Critical Thinking Skills in a Meteorology Curriculum

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

John R. Murray


The focus of this thesis is the integration of critical thinking skills into a meteorology unit of an Earth Science curriculum. The integration of these skills and strategies with the teaching of meteorology subject improves the learning of the subject concepts. The curriculum consists of three meteorology units. Each unit focuses on a different meteorological concept, and each is broken into several different lessons. Lessons incorporate a number of different critical thinking skills. The lessons are divided into three parts. In the first part, students are introduced to the concepts which are to be learned as well as the thinking skills which are to be emphasized. Part two each lessons involves activities which develop metacognitive skills. The third part of each lesson provides opportunities for students to improve their transfer of critical thinking skills and meteorological information outside the formal classroom setting. The meteorological concepts covered in these lessons are observations of the atmosphere, atmospheric pressure, and atmospheric humidity. The main critical thinking skills which are incorporate into the curriculum are decision making accuracy of observation, determining reliability of sources, and comparing and contrasting information. Even though the meteorology lessons are directed toward secondary students in a survey Earth Science course, this curriculum could easily be implemented in a separate meteorology course. Furthermore, the sample lessons included here can serve as models for the development of thinking skills lessons on other topics in Earth Science and can enhance student learning in the entire course.


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