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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Dhaifallah Almatrodi
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: Effective Critical Thinking Teaching Strategies as Perceived by Program Evaluation Faculty
Dr. Brooks Applegate, Chair
Dr. Michael Scriven
Dr. Donna Talbot
Date: Monday, July 16, 2007 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
Critical thinking skills are important for effective evaluation. In order to increase critical thinking competency and to improve evaluation results, training programs for evaluators should incorporate critical thinking instruction.
This study focused on three areas of interest relative to critical thinking strategies, teaching practices, and assessments to measure critical thinking performance. Six research questions were identified to investigate the program evaluation faculty’s perceptions of effective critical thinking teaching strategies. They are: (1) how many critical thinking teaching strategies are faculty members aware of in teaching graduate students?; (2) how often program evaluation faculty utilize critical thinking teaching strategies in their teaching profession?; (3) which critical thinking teaching strategies are perceived to be effective by faculty members in program evaluation?; (4) what are the practical steps taken by program evaluation faculty in implementing the different kinds of critical thinking teaching strategies?; (5) what are the different outcomes intended by program evaluation faculty in implementing the different kinds of critical thinking teaching strategies?; (6) how do instructors assess the intended outcomes for their favorite “effective” critical thinking teaching strategies?
This study utilized a mixed method approach with a survey providing quantitative data and follow-up interviews providing qualitative information that further explained the collected data. Examination of participating faculty members’ course syllabi provided additional qualitative information.
Thirty-one program evaluation faculty members received the critical thinking teaching strategies survey. Analysis of the 24 returned questionnaires (a response rate of 77%) revealed that the teaching strategy, Instructor-Directed in Class Exercises in Critical Thinking, was known by 100% of the participants. Socratic Questioning was one of the top five strategies used by program evaluation faculty in their classrooms. Class Presentations of Small Group Projects was one of the top five strategies perceived as an effective critical thinking teaching strategy.
The findings from this study suggest that program evaluation educators have basic understanding of critical thinking and are implementing various critical thinking teaching strategies in their classrooms. However, the findings suggest the need to further develop the educators’ knowledge of critical thinking and their implementation in the classroom.