Michael Shayer and Philip Adey developed an approach to education, “Cognitive Acceleration (CA),” that stimulates development of reasoning ability.



COGNITIVE ACCELERATION RESOURCES recommended for high school and college science teachers by Nathan Moore, Assoc. Professor of Physics at Winona State University, in 2013:


1)  Download Shayer and Adey’s Curriculum Analysis Taxonomies of reasoning at

15 scientific and mathematical skills in Piagetian categories, mapping to the concrete/transitional/formal reasoning progression.

     The two taxonomies are: (a) psychological characteristics of children's thinking, such as use of models, types of categorization, relationships, and investigation style, (b) children's responses to problem types: conservation, control of variables, proportionality, probabilistic thinking, correlational reasoning, mathematical operations, measurement skills, etc.

     The Curriculum Analysis Taxonomies (CAT) are included in training materials for Thinking Science (CASE). A month before he passed away (in January, 2013), Philip Adey gave Nathan Moore permission to distribute the taxonomy freely. “Spread the CAT as widely as you like!” he said in an e-mail. CAT is published in Shayer and Adey’s outstanding book, “Towards a Science of Science Teaching,” (out of print, but available used).


2) This 5-page overview & references by Nathan Moore (2013):


3)  An excellent summary of Shayer & Adey’s work:  the 20-page book chapter, The Effects of Cognitive Acceleration – and speculation about causes of these effects, by Philip Adey and Michael Shayer, King's College, London (2011). 

The authors describe three core principles of cognitive acceleration: cognitive conflict, social construction of knowledge, and metacognition.


4) Nathan Moore uses Cognitive Acceleration materials in his course for pre-service teachers at Winona State University. His results are summarized in Using Cognitive Acceleration Materials to Develop Pre-Service Teachers’ Reasoning and Pedagogical Expertise (2012), by Nathan Moore, Jacqueline O'Donnell, and Dennis Poirier.  Download at


5) Read about John Deming’s work in student reasoning ability in high school chemistry at

His Frameworks for Inquiry program has success in high school, & in college chemistry with underprepared students. Download an instructional unit for inspection: (Click on materials). Nathan Moore wrote, “Cracolicie and Deming were very intentional about mapping the chemistry content to reasoning abilities that the CTSR measures.  I've used the materials with freshman college students and found them to be quite effective.”



MORE RESOURCES on Cognitive Acceleration in Science (CASE):


Download articles at the Cognitive Acceleration website:


CASE: Questions and answers; weblinks: Improving learning through cognitive intervention.pdf


Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE)


CASE’s influence on gains in thinking skills: examples (Winona State University teacher training; high schools & lower grades)


Shayer-Adey CASE project (archived by the British Library Archiving Team)


The GTC website in general:



CLASSROOM TEST OF SCIENTIFIC REASONING (CTSR) by Anton Lawson, Emeritus Professor of Life Sciences at Arizona State University in 2013. See for versions & resources. As a start:


Request the CTSR at



Or download a password-protected version of the CTSR at either of these locations: in the section on assessments.

Ask for the password to open it.


See graphs of national norms at each grade  (7 to 12) for the CTSR at

or in Jacqueline O’Donnell’s Master’s thesis, which you can download at in the section on assessments.


Submit your students’ CTSR data at

or  at