Teaching Critical Thinking with the Personalized System of Instruction

Teaching Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

A large body of evidence suggests that the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) improves learning. In courses that use PSI, the material is divided into units, students must pass a test on each unit before advancing to the next unit, there’s no group-level instruction, and students advance in the course at their own pace. While studies find that PSI improves learning outcomes in a wide range of settings, researchers haven’t studied the effectiveness of PSI in critical thinking classes. In this paper, I argue that teaching critical thinking with PSI can effectively promote critical thinking skills. I describe a course that uses PSI to teach critical thinking and I present evidence from pre- and post-tests that indicates that students substantially improved their reasoning skills in this course. I also discuss the costs and drawbacks of using this method of instruction and consider ways of addressing these problems.

Author's Profile

Javier Hidalgo
University of Richmond

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2023-10-23

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