice, conferences and mentoring etc.
    (Ministry of Education, 2012)

Literature Review
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Teachers are leaders when they function in
    professional communities to affect student
    learning contribute to school improvement
    inspire excellence in practice and empower
    stakeholders to participate in educational
    improvement (Childs-Bowen, Moller, Scrivner,
    2000, p. 28)

Literature Review
  • Teacher Motivation
  • Sylvia Hutchinson (1985) concluded Teacher
    motivation is based in the freedom to try new
    ideas, achievement of appropriate responsibility
    levels, and intrinsic work elements.
  • They explain that true job satisfaction is
    derived from the gratification of higher-order
    needs, social relations, esteem, and
    actualization rather than lower-order needs.

Methodology Data Collection Methods
  • Methodology A case study approach
  • To develop a deep understanding on the factors
    influencing teachers readiness in embarking on
    practitioner inquiry.

Data Analysis Methods
  • Thematic analysis was used to identify recurring
    patterns in the data
  • conclusions were drawn and verified through the
    review and defining of emergent themes
  • overarching concept and final themes were emerged
    based on the similarities, differences, patterns
    and relationship of the data

  • Summary
  • A shared vision drives a culture of informed
  • the role of PI within the schools strategic
  • PI is a Viable Solution for
  • Theory-Practice Nexus
  • Teacher Professionalism
  • Teachers beliefs and preferences about
    reflective practice and teacher professionalism
    motivate their decision
  • A shared vision shapes the way staff members go
    about their work and strong leaders play a
    significant role in building this culture, which,
    once established, is deeply embedded in the
    attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of staff
    members.(Picucci, 2002).

PI as a Viable Solution
Final Themes Supporting Evidences
Management Support - Recognition - Support - Value of PI There must be more extrinsic motivation, in terms of giving them teachers time and recognition of what they do.
Management Support - Recognition - Support - Value of PI Although there are encouragement for teachers to do PI, but it is more of teachers own initiative
Management Support - Recognition - Support - Value of PI The higher management sees the usefulness and support you in doing the PI.
Infrastructure - Support Structure - Relationships You need to set up a kind of task force, start up a committee, identify someone who is able to spearhead, e.g. someone who is trained in doing research, but also at the same time getting people in the department to work together to gather data from many classes. The support.
Infrastructure - Support Structure - Relationships When you work as a team, you need to work with people who are able to do it and want to do it.
Teachers Perception of PI - Improving TL - Professional Development - Personal Interest Embark on PI to find an answer to solve a concern about something/ a problem.
Teachers Perception of PI - Improving TL - Professional Development - Personal Interest The topics that I choose to do action research will be those that can show improvement in students standards and command of language/ writing.
Teachers Perception of PI - Improving TL - Professional Development - Personal Interest Have the opportunity to collaborate with external researchers/ teachers/ colleagues with common interest/ common discipline.
Teachers Perception of PI - Improving TL - Professional Development - Personal Interest Action research has always been something that I wanted to do.
  • Challenges to Teachers Readiness in embarking on
  • Challenges surfaced allow identification of
    strengths and Areas for Improvement (AFIs), and
    will be elaborated further in the next section.
  • Challenges identified from data are
  • More tangible value attributed to PI is needed
  • Recognition of teachers contributions in terms
    of teaching and learning and professional
  • Fine-tuning existing structures
  • The resistance to change when findings are
    proposed to be implemented on a bigger scale
  • Viable Alternative Solutions which may seem more
    attractive than PI
  • Lack of interest in conducting research
  • Enhancing teacher competencies and confidence

Discussion Recommendation
  • A Shared Vision to Promote a Culture of PI
  • Strength
  • RGS promotes a culture of PI, thus, an
    infrastructure has been set up in the form of RGS
  • Areas of Improvement
  • This Shared Vision has to be instilled across all
    levels, through
  • 1) Management articulation of PI as a strategic
  • 2) Improved Infrastructural Support

Discussion Recommendation
  • 1) Management Support
  • Strengths
  • Based on the document analysis
  • RGS supports PI as a viable solution to
    strengthen the theory-practice nexus and enhance
    teacher professionalism.
  • RGS PeRL provides support and structures to
    drive PI as a school-wide approach
  • AFIs
  • To embed PI in the school culture, the school
    management will need to incorporate PI within the
    schools strategic direction

Discussion Recommendation
  • Management Support
  • Recommendation
  • PI needs to be recognized as a valid contribution
    to the school by
  • Attributing it as equivalent to that of a
    departmental duty
  • Including it in work review discussions

