Thesis

Critical thinking dispositions of students receiving livestock evaluation training

This study sought to evaluate critical thinking disposition of students within the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico. A cross-sectional design was conducted using the University of Florida (UF‐EMI) assessment to measure critical thinking disposition scores among a sample of undergraduate students registered in one of three courses (1) introduction to animal science; (2) livestock selection and carcass evaluation, and (3) members of a livestock judging team. Additionally, other potential predictors of performance including prior livestock judging experience, GPA, major and demographics including gender and age were also considered. Difference between groups were not observed. Additionally, prior livestock judging experience, GPA, major, and age failed to yield differences in scores. The only significant differences were found in the Cognitive Maturity sub‐scale where females received significantly (p < .01) higher average score (M = 31.3) compared to males (M = 28.6). Overall, 68.5% students were categorized as having a moderate critical thinking disposition and 29.6% demonstrated a strong critical thinking disposition. These findings may carry some implications for changing teaching pedagogy to enhance critical thinking among students in the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico.

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