This paper outlines and examines the use of an instrument called the Cognitive Holding Power Questionnaire (CHPQ) (Stevenson; 1986) to measure higher order thinking with primary age students engaging in design and technology learning activities. The CHPQ is a quantitative instrument that elicits responses from students on their perceptions about the influence the learning environment (teacher; materials; activities etc) is having on the kinds of thinking they are using during their learning. The instrument is suitable for large scale studies and provides powerful data to support the learning area. The paper outlines a study in which the instrument was used. However; the primary aim of the paper is to explore the utility and robustness of the instrument to provide a better understanding of the kinds of thinking that occurs in Design and Technology classrooms.
Keywords: Design & Technology; higher-order-thinking; quantitative research method; learning activities