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ERIC Number: EJ1076485
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Do Active-Learning Strategies Improve Students' Critical Thinking?
Nelson, Larry P.; Crow, Mary L.
Higher Education Studies, v4 n2 p77-90 2014
Improving students' ability to recognize work-related problems and apply effective strategies and solutions to fundamental challenges in the field is at the crux of a good college preparation. This paper attempts to investigate if active-learning strategies improve students' critical thinking ability in this regard. Participants were pre-service teachers in physical education and athletic training education taking a teaching methods service-learning course. Findings showed significant improvement with critical thinking measures across both quasi experimental conditions. As a result, gains were largely attributed to the service-learning field component common to both conditions. Furthermore, academic tracking showed students pursuing a B.A. in physical education benefitted significantly more from the active-learning assessment than students pursuing a B.S. in athletic training. The paper also discusses how the active-learning sequence was a preferred method of instruction and how these strategies were purposeful with problematizing teaching situations and engaging students with course content. This paper may draw interest from educators who are research-minded and eager to apply critical thinking approaches in a learning environment.
Descriptors: Active Learning, Learning Strategies, Critical Thinking, Student Improvement, Preservice Teachers, Physical Education, Athletics, Teaching Methods, Methods Courses, Service Learning, Achievement Gains, Quasiexperimental Design, Bachelors Degrees, College Seniors, Research Universities, Vignettes, Pretests Posttests, Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A