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Exploring the Black Box of Critical Thinking: an Investigation into the Development among Elementary School Students

Teders, M.T. (2019) Exploring the Black Box of Critical Thinking: an Investigation into the Development among Elementary School Students.

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Full Text Status:Access to this publication is restricted
Embargo date:1 April 2022
Abstract:CT is a highly valued skill in the current information age. Therefore, schools are expected to teach CT during education. However, to successfully integrate a skill in education, a deep understanding of the skill is necessary. The level of understanding of CT is currently a black box regarding elementary school students. Therefore, the aim of this study was to enhance knowledge and understanding of CT development among elementary school students. To conduct this study, first CT was conceptualized targeting children. Then, an assessment tool was developed, based on our conceptualization. Eighty-three students, divided over three grades: 1st grade (n = 32), 3rd grade (n = 26), and 6th grade (n = 25), participated in this cross-sectional mixed-methods study. The age of the students ranged between six and thirteen. Results show statistical differences of CT ability during elementary education. Findings show that 1st graders were able to solve/start reasoning in a critical way, and employ some CT skills when solving cases, whereas 6th graders were able to use a wide variety of CT skills. More qualitative analyses revealed that differences arose concerning the used lines of reasoning of the students. The findings of this study indicate development in CT during elementary education and this knowledge can be used for the development of effective CT instruction for elementary education.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology, 80 pedagogy, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Keywords:Critical thinking, Elementary education, Reasoning, Mixed-methods, Development
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