Theses and Dissertations @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Critical thinking skills have received considerable attention during the past decade as test scores measuring higher-order thinking abilities have declined (Benderson, 1984). It has been advocated that the responsibility for the development of these skills lies with the classroom teacher (Glickman, 1987; Beyer, 1983; Costa, 1981). Brandt (1984) purports that all teachers need to understand cognitive processes and ways to strengthen them. Yet, many teachers have not had the benefit of "systematic cognitive development in their own schooling; they are unprepared to foster cognitive skills in their own students" (Martin, 1984, p. 68). If thinking skills are a desired outcome of our educational system, the development of those skills must start with those who teach them (Sternberg, 1987). Preservice teachers must be taught to create learning environments supportive of thinking skills (Beyer, 1983). They need to become familiar with strategies that elicit and model these thinking behaviors (Costa, 1981). Information processing models are effective because they utilize thinking operations like comparing, contrasting, and verifying to build on cognitive structures (Strong, Silver, & Hanson, 1985; Marzano & Arredondo, 1986). Joyce (1985) suggests that opportunities must be provided to study the theory of information processing models, see them demonstrated, and practice them in learning laboratories. Microteaching providing direct practice with information processing models allows preservice teachers to acquire a repertoire of these thinking skills. Preservice teachers with similar experiences have been found to make more rational choices (Martin, 1984) and to increase elements of their own critical thinking abilities (Betres, 1971). This research investigated the effectiveness of a microteaching program upon the critical thinking skills of preservice teachers as measured by the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (Watson & Glaser, 1980a). A quasi-experimental approach using Design 15: The Recurrent Institutional Cycle Design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) was employed as the basic research design model. The differences of means of dependent samples were tested through the use of t tests of significance at the.05 level. Overall, no statistical significance was found in favor of the microteaching program. Further research is needed to develop effective programs to assist preservice teachers to become better critical thinkers. This development must provide a more explicit focus on critical thinking skills rather than to rely upon implicit approaches (Beyer, 1987). Test scores from research such as this need to be investigated to determine if patterns exist among the types of errors which occur most frequently by various teaching majors. Tests are also needed which will focus on actual critical thinking abilities without relying on multiple choice formats. Other areas of thinking, such as creative thinking, must also be researched to strengthen the development of those skills in the teacher education program.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Mary Nan Aldridge

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 99 pages)



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