عنوان مقاله [English]
The ultimate goal of any pedagogy system is to create positive transformations in human and finding a desired identity for him/her in social and individual life. Undoubtedly, higher education system is not free from explicit and implicit transfer of certain norms and insights to learners. One of the goals of the higher education system is to educate learners who conduct scientific activities by using different thinking methods especially critical thinking. Thus, present study intends to examine the students’ critical thinking disposition and the relationship between dependent variable of students’ critical thinking disposition and independent variables of gender, age, educational field and educational grade. This goal was realized by using a survey and Ricketts standard questionnaire (2003). Respondents were students at Farabi Campus of University of Tehran. The basis of selecting the students was random sampling technique by which 346 subjects were selected and analyzed from students’ population (3550 students). Of the most important findings of the research, one can refer to the fact that students in research population tend to critical thinking. Additionally, research findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between gender, age and educational grade with students’ critical thinking disposition while no significant association was observed between educational field and students’ critical thinking disposition.
Today, by transformations in theoretical basics and nature of science, new approaches are raised on determining educational goals and training process. One of the most important approaches is to pay attention to thinking in training process. Growth and breeding students’ thinking skills has been always an important issued in education since our culture information outcome has gone beyond our critical thinking strength. Thus, in today world in which people can communicate through Internet, reading and writing is no longer the ability to meaning of words and to conceive texts and making a few grammatical sentences; rather, in today world, one should equip with critical thinking in encountering with information explosion in Internet (Mahdizadeh et al, 2012).
Overall, this research plans to answer this question that how is the critical thinking disposition among students? Additionally, four below goals are also pursued:
Determining the relationship between students’ gender and their tendency toward critical thinking disposition;
Determining the relationship between students’ age and their tendency toward critical thinking disposition;
Determining the relationship between students’ field of study and their tendency toward critical thinking disposition;
Determining the relationship between students’ grade and their tendency toward critical thinking disposition;
Case study: present research plans to study students’ critical thinking disposition in University of Tehran, Farabi Campus.
Since mid-20th century, critical thinking is considered as an educational necessity and then, needed initiatives were taken to put this concept in all learners’ critical thinking training agenda. Undoubtedly, any action in this regard needs to specify the concept of critical thinking and its traits and aspects.
What used in present study are the aspects of critical thinking disposition raised by Ricketts (2003). He used Facion’s research as his own basis and due to criticisms against Facion’s classification, he attempted to reuse Delphi technique (however, based on the same theories achieved from Facion’s reports) to acquire new classifications. He asserts that critical thinking disposition is shaped by an inner report and its aspects include:
Engagement: propensity to engagement measures three issues: student’s tendency to look for opportunities to use rationality and argument; predicting those situations which need to argue; trust to the capability of rationality and arguing;
Innovativeness: tendency to innovation measures students’ talent since the tend to know the reality and are curious intellectually;
Cognitive maturity: it measures maturity of three issue: students’ talent to be aware of the complexity of real problems; openness to others’ attitudes; awareness on backgrounds and prejudices of oneself and others (Rickets, 2003: 20 – 21; cited by Khojasteh and others, 2014).
This is a descriptive – cross sectional survey conducted in University of Tehran’s Farabi Campus by 3550 students in 2018 – 2019 educational year. In this study, by using Morgan and Krejcie Table, 346 students were selected by random simple sampling method as sample size. In present study, data collection tool is two-segment questionnaire. The first segment is a structured questionnaire which involves students’ demographical information. The second segment is critical thinking disposition scale by Rickets (2003). The subjects announce the degree of their agreement/disagreement with each item in Likert’s five – score scale. To analyze data, SPSS24 and AMOS24 software packages and to compare the means, t-test and One-Way ANOVA tests are utilized; Scheffe test is used if One-Way ANOVA test is meaningful.
Discussion and Findings
To test the normality, Kolmogorov – Smirnov multivariable test was used and the results indicated that data are following a normal distribution. To validate indicators and scales, confirmatory factor analysis was utilized. The results from fitness indicators for modelling three aspects of mental engagement, maturity and innovativeness suggest that all variables enjoy proper fitness. To evaluate measurement model, this model was initially validated. To this end, discriminate validity was examined. Its validity was more than 0.5 for all variable. Since there is more than one latent variable in this model, discriminant validity was also investigated. In present study, the correlation among all constructs is less than 0.9 which is plausible.
To see whether critical thinking disposition exists in different aspects or not and by considering results from Kolmogorov – Smirnov test which suggests data distribution normality, single t-test was conducted. In all aspects, significance coefficient equals with zero and less than test error level (0.05). Upper and lower level are positive and t statistic is out of -1.96 and +1.96 in all cases. Thus, in all aspects, critical thinking disposition is observed among them. Ultimately, single factor variance analysis, was used to study the role of demographical variables in critical thinking disposition and indep3endent t-test was used for gender variable. Research findings indicated that there is no significant difference between field of education and critical thinking disposition while there is significant difference between gender, age and grades with critical thinking disposition.
Research findings indicate that the mean of students’ critical thinking disposition is in positive and medium levels. This is consistent with findings by Gharib (2009), Saburi (2012), Zarabin et al (2016) and Folous & Cessarian (2014). However, need to constant training on such kind of thinking is more highlighted.
Research findings indicate that there is a significant relationship between average score of critical thinking disposition in such components as mental engagement and cognitive maturity with students’ gender so that its average is higher for girls (3.9) than boys (3.8) while there is no significant relationship for innovativeness.
There is no significant association between educational field and critical thinking disposition. It is consistent with findings by Azodi (2010), Saburi Kashani (2012) and Zarabian et al (2016).
Research findings indicate that students’ age associates with their critical thinking disposition significantly so that students above 35 years have the highest mean. It is consistent with findings by Azodi et al (2010) and Book et al (2013).
Likewise, present study indicated that there is a significant relationship between students’ educational grade and critical thinking disposition so that postgraduates have the highest level of critical thinking disposition. It is consistent with findings by Eslami Akbar (2010) and Safari et al (2012).