Improving critical thinking via authenticity: The CASPiE research experience in a military academy chemistry course

Anthony M. CHASE, Hailey A. CLANCY, Russell P. LACHANCE, Brian MATHISON, Ming Ming CHIU, Gabriela C. WEAVER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) can introduce many students to authentic research activities in a cost-effective manner. Past studies have shown that students who participated in CUREs report greater interest in chemistry, better data collection and analysis skills, and enhanced scientific reasoning compared to traditional laboratory activities. Though self-reports are informative, performance measures are needed to evaluate CURE effectiveness objectively. The present study examines whether a CURE implementation at the United States Military Academy (by the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education [CASPiE]) affects students' self-reported perceptions or critical thinking test scores. Students reported significant increases in their perceptions of learning through the laboratory, authentic scientific laboratory practices and interest in chemistry when compared to previous chemistry courses with traditional laboratory activities. Results also showed a significant increase in critical thinking scores, moderated by student perception of the authenticity of the laboratory activities. Copyright © 2017 Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
JournalChemistry Education Research and Practice
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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authenticity
academy
chemistry
Education
Military
Students
science
education
experience
student
self-image
data analysis
costs
learning
performance
Costs

Citation

Chase, A. M., Clancy, H. A., Lachance, R. P., Mathison, B., Chiu, M. M., & Weaver, G. C. (2017). Improving critical thinking via authenticity: The CASPiE research experience in a military academy chemistry course. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 18, 55-63. doi: 10.1039/C6RP00171H