Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development suggests that middle schools can vastly improve their curriculum by teaching adolescents to think critically (Carnegie, 1989). One way to teach students to think critically is to let them explore their own thoughts through the writing process. Kurfiss (1985) states that a student's ability to think critically is most likely to develop when prior knowledge and thinking skills are intertwined. For more than a decade, educators have utilized writing as a tool to help students learn in the classroom. Maimon (1982) suggests that writing should be an integral part of the learning process in all courses; for as children learn language, they learn to think. Some educators feel that "writing is a tool that enables people in every discipline to wrestle with facts and ideas" (Zinsser, 1988, p. 49). Research has shown a relationship between writing and critical thinking. The purpose of this study is to provide an operational definition of critical thinking and to suggest ways writing can promote critical thinking in the classroom.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Greg P. Stefanich


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