A strategy to scaffold critical thinking during analysis of leadership cases
Metadata[+] Show full item record
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This study quantitatively examined the effectiveness of a case-based analysis strategy to promote the critical thinking skills essential to leaders. Essential elements of the strategy were based directly on a widely accepted definition of critical thinking resulting from an APA Delphi Study. The strategy was implemented as a web-based application and included a template to identify key analysis factors and also provided scaffolding in the form of learning aids to support performance. Two groups of 45 mid-level Air Force officers performed analyses of three different cases dealing with leadership issues. One group used the case analysis strategy under investigation while the other group was provided only the list of analysis factors. Six faculty members assessed the completed case analyses using a rubric designed to identify and rate critical thinking sub-skills. In addition, the number and duration of the learning aids were tracked to determine the degree of scaffolding use. The results showed limited but significant differences in critical thinking scores between the group using the case-based analysis strategy and the control group. The pattern of scaffolding use showed a marked, almost linear decline in the number of learning aids used from the first to third case. However, the average duration for each learning aid event did not decline. The results did not indicate any significant relationship between leadership experience rating and the level of critical thinking skills demonstrated. There was a small positive significant relation between the critical thinking scores resulting from case analysis and participants' California Critical Thinking Skills Test scores.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.