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Stairway to the Stars: Comparing health and tourism professionals views about critical thinking


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Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education (TECH-EDU 2018), June 20-22, 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece.

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Stairway to the Stars: Comparing health and tourism professionals views about critical thinking

  1. 1. Stairway to the Stars: Comparing health and tourism professionals views about critical thinking
  2. 2. Context
  3. 3. Problem Need for preparing Health and Tourism students for careers Need to bridge the gap between the market needs – employers view – and the graduate profile – higher education institutions (HEI) view
  4. 4. Question Which are the the CT skills and CT dispositions recognized as necessary by the employers in Health and Tourism areas?
  5. 5. CT Definition “We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based (...) The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair- minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit” Facione, 1990
  6. 6. CT Skills Interpretation Analysis Inference Evaluation Explanation Self- Regulation Others
  7. 7. CT Dispositions Truth-seeking Open- mindedness Analyticity Systematicity Self- confidence Inquisitiveness Cognitive maturity
  8. 8. CT in Health Vs CT in Tourism Health Higher-order mental activities; ability to interpret information Tourism Problem-solving skills, ethical standards, professional appearance, communication skills, customer relations skills, and employee relations skills
  9. 9. Methodology Focus Group Interviews Open- questions Professionals of Health (n=5) and Tourism (n=9) December 2016
  10. 10. Methodology (cont.) Research Process Planning Composition Implementation Data analysis
  11. 11. Methodology (cont.) Questions Q1: What skills/dispositions are you looking for while employing university’ graduates in your organization? Q2: What CT skills/dispositions do master your employees/ /colleagues/workers? Q3: What CT skills/dispositions are of the most importance today? Q4: What CT skills/dispositions have to be improved/acquired today? Q5: What CT skills/ /dispositions will be needed in a near future in your organization?
  12. 12. Results – CT Skills
  13. 13. Results – CT Skills More Mentions In two areas: “Self-Regulation” (10 out of 62, 16%) “Other” (15 out of 62, 24%) “We must perform/undertake a critical reflective analysis on what we are doing, namely on our clinical practice …” (P5_HEA, 19/12/2016) “... having a pedagogical and observational ability - so that they can do their own evaluation at any moment, of their own work and try to modify what they think that is necessary to perform well - and be versatile - if they are, they can perfectly see if their work is going as expected, or if they need to help a colleague or something like that” (P2_TOU, 19/12/2016)
  14. 14. Results – CT Skills More Mentions “We must know, always/all the time, to know how to make analysis and synthesis simultaneously. Because, when a patient passes the door of the emergency room, we must perform an assessment at a glance, to evaluate if his condition is severe, if he needs this or that/not at all”. (P1_HEA, 19/12/2016) In Health area: “Evaluation” (20,5%) In Tourism area: “Other” such as: Interpersonal Skills, Communication, and Creativity
  15. 15. Results – CT Dispositions
  16. 16. Results – CT Dispositions More Mentions In Tourism: “Inquisitiveness” and “Analyticity” “More than training individuals who have a static knowledge, it is important to prepare them for more complex tasks, prepare them for more complex environments, for uncertain contexts, and prepare them for problem solving, search for innovative solutions. All these are critical thinking skills, but I think it is ... not only to have the knowledge, nor to have the ability, it is to have this attitude that I think should be more developed”. (P9_TOU, 19/12/2016) “From what I think that will be the demands of the future is the adaptability to change because the future will be this”. (P6_TOU, 19/12/2016)
  17. 17. Results – CT Dispositions More Mentions In Health: “Analyticity” and “Self-confidence" “I don‘t know if this can serve as an example, this is a prompt decision, that is, evaluate the situation, see in that moment that we couldn‘t do medication there, no (…) This is a real situation. It was important to know in that moment that it was serious (…) So, it was a practical and verified decision, based on criteria and analysis. “(P2_HEA, 19/12/2016) “The first important thing is that the professional feels able to exercise the profession. That creates solidity, in his performance, with that critical spirit to know the limits of what he knows and what he needs to do when he/she doesn‘t know. This is the first level of critical spirit that should remain along the whole career.” (P1_HEA, 19/12/2016)
  18. 18. Reflections and Future work Health Greater number of mentions in the CT skills than Tourism More mentioned CT: Evaluation, Others (Interpersonal Skills, Establishment of priorities and Communication skills) and Self-regulation Dispositions: less number of mentions Tourism More number of mentions in the CT disposition than Health More CT mentioned: Others (Interpersonal Skills, Communication, and Creativity) Dispositions more mentioned: Inquisitiveness and Analyticity
  19. 19. Reflections and Future work Health Professionals Tourism Professionals Professional practice; Critical thinking in the several dimensions related with the well-being and the clinical state of a specific patient. Critical thinking is essential for their professional development and enables them to develop a set of important skills for effective management, service delivery, and the provision of products, that allow customer satisfaction.
  20. 20. Reflections and Future work Future research 1) Connection between the needs of the labor market and the training of the graduates for both CT skills and CT dispositions 2) Follow-up studies in each area with different and bigger spectrum of professionals is needed 3) What types of CT skills and CT dispositions are common (or not)? 4) Are the CT skills and CT dispositions mentioned (or not) in this study the same (or not) for other professionals in these areas (or in other areas)?
  21. 21. Acknowledgments This work was supported by the ‘Critical Thinking Across the European Higher Education Curricula - CRITHINKEDU’ project, with the reference number 2016-1- PT01-KA203-022808, funded by the European Commission/EACEA, through the ERASMUS+ Programme and also by National Funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., under the project UID/CED/00194/2013.