The effect of thinking skills’ direct teaching -using Halpern’ model- on critical thinking skills of high school students


1 (PhD) , University of Tabriz

2 MA student at Curriculum Planning, University of Tabriz


The development of critical thinking skills is often considered as the most important reason for formal education because the ability to think critically is essential for success in the contemporary world, where the rate at which new knowledge is created is rapidly accelerating. Given the fact that adolescence is recognized by brain researchers as optimal for the development of higher order cognitive processes, we focused on critical thinking instruction designed for high school students. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of direct teaching of thinking skills-using Halpern’model- on critical thinking skills of high school students. Participants were 56 high school students from Yasooj, of which 28 students were selected as the experimental group to receive the direct teaching of thinking skills and 28 students who received the traditional teaching were selected as the control group. First, the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test was distributed among experimental and control groups. Current school curriculum was implemented in the control group, but students of experimental group were divided into five sub-groups (each group containing 5-6 students) and they were directly instructed the critical thinking sub-skills. For this purpose- using Halpern’ model- the experimental sub-groups of students were presented a problem from their real life. Then, the students were given ample opportunity for reflection and contemplation. In the following session, members of the class discussed their answers and groups who gave the correct answers, were encouraged. The research instrument was the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test (WGCTA) and ANCOVA was used to analyze the data. The results revealed that direct teaching of thinking skills enhanced the experimental groups’ critical thinking skills. These results provided robust evidence that explicit instruction is an effective method of teaching critical thinking skills to high school students. The importance of thinking skills for high school success, as well as success in the workplace, post-secondary education, and everyday life makes the necessity of supplementary methods of instruction clear.