Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 9-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Floralba A. Marrero, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Ray W. Francis, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Roblena E. Walker, Ph.D.


critical thinking, critical reasoning, sonography, teaching, clinical education


Critical thinking and reasoning are fundamental skills for a diagnostic medical sonographer. This quantitative quasi-experimental study examined whether teaching diagnostic medical sonography students the scientific method made a significant difference in the student's critical thinking and reasoning skills. Using the Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT), two groups of students were selected to participate in the study, with a control and experimental group. The HSRT was used to determine if a significant difference in critical thinking and reasoning was discernable from pre-to-post testing between the control and experimental group of students. The data supported teaching the scientific method improved the scores on the post HSRT in the experimental group, which received instruction in the scientific method. A student receiving instruction in the scientific method (n = 12) had a higher overall HSRT score (M = 27) than the control group (n = 12) (M = 19), with the difference being statistically significant at p = 0.05. Post HSRT testing shows an increase in their national percentile ranking for the posttest, the control group had an increase of 13%, and the experimental group had an increase of 32%. The HSRT can provide educators with a tool to measure the effectiveness of a student’s critical thinking and reasoning skills, facilitating their development of bridging didactic and laboratory education to the clinical setting.

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