Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OFDave Edgington, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction, presented on October, 2019, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.TITLE: A LOOK INTO STUDENT CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN THE SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY BACHLOR’S PROGRAM.MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. John McIntyre This research study used a mixed methods approach to determine whether students in the Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) Bachelor’s Program were being exposed to critical thinking and if their critical thinking skills were increasing. For the quantitative portion, students were given a pre and post-test using the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment. The qualitative portion of this study involved classroom observations and interviews. The study consisted of nine students in their senior year while attending three classes. Each of the classes was observed to help understand how three separate instructors were incorporating critical thinking into the classrooms. The quantitative findings did not show significant gains in critical thinking as a whole. The small sample group could be a factor for not finding significant gains. Observations of the classes showed that two of the three classes were being taught with rote memorization. The third class attempted to incorporate Problem Based Learning (PBL) techniques. Through student interviews I noticed that the students seemed to prefer the rote memorization classes. This could stem from their lack of PBL learning in the past. The findings of this study show that current EET students are not being given the chance to increase their critical thinking skills.
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