Differences in Critical Thinking Ability According to College Entry Pathway

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2018-06-01
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Perry, Dustin
Paulsen, Thomas
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Retallick, Michael
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

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The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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1989–present

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The purpose of this study was to determine if entry pathway—direct from high school versus transfer from community college—influenced the critical thinking abilities of agricultural education students. Seventyfive senior-level agriculture undergraduate students completed a critical thinking assessment test. Although students entering the four-year university directly from high school had statistically significant higher ACT scores and semester GPA’s (which are known predictors of critical thinking ability), there were no statistically significant differences in critical thinking abilities between the two groups. When comparing students’ performance to national norms, regardless of entry pathway, students scored statistically lower than national norm data in the skill areas of identifying additional information needed to evaluate a hypothesis and providing relevant interpretations for a specific set of results. Further, agricultural education transfer students were shown to have a greater ability to think creatively than students who entered the four-year university directly from high school. Recognizing the importance of creative thinking to student success and overall critical thinking skill, curriculum and instructional development within agricultural education should focus on intentionally integrating creative and critical thinking.

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This article is published as Perry, Dustin K., Thomas H. Paulsen, and Michael S. Retallick. "Differences in Critical Thinking Ability According to College Entry Pathway." NACTA Journal 62, no. 2 (2018): 115-121. Posted with permission.

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Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018
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