Athletic Training Education Journal
Context: The Examination of Professional Degree Level document presented to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Directors states that research in athletic training education has not investigated differences in the critical-thinking skills of professional athletic training students.
Objective: Investigate the differences in critical thinking and other demographic variables across first-year athletic training students enrolled in professional bachelor’s- and master’s-degree programs.
Design: Quantitative study.
Setting: District 10 athletic training programs.
Patients or Other Participants: Students (N ¼ 40) enrolled within their first 6 months of a professional athletic training program were asked to complete the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST). Twelve first-year master’s-degree students (8 female, 4 male) and 28 bachelor’s-degree students (18 female, 10 male) completed the CCTST (age ¼ 20.73 6 3.09 years).
Main Outcome Measure(s): Athletic training students in District 10 were asked to complete the CCTST during the first 6 months of their respective programs. Independent t tests were used to evaluate the difference in critical-thinking scores between professional master’s- and bachelor’s-degree athletic training students. A 1-way analysis of variance was conducted to determine differences in critical-thinking skills with regard to gender, age, and parental educational level.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences in critical-thinking skills between bachelor’s- and master’s-degree athletic training students enrolled in a professional athletic training program (P ¼ .991). Additionally, there were no statistically significant differences in critical-thinking skills with regard to gender (P ¼ .156), age (P ¼ .410), or parental education level (P ¼ .156).
Conclusions: The results suggest master’s students do not have greater critical-thinking skills than professional bachelor’s students before engaging in athletic training education. Therefore, as the professional degree of athletic training transitions to the graduate level, athletic training educators may need to investigate and use pedagogical practices that will graduate critically thinking athletic trainers.
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Bates, Dana K., "Critical-Thinking Skills of First-Year Athletic Training Students Enrolled in Professional Programs" (2017). Faculty Publications - Department of Health and Human Performance. 1.