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Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula: lessons learnt


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Presented at the OECD Meeting in Paris, between 6-7 September 2018, by Professor Caroline Dominguez from UTAD (Portugal).

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Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula: lessons learnt

  1. 1. Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula OECD Meeting Paris, September 6th and 7th of 2018 Caroline Dominguez UTAD, Portugal
  2. 2. CRITHINKEDU Critical Thinking across the European Higher Education Curricula Website: Facebook: Twitter: Youtube:
  3. 3. UTAD/webPACT
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Main objective Quality guidelines for Critical Thinking Education in European Higher Education
  6. 6. Secondary objectives - 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 8 Which CT skills/dispositions are most important today? …have to be improved? …will be needed in a near future in your organization?
  9. 9. Participants • 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).
  10. 10. General results (1) (a) Metacognition and anticipation of difficulties; importance of self-regulation and in being prepared to the unforeseen.
  11. 11. • (b) Interdependence between skills and dispositions; emerges from experience and practical experience, lifelong learning, long-term effort and goals. • (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)
  12. 12. 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. Social Sciences
  13. 13. Biomedicine 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.
  14. 14. STEM 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.
  15. 15. Humanities 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.
  16. 16. A proposal for a “European Inventory of Critical Thinking skills for the 21st century"
  17. 17. Final considerations 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.
  18. 18. O2 – Critical thinking in the European Higher Education A European review on Critical Thinking educational practices in Higher Education Institutions
  19. 19. Method and participants (1) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 9 9 26 9 7 1 Biomedicine STEM Social Sciences Humanities Diverse fields Not specified Literature review in partners’ countries: 46 empirical studies
  20. 20. Method and participants (2) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 9 9 26 9 Biomedicine STEM Social Sciences Humanities Interviews: 53 university teachers
  21. 21. Research on CT Education is a growing field within the European Higher Education (EHE) landscape. Main results (1)
  22. 22. CT dispositions are undervalued by EHE teachers. Main results (2)
  23. 23. CT instruction within subject-matter courses is the most used approach by university teachers, however not explicitly (immersive approach according to Ennis) Main results (3)
  24. 24. 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;
  25. 25. University teachers have difficulties to assess their students’ CT development. Main results (5) • Superficial assessment of the intervention: teachers and students’ perceptions; • Lack of standardized tests and agreement in their use; • Lack of students’ CT permanency assessment; • Lack of students’ CT transferability assessment.
  26. 26. Difficulties were detected at three main levels: pedagogical, methodological and organizational. Main results (6) • Lack of students’ motivation; • Lack of organizational culture; • Lack of classroom conditions; • Inadequate classes’ size; • Lack of pedagogical training; • etc.
  27. 27. Gaps between labor market and academia
  28. 28. Preliminary guidelines for quality in CT education (…)
  29. 29. O3 – Training course for university teachers on CT education Roma, 29 jan. – 2 fev. 2018
  30. 30. 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)
  31. 31. Replication /adaptation /implementation and evaluation of the course in partners’ institutions for-quality-assurance-criteria-in-critical-thinking-education-at- utad/
  32. 32. “Quality guidelines for Critical Thinking Education in European Higher Education” (after deployment scenarions in each partner institution) O4 – Quality in CT education
  33. 33. Critical Thinking Day and Bootcamp (2019)
  34. 34. 3. What have we learnt so far?
  35. 35. 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 course);
  36. 36. References Almeida, L. S. (coord.) (2017). Criatividade e Pensamento Crítico: Conceito, Avaliação e Desenvolvimento. Braga: Centro de Estudos e Recursos em Psicologia. Bailin, S., & Battersby, M. (2010). Reason in the Balance: An Inquiry Approach to Critical Thinking. Whitby, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Bloom, B. S.; Engelhart, M. D.; Furst, E. J.; Hill, W. H.; Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company. Davies, M., & Barnett, R. (2015). The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan Ennis, R. (1987). A taxonomy of critical thinking dispositions and abilities. In J. Baron & R. Sternberg (Eds.), Teaching thinking skills: Theory and practice, (pp. 9-26). New York: W.H. Freeman. Ennis, R. H. (1996). Critical Thinking. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  37. 37. (cont.) Halpern, D. (2014). Thought & Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 5th Edition. New York: Psychology Press Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment & Instruction: The Delphi Report. California: California Academic Press. Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2010). The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools. Dillon Beach: Foundation for Critical Thinking Press Nosich, G. (2001). Learning to Think Things Trough: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum. Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Saiz, C. (2018). Pensamiento crítico y eficácia. Madrid: Ediciones Pirámide.