June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.424.1 - 26.424.8
Critical Thinking Is that going to be on the test?The current generation of college students are the “No Child Left Behind Act”. Educators at theuniversity level are seeing the unintended result of high stakes testing in student attitudes towardslearning and study.. The K– 12 educational system in the US focuses on mastering tests andaccruing points in a course, most often “teaching to the test.” These tests are standardized andcritical to the promotion and later acceptance into college. It is this activity that provides a basisfor student perception of how learning and assessment take place.When these students are challenged with higher order learning or problems that may have morethan one correct solution, they become uncomfortable and often retreat. The concept of not beinggiven direct instructions at every level of an activity or an all-encompassing rubric is perceived asbeing “unfair”. University educators are challenged support “test-trained” students in a settingthat moves the learning activities up to the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The educators arefurther challenged to encourage critical thinking and problem solving in the classroom to as mostemployers expect these students to graduate with this skills.A professor at a large Midwest land grant institution gave a senior level quality course an activitythat challenged the students to define critical thinking and demonstrate it. The results andpotential implications are discussed in this article. Eighty- two percent of the students werescheduled to graduate at the end of the semester. Fifty- seven percent did not adequately definecritical thinking or demonstrate it. Twenty percent of the students had received offers ofemployment two months before graduation. The lack of job offers could be reflective of acompetitive job market or a lack of readiness of the students for the workforce. We will developrecommendations and further research goals in an attempt to recommend ways to master criticalthinking and develop problem solving skills throughout the curriculum in an engineeringtechnology program.
Donaldson, E. S., & Lucietto, A. M. (2015, June), Critical Thinking: Is That Going to Be on the Test? Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23763
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