Dimensions of Thinking: Implications for Testing
Robert L. Linn
Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing University of Colorado, Boulder
This book and the associated efforts by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the North Central Educational Laboratory to encourage the teaching of thinking attest to the fact that there is great interest in the topic of thinking, especially in the skills and processes that have come to be called "higher order thinking skills." Pleas for greater emphasis on higher order thinking skills are plentiful. This is apparent not only in the rash of reports on the status of education that have appeared in the past 5 years (e.g., National Assessment of Education Progress, 1985; The National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983); but also in the wide array of educational journals and periodicals. Partially as a result, a wide variety of instructional materials and teaching approaches devoted to improving the teaching of problem solving, comprehension, critical thinking, metacognitive skills, and other higher level thinking processes have been developed.
Testing and assessment have not been ignored in the recent emphasis on thinking. The Alexander and James ( 1987) report of the Study Group on the Nation's Report Card, for example, strongly urged that the National Assessment of Educational Progress place greater emphasis on the assessment of higher order thinking skills. It is apparent, from even a cursory review of the brochures of test publishers or a visit to their exhibit booths at a professional meeting, that the message that testing needs to