ERIC Number: ED434016
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Improving Critical Thinking Skills in Secondary Math and Social Studies Classes.
Durr, Catrina R.; Lahart, Therese E.; Maas, Renee M.
This report describes a program for developing and improving critical thinking skills in adolescents in order to prepare them for life-long learning. The targeted population consisted of high school math and social studies students from two middle-class communities located in northern Illinois. The students' lack of critical thinking skills was documented through data collected from teacher, student, and parent surveys, and the Cornell Critical Thinking Test - Level X. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that teachers believed that they taught critical thinking skills to their students. Likewise, students indicated that they, too, felt that they were asked to think critically in their classes. However, data from the Cornell Critical Thinking Test indicated shortcomings in the students' ability to think critically. A review of current literature indicated that many teachers are not properly trained to teach and assess critical thinking, even though they believe they are. A review of solution strategies suggested by noted experts in the field of critical thinking, combined with an analysis of the problem setting, resulted in the selection of materials, language, and learning activities that stimulated the students' critical thinking habits in both mathematics and social studies. Post intervention data indicated an increase in student use of the targeted critical thinking skills as measured by the Cornell Critical Thinking Test - Level X. (Contains 35 references.) (Author/WRM)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight.