Announcement of Ed.D. Dissertation Defense: Teachers Thinking Critically to Increase Critical Thinking Awareness and Intention

Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm

GSE 211

Critical thinking, the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, is a necessary skill for success in the 21st century. Yet, while employers recognize the need for employees to think critically, many students across the United States are graduating high school without these skills. One possible reason that critical thinking seems to be lacking in high school classrooms is that secondary educators do not know how to inherently infuse their lessons with critical thinking opportunities. Improving students’ ability to think critically requires educators who are not only aware of their critical thinking practices but are also intentional in how they encourage their students to think critically.
   Teachers can improve their critical thinking practices by participating in training that encourages the clear and purposeful infusion of critical thinking. However, studies outlining and examining how to improve teachers’ critical thinking practices are scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to create, pilot, and evaluate an 8-week professional development designed to increase secondary educators’ awareness and intention. Participants analyzed their practices and tried out new practices while working in a cross curricular group. The goal was that increased awareness and intention would lead to improved practices. Additionally, participants shared their perception of the intervention so that necessary improvements could be made in the future. Qualitative methods allowed participants' critical thinking knowledge, beliefs, and practices to be assessed before, during, and after the intervention. The researcher determined that the participants’ critical thinking awareness and intention were increased by the opportunities provided to the participants to think critically about critical thinking within their cross-curricular group.
   Keywords: critical thinking, professional development, cross-curricular professional development, awareness, and intention.


Who to contact:

Shannon Bretz