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What employers think about critical thinking? Preliminary research report

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Presentation made by Professor Daniela Dumitru from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE Bucuresti), at the EdProf conference (http://dppd.ase.ro/), 18th of May 2017. Present research report is a part of the project “Critical Thinking Across the Higher Education Curricula – CRITHINKEDU” funded by European Commission under an Erasmus+ grant.

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What employers think about critical thinking? Preliminary research report

  1. 1. CRITHINKEDU Critical Thinking Across the European Higher Education Curricula 2017
  2. 2. What employers think about critical thinking? Preliminary research report Daniela Dumitru, PhD (associate professor) Bucharest University of Economic Studies Present research report is a part of the project “Critical thinking across higher education curricula – CRITHINKEDU” funded by European Commission under an Erasmus+ grant.
  3. 3. Critical thinking definition • For this research the definition I use is from Delphi Report “Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction” (Facione, 1990): • Critical thinking skills • Critical thinking dispositions 2016
  4. 4. • Critical thinking is 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. Critical thinking is an essential tool of inquiry (which also has the meaning of research, interrogation or question). • It becomes more and more interesting, because it unfolds the implications in the personal and social context of the critical thinking, stating that: critical thinking is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one’s personal and civic life. 2016
  5. 5. Critical thinking skills • Analysis • Interpretation • Evaluation • Inference • Explanation • Self-regulation 2016
  6. 6. Dispositions to think critically • Critical thinking is not only cognition or argumentation, but a complex psychological reality that can be described in terms of a personality dimension. • Truth-seeking • Open-mindedness • Analyticity • Systematicity • Self-confidence • Inquisitiveness • Cognitive maturity 2016
  7. 7. • The phrase “disposition toward critical thinking” refers to a person’s inner motivation toward critical thinking when confronted with solving problems, evaluating ideas and making decisions (Facione et al., 1997, apud. Giancarlo, 2004). 2016
  8. 8. Focus groups with employers • In total 4 focus groups were carried out, all in Bucharest (both face- to-face and online), with 27 participants representing 3 different sectors (NGO, public sector and private sector) and 5 different fields: • Education • Health • Administration • Real estate • Information and communication technology 2017
  9. 9. 2017 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 Interpretation Analysis Inference Evaluation Explanation Self-regulation CT skills - Education 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Truth-seeking Self- confidence Systematicity Open-mindedness AnalyticityInquisitiveness Cognitive maturity Social skills/pro- social behaviour NEW Communication NEW CT Dispositions - Education
  10. 10. 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 Interpretation Analysis Inference Evaluation Explanation Self-regulation Administration - CT Skills 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Truth-seeking Self- confidence Systematicity Open-mindedness AnalyticityInquisitiveness Cognitive maturity Social skills/pro- social behaviour Creativity Administration - CT Dispozitions
  11. 11. 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 Interpretation Analysis Inference Self-regulation Evaluation Explanation Real estate - CT skills 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Truth-seeking Self- confidence Systematicity Open-mindednessInquisitiveness Analyticity Cognitive maturity Real estate Dispositions
  12. 12. 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Interpretation Analysis Inference Creativity NEWSelf-regulation Evaluation Explanation Health - CT Skills 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Truth-seeking Self- confidence Systematicity Open-mindedness Inquisitiveness Analyticity Cognitive maturity Humanistic vaalues HEALTH - Dispositions
  13. 13. 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Interpretation Inference Analysis Self- regulation Explanation Evaluation ICT - Skills 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 Self- confidence Open- mindedness Inquisitiveness AnalyticityTruth-seeking Cognitive maturity Systematicity ICT - Dispositions
  14. 14. Discussions & Conclusions • There are differences among fields in terms of which dimensions are emphasized : • Education: Analysis (S); Cognitive maturity & Communication (D) • Administration: Interpretation, Analysis, Inference, Evaluation, Explanation (S); Social skills/ pro-social behavior (D) • Real estate: Analysis, Inference, Self-regulation (S); Inquisitiveness (D) • Health: Analysis, Inference (S); Inquisitiveness (D) • ICT: Evaluation & Self-regulation (S); Open-mindedness (D). • These findings can be considered as tendencies (no statistical significance. 2016
  15. 15. Discussions & Conclusions • Over all, there are fewer mentions of CT skills in comparison to dispositions. • It means that, for non-specialists, CT resembles a personality trait, a part of common sense psychology, and not so much as an ability/skill. • So it cannot be developed in a few classes, but something that emerges from years of learning and effort. • “It is important the development of the ability to look for personal solutions, unique, original. The employee is responsible for developing this ability, and then the institution” (employer from administration). 2016

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