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The ability to think critically along with an awareness of local and global issues have been identified as important competencies that could benefit students as they journey through life in the 21st century (Voogt and Roblin 2012). Social studies, as a subject discipline, could serve as a conducive environment for the development of such competencies because it not only aims to equip students with information about important social-cultural issues within and without a country but also to inculcate critical thinking ability whereby students review, analyze, and make appropriate judgments based on particular evidences or ideas presented. This chapter reports a study that examines the effect of using blended learning approaches on social studies students’ critical thinking. This study relied on objective measurements of students’ critical thinking such as their actual performance scores, rather than students’ self-report data of their critical thinking levels. It employed a one-group pre- and post-test research design to examine the impact of a Socratic question-blogcast model on grade 10 students’ ability to critically evaluate controversial social studies issues. A paired-samples t-test was conducted to determine the potential critical thinking gain using a validated rubric. There was a significant difference in critical thinking between pre-intervention (M = 2.33 SD = 1.240) and post-intervention (M = 3.19 SD = 1.388), t(26) = −3.690, p < 0.001, with an effect size of 0.67. We also reported students’ perceptions of the Socratic question-blogcast blended learning approach to provide additional qualitative insights into how the approach was particularly helpful to the students.
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- Improving Social Studies Students’ Critical Thinking
Khe Foon Hew
Wing Sum Cheung
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 4
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