Measuring primary school teachers’ attitudes towards stimulating higher-order thinking (SHOT) in students: Development and validation of the SHOT questionnaire

Frances Wijnen*, Juliette Walma van der Molen, Joke Voogt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper describes the development and validation of a new instrument to measure primary school teachers’ attitudes towards stimulating higher-order thinking in students (SHOT questionnaire). It is believed that it is necessary to explicitly teach students to think, because it cannot be assumed that students will automatically become good thinkers. Therefore, teachers are expected to stimulate students to engage in higher-order thinking. However, we know little about teachers’ attitudes towards teaching practices that engage students in higher-order thinking. Therefore, we need a valid and reliable measurement instrument that can be used to measure teachers’ attitudes towards stimulating higher-order thinking (SHOT). Hence, we developed the SHOT questionnaire. Based on an earlier literature review, we identified four attitudinal factors that we aimed to measure with the SHOT questionnaire. In addition, we included a scale to measure teachers’ behaviour aimed at stimulating higher-order thinking. Results of the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with 659 pre- and in-service primary school teachers’ show that the requirements for construct validity were met. Furthermore, we found that in-service teachers, who are more positive about the relevance of stimulating higher-order thinking and their ability to do this, encourage students significantly more often to engage in higher-order thinking than pre-service teachers do.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100954
JournalThinking skills and creativity
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Attitude
  • Higher-order thinking
  • Instrument development
  • Primary school teachers
  • Validation

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