Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Orva Lee Ice Jr.


The purpose of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of an educational program in which print media were employed to teach critical thinking skills to adult education students. The major problem of this research was whether or not adult students, who lack a high school diploma, show greater improvement in critical thinking if they participate in a critical thinking skills program using print media, than if they do not. Adult education students in three suburban school districts of Macomb County, Michigan were the subjects of this study.

The methodology used in this study was a non-randomized control group, prettest-posttest design. Gains scores showing improvement for subjects in both the experimental and the comparison groups were used to measure the dependent variable. Several conclusions were reached in this study. First, participation in a one-semester class in critical thinking skills using print media did not result in greater improvement in critical skills for adult students than nonparticipation in the critical thinking program. Second, there was no evidence of differences in knowledge of critical thinking either prior to instruction using print media or following instruction using print media between males and females who participated in the critical thinking program. Third, students in various age groups did not demonstrate differences in critical thinking skills either prior to or following instruction using print media.

Although this study did not demonstrate that the use of print media was effective in critical thinking skills instruction, it is recommended that: (1) students be correctly placed into either alternative education or adult education programs; (2) students who exhibit difficulties in learning because of personal problems be offered full counseling; (3) there should be more time spent on reading, writing, listening, discussing, and problem solving; and (4) partnerships among members of the community be created. Replication of the study to test the use of print media was also recommended.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

1988_McCormick.pdf (4874 kB)