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ERIC Number: ED516992
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 324
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-6022-4
Preparing Students for Critical-Thinking Applications on Standardized Tests
Hendricks, Jacquelyn Kaye
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Student performance on critical-thinking applications on standardized tests in a southwestern U.S. state has been low for several years. The purpose of this instrumental case study was to explore how one school district prepared students for critical-thinking applications on standardized tests. The study was informed by cognitivism and constructivism. Research questions were designed to investigate existing practices to foster students' critical-thinking applications, identify barriers to improving student performance, and seek recommendations for support. Purposeful sampling was used to select 13 teachers and 7 administrators from elementary through high school to participate. Data were collected from interviews, focus group discussions, documents, and archival records. A combination of a priori and open coding was used to support categorical aggregation for analysis and interpretation. Strategies used to teach critical-thinking skills (higher order questioning, active learning, cooperative learning, enrichment, modeling, real-life applications, and fostering affective domains) and enhance test-taking skills (requiring evidence, vocabulary building, standardized test-formatted assignments, listing what is known, and guided reading to analyze questions) were identified, yet best practices were not widely utilized across the district. Student-level and teacher-level barriers reflected issues identified across 30 years of research. This study contributes to social change by providing specific recommendations, including steps to improve ongoing professional development and increase resources and other supports for learners, for a districtwide focus on improving critical-thinking applications. Reforms may provide students with increased knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A