Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



The development of rich, reliable, and robust measures of the composition, structure, and stability of student thinking about core scientific ideas (such as natural selection) remains a complex challenge facing science educators. In their recent article (Nehm & Schonfeld 2008), the authors explored the strengths, weaknesses, and insights provided by a detailed exploration of three commonly used measures of student thinking about natural selection in a large sample of underrepresented minority students. One of their core findings was that all of the tools they studied--including the CINS--have strengths and weaknesses that must be carefully taken into consideration by those who employ, interpret, and act upon their outcomes. In this article, the authors offer their reply to Anderson, Fisher, and Smith's (AFS) (2010) article regarding the development and evaluation of the CINS. The authors view Anderson, Fisher, and Smith's defense of the CINS as sacrosanct to be antithetical to the spirit and reality of instrument development, evaluation, improvement.


This work was originally published in Journal of Research in Science and Technology, available at doi:10.1002/tea.20330



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.