A Completely Structured Training on the Angoff Standard-Setting Method for Developing Critical-Thinking Skills of Teachers

A Completely Structured Training on the Angoff Standard-Setting Method for Developing Critical-Thinking Skills of Teachers

Ifeoma Chika Iyioke
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7829-1.ch015
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This chapter presents a completely structured training (CST) for the Angoff standard-setting method. The CST was developed to address the challenges teachers face in making the required probability judgments about student performance. It includes a comprehensive curriculum and instruction, practice, and feedback to guide participants on task performance. Overall, the approach is useful for developing critical-thinking skills among teachers in the context of assessing and evaluating educational achievement. This chapter also describes and illustrates how to use the training to facilitate professional development for K–12 teachers through programming. Guidelines, lessons and recommendations for implementation and study of CST are also provided.
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The Importance And Challenges Of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking has become a focus of education, especially in the United States and other OECD countries with a knowledge economy characterized by tremendous amounts of information and ill-defined problems with uncertain solutions (e.g., Educational Resource Information Center [ERIC], 1988; Fung, Michael, Townsend & Judy, 2004; Hager & Kaye, 1992). In the U.S., the works of John Dewey on critique in the 1920s; Edward Glaser on CT in 1940s; and Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives in 1950s brought CT to the forefront of education (Saeger, 2014). However, no action was generated, until 1980, when the Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities recommended that CT be included in the U.S. Office of Education’s definition of basic skills (ERIC, 1988). The CT movement exploded with the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on Excellence 1983 publication, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). This report demonstrates that close to 40% of 17-year-olds did not possess the necessary higher-order thinking skills to draw inferences from written material; 80% were unable to write a persuasive essay; and 66% were unable to solve a multi-step mathematical problem. These startling findings ignited educators’ efforts to assess and improve CT across the educational landscape in America (Florence, 2014).

However, there is widespread disagreement on the meaning and on strategy for assessing and developing CT in students. Several definitions have been offered in the fields of philosophy and psychology that influence the perspectives for education. The field of philosophy mostly influences the meaning for curricular purposes, while the field of psychology informs the pedagogical approaches. While the philosophical definitions focus on how people should think under ideal conditions, the cognitive psychology perspectives describe how people think (Abrami, 2015; Fung et al., 2004; Saeger, 2014). Even within the philosophical tradition, there are several definitions, which are driven by the debates about the extent to which CT is generalizable or specific to disciplines and whether it consists of skills or dispositions. For this chapter, a review of the most influential definitions and those that build upon them may suffice to underscore this status quo.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Partially Structured Training: A type of training that provides instruction, practice, and feedback on some, but not all strategies required for using concepts in performing a task.

Assessment Constructs: The hypothetical concepts that educational tests measure.

Performance Level Descriptors: A description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities a student must possess to be determined as performing at a certain level (e.g., at grade level).

Heuristics: Resource-efficient strategies for making judgments.

Curriculum: The content of training, including concepts and strategies for use in solving problems.

Completely Structured Training: A type of training that provides full instruction, practice, and feedback on strategies for use of concepts in problem solving.

Delivery Methods for Curriculum: Pedagogical or teaching methods, including instruction, practice, and feedback.

Minimally Competent Candidates: Candidates who barely possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be considered as performing at a certain level.

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