Developing critical thinking through an interdisciplinary approach with social studies simulations and technology in fourth-grade classrooms

R. Bruce Lewis, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This research developed and evaluated ways to incorporate MECC's simulation software into the upper elementary curriculum through an interdisciplinary approach to strengthen the critical thinking skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis, particularly through the use of MECC's The Yukon Trail. Language arts used the computerized journal of MECC's The Yukon Trail for writing exercises. In geography, map skills were developed through use of the software program. Students could apply these skills to tracking (via the Internet's live coverage) the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race. For science, students reviewed weather conditions for Seattle, Skagway, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory of Canada. The students could also monitor the weather (via the Internet) of the Iditarod race. In math, teachers explored supply and demand economics and percentages (as supplies dwindle, prices increase). For social studies, the teachers used the K-W-L (know, want to know, and learned) strategy. The Yukon Trail software program lends itself to cooperative learning, and the treatment classrooms were divided into smaller groups of four based on the availability of computers. This approach increased critical thinking skills as evaluated by the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Level X. ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Social Sciences|Education, Technology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

R. Bruce Lewis, "Developing critical thinking through an interdisciplinary approach with social studies simulations and technology in fourth-grade classrooms" (1998). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9907852.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9907852

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