Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Gary Gardiner

Third Advisor

Hal Zimmerman


In this age of accelerated change and continuing complexity, there is a widely-recognized need to incorporate critical thinking skills into all aspects of everyday life and not simply as an optional philosophy class at the post-secondary level of American education.

Chapter One of this culminating project investigates the historical roots of critical thinking, with a brief investigation into the history of bow education in America (with slight digressions such as Alcott/Emerson's Temple School and John Dewey's Chicago experiments) has historically failed to foster the development of critical thinking skills in America's students by its centuries old tradition of emphasizing rote memorization, passive learning, and social indoctrination.

Chapter Two discusses how the realization of the importance of critical thinking skills has affected teacher education programs and has rekindled debates regarding the content versus process approach to including critical thinking skills in the curriculum. This chapter also investigates the current renaissance regarding "wait-time" and the importance of cooperative learning in the classroom.

Echoing Ralph Waldo Emerson's :sentiments regarding education, Chapter Three discusses techniques to foster creative and critical reading skills in the high school student as well as critical thinking skills. Included in this chapter are lateral thinking puzzles, word games, and exercises to stimulate critical thinking.

Chapter Four investigates the application of critical thinking exercises into a discussion of one of the most popular literary genres, detective fiction. This chapter also provides a "transcript" of the actual implementation of this approach in a Detective Fiction class at Saint Francis Borgia Regional High School in Washington, Missouri.

Chapter Five reiterates the guiding principles of the Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique and how they apply to the inclusion of critical thinking skills into the language arts curriculum, specifically in the field of detective fiction.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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