Cognitive Style Inventory

Joseph Hill developed a scheme for evaluating styles of students and for oganizing schools on the basis of those styles. Hill's intent was for every course at the college to eventualy be taught through five methods; lecture, programmed learning, audiotape, videotape, and group seminars with peer tutors. Knowing the students' cognitive style would provide information for assigning students to thse methods and for matching them with teachers whose styles had been measured in terms of another set of variables.

The Cognitive Style Inventory (CSI) has not been published for sale. The process of utilizing the instrument to determine the individual's style is referred to as cognitive style mapping - the instrument produces a "map." Joseph Hill died before the theory was fully developed and implemented.

One version-the Cognitive Style Interest Inventory (CSIL)-consists of a self-report paper-and-pencil (or computerized) test. Other versions consists of 125 to 224 items and requiring one to 3 1/2 hour of administration time. Participants evaluate their strength of preference for a particular type of action, on a Likert scale of 3 or 5 points. Raw scores or percentages of raw scores are used to determine major, minor, and negligible strengths (Bonham, 1987).

Literature describing Hill's original theory are difficult to find and it is questionable how valuable the instrument-in any version-is without the original theory for support. As Bonham (1987) notes, of particular concern is the absence of any way to measure one of the four sciences forming cognitive styles. Bonham also raises the question of relevance of the educational sciences to much of adult education.

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    All contents copyright (C) 1995
    Peter L. Heineman
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