Logical Reasoning 4. How to Assess It!
So far, we’ve explored the importance of explicitly teaching the concept and attributes of logical reasoning as an aptitude that innovators use in the convergent (focused) stages of creative problem solving (Teaching Tip 1). We’ve seen how we can make it an instructional goal that focuses students on long-term aims to develop their own logical reasoning (Teaching Tip 2). We explored concept attainment, one strategy we can use to apply learners’ logical reasoning in the context of our curriculum (Teaching Tip 3).
Now, let’s see how we can assess logical reasoning.
A new question in the assessment conversation today is, “What does it look like when students are learning higher order thinking processes such as logical reasoning? What are the stages of development? How can we assess their growth over time?
I’ve attempted to answer these questions by explicitly defining these higher order processes, which I call the “aptitudes of innovators.” Next, I delineated each aptitude’s broad stages of development from emerging, progressing to advancing. The result is the Talent Aptitude Learning Progressions. There are two versions of these, one designed for teacher formative feedback, and one for student self-assessment.
The breakthrough advantage of the Talent Aptitude Learning Progressions is the shared understandings about how we define aptitudes such as curiosity or logical reasoning and what accelerating levels of performance look like. This consistent vision unites classrooms, grade levels, schools, and districts.
Note how the student versions of the Talent Aptitude Learning Progressions are written as statements of ability, focusing on strengths rather than deficits, while at the same time providing a direction for growth.
Students can become adept at self-assessment with some guidance and practice. As one teacher reported, “Students used the rubrics to self-assess their progress and were able to explain why they chose the levels of emerging, progressing, or advancing in each talent aptitude.”
You can get the Talent Aptitude Learning Progressions, teacher and student versions for all the aptitudes of STEM and humanities innovators in Teach to Develop Talent: How to Motivate and Engage Tomorrows Innovators Today. Chapter 7. Assess the Aptitudes of Innovators