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ERIC Number: EJ831067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
Experimental Study of Teaching Critical Thinking in Civic Education in Taiwanese Junior High School
Yang, Shu Ching; Chung, Tung-Yu
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v79 n1 p29-55 Mar 2009
Background: To effectively respond to the need for greater CT (critical thinking) in the classroom, this study examines the effects of cultivating CT skills within civic education to maximize its potential. Despite realizing the importance of CT in education, schools do not tend to apply it. Furthermore, since students frequently do not raise questions or otherwise think critically, CT modules are incorporated into civic learning to encourage students to question facts, interpret and analyse evidence, make reasoned inferences regarding events, and independently develop informed opinions. These skills are fundamental to cultivating an informed and humane citizenry. Aims: This investigation examines how teaching critical thinking in civic education affects the CT skills and disposition of junior high school students. Sample: The participants were two classes of eighth grade students in southern Taiwan, and were distributed into experimental and control groups. Each group comprised 34 students, with the experimental group containing 16 boys and 18 girls and the control group containing 18 boys and 16 girls. Methods: The teaching experiment in this study was initiated and performed using equivalent pre-test and post-test group design. During the 10-week experiment, the experimental group was taught using CT instruction in civic education, while the control group was not taught with any CT programme. The data analysis included: quantitative statistics of the two main sets of instruments for measuring the CT ability and disposition of experimental treatment, qualitative analysis of learning sheets, and surveys of student perceptions of instruction in CT. Results and conclusions: Statistical analysis showed that the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group on the scales of CT skill and disposition, but did not perform well on certain subscales (e.g. recognition of assumptions and deductions, truth-seeking, analyticity, and inquisitiveness). Notably however, when triangulating with qualitative analysis of learner transcripts and surveys, learners attempted to perform various dimensions of CT skill and disposition to various degrees. Student surveys indicated that the CT programme fostered their active listening and respect for different ideas, and moreover they learned to tolerate divergent views and examine their ideas for possible bias. The programme boosted student learning interest and sense of accomplishment, and nurtured their teamwork/communicative skills. Furthermore, a few students experienced improvements in their speaking skills and courage as their confidence and ability to express themselves improved. Finally, limitations of this investigation and implications for further research are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan