Teaching American History and Thinking Skills: The Nineteen Twenties in America and Lessons in Critical and Creative Thinking and Philosophical Inquiry

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

John R. Murray


This thesis will explore some of the many options for integrating thinking skills into the traditional study of American History, specifically the study of the 1920's in American History. This study invites examination of elements of critical and creative thinking such as: recognition and analysis of stereotypes; analysis of word meaning and connotation, as in the recognition of the use and misuse of euphemism; evaluation of cause and effect relationships; evaluation of sources; drawing of parallels between historical periods including connections to the present; group problem solving which utilizes creative thinking dispositions and skills; and, philosophical discourse which is directly related to the content area. This list is not inclusive, of course, nor is the content area focus unique. Such work can be readily incorporated into more traditional study of any time period. This paper offers a limited model for such work, and the argument that such integration between content area study and thinking skills development is important and quite practical.


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