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Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2019

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Ginger MacDonald

Second Advisor

Andrew Lumpe

Third Advisor

Sharon Bowland.


Critical thinking skills are requisite for graduate social work students to transition competently into professional practice. This mixed methods study was conducted to explore current instruction and evaluation methods for critical thinking skill development. The extent to which faculty perceived changes in student outcomes since the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards change related to critical thinking skills, was also studied. This study was designed to link critical thinking and social work education in the context of social constructivism as an andragogical praxis for the development of critical thinking skills. The quantitative findings were interpreted to identify multiple approaches for the instruction and assessment of critical thinking skills in graduate social work programs across the country. The qualitative themes of social work instructors’ perception of changes in student outcomes related to critical thinking skills were mixed.