Discussion Recommendation
  • Management Support
  • Based on the Needs Analysis 15 would like to
    consult their superiors before embarking on PI
  • Todays teachers don't necessarily look for
    answers from an instructional leader. But they
    need to know that their leader understands and
    appreciates their work and recognizes their
    challenges and frustrations (Hoerr, 2008, p. 2)

Discussion Recommendations
  • Management Support
  • Recommendations
  • Key personnel should lead by example.
  • The Heads need to consciously and decisively
    apply PI findings to curriculum improvement, e.g.
  • Review pedagogical approaches
  • Utilize proposed solutions to Areas For
    Improvement (AFIs) in their own departments
  • Effective school leadership today must combine
    the traditional school leadership duties and
    include a deep involvement with specific aspects
    of teaching and learning and effective
    instructional leaders are intensely involved in
    curricular and instructional issues that directly
    affect student achievement (Cotton, 2003).  

  • Infrastructure (Work Structure and Support
  • What Works
  • RGS PeRLs infrastructure for PI provides
    critical oversight
  • Protocol Call for Proposals, Documentation
    Statement of Ethics
  • Training via in-house and external workshops
  • Mentorship
  • Dissemination
  • RGS PeRLs integration with schools curriculum
  • Theory practice nexus/indigenized research
  • Teacher professionalism

Discussion Recommendations
  • Infrastructure (Work Structure and Support
  • AFIs
  • Meeting teachers higher aspirations to apply
    their research beyond their own practice.
  • Enhancing PI rigor and standards
  • Addressing teachers sense of readiness 61 of
    the all the teachers who completed the needs
    survey indicated that they would like to develop
    their research skills
  • Recommendation
  • PeRL needs to evaluate and respond to the
    evolution of reflective practice in the school
  • PeRL advisors act as a bridge between teachers
    embarking on PI and Heads

  • 3) Teachers Perception of PI
  • A. Value of PI
  • Improving teaching and learning
  • Professional Development
  • Recognition
  • Exposure Opportunities
  • Networking and Collaboration
  • Acquisition of skills and competencies

  • 3) Teachers Perceptions of PI
  • B. Personal Interest
  • An inherent motivation to conduct PI is due to
  • an interest or aptitude in conducting research
  • the desire to try new things and venture into new
  • a passion in their niche areas of pedagogy
  • an interest in a field such as ICT which
    integrates well with pedagogy

  • It is hoped that insights from the study will
    inform the school on how to
  • Enhance teacher professionalism
  • Strengthen the theory-practice nexus which drives
    the school culture of informed practice
  • Ultimately, such initiatives may boost teacher
    readiness in embarking on PI, and in the long
    run, contribute to the development of a robust
    professional learning community.

Further Studies
  • Culture of PI in the school should be re-visited
    to track improvements
  • Implementation of some of the recommendations
    outlined may assist in the formation of a
    Professional Learning Community (PLC)
  • a study conducted in the near future may then
    shed some important findings on the feasibility,
    viability and sustainability for the school to
    construct a PLC from a bottom up approach,
    instead of top down approach

  • The participants varied in their involvement of
    PI, hence there may be a lack of in-depth
    descriptions about some aspects of the topic
  • Due to time constraints, member checks were not
    conducted where participants could provide
    feedback to check the accuracy of their interview

  • Ali Callicoatte Picucci, A. B., Rahel Kahlert,
    Andy Sobel. (2002). Shaping school culture.
    Principal Leadership, 38-41.
  • Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Razavieh, A., Sorensen,
    C. (2006). Introduction to Research in Education
    Wadsworth Publishing.
  • Auerbach, C. F., Silverstein, L. B. (2003).
    Qualitative data an introduction to coding and
    analysis NEW YORK University Press.
  • Bromley, D. B. (1986). The case-study method in
    psychology and related disciplines Wiley.
  • Cochran-Smith, M., Lytle, S. L. (1993).
    Inside/Outside Teacher Research and Knowledge
    Teachers College Press.
  • Cotton, K. (2003). Principals and student
    achievement electronic resource what the
    research says Association for Supervision and
    Curriculum Development.
  • Dana, N. F., Gimbert, B., Silva, D.Y. (1999).
    Teacher inquiry Staff development for the 21st
    century. Pennslvania Educational Leadership,
    18(2), 6-12.
  • Dewey, J. (1933). Democracy and education. New
    York Free Company.
  • Hatch, J. A. (2002). Doing qualitative research
    in education settings State University of New
    York Press.

