Conception and Implementation of Critical Thinking in the Discussion-of-the Findings Section of Master Dissertations
The present research revolves around Master students’ conception and implementation of critical thinking skills in the discussion-of-the findings chapter of Master dissertations. It endeavours to glean some insight into students’ understanding of critical thinking and the extent to which they take a critical approach in their writing of the discussion section. The study goes further to unearth the factors that either foster or impede students from exhibiting traits of criticality in this chapter. To reach this end, Master Students enrolled in the field of Language & Communication have been taken as a case study. It thus relies on Quellmalz’s Framework of Higher-Order Thinking Skills (1988) as a theoretical plinth. For the sake of empirically investigating the issue, a mixed-methods approach is adopted. It combines between quantitative and qualitative procedures for data collection and data analysis. The study relies on a textual corpus made up of ten Master dissertations. Apart from the textual corpus, the study relies on a questionnaire administered to twenty-five graduate Master students as well as semistructured interviews conducted with five supervisors. The data gathered from these instruments are analysed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software and Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA). The findings of this research reveal that the participants have a fairly comprehensive understanding of critical thinking. Most students are cognisant of the importance of critical thinking in the discussion section and this is clearly mirrored in their works. The results also suggest that students’ motivation and supervisors’ guidance act as incentive factors towards students’ showing critical thinking in the chapter. However, the study reports the existence of objective factors that arise as hindrances to other students’ integration of critical thinking skills in the discussion chapter.
- Département d'Anglais