Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo


Thinking dispositions are the internal motivation for thinking critically and creatively. Successful critical thinkers use theirs without another person directing them to use the skills. Many individuals, having acquired these skills, fail to use them. Tishman and Perkins suggest that inadequate development of the dispositions necessary to invoke the thinking skills account for the second behavior. In my work as an enrichment specialist, I have found support for this view. In this paper I present a case study of my work with third and fourth grade students, which focuses on developing the attitudes and dispositions needed for successful critical and creative thinking. I begin by describing the conceptual framework of my work, reviewing the literature focusing on the contributions of Shari Tishman, David Perkins, Edward de Bono, Matthew Lipman, and Reuven Feuerstein. Following that, I describe a series of lesson plans presenting problem-solving activities. These activities are samples, from the enrichment program implemented during my year in a Western Massachusetts school system. I conclude by offering a qualitative analysis of the responses of students, parents and teachers.