  • Hoerr, T. R. (2007). The Principal Connection/
    What is Instructional Leadership? Informative
    Assessment, 65(4), 84-85.
  • Hubbard, R. S., Shagoury, R., Power, B. M.
    (2003). The Art of Classroom Inquiry A Handbook
    for Teacher-Researchers Heinemann.
  • Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M. (1994).
    Qualitative Data Analysis An Expanded
    Sourcebook SAGE Publications.
  • PeRL, R. (2012). RGS PeRL Handbook 2012.
    Singapore Raflles Girls' School Pedagogical
    Research Lab.
  • Punch, K. F. (1998). Introduction to Social
    Research SAGE Publications.
  • Rubin, H. J., Rubin, I. S. (2005). Qualitative
    interviewing the art of hearing data Sage
  • Sylvia, R. D., and T. Hutchinson. (1985). What
    makes Ms. Johnson teach? A study of teacher
    motivation. Human Relations(38), 841- 856.
  • Yin, R. K. (2009). Case Study Research Design
    and Methods SAGE Publications.

RGS PeRL Team Involved
  • Mrs. Mary Cheriyan Director, RGS PeRL
  • Dr Jarina Peer, Head, Research
  • Ms. Tan Yen Chuan, Teacher-Specialist
  • Ms. Masturah Abdul Aziz, Research Executive

We Would Like to Thank
  • Tan Ean Kiam Foundation
  • Staff of RGS who were involved in the study

Effective questioning Effective learning -
Inquiry into Inquiry-
by Mrs Lucille Yap-Chua Puay Lan Mr Yeo Jun Han
  • Research question
  • Context
  • Area of study focus intent

  • How can a positive questioning attitude enhance
    student learning?

.. questions asked during a lesson are those
initiated by the teacher and only rarely by the
students, and that questions do not emerge
spontaneously from students rather, they have to
be encouraged. In cases in which students do ask
questions during lessons, they are usually
informative ones.
(Dillion, 1988)
The content of a question can indicate the level
of thinking of the person who raised it. In
general, the cognitive level of a certain
question is determined by the type of answer it
(Yarden, Brill, and
Falk, 2001)
Purposeful inquiry does not happen spontaneously.
It must be learned.
(Baird, 1990, p 184)
  • This study focuses on the ability of upper
    secondary Geography students, who learn
    Geography through the inquiry approach,
    to ask meaningful and
    geographically relevant questions.

1 Year 3 class 3 Year 4 classes
  • Foster a positive questioning attitude in
    high-ability girls to seek information for its
    own sake as much as for its usefulness.
  • Develop the students ability to ask more and
    better questions resulting from an inquiry-based

  • Create a safe and non-threatening environment in
    which students are given opportunities to pose
  • Establish and maintain communication with

RESEARCH Methodology
Identify Research Question
Inform students of intended Action Research
Present Findings
Design and conduct pre-Questionnaire
Present findings and make recommend-ations
Collate and interpret data
Infuse questioning tools into classroom
Design and conduct post-Questionnaire
  • Intervention
  • Questioning tools
  • Pre- Post- questionnaire

INTERVENTIONS Questioning Techniques
  • 6Ws and 1H (Seven Servants)

Blooms Taxonomy Questions
INTERVENTIONS Questioning Techniques
R. Pauls Logic of Reasoning
INTERVENTIONS Questioning Techniques
Socratic Questioning
INTERVENTIONS Questioning Techniques
  • Edward De Bonos Six Thinking Hats

  • characteristics of effective questioning
  • Student metacognition
  • Student ATTITUDE and Perception
  • - Others (Outcomes)

Characteristics of Effective Questioning
I. WAIT Time
One has to wait after asking a question before
answering it oneself or going on to ask further
questions or making further points.
Questions Pre-Test Post-Test
The teacher gives me WAIT time before I answer his/her questions. 72.5 96.7
2. I use WAIT time to think about answers. 72.5 92.7
I give WAIT time to my classmates when asking questions. 52.5 84.6
Waiting is a sign that you want thoughtful
participation. (Wang, 2003)
Characteristics of Effective Questioning
I. WAIT Time
  • The provision of WAIT time allows for
    metacognition, and an increase in frequency and
    length of student responses (including
    unsolicited responses).
  • WAIT time has to be applied judiciously the
    optimal wait time for a given question depends
    on the cognitive level of the question and
    student expectations.

