Observations on Processes of Assessment and Concerns about the Teaching of Analytical Thinking

Judith Puncochar,* School of Education, Leadership, and Professional Service, Northern Michigan University, USA

Don Faust, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Northern Michigan University, USA


Honing students’ analytical thinking skills could expose the uncertainty of our current knowledge and ambiguity of contexts in which university instructors teach. Four instructional strategies were posited to improve university teaching for analytical thinking: (1) implementation of three to five seconds of wait time, (2) providing students with practice for honing skills of observation and asking questions, (3) assessment of analytical thinking with instructor feedback, and (4) use of logic fundamentals in university teaching. Implementing logic fundamentals could increase the likelihood that students use analytical thinking to explore strengths and limitations of arguments ubiquitous throughout their personal, professional, and civic lives. Expanding the New Version of Bloom’s Taxonomy to include “Critical Thinking” and “Problem Solving” within the level of “Creating” is suggested to differentiate analytical thinking at the level of “Analyzing” as foundational to critical thinking at the level of “Creating”.

Keywords:  assessment, pedagogical philosophy, critical thinking, analytical thinking

*Corresponding author. Email: jpuncoch@nmu.edu