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ERIC Number: EJ826036
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Learning to Improve: Using Writing to Increase Critical Thinking Performance in General Education Biology
Quitadamo, Ian J.; Kurtz, Martha J.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v6 n2 p140-154 Sum 2007
Increasingly, national stakeholders express concern that U.S. college graduates cannot adequately solve problems and think critically. As a set of cognitive abilities, critical thinking skills provide students with tangible academic, personal, and professional benefits that may ultimately address these concerns. As an instructional method, writing has long been perceived as a way to improve critical thinking. In the current study, the researchers compared critical thinking performance of students who experienced a laboratory writing treatment with those who experienced traditional quiz-based laboratory in a general education biology course. The effects of writing were determined within the context of multiple covariables. Results indicated that the writing group significantly improved critical thinking skills whereas the nonwriting group did not. Specifically, analysis and inference skills increased significantly in the writing group but not the nonwriting group. Writing students also showed greater gains in evaluation skills; however, these were not significant. In addition to writing, prior critical thinking skill and instructor significantly affected critical thinking performance, whereas other covariables such as gender, ethnicity, and age were not significant. With improved critical thinking skill, general education biology students will be better prepared to solve problems as engaged and productive citizens. (Contains 5 tables and 4 figures.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail: ascbinfo@ascb.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: California Critical Thinking Skills Test (College)