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Teacher training for critical thinking instruction via a computer simulation
DISSERTATION

, University of Virginia, United States

University of Virginia . Awarded

Abstract

The purposes of this study are: (a) to test the effectiveness of teacher training for critical-thinking instruction among preservice teachers via a computer simulation; (b) to explore the relationships among preservice teachers' training-involvement level, their critical-thinking dispositions, and their change in three indices for effective critical-thinking instruction; and (c) to suggest a model for effective training of preservice teachers in critical-thinking instruction.

Two types of hypotheses were proposed: those concerning training effectiveness and those concerning structural relationships among all the concerned variables. Seventy-five preservice teachers participated in this study, in which a computer simulation and three questionnaires were employed. The applied analyses included descriptive analyses, reliability analyses, factor analyses, Hotelling's T$\sp2$, MANCOVAs, ANCOVAs, repeated-measure MANOVAs, and Structural Equation Modeling.

In terms of training effectiveness, the training significantly improved the preservice teachers' effectiveness in critical-thinking instruction, enhanced their perceived professional knowledge about teaching critical thinking, and increased their use of positive teaching behavior during critical-thinking instruction. More specifically, the training yielded an improvement in the preservice teachers' content knowledge about critical thinking and an increase in their use of teaching behavior related to improving both critical-thinking dispositions and skills in their students.

As for structural relationships among the concerned variables, the major findings were as follows: (1) The preservice teachers' training-involvement level directly influenced their increase in perceived professional knowledge and in employment of positive teaching behavior, but indirectly influenced their enhancement of personal teaching efficacy related to critical thinking. (2) The relationship among perceived professional knowledge, personal teaching efficacy, and positive teaching behavior related to critical thinking was dynamic; personal teaching efficacy mediated professional knowledge and positive teaching behavior in critical-thinking instruction. (3) Training-involvement was a stronger predictor for the preservice teachers' improvement of critical-thinking instruction than were critical-thinking dispositions.

The study concluded that a computer simulation can be an effective tool for preservice teachers' training in critical-thinking instruction. Moreover, it suggests that simulation-based training in critical-thinking instruction can produce more lasting effects if the training improves teachers' efficacy as well as imparts skills and knowledge.

Citation

Yeh, Y.c. Teacher training for critical thinking instruction via a computer simulation. Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia. Retrieved October 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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