Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Education

First Advisor

Brooke Whitworth

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Critical thinking is an increasingly important skill in our society and should be cultivated through education. Therefore, the curricula used in our schools should support students in developing critical thinking skills. This study aims to understand what aspects of curricula promote critical thinking, how to measure it, and whether or not current curricula meet these standards. After reviewing the literature, elements of curricula were identified as beneficial in promoting critical thinking. In teacher curricula materials, these are educative features such as identifying misconceptions, explanations of how to use formative assessment, and explanations of pedagogy. In student curricula materials, these educative features are language, DOK levels, and the problems and questions asked. These features were used to design a rubric and overall analysis to measure the potential for critical thinking within curricula. These tools were used to evaluate 3 curricula. Most of the materials did not support critical thinking. The identified elements of critical thinking support are not present in many curricula materials being used in schools today. Additional work is needed to ensure critical thinking is present in curricula if it is a skill we value for our students. In addition, future research will need to continue examining how we measure critical thinking in curricula and our classrooms.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, October 16, 2021

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