ERIC Number: ED402819
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Undergraduate Students' Development of Critical Thinking Skills: An Institutional and Disciplinary Analysis and Comparison with Academic Library Use and Other Measures. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
This study examined the influence of background characteristics, disciplinary differences, institutional context, academic library experiences, and the perceptions of the college environment on the estimated gains of critical thinking skills in undergraduate students (N=9,361). The study used data from a national, cross-sectional survey completed by undergraduate students during the academic year. Results of multiple regression analyses indicated that a student's perception of the college environment was the best predictor of a student's estimated gains in critical thinking skills. Students who perceived their college environment to be scholarly were more inclined to report greater gains in critical thinking skills. Student use of the academic library and background characteristics of students were not predictors of estimated gains in critical thinking skills. Students attending associate of arts institutions reported higher perceptions of increased critical thinking skills than students in research, comprehensive, and liberal arts schools. Additionally, students in the humanities reported lower estimated gains in critical thinking skills when compared with students majoring in the physical sciences, social sciences, business, and engineering. The findings suggest that students' background characteristics and the academic library do not have a great impact on developing the critical thinking skills of undergraduate students. (Contains 21 references.) (Author/PRW)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, College Environment, College Libraries, Critical Thinking, Educational Environment, Higher Education, Intellectual Development, Intellectual Disciplines, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Student Characteristics, Student Experience, Student School Relationship, Thinking Skills, Undergraduate Students
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.