Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Improving student critical thinking and perceptions of critical thinking through direct instruction in rhetorical analysis
by McGuire, Lauren A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2010, 152; 3408479
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the effect of direct instruction in rhetorical analysis on students' critical thinking abilities, including knowledge, skills, and dispositions. The researcher investigated student perceptions of the effectiveness of argument mapping; Thinker’s Guides, based on Paul’s model of critical thinking; and Socratic questioning. The explicit goals of the study were to promote critical thinking knowledge, skills, and dispositions and to determine improvement in student perceptions of critical thinking knowledge, skills, and dispositions. A mixed methodology teacher action approach was used in this one-group pretest-posttest design research study which consisted of a small sample size (N=15) and pertained to a 1-semester critical thinking college course that was taught by the researcher in a naturalistic setting. Changes in critical thinking were evaluated using the pretest and posttest scores on the California Critical Thinking Skills Test 2000 and the Pre- and Post-Critical Thinking Surveys. Data from the research findings indicated there were no significant differences between the pretest and posttest scores for induction, analysis, and evaluation; however, there was a slight difference between the pretest and posttest scores for inference and deduction with a negligible significance level of (p=0.2). Findings from the Pre- and Post-Critical Thinking Surveys indicated a 2.2 mean gain in critical thinking knowledge, a 1.8 mean gain in critical thinking skills, and a 1.8 mean gain in critical thinking dispositions. These data suggest that purposeful implementation of the above named interventions could strengthen students’ perceptions of critical thinking and of their own critical thinking abilities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilcox, Bonita
Commitee: Jacobs, Howard, McGlynn, Maureen
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Adult education
Keywords: Critical thinking, Direct instruction, Rhetorical analysis
Publication Number: 3408479
ISBN: 9781124046778
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