New Directions in Assessing Historical Thinking  book cover
1st Edition

New Directions in Assessing Historical Thinking

ISBN 9781138018273
Published March 4, 2015 by Routledge
284 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

New technologies have radically transformed our relationship to information in general and to little bits of information in particular. The assessment of history learning, which for a century has valued those little bits as the centerpiece of its practice, now faces not only an unprecedented glut but a disconnect with what is valued in history education. More complex processes—historical thinking, historical consciousness or historical sense making—demand more complex assessments. At the same time, advances in scholarship on assessment open up new possibilities.

For this volume, Kadriye Ercikan and Peter Seixas have assembled an international array of experts who have, collectively, moved the fields of history education and assessment forward. Their various approaches negotiate the sometimes-conflicting demands of theoretical sophistication, empirically demonstrated validity and practical efficiency. Key issues include articulating the cognitive goals of history education, the relationship between content and procedural knowledge, the impact of students’ language literacy on history assessments, and methods of validation in both large scale and classroom assessments. New Directions in Assessing Historical Thinking is a critical, research-oriented resource that will advance the conceptualization, design and validation of the next generation of history assessments.

Table of Contents



Contributor Biographies


Part I: Goals of History Education: Models of Historical Cognition and Learning

1 Historical Consciousness in Germany: Concept, Implementation, Assessment

Carlos Kölbl & Lisa Konrad

2 The Difficulty of Assessing Disciplinary Historical Reading

Abby Reisman

3 Heritage as a Resource for Enhancing and Assessing Historical Thinking: Reflections from the Netherlands

Carla van Boxtel, Maria Grever & Stephan Klein

4 Relating Historical Consciousness to Historical Thinking through Assessment

Catherine Duquette

Commentary 1 Into the Swampy Lowlands of Important Problems

Robert B. Bain



Part 2: Issues in Designing Assessments of Historical Thinking

5 Assessing for Learning in the History Classroom

Bruce VanSledright

6 Historical Thinking, Competencies and their Measurement: Challenges and Approaches

Andreas Körber & Johannes Meyer-Hamme

7 A Design Process for Assessing Historical Thinking: The Case of a One-Hour Test

Peter Seixas, Lindsay Gibson & Kadriye Ercikan

8 Material-based and Open-ended Writing Tasks for Assessing Narrative Competence among Students

Monika Waldis, Jan Hodel, Holger Thünemann, Meik Zülsdorf-Kersting, & Beatrice Ziegler

Commentary 2 Historical Thinking: In Search of Conceptual and Practical Guidance for the Design and Use of Assessments of Student Competence

Josh Radinsky, Susan R. Goldman, James W. Pellegrino




Part 3: Large-scale Assessment of Historical Thinking 

9 A Large-Scale Assessment of Historical Knowledge and Reasoning: NAEP U.S. History

Stephen Lazer

10 Assessing Historical Thinking in the Redesigned Advanced Placement United States History Course and Exam

Lawrence G. Charap

11 Historical Consciousness and Historical Thinking Reflected in Large-scale Assessment in Sweden

Per Eliasson, Fredrik Alvén, Cecilia Axelsson Yngvéus, & David Rosenlund

Commentary 3 Assessment of Historical Thinking in Practice

Susan M. Brookhart



Part 4: Validity of Score Interpretations

12 The Importance of Construct Validity Evidence in History Assessment: What is Often Overlooked or Misunderstood?

Pamela Kaliski, Kara Smith, & Kristen Huff

13 Cognitive Validity Evidence for Validating Assessments of Historical Thinking

Kadriye Ercikan, Peter Seixas, Juliette Lyons-Thomas, & Lindsay Gibson

14 Measuring Up?: Multiple-Choice Questions

Gabriel A. Reich

15 History Assessments of Thinking: An Investigation of Cognitive Validity

Mark Smith & Joel Breakstone

Commentary 4 The Validity of Historical Thinking Assessments: A Commentary

Denis Shemilt

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Kadriye Ercikan is Professor of Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Peter Seixas is Professor of History Education, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Canada.