Traditional teacher-centered methods of lectures and PowerPoint presentations are commonly used when teaching secondary social studies, yet these methods continually prove to be boring for most high school students and neglect to teach critical thinking skills. Student-centered methods are different than teacher-centered methods because these methods incorporate several learning styles, cooperative activities, and even technology in order to engage the student and promote critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is important for students to master because it gives them the skills to move past the obvious and make individual connections with the text. The intent of this thesis was to explore the effectiveness of integrating student-centered methods in high school social studies classrooms as a means of promoting critical thinking skills. All students were given the same pretest and posttests. Students were divided into three groups: one was taught using student-centered methods, one was taught using teacher-centered methods, and one was the control group and was not directly taught by anyone. Based on analyzing students' posttest scores compared to their pre-test scores, student-centered teaching produced a higher average score increase, though all methods had students who scored higher, and students whose scores remained constant. Evidence and student feedback showed that continued future research should be conducted to see if student-centered methods should be used throughout all secondary social studies classrooms to promote critical thinking.
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Sayre, Elaine, "Integrating Student-Centered Learning to Promote Critical Thinking in High School Social Studies Classrooms" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1508.