ERIC Number: ED340415
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep-19
Barrier to Success: Community College Students Critical Thinking Skills.
Pearson, Charlene V.
In 1991, a study was conducted using the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (CTA) to determine how well students at Rancho Santiago College (RSC), a large, multicultural community institution in Santa Ana, California, demonstrated critical thinking abilities. Written at the ninth grade reading level, the CTA attempts to assess an individual's abilities in the areas of inference, recognition of assumptions, deduction, interpretation, and evaluation of arguments. A sample of 470 students took the CTA, and scores were analyzed in terms of sex, age, ethnicity, educational level, college units, educational goals, and courses and prerequisites taken. Study findings included the following: (1) 61% of the RSC students scored below the 50th percentile, including 79% of the ethnic minorities in the sample and 41% of the whites; (2) older students scored significantly higher than younger students; (3) 91% of the students with high school diplomas from foreign countries and 86% of the students without a high school diploma scored below the 50th percentile; and (6) course comparisons indicated that students who took honors speech and communications scored higher than did students in such courses as criminal justice, counseling, and political science. Overall, the RSC study group fell below the norms of other college students from similar institutions. (JMC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rancho Santiago Community Coll., Santa Ana, CA.