Volume 49 - Number 1 - 2008 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2008.01072

 

Abstract:

Some researchers have argued that science classrooms must move away from rote and passive applications of memorized concepts to the use of critical thinking skills as a primary component in facilitating learning. Yet few studies have examined the effect of overtly teaching for critical thinking on subsequent skill development. The purpose of this study was to assess if overtly teaching for critical thinking, as a teaching method, contributed to explaining increases in critical thinking skill scores of undergraduate students enrolled in agricultural biotechnology. One group of students were taught components of critical thinking and then asked to use the newly learned skills in class. A nonequivalent control group was instructed using the inquirybased teaching method. The data exhibited significance between groups giving evidence that overtly teaching for critical thinking improves students' critical thinking skills as opposed to using the inquiry-based teaching method. Adding gender to the model did not significantly increase the explanation of variance in critical thinking skills. Also, a weak positive correlation was found between the total critical thinking skill score and the total critical thinking disposition score.

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