Characteristics of Effective Questioning
II. Higher-order Thinking, HoT (Critical
Higher-order thinking is more than the learning
of facts and concepts. It requires more cognitive
processes and it involves the learning of complex
judgmental skills such as decision making and
problem solving.
Questions Pre-Test Post-Test
I ask questions to justify a decision or an outcome. 67.5 93.5
I ask questions to examine multiple viewpoints or perspectives. 61.7 92.7
I ask questions that allow me to apply knowledge or a procedure to a familiar or unfamiliar task. 62.5 92.7
Dead questions reflect dead minds. (Paul, 2000 )
Characteristics of Effective Questioning
II. Higher-order Thinking
  • Higher level order of questioning from Blooms
    taxonomy, like questions that require analysis,
    synthesis, and evaluation, can trigger a higher
    level of thinking.
  • Questions drive thinking high-order questions
    drive our thought beneath the surface of things
    and force us to deal with ambiguity and
    complexity. No questions equals no understanding,
    and thereby, no learning.
  • Higher-order thinking skills, though difficult to
    teach and learn, can be developed as such skills
    are valuable they are more likely to be applied
    and usable in real-world situations.

Student Metacognition
Knowledge and control of ones thought and
learning processes being able to know how to
learn, to monitor ones own understanding, to
reflect about ones understanding, and to
strategize about how to resolve ones confusions.
Questions Pre-Test Post-Test
I think and formulate responses to questions asked in class. 67.5 93.5
I answer questions at the appropriate cognitive level. 65.0 89.4
I can explain the thinking that led to my answers in class. 74.2 93.5
To make an individual metacognitively aware is to
ensure that the individual has learned how to
(Garner, 1988)
DISCUSSIONStudent Metacognition
The questioning attitude could increase
metacognition, or an awareness of thinking, in
students. Metacognition calls for elaboration and
application of ones learning which can result in
enhanced understanding. In brief, time for
reflection in order to engage oneself in
monitoring-planning-evaluation would inspire
learners engagement with higher order thinking
and reasoning.
Student Attitudes and Perceptions
Attitudes and Perceptions
Student attitudes and perceptions affect the
learners mental climate of the classroom. If
students have positive attitudes and perceptions,
they have a mental climate conducive to learning
a sense of acceptance and a sense of comfort and
Questions Pre-Test Post-Test
1. I am comfortable asking questions in class. 56.6 82.9
2. I am confident in asking questions in class. 56.6 73.2
3. I ask a mix of different types of questions at all cognitive levels knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation and synthesis. 38.3 75.6
Attitudes and perceptions affect the classroom
climate. (Marzano, 1992)
Student Attitudes and Perceptions
Attitudes and Perceptions
  • Student attitudes and perceptions drive
    motivation and behaviour. When students are
    convinced of the value of questioning, they would
  • cultivate a positive questioning attitude,
  • develop their questioning skills to seek
    clarifications and to broaden and deepen their
    body of knowledge and
  • have a mental climate conducive to learning .

Teachers need to continually foster and reinforce
positive attitudes and perceptions about the
learning climate and model the way.
Achieve academic success
97.6 - Questioning is a skill that can be
82.1 - My questioning skills have improved.
95.1 - My capacity as a learner has increased
through questioning.
65.8 - I have developed the art of questioning.
86.2 - My academic performance has improved
through questioning.
94.3 - I have developed a critical mind
through questioning.
Questioning Thinking
demoralised over my last Geography grades ..
doubting my ability in the subject . I was in a
way forced to question and put my best effort
into completing my work. The questioning part
really enriched my Geography learning
experience. Throughout the course of the past
eight months, the questioning has really
benefitted me in my learning. Usually I would
hardly think of any questions after reading a
text to check my understanding. Now I am able to
generate more questions on a topic, greatly
benefitting me in my studies.

(Shirley Wang, class 412, 2012)

this session is really fun.
Though we have done it in Philo class before, it
feels different doing it in Geography class. It
pushed me to ask other sorts of questions, rather
than just those to check for factual
understanding. I could also clarify my doubts on
the spot. I hope we get to do this again even
though the preparation work might be heavy and

(Justina, class 301, 2012)
  • As classroom practitioners, we know that
    effective questioning is critical to student
    learning and student academic success. Therefore,
    the need to develop a questioning mind in our
    students is essential.
  • The inquiry-driven approach to teaching and
    learning requires constant practice and
    reinforcement if inquiry is to be integrated into
    classroom instructional practices.
  • Higher-order thinking skills, including
    metacognitive awareness and metacognitive
    development, are complex and require a supportive
    (positive and affective) environment.
  • An effective learning environment in which
    students are given ample opportunities and time
    to develop their questioning skills would develop
    the students ability to ask more and better
    questions about phenomenon around them.

