Thinking Like a Scientist in Elementary School
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This study evaluated how the critical thinking skills of young elementary school children can be enhanced through the Thinking Like a Scientist curriculum. Critical thinking skills were defined as the ability to utilize the scientific method and apply it to various scenarios encountered in real-world decisions. This approach is referred to as a domain-general teaching style, in which students are expected to transfer the skills learned in one area, as opposed to domain-specific, in which students are expected to retain specific facts and figures. The curriculum engages students in discussion and activities to help them understand how they can generalize the scientific method. Participants were a class of nineteen second graders (Mage=7.2 years, SD=0.67), ten females and nine males. The results showed improvement in student responses following the instruction with the curriculum, suggesting that the Thinking Like a Scientist curriculum was effective and that this type of program may be successful and replicable in other classrooms.
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Critical Thinking; Science education