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Assessment of Creativity, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking

EDS 390 Expert Group Assesment Project By: Stephanie Vertalino, Justin Carpenter, Bob Wilczak Hannah Robinson

Stephanie Vertaino

on 6 May 2011

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Transcript of Assessment of Creativity, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking

Assessment Problem Solving Creativity Examples Then how do we implement these strategies in the classroom? First, critcal thinking concerns the attainment of goals, and desirable outcomes. Second, to obtain the desired outcome, we have at our disposal (to some degree, with more or less proficiency) a set of cognitive skills and strategies. This is the methodological aspect of a critical thinking exercise. These cognitive skills and strategies are ways, techniques, procedures, or processes for doing something, for attaining a particular goal. It is around knowledge about these thinking skills that the critical thinking exercise revolves. Definition Critical Thinking Defining Characteristics - Willingness to engage in and persist at a complex task
- Habit of using plans and suppressing impulsive behavior
- Flexibility, open-mindedness, and willingness to abandon nonproductive action plans
- Awareness of the social realities that need to be overcome (consensus or compromise) in order to allow ideas to become actions Authentic Assessment Rubrics Why is it so difficult to grade original work presented by students? Definition Creativity has many definitions, but in an education setting, can perhaps best be defined as creating a product, answering a question, or posing new questions which are both novel and useful within a specific cultural context Characteristics Things that are creative must be:
New products, ideas or questions or a novel implication of an existing product/idea/question
Useful within a specific cultural context-i.e. using solar panels to generate electricity in the American Mid-West
(Beghetto, 2005). Authentic Assessments According to situated cognition theory “knowledge is conceived as lived practices”. This means that in order for students to truly learn something they must construct knowledge by progressively engaging in activity associated with the learning they hope to achieve and become experts in. In order for the learner to become an expert they must be engaged in some kind of authentic activity which provides them with real world experience. Cognitive Dissonance Creative Process Stages of Creativity
Divergent: generating ideas; brainstorming
Convergent: choosing an idea, completing the task, and providing results Assessing Creativity, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Teaching strategies for fostering
the growth of Creativity, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking in the classroom. Examples Assessing Non-Example Fostering Creativity Within the Classroom - Critical thinking can be analyzed in terms of both process and purpose.
- Critical thinking can be assessed only in specific contexts. This means that studying the dimension of action-what students do as well as what they say-is crucial.
- Critical thinking can often be best assessed by one’s peers, who function as critical mirrors.
- Assessment of critical thinking should allow learners to document, demonstrate, and justify their own engagement in critical thinking. To foster creativity within the classroom
create a safe environment in the classroom where students feel safe to brainstorm ideas
use scaffolding and positive reinforcement to keep students motivated and help them implement their ideas
work to establish a flexible intelligence mindset within your students
use projects to show students what they have learned and the progress they have made over the course of a year

How can Creativity Be Assessed? Creativity, due to its personal nature is difficult to assess
assessment is dependent upon context.
Within the classroom, using a rubric can assist in assessing creative projects - by giving students established criteria for the activity or assignment, they will better be able to find creative solutions for completing the work Definition Problem solving can be defined as situated. deliberate, learner directed,
activity-oriented efforts to seek divergent solutions to authentic problems
through multiple interactions amongst problem-solver, tools and other
resources. Types of Problem Solving Activities Identification- making observations, posing questions (authenticity/engagement)

Exploration-examining resources, planning investigations, utilizing tools in the process (questioning)

Reflection/Negotiation-justifying and defending, revising ideas and theories (active/ongoing assessment)

Presentation Communication- communicating the results (collaboration and feedback)

