Critical Thinking Skills Literacy Skills


School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


critical thinking skills, information literacy skills, Internet iSkills, technology, Test of Everyday Reasoning Skills


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Instructional Media Design | Other Education

Recommended Citation

Flood, Patricia, "Critical Thinking Skills and Information Literacy Skills: Discerning Online Information among High School Students" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1071.


This study examined the impact of discerning information accessed on the Internet that is authentic, reliable, and valid as facilitated by a 1:1 iPad program on students’ critical thinking skills and information literacy skills. Students enrolled in a Career Magnet School where each student has an iPad to receive and deliver assignments were measured on their critical thinking skills in solving real-world problems using the Test of Everyday Reasoning (TER). Their information literacy skills were measured using iSkills which is based on real-world problem solving through digital means. Students enrolled in a traditional high school with limited exposure to the Internet were tested with the same instruments. The review of literature stated that students show a gap in discerning useful information on the Internet in comparison to valid information. This study explored students’ critical thinking and information literacy skills and their ability to discern the information as valid, reliable, and authentic as accessed from the Internet. Failure to reject the null hypothesis was applied to each null hypothesis. One of the factors may have been due to the small sample size. Keywords: critical thinking skills, information literacy skills, 1:1 iPad program, Internet, Test of Everyday Reasoning, iSkills

As parents, we hope to develop many positive skills and traits in our children. Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Critical thinking doesn't develop overnight. It's something that develops and builds through conversations and experiences. It's also something parents can nurture by sharing quality books with their children.

Even though your elementary-aged child may now be able to read on their own, reading together remains just as important as it was when your child was younger. Family read-alouds provide great opportunities to tackle more challenging books together. These longer chapter books may have plots that are more complex and more demanding vocabulary. Working through these books chapter by chapter helps teach persistence. And by reading together, you are there as an important source of support and information.

Reading critically involves slowing down, and taking the time to help your child reflect on what you've just read. Depending on the book, discussions may involve talking about what a character's actions tell us about his personality, or how the book's setting is important to the overall message. It might mean helping your child recognize something about the plot and the conflict that exists. It also means asking more open-ended questions to which there can be multiple correct answers.

Quality books enable you and your child to talk about the book in depth and with substance. All of this will help your reader develop critical thinking skills that will last a lifetime. Below are a few recommended titles, by grade level, that you and your growing reader may enjoy reading together and talking about.

Books for second and third grades

  • Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Florence and Richard Atwater
  • Babe: The Gallant Pig, by Dick King-Smith
  • Half Magic, by Edward Eager
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

Recommended titles are from Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids and the Bond of Reading, by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone (HarperCollins, 2005)

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