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The task of analysing and interpreting data collected through classroom observations and interviews in order to obtain insights into the children’s thinking processes and skills can be useful but methodologically challenging. Cognitive task analysis (CTA) has long been used in cognitive science to seek out information about knowledge, thought processes, decision-making, and problem-solving strategies that underlie observable task performance in adult experts and adult learners. The adoption of a CTA approach in this study to research and analyse children’s thinking competence in open-ended and ill-structured tasks led to the use of informal conversations to collect data and the development of a tool called a cognitive process map to facilitate analysis. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how data on young children’s cognitive processes, domain knowledge, and thinking skills can be elicited and analysed through CTA in the context of a classroom. The CTA approach discussed in this paper could contribute to both research methodology and educational assessment methods.

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