Improving EFL Students’ Critical Thinking Skills through Organization Development Intervention Strategies at Zhejiang Yuexiu University in China
Keywords:critical thinking, collaborative learning, team building, organization development intervention, action research
Critical thinking (CT) has become a key teaching goal in higher education, many language instructors consider it very significant to integrate CT into instruction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses. A quasi-experimental design was utilized in this study to determine the effectiveness of Organization Development Intervention(ODI) in developing second-year EFL students’ CT skills in a private university in China. 71 participants were divided into an experimental group and control group. The experimental group (n=36) received collaborative learning plus team-building interventions, while the control group (n=35) received regular English instruction with exercises that did not build CT. After the semester-long interventions, mixed results demonstrated that the experimental group got significantly higher CT performance and collaboration among team members than the control group. The findings indicate that collaborative learning is beneficial to developing students’ CT skills, but instructors should use some techniques to foster team members’ collaboration skills. This study recommends that instructors bring ODI strategies such as team building and conflict management to support collaborative learning in the education realm. Lastly, EFL instructors must add CT elements to teaching curriculum activities that encourage student teams to practice critical thinking.
Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C. H. (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: a handbook for college faculty. Jossey-Bass.
Bottom, W. P., & Baloff, N. (1994). A diagnostic model for team building with an illustrative application. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 5(4), 317–336. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.3920050404
Butler, H. A., Pentoney, C., & Bong, M. P. (2017). Predicting real-world outcomes: Critical thinking ability is a better predictor of life decisions than intelligence. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 25, 38–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2017.06.005
Chen, Y. (2021). Language and Critical Thinking Integrated Teaching Reform on English Public Speaking Course in the Context of “New Liberal Arts.” OALib, 8(07), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1107535
Chen, Y. L. (2017). Perceptions of EFL college students toward collaborative learning. English Language Teaching, 11(2), 1. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v11n2p1
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Sage Publications, Inc.
Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development & change (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Ding, M., Li, X., Piccolo, D., & Kulm, G. (2007). Teacher Interventions in Cooperative-Learning Mathematics Classes. The Journal of Educational Research, 100(3), 162–175. https://doi.org/10.3200/joer.100.3.162-175
Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction. Research Findings and Recommendations. Ed.gov. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED315423
Facione, P. A., & Facione, N. C. (1994). The Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric - HCTSR. California Academic Press / Insight Assessment.
Fernando, M. S. C. L. (2014). Leading and Managing Change in Organizations: Focus, Priorities, and Tools of OD Practitioners, Leaders and Managers. ABAC ODI JOURNAL Vision. Action. Outcome, 1(2). http://www.assumptionjournal.au.edu/index.php/odijournal/article/view/1697
Glaser, E.M. (1941). An experiment in the development of critical thinking. Columbia University.
Gokhale, A. A. (1995). Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking. Journal of Technology Education, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.21061/jte.v7i1.a.2
Howard, L. W., Tang, T. L.-P., & Jill Austin, M. (2014). Teaching Critical Thinking Skills: Ability, Motivation, Intervention, and the Pygmalion Effect. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(1), 133–147. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2084-0
Huang, Y. (1998). Lack of Critical Thinking. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching, 7, 1.
Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2002). Social interdependence theory and university instruction - Theory into practice. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 61(3), 119–129. https://doi.org/10.1024//1421-0184.108.40.206
Karau, S. J., & Williams, K.D. (1993). Social loafing: A meta-analytic review
and theoretical integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65,
Kastrup, M. R. (2019). Systematic Review of Team Building Interventions. https://projekter.aau.dk/projekter/files/307199859/Speciale_v.3.pdf
Keihaniyan, M. (2013). Critical thinking and English proficiency. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World, 4(3), 24–32.
Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C. S., Lyons, R., & Goodwin, G. F. (2009). Does Team Building Work? Small Group Research, 40(2), 181–222. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496408328821
Lacerenza, C. N., Marlow, S. L., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Salas, E. (2018). Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork. American Psychologist, 73(4), 517–531. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000295
Le, H., Janssen, J., & Wubbels, T. (2017). Collaborative learning practices: teacher and student perceived obstacles to effective student collaboration. Cambridge Journal of Education, 48(1), 103–122. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764x.2016.1259389
Lipman, M. (1988). Critical Thinking: What Can It Be? Resource Publication, Series 1 No. 1. Educational Leadership, 45, 38–43.
Loes, C. N. (2019). Applied Learning through Collaborative Educational Experiences. New Directions for Higher Education, 188, 13–21. https://doi.org/10.1002/he.20341
Luk, J., & Lin, A. (2014). Voices without Words: Doing Critical Literate Talk in English as a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, 49(1), 67–91. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.161
Mandusic, D., & Blaskovic, L. (2015). The impact of collaborative learning to critically thinking. Trakia Journal of Science, 13, 426–428. https://doi.org/10.15547/tjs.2015.s.01.073
McEwan, D., Ruissen, G. R., Eys, M. A., Zumbo, B. D., & Beauchamp, M. R. (2017). The Effectiveness of Teamwork Training on Teamwork Behaviors and Team Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Interventions. PLOS ONE, 12(1), e0169604. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0169604
Ministry of Education. (2018). China National Teaching Quality Standards for Foreign Language Majors.
Saldaña J. (2015). Thinking qualitatively: methods of mind. Sage.
Salas, E., Rozell, D., Mullen, B., & Driskell, J. E. (1999). The Effect of Team Building on Performance. Small Group Research, 30(3), 309–329. https://doi.org/10.1177/104649649903000303
Shuffler, M. L., DiazGranados, D., & Salas, E. (2011). There’s a Science for That. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(6), 365–372. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721411422054
Siegel, H. (1990). Educating reason: rationality, critical thinking, and education. Routledge.
Smith, B. L., & MacGregor, J. T. (1992). “What is collaborative learning?” In A. Goodsell, M. Maher, & V. Tinto (Eds.), Collaborative learning: A sourcebook for higher education (pp. 10-36). University Park.
Tseng, S.-S. (2019). Using Concept Mapping Activities to Enhance Students’ Critical Thinking Skills at a High School in Taiwan. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-019-00474-0
Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63(6), 384–399. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0022100
van Leeuwen, A., & Janssen, J. (2019). A systematic review of teacher guidance during collaborative learning in primary and secondary education. Educational Research Review, 27, 71–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2019.02.001
Vuopala, E., Näykki, P., Isohätälä, J., & Järvelä, S. (2019). Knowledge co-construction activities and task-related monitoring in scripted collaborative learning. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 21, 234–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.03.011
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.
Wen, Q., & Sun, M. (2015). On key issues about critical thinking development in college EFL classroom. Foreign Language Learning Theory and Practice, 151(3), 6–12.
Wen, Q., & Zhou, Y. (2006). Review on the Development of English Major Students’ Thinking Abilities. Foreign Language Research, 5, 76–80.
Xiang, M. Y. (2020). Notes on Foreign Language Education Reform in the Context of Constructing New Disciplines. Foreign Languages in China, 17(1), 19–24.
Yi, Y. J. (2015). Effects of team building on communication and teamwork among nursing students. International Nursing Review, 63(1), 33–40. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12224
Zhang, H., Yuan, R., & He, X. (2020). Investigating University EFL Teachers’ Perceptions of Critical Thinking and Its Teaching: Voices from China. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-020-00500-6