Date of Conferral







Heng-Yu Ku


The probe method (PM) is a learning model that equips students with essential learning strategies and skills so they can be successful and competitive in a highly diverse technological global workforce. Although research indicates this learning model was successful at the elementary school level with improving students' motivation to learn, their critical thinking skills, and their ability to solve complex problems, little research has examined the impact of this method at the high school level for students who participated in a career and technical education (CTE) program. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to fill a gap in knowledge about the role and function of the PM on high school students' motivation to learn and their critical thinking skills in a CTE program. Guided by the conceptual framework of constructivism, data were collected through surveys, reflective journals, interviews with 17 students, and a teacher interview. Data were analyzed through descriptive and content analysis using open coding to determine what active learning was taking place, whether authentic project-based and problem-based learning strategies were implemented, and what 21st century workforce skills were being taught. Findings indicated that the PM had a positive impact on high school students' motivation to learn and their ability to think critically in a CTE program. This study supports positive social change by providing high school CTE teachers with a valuable learning model that infuses reflective thought, collaboration, communication, problem solving, and critical thinking into the learning process while at the same time motivating students to learn.