Shaping Scientific Minds

Promoting Critical and Scientific Thinking Skills in High School Students

  • Nicole Jarecki MacEwan University


From primary school to undergraduate training, critical thinking is oft cited as a key component of education.  Unfortunately, the term is often poorly defined, and the strategies used to teach critical thinking do not always have empirical support. The goal of this research is to validate short term intervention for high school students designed to enhance critical and scientific thinking skills.  In this study, we are employing a mixed factorial design to investigate the impact of a single 60 minute teaching session focused on critical thinking.  Following this students in different classes will be tested throughout the term on measures of critical thinking, belief in pseudoscience, and overall trust in science. We expect to see an increase in scores on the critical thinking exam, a decrease in paranormal belief, and an increase in trust in science after the intervention.  This intervention is one that could easily be employed by any high school or university instructor.

Discipline: Psychology Honours

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rodney Schmaltz