The relationship between the level of athletic training education and critical thinking skill

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The relationship between the level of athletic training education and critical thinking skill

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2013-04

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Critical thinking has been identified as an essential skill for athletic training and has been extensively studied in other allied health and medical education programs such as nursing, dentistry, and physical therapy. However, little is known about critical thinking in the health profession of athletic training. In addition, currently there are two separate routes to athletic training certification. No research has been done comparing critical thinking in undergraduate versus graduate level athletic training students. The intent of this study was to determine if a difference exists in students’ critical thinking skill between undergraduate and entry level master athletic training students. A mixed methods design was employed for this investigation. Quantitatively the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) was utilized to assess critical thinking skills in both undergraduate and entry level master athletic training students. A sample of 174 students from 20 different athletic training accredited institutions were invited to participate. All students sampled were expected to be graduating within one year from their participation and eligible to sit for the BOC examination. Carnegie classification was utilized to match the ten undergraduate and ten entry level master programs. Qualitatively the participants answered open ended questions regarding their perception of critical thinking. Data were entered into SPSS 18 and analyzed for measures of central tendency as well as a MANOVA do determine if a difference existed between the two groups. To analyze the open ended questions, responses were placed into themes. Findings of the statistical analysis revealed no statistical difference between both groups in critical thinking skill or the subscale. In addition critical thinking skill had no relationship between demographic variables of age, ethnicity or gender in both groups of students. Several findings emerged from the qualitative analysis. Due to the complex nature of the conception of critical thinking and the large volume of critical thinking research in other educational domains, the researcher suggests further investigation specific to athletic training education be undertaken.

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University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. April 2013. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Dr. Joyce Strand. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 137 pages, appendices A-C.

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Wendinger, Michael John. (2013). The relationship between the level of athletic training education and critical thinking skill. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/151491.

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