Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Secondary, Post Secondary and Vocational Education

First Committee Member

James B. Case

Number of Pages



This was an initial study that examined the effect of the type of instruction used in biology I classrooms on learner development of critical thinking, as measured by the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. Form A of the instrument was used as the pretest, and Form B of the instrument was used as the posttest. The independent variable was teaching method and consisted of two levels: (1) "the writing process," as a teaching method adapted for science instruction, and (2) the "traditional" teaching method, which relied on lecture, discussion, textbook assignments, and verification laboratories; Three teachers from schools within the Clark County School District of Nevada, who taught ninth grade biology I, were selected to participate in the study. These teachers were selected from a small pool of biology I teachers who had received special training in using the writing process as a teaching method in science instruction. Each of the three teachers taught one class of biology I in which the writing process was the method of instruction; this was the experimental group. The same three teachers also designated one class of biology I as a control group which received the same content instruction the experimental group received, except the control group students were taught using traditional teaching techniques; The overall analysis of the data indicated there was no statistically significant difference in student mean critical thinking scores when they were taught biology I by "traditional" teaching methods when compared to biology I instruction which used "the writing process" as a teaching method; the analysis based on gender did indicate that the females who received biology I instruction based on the writing process as the teaching method outperformed females who received biology I instruction based on the traditional teaching method. Males, on the other hand, did not show any statistically significant difference in mean critical thinking scores between the experimental group and the control group; There were too few minority students for statistical analysis; therefore, no conclusions were possible on the effect of the use of the writing process as a teaching method for these students.


Biology; Courses; Effects; Grade; Instructional; Ninth; Process; Skills; Strategy; Students; Studentthinking; Study; Thinking; Utilizing; Writing

Controlled Subject

Curriculum planning; Science--Study and teaching; Language arts

File Format


File Size

3287.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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