A Comparative Study on Critical Thinking Skills of ISEC and Non-ISEC Teachers in Institutions of Higher Education in the North of China

Liqin Tang, Erica Allen, John Matt


Viewed as one of the essential skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century, advancing student's critical thinking (CT) is a significant focus in higher education. This study utilized a non-experimental causal-comparative methodology with an explanatory mixed methods research design. The purpose of this study was to explore the status quo (current situation) of Chinese teachers’ (including ISEC and non-ISEC teachers) CT, as well as the perception, attitude, and practice of CT among them in institutions of higher education in the north of China. There were 102 participants took the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST). The results from the quantitative research showed the CT skills of Chinese teachers fell in the upper range of moderate level. There were no significant differences or relationships in CT skills for ISEC and non-ISEC teachers based on the variables: gender, professional rank, educational background, discipline taught, age, and years of teaching. Twelve participants were interviewed. The core phenomenon or theory emerged from the qualitative data: Chinese teachers advocated and supported CT instruction, but they had a varied and fragmented perception about CT. Although they held a positive attitude towards CT and CT instruction, they applied limited CT teaching strategies in their practice. All participants displayed a strong desire to participate in CT training programs. The findings from the qualitative paradigm supported, complemented, and deepened the findings from the quantitative paradigm.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v12i1.6438


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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