The Effects of Subject-Based Critical Thinking Education in Mathematics on Students’ Critical Thinking Skills and Virtues

Betul ARISOY1, Birsel AYBEK2
1Ministry of National Education, Osmaniye, TURKEY.
2Cukurova University, Adana, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2021.92.6


Purpose: “Good thinking” has become very important in today’s world. A good thinker should have critical thinking skills as well as critical thinking virtues. Some researchers stated that teaching critical thinking within certain disciplines and subject areas would significantly contribute to the development of students as strong critical thinkers. Mathematics is one of the ways to improve thinking and it has many things in common with critical thinking. In this context, the aim of this study is to examine the effects of subject-based critical thinking education in math on student’s critical thinking skills and critical thinking virtues.

Research Methods: In this study, a quasi-experimental model with pre-test-post-test control groups was applied. 62 sixth grade students were involved in the study. In the experimental group (n=31), the subject-based critical thinking education was given for 16 weeks. Mathematical Critical Thinking Test (MCTT) and Critical Thinking Virtues Perception Scale (CTVPS) were applied as pre-test and post-test in the groups.

Findings: As a result of the covariance analyses, it was determined that there was a statistically significant difference in terms of the MCTT and CTVPS post-test scores in favour of the experimental group. As a result, it was observed that education in the experimental group had a positive effect on students’ critical thinking skills and critical thinking virtues.

Implications for Research and Practice: This study provides an exemplary implementation regarding improving critical thinking skills and critical thinking virtues of the students. It can be said that subject-based critical thinking teaching at different grade levels and in different courses will contribute to the education of good-thinking individuals.

Keywords: Critical thinking components, critical thinking standards, critical thinking virtues, math education, secondary school