This action research project reviews the relevant literature on experiential learning to research whether experiential learning promotes critical thinking in a middle school science classroom. Based on constructivism, research shows experiential learning, particularly problem-based learning, increases motivation, promotes professional skills, and multiple strategies used to solve problems. Even though its effects are difficult to measure on standardized tests and most of these research studies are small qualitative studies, this teaching method’s benefits are significant enough to warrant its implementation. The results from this study show no conclusive evidence that experiential learning promotes critical thinking. Suggestions for expanding the action research study to gather more detailed data are given.
First Advisor Department
School of Teaching and Learning
Dr. Debra Gallagher
Second Advisor Department
Mathematics and Statistics
Gillen, Megan, "Investigating Critical Thinking in Experiential Learning" (2018). Honors Projects. 363.