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Abstract

Based on the AgEdS 450 farm management capstone course at Iowa State University, the objective of this historical research study was to determine the level of critical thinking utilized by the students of the AgEdS 450 course through an analysis of course assignments. Utilizing historical research methods, primary source data from the university’s library and AgEdS 450 course student management drive was collected and analyzed to determine the level of critical thinking utilized within completed assignments. The study found that students utilized lower order thinking skills more frequently than higher order thinking skills. Underdeveloped written communication skills, rigor of assignments, and a lack of motivation to think critically may have contributed to the lack of higher order thinking skills demonstrated. It is recommended that future AgEdS 450 course instructors align instruction and activities to the MIELCC model, implement strategies that develop students’ dispositions to critical thinking, and for farm management capstone course instructors to focus on developing students’ written communication skills. It is also recommended that research be conducted to study students’ motivation to think critically and how capstone course assignments challenge students to think critically.

 

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Smowy Mountains and Lake