Evaluating Thinking Aptitude

This article offers some questions that assess quality of thinking.
Table of contents

Evaluating Thinking Aptitude

ASCDBrought to you by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Are you a good thinker - or a poor one? Take a look at the general traits associated with each category and assess yourself. (Remember, a good thinker is willing to be critical about herself!)

The Good Thinker

  • Welcomes problematic situations and is tolerant of ambiguity.
  • Is sufficiently self-critical; looks for alternate possibilities and goals; seeks evidence on both sides.
  • Is reflective and deliberate; searches extensively when appropriate.
  • Believes in the value of rationality and that thinking can be effective.

The Poor Thinker

  • Searches for certainty and is intolerant of ambiguity.
  • Is not self-critical and is satisfied with first attempts.
  • Is impulsive, gives up prematurely, and is overconfident of the correctness of initial ideas.
  • Overvalues intuition, denigrates rationality; believes that thinking won't help.

Source: Developing Minds Volume 1: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking, edited by Arthur L. Costa. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. 1991