Critical thinking skills of trainees of police institutions in Nigeria: Role of trainees’ age and gender
This study explored the role of age and gender in the critical thinking skills of trainees of Police institutions in Nigeria. The design adopted for this study was a descriptive survey design. The population of this study was 14,320 police trainees enrolled in various police training institutions in Nigeria. The random proportionate sampling strategy was used to select 375 respondents from the six (6) police training institutions comprising both male and female trainees. The instrument used to collect data for this study was the “Owolabi Critical Thinking Test (OCTT) (2011)” which is a standardised test. The reliability of the OCTT was established at 0.71 using the Cronbach’s alpha. Three research questions and two null hypotheses were raised to guide the study. In this study, mean scores and percentages were used for the analysis of the research questions. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using t-test. The findings showed poor critical thinking ability among trainees. The study also found that there was no significant difference between male and female trainees in their critical thinking ability. However, it was established that age played a significant role in the critical thinking ability of trainees. It is therefore recommended that designers of the programme for training institutions in the Nigerian Police should infuse elements of critical thinking in the curriculum to ensure that graduates are exposed to this critical skill. The curriculum for police training should be redesigned to cater for age differences. Gender had no influence on critical thinking of trainees; therefore, any discriminatory practice along these lines should be discouraged.
Key Words: Critical Thinking, Age, Gender, Police Trainees
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