  • Whats in a question, you ask? Everything. It is
    a way of evoking stimulating response or
    stultifying inquiry. It is, in essence, the very
    core of teaching.
    (John Dewey, 1933)

  • Wang,C.M. and Ong, Grace (2003), Questioning
    Techniques for Active Learning, in Ideas on
    Teaching, Volume 1, Centre for Development of
    Teaching and Learning (CDTL), National University
    of Singapore.
  • Walsh, J.A. Sattes, B.D. (2005), Quality
    Questioning Research-based Practice to Engage
    Every Learner, Corwin Press, Australia.
  • Marzano, R.J. (1992), A Different Kind of
    Classroom Teaching with Dimensions of Learning,
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development,ASCD, Alexandria,VA.

  • Nurturing the Reflective Practitioner
  • Correlations between Article Review and
    Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal
  • Azahar M Noor
  • Nurturing the Reflective Practitioner
  • Correlations between Article Review and
    Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal
  • 5 June 2013
  • Azahar M Noor

Critical Thinking
  • MOEs Desired Outcomes of Education states
    that by the end of post-secondary education,
    students should be able to think critically.  
  • Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) as used in
    Raffles Programme proposed that curriculum for
    the gifted should be differentiated and organised
    around high level thinking skills.

Research Questions
1. What is critical thinking? 2. Is there a
correlation between students performance in the
Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA)
and their performance in the Article Review (AR)?
Hypothesis Since both are tools to measure
critical thinking, there should be a correlation
between students performance in both tests.
Some Definitions of CT
  • VanTassel-Baska (2006) included four process
    elements to judge or evaluate, comparing and
    contrasting ideas, to generalise from concrete to
    the abstract, and to synthesise information
    within or across disciplines.
  • Yeap, L.L. (2004) observed that critical thinking
    determines the credibility of certain facts and
    sources, detects biasness, evaluates the
    soundness of arguments and distinguishes the
    relevant from the irrelevant.

  • Paul, R. (2007) defined critical thinking as
    thinking that analyses thought, that assesses
    thought, and that transforms thought for the
  • Lipman, M. (1991) defined critical thinking as
    thinking that facilitates judgement, because it
    relies on criteria, is self-correcting, and is
    sensitive to context.

Defining Critical Thinking
  • Teachers may lack clarity as to what CT really
  • Defining CT may be complex due to
  • - variety of definitions and,
  • - it involved multitude of skills eg Paul, R
    (1990) identified 9 micro skills and 16 macro
    abilities related to critical thinking.

Before we seek to measure and develop CT, there
needs to be clarity and consistency in defining
CT. Hence, identifying the core characteristics
of Critical Thinking can serve as a guide and
working definition for teachers.
1. Critical Thinking involves High Order
Cognitive Skills
  • 3 Core Elements
  • 1 CT involves evaluating the validity and
    falsity of an assertion. Some definitions use the
    term argument instead of assertion.
  • 2 CT involves making a judgement that relies on
    criteria. Some definitions may emphasise making
    generalisations instead of making a judgement.
  • 3 CT involves metacognitive self-evaluation.
    Some definitions use the term self-correcting.

2. Critical Thinking involves Disposition to
think critically
  • Role of affective dispositions
  • Halpern, D. F. (1998) ..the thinker must be
    willing to put in the required mental effort as
    he may choose not to engage in critical thinking
    even if he has excellent critical thinking
  • Paul, R. (1990) identified nine traits of
    critical thinking, in which he emphasised the
    intellectual and moral commitments necessary for
    a person to improve the quality of his thinking.
  • Implication to Teachers ?

  • Is there a correlation between students
    performance in the WGCTA and their performance in
    the AR?
  • Why is this question important?
  • AR as a Proprietary Instrument
  • Validation concurrent validity test

What is Article Review?
  • An assessment tool used in RP for Social Studies
    curriculum in Yr 3 and 4.
  • Seen and Unseen Article differing viewpoints
  • an issue.
  • On assessment day, students must bring the
  • Seen Article into the exam room with their
  • annotations.

