The April 2015 issue of CQ Researcher includes a question on Common Core: Does Common Core help students learn critical thinking?
My answer is: No, and I argue in part:
Accountability and standards intended to drive higher expectations of students — expectations labeled today as “critical thinking” or “higher-order thinking skills” — always come down to this: What is tested is what is taught. Because all states implementing Common Core have also adopted high- stakes testing, students will not be asked to think critically. They will be prepared to take tests.
In the context of standardized testing, higher-order thinking skills are not critical but are discrete skills that lend themselves to efficient teaching and testing formats. True critical thinking involves investigating a text — moving beyond decoding and comprehension to challenging claims and agendas and examining historical influences. Thus, it is difficult to test in multiple-choice formats….
Ironically, a critical reading of Common Core standards exposes a commitment to more of the same failed approach that masks yet more test prep as critical thinking.
While CQ Researcher is subscription-only, if you are university-based, you are likely to have access.