The role of innovative teaching methodology and learning styles on critical thinking

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to determine the role of innovative teaching methodology on critical thinking skills (Research Question 1) and the interaction between students' learning styles and teaching methodology on critical thinking (Research Question 2). An undergraduate Humanities course was used based on the liberal arts content and the relationship, according to the literature, between a liberal arts curriculum and the fostering of critical thinking skills. Two sections of Humanities 1020 at Miami-Dade Community College were identified for the study. The total number of subjects was 79 and both sections were taught by the same instructor. Out of several humanities sections offered, one section was randomly assigned and became the experimental or innovative group and the other section became the comparison or traditional group. Independent variables were the teaching methodology and the learning styles and the dependent variable was critical thinking.The research design consisted of a four by two factorial analysis where the four levels of the assigned variable represented each of the learning styles and the two levels of the active independent variable represented the teaching methodologies. The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal instrument was used to measure the level of critical thinking skills from pre- to post-test using two sample t-tests and analyses of covariance; final grades and teacher evaluations were also compared. The Gregorc Style Delineator was used to assess students' learning styles during the first week of the term. Demographic characteristics were collected to provide further description of the population.Findings revealed no significant difference between the innovative and traditional methodology groups on critical thinking skills at the.05 level. The number of students completing the Gregorc Style Delineator were not adequate for statistical analysis. Given the low number of respondents, no conclusions could be drawn from this study.


Education, Community College; Education, Tests and Measurements; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Social Sciences; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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