The Five Critical Thinking Domains Tested in
  • Inference Students are required to draw
    conclusions from certain observed or supposed
  • Recognition of Assumption In this test, students
    are required to decide for each given statement,
    whether an assumption is made, or not made, by
    the person.
  • Deduction Students are required to judge whether
    a conclusion necessarily follows from a
  • Interpretation Students are required to read a
    short paragraph and decide, for each of the given
    conclusion, whether the conclusion logically
    follows, or does not follow.
  • Evaluation of Argument Students are given a
    series of questions. Each question is followed by
    several arguments. Students are required to
    decide if an argument is strong or weak. For an
    argument to be strong, it must be both important
    and directly related to the question.

  • WGCTAs 5 Domains
  • Inference
  • Recognition of Assumption
  • Deduction
  • Interpretation
  • Evaluation of Argument
  • AR CT Skills
  • An impt skill for AR.
  • Students required to identify qn assumptions.
    Overlap but more difficult in AR. In WGCTA,
    student just makes a yes / no choice.
  • Skill is part of close reading but not assessed
  • Skill is part of close reading but not assessed
  • Evaluation of article is assessed eg has the
    author presented a convincing argument ?

Skills in AR which are NOT tested in WGCTA
  • Comparative analysis The 2 contrasting articles
    will demand skills in comparison.
  • Making a judgement Students are required to make
    a judgement on an issue, based on the contrasting
    views presented in the 2 articles given. In
    making a judgement, students have to develop
    their own criteria, consider contextual realities
    and present their views on the issue given.
  • Comparative analysis and making a judgement put
    AR at a higher level of sophistication in terms
    of CT skills

  • 96 Year 4 students selected.
  • Stratified sampling (interval of 5 names)
  • Data
  • AR End of Year Assessment scores
  • WGCTA test scores conducted in Term 4
  • SPSS was used to run correlations test

  • The mean score for the total WGCTA was 82.63.
    This placed the 96 students at 93.43 percentile
    based on Grade 11 norms- this showed a high level
    of CT skills
  • There was a marked difference between the mean
    scores of top and average performers in the AR.
  • Little difference in WGCTA scores (Top vs Aveg)

Is there a Correlation?
  • Terms
  • Correlation measures the relationship between 2
    variables ( or -). Correlation does not equal
  • Statistically significant the result does not
    happen by chance. Significance level was set at
  • If result gt 0.05, means it is not statistically
  • If result is lt 0.05, means only less than 5 that
    the result happen by chance. Result is thus
    statistically significant.

Results of correlations test
  • The correlation between the TOTAL WGCTA scores
    and AR scores was not significant.
  • Results for 4 domains of Recognition of
    Assumptions, Deduction, Interpretation and
    Evaluation of Argumentswere also not
  • Only Inference scores were statistically
    significant, but the strength of correlation
    between Inference and AR scores was weak.
  • Results were not expected (

  • Different format WGCTA used multiple-choice
    format while AR is essay writing. Hence language
    could be a major influence in the results eg a
    student may have high CT skills, but may not be
    able to express their ideas clearly. Teachers may
    grade the essays for clarity of expression.
  • The other skills tested in the AR have
    substantial influence on students performance.
    These are not captured in WGCTA esp comparing and
    contrasting skills
  • If a student is able to prepare for AR, the need
    to apply CT is diminished.

  • Perhaps expand the 3 criteria rubric to four to
    sharpen assessment on CT skills that the AR seeks
    to develop and assess.
  • Review implementation, reduce spotting and
    pre-prepared answers.
  • WGCTA showed the students have high CT. How do we
    translate high CT to high performance in the AR?
    Makes CT more salient in class.
  • Not able to validate AR yet.

  • Sharing within Humanities Department.
  • Social Studies team decided on
  • Rubric was revised to 4 criteria effective 2012
  • The team reflected on how we can teach CT more
  • WGCTA shows lower scores in Inference skills
    which we deemed as more basic and easier.
    Introduced Argument Mapping in 2013 as build
    inference skills and accuracy in reading an
    integral skill to CT.

Interestingly When WGCTA scores were compared
with overall SS grades
  • Correlation between total WGCTA scores and SS
    grades was highly significant --gt CT skills have
    an influence on students SS performance (AR, PT
    and CBA).
  • Inference and Evaluation domains are also
    statistically significant (but not the other 3
    domains), although the strength of the
    correlations is weak.

Thank You
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