Analysis Of Students’ Critical Thinking Skills By Location, Gender And The Skills Relationship To Motivation To Learn Academic Disciplines In Amoud University, Somaliland
The study examined students’ critical thinking skills (CTS) at Amound University, Somaliland and compared their CTS with the U.S.A normative sample of 2,677 university students. Students’ CTS was also compared by gender and its relationship with students’ motivation (SMOT) to learn their academic disciplines at the university determined. Critical thinking skills have recently assumed a vital role among educationists with some of them considering it as the most important goal of education system. A sample of 136 students (99 men, 37 women) registered in Amoud University, Somaliland in year 2, 3 & 4 of study in the academic year 2006/2007, was selected randomly for the study. The California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST), with 34 items and 16 items to measure SMOT were used to collect data from the respondents. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. All tests were based on the .05 level of significance. Results indicated that there were significant differences in CTS between the USA normative sample and that of Amoud University in favour of USA sample. In addition there was a significant correlation between university students’ critical thinking skills and their motivation to learn their subject matter (r=.277, p<.05). Furthermore there was no statistically significant gender difference in CT skills at Amoud University. The study recommended that educators find means to enhance students’ motivation to learn their subject matter so that their critical thinking abilities would be improved. Universities should train students in critical thinking skills in order to produce graduates who are critical thinkers in society. Further research should be conducted on other factors that may be related to students’ critical thinking skills.
Keywords: Critical thinking skills, Motivation, Gender.