Springer and Borthick (2004a) designed cognitive conflict tasks in sophomore accounting to develop critical thinking. While prior work showed that students completing critical thinking courses had stronger content knowledge (Springer and Borthick 2007), it provided no evidence that these experiences would improve performance in courses with new content areas. This study extends the prior work by providing evidence of far transfer, the kind that would be expected if critical thinking were developed during the sophomore tasks. In this study, students with cognitive conflict task experience in sophomore accounting performed better than those with traditional sophomore accounting experience, in both readings-only and problem-based junior-level courses. In addition, the graduation GPAs of students with cognitive task experience increased more between the junior year and graduation than those of students without these tasks. An interaction between GPA and sophomore learning experience showed stronger effects for lower-achieving students, consistent with improved critical thinking.

You do not currently have access to this content.