Dr. Cathy Christensen

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Title The use of critical thinking skills in the elementary and high schools of the Omaha Public Schools
Author Christensen, Cathy Jo
School The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree EdD
Date 1993
Adviser Greene, Gordon
Pages 101
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Abstract The purpose for conducting this quantitative study was to identity the critical thinking skills inherent in specific teaching methods identified by selected elementary and high school teachers in the Omaha Public Schools. Specific characteristics of the randomly selected teachers that may determine the use of critical thinking skills in the classroom were also examined. The population in the survey consisted of two groups: elementary school teachers and secondary school teachers from the Omaha Public Schools. A researcher designed survey, 'Teaching Styles in the Omaha Public Schools,' was developed. The survey contained six items, with a total of forty questions designed to correlate with the six research questions. Four types of statistical analyses were used to analyze the data: descriptive statistics, t-tests, Spearman correlation, and one-way analysis of variance. The findings of the study were: (1) The elementary and high school teachers in the study reported using critical thinking skills in their teaching methods in the classroom to varying extents. (2) No significant difference was found in the frequency of reported use of critical thinking skills between the selected high school and elementary school teachers. (3) No significant relationship existed between teachers' frequency of reported use of critical thinking skills and their length of teaching experience. (4) No significant difference was found between the teachers' frequency of reported use of critical thinking skills and their education level. (5) A significant difference existed between the amount of time elementary and high school teachers reported spending on critical skills in the classroom setting. Elementary school teachers reported spending more time using critical thinking skills in the classroom setting than high school teachers. (6) No significant difference was found between elementary and high school teachers' perceptions of the critical thinking skills necessary for student achievement.
 
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