THE POWER OF PROJECT BASED LEARNING: EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION TO DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Can a project based learning (PBL) pedagogy improve critical thinking skills in first-year university students? This was the research question that drove this action research investigation. The purpose of this study was to find the best practice pedagogy to improve critical thinking skills for college students. A literature review examined the themes of PBL best practices, millennial student learning styles, and critical thinking pedagogy. Methodology included a student survey to better understand the needs for university level, critical thinking skills. The potential effectiveness of a PBL approach to improve the critical thinking needs and challenges of these students was analyzed. The results indicate that a PBL method can provide students with effective techniques for improving self-reliant, critical thinking skills. The paper concludes with recommendations for best PBL practices and strategies for developing independent, critical thinking abilities which are essential for students to be successful in their academic endeavors.
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