"A significant finding of the study was that in terms of assessment of student critical thinking “faculty were disconnected from their own approaches to CT”
A recent study conducted at “two large public universities” asked educators in general education “(a) what do faculty think about the levels of CT in students and (b) how do faculty evaluate the efficacy of their classroom approaches aimed at developing CT in students?" In response, faculty “unanimously expressed frustration with the level of CT in students,” but despite uncertainty, they did retain a “hopeful pedagogy” regarding critical thinking pedagogy in their classrooms (Nicholas & Raider-Roth, 2016).
What is this hopeful pedagogy? Is teaching critical thinking wishful thinking?
When faculty were asked whether they thought their “current approach to develop CT in students is successful,” responses from across the curriculum echoed the same sentiment about students: “hopefully they're critical” and “hopefully they’ve become wiser” (Nicholas & Raider-Roth, 2016).
But what issues cause the friction between faculty and their students' critical thinking?
A significant finding of the study was that in terms of assessment of student critical thinking “faculty were disconnected from their own approaches to CT” (Nicholas & Raider-Roth, 2016). Most faculty reported that, for variety of institutional, discipline, or pedagogical reasons, they did not explicitly assess critical thinking in their classrooms. Without explicitly connecting the teaching and assessing of critical thinking, faculty could only hope that students are really developing as critical thinkers.
To make sure your students are developing as critical thinkers:
The Critical Thinking Initiative ...
offers resources dedicated to helping educators across the disciplines develop strong critical thinkers, engage subject matter more deeply, and become equipped to handle the complex media and political issues in the world today.