ERIC Number: ED374729
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Is Differential Exposure to College Linked to the Development of Critical Thinking?
Pascarella, Ernest; And Others
This study, part of the National Study of Student Learning, investigated the influence of differential exposure to postsecondary education, particularly the impact of type of institution, number of credit hours, and other factors on gains in critical thinking skills. the sample was 2,092 first-year students attending 13 four-year and 4 two-year institutions from around the nation. The findings from the four-year college sample suggest that amount of exposure to postsecondary education, operationalized as number of semester hours taken, had a modest, positive effect on end-of-first-year critical thinking. Moreover, this effect persisted even in the presence of controls for precollege critical thinking skill and academic motivation, the average critical thinking of the first-year class at the institution attended, gender, race, age, work responsibilities, and types of courses taken during the first year of college. The findings for the two-year sample were also that level of exposure to postsecondary education had a significant, positive, linear effect on critical thinking at the end of the first year that persisted even in the presence of the same statistical controls. The two-year full-time college students derived the largest critical thinking benefits from their college exposure. (Contains 38 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Chicago. Coll. of Education.; National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.