Future Directions This study showed that writing affects student critical thinking skill in a nonmajors biology course, but the results have generated more questions than have been answered. Initial work focused on how the recursive and reflective nature of the writing process contributes to student learning Applebee, ; Langer and Applebee, , ; Ackerman, Students completed the prescriptive lab activities during the first hour, and then each student group relocated to an assigned computer lab in the same building and worked around a common computer terminal to draft a collective response to the weekly thought question. A comparison of initial essays indicated that students improved Once students have written a few entries, pose questions for the students to work through. In his review, Daempfle identified nine empirical studies that generally support the hypothesis that students who experience writing and other nontraditional teaching methods have higher reasoning skills than students who experience traditional science instruction.

A Human Constructivist View. Description of the Writing Treatment On the first day of lecture, students in the writing treatment group were told that their laboratory performance would be evaluated using collaborative essays instead of traditional quizzes. The reading-science learning-writing connection: Teaching Science for Understanding: Although critical thinking gains were influenced by writing, they did not appear to be affected by gender, ethnicity, class standing, or age.

Taking a slightly different tack, Steglich informally assessed student attitudes in nonmajors biology courses, and noted that writing iurfiss positive changes in student attitudes toward biology.

Knowing, Learning, and Writing Patterns in Students’ Understanding of Academic Work by Joanne Gainen Kurfiss Book 1 edition published in in English and held by 2 Stategies member libraries worldwide The paper describes four major patterns that emerge in studies of college student intellectual development.

By focusing enocurage instructional efforts that develop critical thinking skills, it may be possible to increase student performance while satisfying national stakeholder calls for educational improvement and increased ability to solve problems as engaged and productive citizens.

Teaching Critical Thinking

National science organizations have supported this trend with recommendations to improve the advanced thinking skills that support scientific literacy American Association for Higher Education, ; National Research Council, ; National Science Foundation, Kurfiss, Joanne Gainen Overview.

Research Findings and Recommendations. The problem addressed by this study was to discover whether writing could improve student critical thinking performance in general education biology courses. Critical thinking by Joanne Gainen Kurfiss Book 1 edition published in in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide.


Bradley Kincaid, Monitoring Editor. National Science Education Standards. In contrast, nonwriting faculty similarly wanted their students to think better but were convinced that traditional methods would be more effective, and so remained closed to change. Those sections that experienced the writing treatment completed the prescriptive lab exercises in the first hour and engaged in writing during the second hour of the lab.

A writing assignment that changes attitudes in biology classes.

Teaching Critical Thinking | Graduate Connections | Nebraska

Results indicated that students from the writing group significantly outperformed their nonwriting peers in both total critical thinking skill and the component critical thinking skills of analysis and inference.

A brief overview of the writing assignments was included in associated course syllabi. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Writing has been widely used as a tool for communicating ideas, but less is known about how writing can improve the thinking process itself Rivard, ; Klein, A range of sample essays from poor to high quality was used to calibrate graduate assistant scoring and ensure consistency between assistants from different laboratory sections within the writing group.

Kurfiss, Joanne Gainen

atrategies More specifically, thinkimg students begin to shape their thoughts at the point of construction and continually analyze, review, and clarify meaning through the processes of cgitical and revision, they necessarily engage and apply analysis and inference skills Klein, ; Hand and Prain, Teaching Science for Understanding: This definition implies that critical thinking is an intentional, self-regulated process that provides a mechanism for solving problems and making decisions based on reasoning and logic, which is particularly useful when dealing with issues of national and global significance.

Class standing and age critocal used to indicate maturation related to time in college and chronological age, respectively. In their work on integrated biology and English, Taylor and Sobota discussed several problem areas that affected both biology and English students, including anxiety and frustration associated with writing, difficulty expressing thoughts clearly and succinctly, and a tendency to have strong negative responses to writing critique.


Total critical thinking skill as well as analysis, inference, and evaluation component critical thinking skills Facione, c were determined for each CCTST administration and compared across the writing and nonwriting groups.

The fact that prior critical thinking skill also had a large effect on critical thinking performance in this study increases the generalizability of the observation and underscores its importance. Weekly performance on final revised essays was also compared to determine how student final submissions changed over time. The variable that had the largest impact on critical thinking performance gains was prior critical thinking skill.

In their longitudinal study of behavioral disposition toward critical thinking, Giancarlo and Facione discovered that undergraduate critical thinking disposition changed significantly after two years.

Kurfiss, Joanne Gainen [WorldCat Identities]

Daempfle justified his conclusions by systematically describing the methodological inconsistencies for each study. Coincidentally, student content knowledge did not differ significantly between the treatment and control sections, indicating that development of thinking skill did not occur at the expense of content knowledge Ebert-May tp al.

How do you help students learn how to think like an expert in the field? The document notes the relative rarity of the two more advanced positions among college undergraduates and the danger implicit in “commitment” assignments in encouraging premature solidification of student opinions.

kurfiss strategies to encourage critical thinking

Changes are indicated using raw scores from CCTST pre- and posttests for total critical thinking skill A as well as analysis Binference Cand evaluation D component critical thinking skills. Test of everyday reasoning. These lower-level activities are referred to as declarative knowledgeone of the three types of encourafe according to Joanne G.

kurfiss strategies to encourage critical thinking

Specifically, writing students significantly improved their analysis and inference skills whereas nonwriting students did not. Additional studies that investigate student prior critical thinking skill and instructor variables are also necessary.