Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo

Second Advisor

Steven Schwartz

Third Advisor

Robert Swartz


“I have grown increasingly disturbed by the lack of correspondence between what is required for critical thinking in adulthood and what is being taught in school programs intended to develop critical thinking. The problems of thinking in the real world do not correspond well with the problems of the large majority of programs that teach critical thinking. We are preparing students to deal with problems that are in many respects unlike those that they will face as adults.” -- Robert Sternberg, “Teaching Critical Thinking, Part I: Are We Making Critical Mistakes?” Sternberg goes on to suggest that a major difficulty is that we do not teach children to recognize when a problem exists or to do Problem Finding. Instead, we give them the problem and then teach them to solve it. I would add that we need to go one step further at this point and teach children that even when they have recognized the existence of a problem, that which initially appears to be the problem may not be. Therefore we need to teach children the importance of problem definition as well as of the solution process. At a time when decision-making and problem solving have become increasingly complex, when the future for our children holds so many alternatives and so few certainties, I believe it is our mandated responsibility as teachers to help our children develop the critical and creative thinking skills, skills of sound reasoning and good judgment, which are not only desirable, but are imperative in the future of which they are required to be a responsible part.

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