Enhanced Critical Thinking Skills through Problem-Solving Games in Secondary Schools

Scott D McDonald
Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning  •  Volume 13  •  2017  •  pp. 079-096
Aim/Purpose: Students face many challenges improving their soft skills such as critical thinking. This paper offers one possible solution to this problem.

Background: This paper considers one method of enhancing critical thinking through a problem-solving game called the Coffee Shop. Problem-solving is a key component to critical thinking, and game-playing is one method of enhancing this through an interactive teaching method.

Methodology: Three classes of Vietnamese high school students engaged in the Coffee Shop game. The method seeks outcome measurements through the use of analysis of multiple surveys to assess and interpret if critical thinking may have been improved.

Contribution: The study may help to understand the importance of problem-solving in the context of an entrepreneurial setting and add to the variation of methods used to deliver the lesson to students in the classroom.

Findings: The findings show that practicing problem-solving scenarios with a focus on critical thinking in a time limited setting results in a measured improvement of this skill.

Recommendations for Practitioners: The findings suggest that educators could use games more as tools for problem-solving to contribute to their students’ learning outcomes around developing critical thinking.

Recommendation for Researchers: More research could be devoted to developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills through game-play models.

Impact on Society: Improved critical thinking skills in individuals could make a greater contribution to society.
Future Research A comparative study between different high school grades and genders as well as between different countries or cultures.
lesson delivery, blended learning, digital technology, learning outcomes, entrepreneurship, mixed methods, learning transfer, gamification
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