Rubrics for Examining Historical Thinking Skills in High School World History Activities and Student Work: Construct Validity Evidence from the Literature

Hardy, Angela
Iwatani, Emi
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Digital Promise
Digital Promise sought to create and validate historical thinking skills rubrics for use in its evaluation of Gates Ventures’ World History Project (WHP) curriculum. Adopting a principled assessment development approach called Evidence Centered Design (Mislevy et al., 2003), the Digital Promise team began by conducting an academic literature review. In this paper, we elaborate on how the literature on history education and historical thinking skills informed rubric design, including details of what it says about: how historical thinking skills have been defined in the literature; what dimensions of historical thinking used in national frameworks and standards; convergences of concepts across multiple frameworks and standards, and evidence on the progression of historical thinking skills. The results of this literature review led to the creation of two sets of historical thinking skills rubrics, one for evaluating teacher-assigned activities, and another for evaluating the student work those activities produced (presented in Iwatani, Hardy, Means, & Seylar, 2021 with additional validity evidence described in Iwatani, Means, Seylar, & Hardy, 2021).
rubric , world history , social studies , historical thinking skills , construct validity