201707 Integrating critical thinking into the college curriculum: Statistical confirmation of effectiveness

Monday, November 9, 2009

Margaret Murray-Davis, PhD , Department of Health Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Dawn Larsen, PhD CHES , Department of Health Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
One of the main challenges for colleges and universities is the development of pedagogy encouraging critical thinking and assessment of critical thinking skills . These skills are particularly important in analyzing myriad issues presented in health classes. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research demonstrating effectiveness of critical thinking pedagogy. In particular, few studies on critical thinking among college students examine the impact of instructional strategies. Existing research examining the influence of instruction on critical thinking has focused on several different pedagogical models. Consequently, research is inconsistent concerning the efficacy of instructional techniques designed to enhance students' ability to think critically. This study contributes to the critical thinking research by examining the efficacy of Dr. Richard Paul's critical thinking model. Dr. Paul's work on critical thinking has been widely disseminated but lacks a body of empirical research demonstrating the model's ability to develop critical thinking skills. The purpose of the research was to determine if there were statistically significant differences in critical thinking skills between groups of students who had and had not been taught Paul's critical thinking model. Pre-and post-tests were administered to both the control and experimental group. The pre-test found no significant differences between the groups' baseline critical thinking skills. The post-test, (independent samples means) which measured the differences in critical thinking skills between the groups, demonstrated significant positive change in the experimental group. Clarifying the degree of effectiveness of Dr. Paul's critical thinking model is a pivotal contribution to developing pedagogy that encourages critical thinking skills.

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate ways to integrate Dr. Richard Paul's Critical Thinking Model into college curricula 2. Explain effectiveness of the model as indicated by assessment data

Keywords: Curricula, Teaching

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a tenured Associate Professor of Health Science at an accredited University and have been implementing and evaluating this model in my classroom for many years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.