Date of Award

Spring 5-29-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Marcia A. B. Delcourt PhD

Second Advisor

Michael Hibbard PhD

Third Advisor

Nicolas Kowgios EdD

Abstract

In this quasi-experimental study, a convenience sample was selected from eighth grade social studies students. There were 28 students who participated in the Student-Directed Inquiry group utilizing problem-based service learning, and 32 students in the Teacher-Directed Inquiry group.

This study was designed to measure the extent of the effects of problem-based service learning (PBSL) as a Student-Directed Inquiry approach as compared to a Teacher-Directed Inquiry not utilizing problem-based service learning, on eighth graders’ motivation to apply creative problem solving and critical thinking, and as a measure of its impact on students’ sense of civic responsibility.

Three research questions were examined. The first question was analyzed with a MANOVA to determine the effects of assignment to group on creative problem solving and critical thinking skills as measured by the CM3 II+. The five scales from the instrument included: Mental Focus, Learning Orientation, Creative Problem Solving, Cognitive Integrity, and Scholarly Rigor. The Teacher-Directed Inquiry group had significantly higher scores on two scales, Mental Focus (M = 32.06, p =.001), and Learning Orientation (M = 34.44, p = .007). The second research question was a posttest only design, and was analyzed with an ANOVA to determine the effects of assignment to group on students’ civic responsibility. No significant differences were found. The third research question sought to determine the degree and manner in which group assignment, and motivation to use creative problem solving and critical thinking skills, predicts students’ civic responsibility. A Multiple Regression was used to analyze these results. It was determined that the set of independent variables were able to predict the dependent variable (F(6, 53) = 4.392, p < .001).

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