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CRITHINKEDU: from labor market needs to Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula

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Presentation made by Gonçalo Cruz Matos from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal, at the 39th EAIR Forum Porto 2017 (http://www.eairweb.org/forum2017/). The forum was held in Porto, Portugal, during the last 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th of September 2017.

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CRITHINKEDU: from labor market needs to Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula

  1. 1. CRITHINKEDU: from labor market needs to Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula Gonçalo Cruz1, Maria Nascimento12, Rita Payan-Carreira14, Caroline Dominguez123, Helena Silva15 e Felicidade Morais16 1UTAD – University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal 2CIDTFF – Research Centre on Didactics and Technology in Education of Trainers, Aveiro, Portugal 3CETRAD - Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies, Vila Real, Portugal 4CECAV - Animal and Veterinary Research Centre, Vila Real, Portugal 5CIIE - Centre for Research and Intervention in Education, Porto, Portugal 6CELGA - Centre for Studies of General and Applied Linguistics, Coimbra, Portugal EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017
  2. 2. Context EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Project Number: 2016-1-PT01-KA203-022808 Funding: European Union Programme: Erasmus+ / KA2 Action – Strategic Partnerships Budget: 397 478,00€ Duration: 2016-2019 Coordinator: University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Partners: Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain Universita Degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy University of Western Macedonia, Greece Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Greece University College Dublin, Ireland Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium UC Leuven, Belgium Siuolaikiniu Didaktiku Centras, Lithuania University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic Academia de Studii Economice din Bucuresti, Romania
  3. 3. Context EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 CT is not only a systematic and intentional use of different thinking mechanisms (skills), but also a way of being (dispositions). Source: http://bit.ly/2wweZcl (Facione, 1990; Ennis, 1991)
  4. 4. Problem EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 How do you imagine the future? Source: http://bit.ly/2eAnFbx
  5. 5. Problem EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017
  6. 6. EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Problem Companies find students not prepared enough for the challenges of the real world/labor market (Ahern et al. 2011; McAleese et al. 2013; Schwab & Samans, 2016) Source: http://bit.ly/2vDjLpZ
  7. 7. EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Problem Source: http://bit.ly/2wwsHvZ
  8. 8. Aim EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Collect evidence of needed critical thinking skills in different study areas Source: http://bit.ly/2gvvUms
  9. 9. Methodology Qualitative Research / 4 Focus Groups EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017
  10. 10. Methodology What CT skills are of the most importance today in your area/profession? ... “which skills does your organization seek in candidates?” EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017
  11. 11. Methodology EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Number of participants
  12. 12. Methodology EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Participants’ Profiles and Focus Groups’ Characterization
  13. 13. Methodology Source: Delphi Report “Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction” (Facione, 1990) EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Direct Approach to Content Analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005)
  14. 14. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Overall Results – Most mentioned CT skill
  15. 15. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Self-regulation “being in a constant process of analysis of your weaknesses and your strengths, trying to connect this with the obstacles and with what we can take advantage from what the world brings to us, doing that constant balance." (NGO_PT_1_ARTS). “this analysis, to look was has succeeded or not, must constantly grow within each one of us. It must be trained permanently.” (PB_PT_1_HEALTH). “Because if people are not thinking on what they are doing and question themselves on whether what they are doing is the best procedure or not, it is the most correct or if there are other ways to do it better (even if it can be obvious to do this routine). Many times, we cannot differentiate ourselves from what everybody else does, or from what the individual alone can do.” (PR_PT_7_TOURISM).
  16. 16. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Overall Results – CT skills mentioned by all the study areas
  17. 17. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Interpretation “If they have the ability to analyze a group right before they start the tour (...) they have to figure out what they want in the first few minutes, otherwise they may have problems, they will not be able to pass the message" (PR_PT_4_TOURISM) “In the medicine field, we still have an education that relies largely on the ability to memorize, without data, often fairly/not even organized […] We delay, for too long, the skill to emit duly informed decisions […]. If the necessity for data acquisition exists, we should be aware/know which data we are collecting” (PB_PT_1_HEALTH) "I have to raise data, raise facts that allow me to understand the situation, without any previous beliefs about it. Perceive the reasons and the causes of things"(PR_PT_1_ENGINEERING)
  18. 18. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Inference “(...) we look at a particular situation and we must look with different views (...) completely independent of the situation, in order to characterize the roots of problems and then point out clues and recommendations so that our clients can overcome the problems." (PR_PT_1_ENGINEERING) "Here I also speak about the creation of some programs, as it was also said here, they have to be able to elaborate these programs knowing that people also want to have time to rest, want to have moments for shopping, want to have moments to be surprised, and the program has to contemplate all these tools, all those moments. “ (PR_PT_7_TOURISM) “Therefore, at/in that moment my head has already pass all the information we acquired [during the consultation] and that allow recognizing if the situation is severe and, at the same time, take the action of referring him for other service… ” (PB_PT_1_HEALTH)
  19. 19. Results and Discussion Overall Results – categorized skills and uncategorized skills EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017
  20. 20. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Relative weight of the categorized and uncategorized skills
  21. 21. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Results by study area
  22. 22. Results and Discussion EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 Results by study area There are differences among areas in terms of which dimensions are emphasized: • Biomedicine: Evaluation (9), Explanation (5), Interpretation (4) and Self- regulation (4); • STEM: Explanation (5) and Inference (4); • Social Sciences: Self-regulation (5) and Interpretation (4); • Humanities: Self-regulation (6). These findings can be considered as tendencies (no statistical significance).
  23. 23. Conclusions EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 • Importance and need of CT skills in labor market, according to different study areas, purposes and contexts, that should be trained systematically and improved at the university. • CT skills are particularly highlighted in Biomedicine and STEM areas, as a requirement for professionals and seems to be related to the specific context of each area. Here, the ability to Evaluate, Infer, Explain, and Self-regulate is of utmost importance. • Self-regulation is the most valued skill by all the study areas and seems to be at the heart of CT and the basis for the development and progress of all the professionals. • Non-categorized CT skills were also highlighted, namely in the STEM and Humanities areas. Professionals don’t dismiss the development and acquisition of these skills (e.g. Creativity and Interpersonal skills) somehow related to CT, which should also be included in university curricula.
  24. 24. Limitations EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 • Convenience sample (timetable constraints and access) • Participants’ background on CT
  25. 25. Future Work EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017 • CT Dispositions Analysis - September 2017 • CRITHINKEDU’ First Output - October 2017 • CRITHINKEDU’ Second Output - October 2017
  26. 26. Thank you vey much for your attention. Join us and participate in our events! goncaloc@utad.pt Website: crithinkedu.utad.pt E-mail: crithinkedu@utad.pt Facebook: facebook.com/crithinkedu Twitter: @crithinkedu_EU Slideshare: slideshare.net/crithinkedu Youtube: bit.ly/crithinkeduyoutube EAIR Porto, 4th September 2017

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