Turkish pre-service teachers' critical thinking levels, attitudes and self-efficacy beliefs in teaching for critical thinking


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012

Student: NİHAL AKDERE

Supervisor: HANİFE AKAR

Abstract:

The aim of this study was three-fold: first, to describe pre-service teachers’ (i) critical thinking levels, (ii) attitudes towards teaching for critical thinking, and (iii) self-efficacy beliefs in teaching for critical thinking in terms of performance and outcome efficacy beliefs; secondly, to investigate whether there was a correlation between these three variables; and finally, to examine the relationship between participants’ certain background variables and their critical thinking levels, attitudes and self efficacy beliefs in teaching for critical thinking. A cross-sectional survey design was employed. The participants of the study were senior pre-service teachers from fourteen state universities across the seven geographical regions in Turkey. Quantitative data were collected by means of (i) a critical thinking test, (ii) an attitude scale, (iii) a self-efficacy scale with two subscales: performance efficacy and outcome efficacy, and (iv) a participant profile form, all of which were designed by the researcher. Both descriptive and inferential statistics (MANOVA) were used. Results indicated that pre-service teachers’ critical thinking levels were ‘below average’; however, they had a moderately positive attitude towards and a moderate level of self efficacy in teaching for critical thinking. The correlation analyses indicated that there was a moderate degree of positive correlation between teachers’ attitude and self efficacy beliefs towards critical thinking. Finally, the results of MANOVA analyses indicated that pre-service teachers’ gender and level of motivation towards teaching had no impact on their critical thinking levels, attitudes or self efficacy beliefs in teaching for critical thinking. On the other hand, major, academic achievement, high school background, father’s level of education, reading behaviour, and prior training in critical thinking had impacts of varying degrees on one or more of the dependent variables