An Exploratory Research Design Further Demonstrating the Need for the Integration of Critical Thinking Skill Curricula in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Higher Education Academic Programs

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To supplement Kiltz's (2009) research in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, this research assessed the critical thinking skills of local emergency managers in the Commonwealth of Virginia to determine specific areas of critical thinking deficiency. An exploratory descriptive research design, using the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Form S (WGCTA-S), was used to determine the extent to which a sample of 54 local emergency managers demonstrated the critical thinking skills associated with the ability to assume and manage risk. The WGCTA-S critical thinking scores, of the 54 local emergency managers, were compared to the critical thinking scores of a group of 4790 peer-level managers drawn from an archival WGCTA-S database. Recommendations for future research include determining exactly how to define, assess, and evaluate critical thinking skills for the profession of homeland security and emergency management.