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Quality guidelines for Critical Thinking
Education in European Higher Education
- Teachers’ education on CT systematic promotion
- Network of European Universities and organizations (private and
public) interested in promoting Critical Thinking
- Repository of resources on CT promotion
- Scientific and Public dissemination of Crithinkedu results
O1 – Critical thinking in the European labor market
A European collection of the Critical Thinking
skills and dispositions needed in different
professional fields for the 21st century
Which CT skills/dispositions are most important
…have to be improved?
…will be needed in a near future in your
• 112 from Social Sciences (education, tourism, etc.);
• 36 from Biomedicine (health, animal sciences, etc.);
• 32 from STEM – Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Maths –
(engineering, ICT, etc.);
• 7 from Humanities (arts and culture).
General results (1)
(a) Metacognition and anticipation of difficulties;
importance of self-regulation and in being prepared
to the unforeseen.
• (b) Interdependence between skills and
dispositions; emerges from experience and practical
experience, lifelong learning, long-term effort and
• (c) Essential for personal and professional
improvement, but also for the common good;
brings an added value at economic and social level,
and related with other skills as communication,
teamwork, emotional intelligence and creativity.
General results (2)
Specially for teachers and educators, CT is a major concern because it affects
directly the development and learning of future citizens - those
professionals being key actors and civic agents of these modelling processes,
who can adopt different strategies to nurture CT.
CT requires clinical reasoning which is understood as thinking over different
aspects of healthcare and wellbeing, in order to obtain a plausible decision
regarding prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a specific patient.
CT is required for problem-solving, which is understood as thinking about
problems and different approaches to achieve the best solutions attending
to the needs, goals and expectations of a specific customer.
CT involves the ability of thinking about reality, about what is ahead of
him/her, ahead of all, and through this observation and thought modify
that reality, transforming it into an artistic object/expression.
A proposal for a “European Inventory of
Critical Thinking skills for the 21st century"
Similar global interpretation of CT between the diverse fields. However
with differences in its application shaped attending to the context,
characteristics and peculiarities of each knowledge domain.
O2 – Critical thinking in the European Higher Education
A European review on Critical Thinking educational
practices in Higher Education Institutions
Method and participants (1)
Biomedicine STEM Social Sciences
Humanities Diverse fields Not specified
Literature review in partners’ countries:
46 empirical studies
Method and participants (2)
Biomedicine STEM Social Sciences Humanities
53 university teachers
Research on CT Education is a growing field within the European Higher
Education (EHE) landscape.
Main results (1)
CT dispositions are undervalued by EHE teachers.
Main results (2)
CT instruction within subject-matter courses is the most used approach by
university teachers, however not explicitly (immersive approach according to
Main results (3)
Active Learning methodologies, Teachers’ training and Students’ support are
fundamental for CT development.
Main results (4)
• Argumentative discussions;
• Problem-based learning;
• Peer review;
• Authentic situations;
University teachers have difficulties to assess their students’ CT development.
Main results (5)
• Superficial assessment of the intervention: teachers and
• Lack of standardized tests and agreement in their use;
• Lack of students’ CT permanency assessment;
• Lack of students’ CT transferability assessment.
Difficulties were detected at three main levels: pedagogical, methodological and
Main results (6)
• Lack of students’ motivation;
• Lack of organizational culture;
• Lack of classroom conditions;
• Inadequate classes’ size;
• Lack of pedagogical training;
Preliminary guidelines for quality in CT education (…)
O3 – Training course for university teachers on CT education
Roma, 29 jan. – 2 fev. 2018
O3 – Training course for university teachers on CT education
DAY 1 What do we want to achieve in our Curricular Unit?
(goal: identify and clarify CT learning goals and outcomes)
DAY 2 What do students have to do?
(goal: design CT learning activities and tasks)
DAY 3 How can we support students in CT development?
(goal: experience CT teaching methods and strategies)
DAY 4 How can we measure the achievement?
(goal: identify criteria and tools for CT assessment)
DAY 5 Are we all ready to go?
(goal: present the main outcomes of the course)
Replication /adaptation /implementation and
evaluation of the course in partners’ institutions
“Quality guidelines for Critical Thinking Education in
European Higher Education”
(after deployment scenarions in each partner institution)
O4 – Quality in CT education
1. CT is domain-specific and highly needed within labor market/society (should be
continuosly fed by the different stakeholders – relationship between classroom-world);
2. Dispositions are the key for permanency and transferability (and can be achieved
trough active and cooperative learning pedagogies);
3. CT is not being explicitly and systematically taught – requires environments carefully
designed (redesign of practices) and integrative curricula (alignment between the
different courses, curricular units);
4. CT should be part/reinforced in the institutional quality teaching guidelines;
5. CT assessment needs more research (format, tranferability and permanency);
6. Teachers’ training on critical thinking should entail reflection and time to share course
redesign among peers (importance of groupwork, tutors and regular monitoring after the
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Presented at the OECD Meeting in Paris, between 6-7 September 2018, by Professor Caroline Dominguez from UTAD (Portugal).