Reconstruction- proposing answers, explanations and predictions (internalization) Examples How to Assess Problem Solving Fostering Problem Solving Skills in the classroom Students learn better and think more critically in a "safe environment" (Torrance, 1987)
These environments are settings in which students do not feel threatened, but free to express different opinions and ideas.
Students do not learn as effectively with authoritarian command in the classroom, as it lacks flexibility, uniqueness and elaboration, three essential factors of intellectual growth. An effective way of assessing problem solving is through the use of Document Problem Solutions (Angelo and Cross, 1993).
1.) Select example problems from prior formal assessments and determine the amount of time needed to solve them.
2.) Solve and revise them to make sure they're not taking up too much class time. Brevity and conciseness are key.
3.) Develop clear-cut objectives ahead of the task specifically indicating what you want students to know. Understand that students will likely need more time than you or your colleagues to solve a certain problem.
4.) Assure your students beforehand that this is not a graded task. Make it clear that you are just as interested in seeing how they approach a complex problem as coming up with a correct solution. In the classroom the students must be asked questions in which they are both able to create a solution for and are just beyond their current reach of understanding. These questions need not have an absolute answer, but by creating these questions for the students, they are able to make meaningful connections to thier lives, as well as give them the ablitity to research solutions to answer relevant problems. Students must be given specific expectations for the work they create in the classroom. For these non-traditional projects, students need to be aware of what they are going to be graded on, as well as what attributes their project needs to include to recive that grade. In the cases of Problem Solving, Creativity and Critical Thinking, students will rarely have the same product, but by providing rubrics each student can achieve high quality work.
A good example of implementing these skills in the classroom would be through
the use of a digital documentary. In this work, students not only use their creative skills to
produce a new product, but they also allow for students to solve problems, and think about
the world in critical and different ways. These assessments give students a chance to
voice their thoughts and share them with their classmates, their families and the rest of their community.
Example: Reflection In order to understand the growth students endure throughout the creative, critical thinking, and problem sloving processes, they must reflect on the processes that they go through. This measures the progression of the student's growth and can more acuratley show the effort that the students used. Inquiry Learning Non-Example In having students develop their own hypotheses and research a topic of their choosing, they are led to think critically and creatively, and develop problem solving skills. By guiding students in their research and helping them to make connections between what they learn in school and real life, teachers can facilitate this process Connections to Theory
Vygotsky and Socio-Cultural Constructivism Bruner Authentic Assessment Spiral Curriculum Situated Cognition Vygotsky believed that knowledge was relative, and dependent upon culture, just as problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are judged within a specific cultural context.
Learning = Internalization of a culture’s psychological tools and signs (Bailey, 2011)
Teachers in a social constructivist classroom are expected to help their students accomplish tasks just above their current skill level through use of scaffolding.
In using activities that ask students to solve problems and think creatively and critically, teachers also help students to advance their ZPD. By solving problems using critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, students are able to present their ideas in different ways. If the students cannot yet grasp the material in the symbolic form, these students could express their ideas in the iconic or enactive mode. Students can still use higher order thinking skills through the mode associated with their current level. Brain Teasers Marie, Claude, and Jean are in a competition. Here are their results:
1.The youngest person received the least points.
2.Claude got half of the points of the eldest.
3.Jean received as many points as both others combined.
Who is the eldest? Logic Puzzles A student saying, "Just give me the answer." Nonexample Emphasizes authentic assessment, which can be used to assess critical thinking abilities, problem solving skills, and creativity.

Involves problem based learning, which requires problem solving, critical thinking, and even creativity (Bailey, 2011).

Knowing how to interact and participate in the various communities to which we belong plays a crucial role in the development of the skills for reasoning, thinking, and problem solving, these skills are useful for critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity (Bailey, 2011).

Knowledge is ways of thinking and acting that solve problems and get things done in a specific community, and this uses critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity (Bailey, 2011). Reference List Alenizi, M. (2008). Assessment of Creativity in Education. Online Submission, Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques - A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Beghetto, R. A. (2005). Does Assessment Kill Student Creativity?. Educational Forum, The, 69(2), 254-263. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Brookfield, S. D. (1997). Assessing critical thinking. New Directions forAdult & Continuing Education, (75), 17. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Harrold, R.L. (1993). Problem Solving Skills. Retreived 26 April 2011 from
Kim, M. C., & Hannafin, M. J. (2011). Scaffolding Problem Solving in Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments (TELEs): Bridging Research and Theory with Practice. Computers & Education, 56(2), 403-417. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Treffinger, D. J., Young, G. C., Selby, E. C., Shepardson, C., & National Research Center on the Gifted and, T. (2002). Assessing Creativity: A Guide for Educators. National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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