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Leong, Wei Shin
Sim, Jasmine Boon-Yee
Issue Date: 
In this 21ˢᵗ century teaching and learning environment, much emphasis has been placed on the attainment of critical thinking due to the demands in today's workplace. While there are other platforms in which critical thinking can be developed, teachers can play a role in its development as well. It is thus important to understand how teachers derive assessment practices to develop critical thinking through a lens of their conceptions of assessment of critical thinking. In this study, three questions are addressed: what teachers' conceptions of assessment of critical thinking are, what their assessment practices for critical thinking are, and how these practices are translated from their conceptions of assessment of critical thinking.

An instrumental case study design featuring an English Language Department from a co-educational secondary school in Singapore was chosen. Five English teachers were purposefully sampled as focal teachers. Each teacher was interviewed once before and after two lesson observations. Notes from interviews, lesson observations, teachers' assessment tasks, student artefacts, and a focus-group discussion involving the five teachers were collated and analysed for triangulation purposes. The data was content analysed and interpreted, and further clarification questions to the teachers were asked.

The findings were reported and organised under themes that surfaced from the analysis of the data. The findings focused on teachers' conceptions according to preferences, ideas, mental images and beliefs, and assessment practices focusing primarily on summative and formative assessment practices, role of teacher, critical thinking as a progression, and peer feedback. The notions of assessment to foster student learning was also an important theme that teachers highlighted about the assessment of critical thinking. While there were some consistencies in translation from conceptions to practice, certain differences were also noted. Four factors were identified that influenced translation from conceptions to practice; these included the teacher-factor, time constraints, test-exam focus, and subject-critical thinking nexus.

A conceptual model was presented to illustrate the case its context. A revised conceptual model was then proposed as a contribution to the research on teachers' conceptions and assessment of critical thinking. It aims to provide an enhanced understanding of the connections involving contextual factors, teachers' conceptions of the assessment of critical thinking, assessment practices for critical thinking, the factors influencing the translation of conceptions into practice, and student learning. The model also highlights how teachers can leverage professional learning and department conversations on critical thinking to deepen teacher knowledge and assessment literacy.

It is hoped that the study provides insights into how Singapore teachers can move forward in developing assessment of critical thinking. With more shared understandings of critical thinking, and assessment practices developed through professional learning teams to specifically assess critical thinking, teachers will be able to help students develop the necessary cognitive and dispositional elements of critical thinking to meet challenges in a transformative world.
Issued Date: 
Call Number: 
LB1590.3 Rav
Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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