Assessing Singapore Students’ Creative and Critical Thinking – A Preliminary Study

Project Number
OER 38/12 NHK

Project Duration
January 2013 - August 2014


One of the key objectives of NIE's Core programme is to model the impact of pedagogical practices on cognitive and non-cognitive student outcomes, including 21st century competencies. The inclusion of measures of student creative and critical thinking (including cognitive thinking skills and motivational-affective thinking dispositions) is under consideration for Core 3. In this study, the research team will devise a set of standardized creative and critical thinking assessment instruments and conduct a pilot test to evaluate the feasibility of possible large-scale administration, e.g. in Core 3. The instruments will be administered to 2,100 students (1,050 each in P5 and S3) in 10 primary schools and 10 secondary schools (randomly sampled, and stratified by student SES). Based on the data collected, the research team will examine the psychometric properties of all instruments across grades (P5 and S3), to establish their validity for cross-sectional evaluation of student creative and critical thinking proficiencies. The research team will also attempt to establish some of the relationships between student creative and critical thinking skills, thinking dispositions and academic performance using structural equation models. The goal of this proposed study is well-aligned with MOE and OER's focus on assessing 21st century competencies which are crucial for student academic success and holistic development. The assessment of student creative and critical thinking is grounded on the needs of MOE to provide evidence-based policy formulation to help improve pedagogical practices in schools. Results from this study will be disseminated to NIE staff, MOE officers, and the international educational research community. Our findings should generate useful insights on some of the measurement issues in developing 21st century skills assessments, and provide NIE/MOE with the conceptual and methodological groundwork necessary for designing and implementing such large-scale assessment of student thinking. The findings from this study will also contribute to the international literature and provide a better theoretical understanding of the complex interrelationship between student creative and critical thinking skills, thinking dispositions, and academic constructs.

Funding Source

Related Projects