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A Study on the Influence of the History of Technology Teaching on Senior High School Students’ Critical Thinking
critical thinking abilities
critical thinking dispositions
history of technology
technology and society
The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching in the history of technology in terms of its influence on senior high school students’ critical thinking. The teaching model of the study combined the teaching models of the 5E and the concepts of STS and used the materials of the historical communication technology to design the teaching materials for the study. This study applied the One-group Pretest-Posttest design. The research subjects were 79 tenth-grade students selected from two classes of a senior high school in Taipei City, and a 14-hour teaching experiment was con-ducted in seven weeks. This study used critical thinking test level I (CTT-I) to examine the differences of the students’ ability of critical thinking. The researcher also interviewed the students to understand their changes of criti-cal thinking dispositions, feeling and reflections about social issues associ-ated technology. At the end of the study, the teaching feedback questionnaire was used to collect students’ response to the history of technology teaching acitivities. Based on the findings and results of the study, this study offered the conclusions and suggestions as follows: 1.The conclusions of this study included: a) The teaching modules used in the study improved students’ evaluation ability, but did not show significantly influences on students’ critical thinking ability as a whole. b) Students’ interest, their degree of involvement and reaction of the stu-dents could influence their critical thinking ability. c) The history of technology class could motivate students’ critical thinking dispositions, such as pursuing reliable evidence and information, being open-minded and self-reflection. d) When students were thinking about the social issues associated with technology, it is easier for them to think of things related to their life ex-periences and the positive and negative effects that technology had brought. However, the students were limited to the in-depth issues re-lated with politics, culture and military. e) All of the students attending in the study held positive attitude toward the activities of the history of technology class. f) As for the design of materials and teaching activities in the history of technology class, students liked their teachers to use instructional videos, and identified that the questions on the technology and social issues, as well as the critical thinking training through the worksheet could im-prove their critical thinking. g) The students also identified that group discussion could inspire the abil-ity of learning on their own. However, nearly half of the students thought that the academic stress would sometimes affect their learning attitude toward the group discussion. 2.The suggestions provided by this research included: a) The combination of the 5E model and the concepts of STS teaching model could be one of the teaching models to improve students’ critical thinking through the history of technology class. The teaching strategies could adopt methods such as using multiple media, asking questions, group cooperation, brain-storming, 5W1H, and concept maps. Choosing materials closed to students’ life experience were also recommended. b) Before the class, the teacher should prepare questions, and think about possible answers and subsequent questions. During the class, the teacher should keep an eye on students’ reaction, and gave them proper instruc-tions. c) For the future studies, researchers can change the teaching contents for the history of technology class, choose different subjects for the teaching experiment, and lengthen the experiment periods. Besides, other than us-ing the standardized tests, the researchers can develop their own instru-ments to evaluate how students’ critical thinking is affected by the teach-ing materials.
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