Skip to content

Teaching and Evaluating Critical Thinking in an Environmental Context

by Trina D. Hofreiter, Martha C. Monroe, Taylor V. Stein
Applied Environmental Education & Communication ()
Get full text at journal


As environmental education strives to create an informed citizenry capable of addressing complex problems, critical thinking is an integral part of this effort. This research guides environmental educators in defining, teaching, and evaluating critical thinking by summarizing a pilot study with an undergraduate forest issues course designed to increase critical thinking skills in students and move them toward responsible environmental citizenship. The course taught critical thinking skills explicitly, correlating each discussion and assignment to the specific critical thinking skills addressed. An essay-based assessment of critical thinking skill, a Likert-scale assessment of critical thinking disposition and qualitative interviews measured critical thinking in students. After the 15-week course, students significantly improved in critical thinking skills (n = 16, p < .05) and skills were correlated with critical thinking dispositions (n = 13, p < .05). Phenomenological analysis of interviews revealed that students engaged in critical thinking in a variety of situations, some with citizenship implications, and struggled with the role of emotion in critical thinking. These experiences informed recommendations for instruction and evaluation strategies.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

15 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
40% Social Sciences
20% Psychology
13% Agricultural and Biological Sciences
by Academic Status
40% Student > Ph. D. Student
27% Researcher
13% Professor
by Country
13% United States
7% Portugal

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in