Measuring Critical Thinking in Reacting to the Past




critical thinking, Reacting to the Past, CAT, role-playing games, assessment


Reacting to the Past is a popular pedagogy in the history classroom. Practitioners frequently contend that it supports students' critical thinking. This paper uses the Critical thinking Assessment Test (CAT) to measure students' critical thinking development as a result of playing two role-playing games. In addition, students completed two surveys to gather supplemental information. This study finds that Reacting does lead to improved critical thinking scores, but not evenly across subskills. This finding suggests that researchers should more clearly define critical thinking in order to evaluate Reacting's value as an intervention. The study also finds that student self-report is not a reliable means of measuring critical thinking gains and encourages further use of objective, validated assessment tools.


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How to Cite

Ludolph, Patrick. 2023. “Measuring Critical Thinking in Reacting to the Past”. Teaching History: A Journal of Methods 48 (1):91-105.

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