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Education Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 834584, 10 pages
Research Article

Career-Oriented Performance Tasks in Chemistry: Effects on Students' Critical Thinking Skills

1Department of Physical Sciences, College of Science, Philippine Normal University, 1000 Manila, Philippines
2Division of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of the Philippines, 1101 Diliman, Philippines
3National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development, University of the Philippines, 1101 Diliman, Philippines

Received 15 April 2013; Revised 30 April 2013; Accepted 7 May 2013

Academic Editor: Eric Z. F. Liu

Copyright © 2013 Allen A. Espinosa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of career-oriented performance task (COPT) approach against the traditional teaching approach (TTA) in enhancing students’ critical thinking skills. Specifically, it sought to find out if students exposed to COPT have higher critical thinking skills than those students exposed to the traditional teaching approach (TTA). COPT approach aims to integrate career-oriented examples and inquiry-based activities in general inorganic chemistry. The study used the quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design. The sample of the study consisted of two (2) intact sections of first-year students in a private higher education institution in Manila who are enrolled in general inorganic chemistry during the second semester of school year 2011-2012. Thirty-nine (39) students are in the COPT class while thirty-eight (38) students are in the TTA class. The instrument used in the study is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills. The study found out that the mean posttest score in the WGCTA was not significantly higher for students exposed to COPT than for students exposed to TTA. The COPT approach in teaching chemistry was not effective in enhancing students’ critical thinking skills given the limited time of intervention. Longer exposure to intervention is necessary to enhance students’ critical thinking skills.