NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ797249
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0021-3667
Stand-Alone versus Integrated Critical Thinking Courses
Hatcher, Donald L.
Journal of General Education, v55 n3-4 p247-272 2006
For well over 25 years, critical thinking has been declared an educational ideal. However, though institutions are committed to teaching "critical thinking" (CT), there are numerous important questions that need careful treatment if this goal is to be met. First, the faculties must arrive at a shared understanding of what they mean by the phrase "critical thinking." This is because one's conception of CT will determine what courses or materials are included in the attempt to enhance students' CT skills. This in turn will lead to questions of pedagogy. That is, just how is it that these skills are best taught? Although the first of these questions is important, this article will focus on the second. Given recent assessment data, what sort of general approach is most effective for teaching CT? This author suggests that, given more recent, as well as substantial, studies, the data indicate that an integrated approach to teaching CT yields greater pre- to posttest gains on a variety of standardized CT tests than a typical stand-alone CT/informal logic course. This essay also includes data from a lengthy longitudinal study of freshman to senior gains in critical thinking abilities. These data also support the position that an integrated approach is to be preferred. The article will end by proposing a series of hypotheses that may account for the success of the integrated programs relative to stand-alone courses. (Contains 7 tables and 5 notes.)
Pennsylvania State University Press. 820 North University Drive, USB 1 Suite C, University Park, PA 16802. Tel: 800-326-9180; Tel: 814-865-1327; Fax: 814-863-1408; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A