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Abstract

The QEP that was implemented in this study focused on enhancing students’ critical thinking skills. A pretest/ posttest approach was used to assess students’ critical thinking progress in freshman level core English and Math courses. An intervention was performed involving intensive instruction and assignments relating to a set of reasoning strategies such as: analytical, analogical, inductive, deductive, and comparative reasoning, among others. When students performed well on assignments by applying the reasoning strategies, it was assumed that critical thinking occurred. However, pre/ posttest results in these classes were often disappointing, and seemed at times to suggest that freshmen are not very good critical thinkers. Whereas, when another critical thinking national assessment,the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) Exam was given during the sophomore to junior year, students performed very well. Thus, the hypothesis that critical thinking skills may be impacted by academic maturity began to emerge.

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