Publication Date



Critical thinking, Generic skills, Frameworks, Cognitive processes, Knowledge, Abstract reasoning, Decision making, Frameworks, Definitions, Primary secondary education


The development of critical thinking as an essential skill in 21st century learning is uncontested within educational and professional settings. The degree to which it is operationally defined, taught and assessed, however, remain at large. This incongruence complicates efforts to develop critical thinking in students, as well as devise intervention techniques and assessment tools. This framework has been developed to address the challenges associated with teaching and assessing critical thinking. While there are many definitions of the skill, as outlined in the first part of this document, few definitions provide a means to operationalise critical thinking in the classroom. The framework outlines critical thinking processes along prescribed strands and aspects informed by a sound evidentiary basis. The aspects contained within the framework are designed to provide foci for teaching and the basis of assessment.

Place of Publication

Camberwell, Australia


Australian Council for Educational Research