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Appears in:
Page: 2321 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS’ REASONING AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS THROUGH ARGUMENT MAPPING USING RATIONALE™ SOFTWARE

Y. Vassiliades, M. Koutselini

University of Cyprus (CYPRUS)
To investigate whether argument mapping cultivates students’ reasoning and critical thinking skills, an experimental research was designed and implemented in seventeen Cyprus’ primary schools. Thirty 6th grade primary classes (N=481) participated in the research for a period of nine months. Three groups of ten classes each were formed, of which two were the experimental groups and the third was the control group. Critical Thinking Test (CTT) was submitted to all students participated in the research in order to assess their critical thinking skills before and after the instructional intervention. Test was designed, developed and validated by the researcher for the purposes of this study.

After the pre-test all teachers of the two experimental groups (20 teachers) received fifteen hours training in non-school time by the researcher for the implementation of the instructional intervention. Upon the completion of their training, teachers were asked to implement the instructional intervention in their classrooms and work on reasoning activities. The first experimental group worked in groups of three, with each group using one computer, on reasoning activities (argument jigsaw, wrong argument map structure, construction of argument map, argument chess and debate) using Rationale™ software. The second experimental group worked on the same reasoning activities in the same way but using pencil and paper, instead of any software. All applied activities used by the first and the second experimental group were developed by the researcher and the teachers during their training for the purposes of this research. Students in the control group worked on reasoning activities using their Greek language textbooks, without any specific intervention in their learning process.

The data analysis revealed that the pre-test mean score of all students participated in the research was 8.56 whereas the mean score of the post-test was increased up to 10.14. The difference between the mean scores was statistically significant (t=-9.634, p=.000 for p<.05). This increase of the mean score was mainly due to the performance of the students of the first experimental group and the second experimental group where the instructional intervention for the cultivation of critical thinking skills took place. This conclusion is based on the evidence found by the comparison of pre-test and post-test means scores in both experimental groups. A statistically significant difference was found in the first experimental group mean scores (t = -13.181, p = .000 for p <.05) and in the second experimental group mean scores (t= -4.378, p = .000 for p<.05), with an increase of the mean scores for both groups.

The findings of the study contribute to existing knowledge on reasoning and critical thinking by examining the effects of argument mapping on the cultivation of primary students’ reasoning and critical thinking skills. The findings offer additional evidence in the line of work showing that carefully designed argument mapping activities using argument visualization software, combined with systematic, conscious and organized quality practice in a cooperative and constructivist learning environment by trained educators in reasoning and critical thinking theory and practice may promote the cultivation of students’ reasoning and critical thinking skills.
@InProceedings{VASSILIADES2015DEV,
author = {Vassiliades, Y. and Koutselini, M.},
title = {DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS’ REASONING AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS THROUGH ARGUMENT MAPPING USING RATIONALE™ SOFTWARE},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {2321}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Vassiliades AU - M. Koutselini
TI - DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS’ REASONING AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS THROUGH ARGUMENT MAPPING USING RATIONALE™ SOFTWARE
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 2321
EP - 2321
ER -
Y. Vassiliades, M. Koutselini (2015) DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS’ REASONING AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS THROUGH ARGUMENT MAPPING USING RATIONALE™ SOFTWARE, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, p. 2321.
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