CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Using Microcomputer Software To Remediate Critical Thinking Skills In Disadvantaged Students

Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education

Department

Center for Computer and Information Sciences

Abstract

This study was conducted to test the claim that some critical thinking software may facilitate the improvement of reasoning skills of a group of disadvantaged students. These students were participants in an Upward Bound project in Atlanta, Georgia. After an extensive search and review of numerous thinking and reasoning software programs, four promising programs were selected for a thorough evaluation. After several weeks it was perceived that one particular software package had revealed the qualities necessary for success in this project. The package chosen was Critical Thinking I & II by Compris, Inc. The major reason for its selection was that it employed many artificial intelligence features that the author felt would cause the students to question their own thinking in a friendly and non-threatening manner.

The subjects participating in this study were sixty randomly chosen tenth grade students. From this group, thirty students were randomly chosen to become the experimental group and received computer assisted instruction. The remaining thirty students became the control group and received traditional instruction. The instructional time line for the project was three months of Saturday sessions with forty-five minutes of instruction for each session. The only difference in the treatment of the two groups were the methods of instruction and the time and place each group met. The experimental group met in a computer laboratory at 8:45 a.m. each Saturday, while the control group met at 9:45 a.m. in a regular classroom adjacent to the computer laboratory. The author taught, monitored and collected data on both groups. Upon completion of the instructional period the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal form ZM was administered to each group under normal classroom conditions.

A t-test conducted on the posttest means showed a significance difference at the .05 level significance. This study employed an experimental posttest only design.

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