Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name


Administration and Policy Studies


The purpose of this study was to gather data regarding the effectiveness of training in problem solving management by critical analysis. The focus of the study therefore, was to determine if training in problem solving management by critical analysis would increase levels of problem analysis and judgment productivity in a group of administrators. Previous research studies indicate positive relationships between training in problem solving and improved performance of administrators in their task efforts. Twenty-six administrative and supervisory staff members in an urban school district took part in the study. Using a randomized pretest-posttest research design, subjects were divided into an experimental and a control group. The experimental group was exposed to training sessions in problem management by critical analysis based upon writings by Elbing (1978), Drake (1976), Ennis (1962) and Rickards (1974). The control group received no training. All subjects were pretested using the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Form A. Following the training sessions with the experimental group, all subjects were post-tested using the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Form B. The Critical Thinking Appraisal Forms A and B thus yielded a numerical score for each of the five subtests on problem analysis and judgment productivity-inference, recognition of assumptions, deduction, interpretation, and evaluation of arguments. A null hypothesis was constructed to deal with experimental and control group comparison and possible differences with the training sessions functioning as the independent variable and the post-test scores functioning as the dependent variable. To determine if gains by any group were significant, a t-test was applied to the data. The .05 level of confidence was utilized to determine if data were significant. This analysis reported a gain in problem analysis and judgmental productivity in the experimental group and none in the control group. It was therefore concluded that the gain or differences reported in the post-test results, can be directly attributed to the training sessions in problem solving management by critical analysis.


Signature pages are on file with the graduate school. An archival copy of the document is available in the Archives Research Center.