- Editor's Note
Welcome to the Journal of General Education, Volume 56, Issue 3–4! In this issue, authors of four articles use a number of research approaches to examine a range of student outcomes at a wide variety of institutional types.
Two of the studies in this issue show that faculty influence the development of student thinking in myriad ways. Mazer, Hunt, and Kuznekoff examine critical thinking in communication courses at a large state university. Using a critical thinking self-assessment, the authors indicate that an instructional module targeting critical thinking indeed showed student perceptions that their critical thinking improved over time. Also examining critical thinking but at an elite liberal arts college, Tsui used case study methods and found that faculty can foster development of critical thinking by setting the intellectual ethos within the context of a course.
Two studies in this issue show that students' perceptions and personal choices can influence the development of their thinking. Drawing primarily on qualitative methods, Pizzolato found that in two large public institutions in the eastern United States, student epistemological development in one context did not necessarily transfer to another context. Rather, students chose from a range of epistemological orientations depending on contextual demands. Garg and Garg examined student perception of the benefit of computer skills learned in a general education course within a Computer and Information Skills program at the University of Botswana. The authors note that student perceptions of benefits of the courses and skills to be learned influenced their attitudes and behaviors, as well as their intentions to use the skills in the future.
I hope you will enjoy this issue and that in reading these important works, you will be inspired to make your own contributions to the Journal of General Education! For guidelines for submitting articles, see those contained in this volume or visit the following URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_general_education/information/ guidelines.html .