Skill Development and Critical Thinking in Higher Education

Rwanda's national development strategy relies heavily on expanding access to higher education, largely due to an assumption that a university education encourages the ability to think critically about problems and to use evidence when making decisions. This study empirically investigated this assumption by administering a performance-task-based test of critical thinking, adapted for use in Rwanda, to students enrolled at three of Rwanda's most prestigious public institutions. Results of the study suggest that Rwandan students are not substantially improving in their critical thinking ability during their time at university. These findings have significant implications for Rwanda's development agenda.

Higher Education - Foundation for Critical Thinking

Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking in Higher Education
Photo provided by


Thinking is an important aspect of the higher education world that is often overlooked. I am referring to the type of thinking that requires you to weigh and evaluate things. This type of thinking is called "critical thinking." We need to note that great value has been placed on the lessons of the "critical thinking" process that occurs within the world of higher education.

Assessing Critical Thinking in Higher Education ..

Those of us who work in higher education have assumed that we know what critical thinking is -- how could we not? Don’t we see it happening every day? Don’t we do it? Yet, if we realize that “critical thinking” implies a set of general thinking skills that transfer from one subject or domain to another, then the task of identifying exactly what those skills are becomes extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible, to accomplish.

The question at issue in this paper is: What is the current state of critical thinking in higher education?
Photo provided by

Assessing Critical Thinking in Higher Education: Current ..

Chouari, Ahmed, Teaching Critical Thinking in Moroccan Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities (July 26, 2016). Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), Volume 7, Number 2, p. 457-467, June, 2016 . Available at SSRN:

Critical Thinking and/or Argumentation in Higher Education - Springer

Critical thinking is one of the most frequently discussed higher order skills, believed to play a central role in logical thinking, decision making, and problem solving (Butler, ; Halpern, ). It is also a highly contentious skill in that researchers debate about its definition; its amenability to assessment; its degree of generality or specificity; and the evidence of its practical impact on people's academic achievements, career advancements, and personal life choices. Despite contention, critical thinking has received heightened attention from educators and policy makers in higher education and has been included as one of the core learning outcomes of college students by many institutions. For example, in a relatively recent survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U, ), 95% of the chief academic officers from 433 institutions rated critical thinking as one of the most important intellectual skills for their students. The finding resonated with voices from the workforce, in that 81% of the employers surveyed by AAC&U () wanted colleges to place a stronger emphasis on critical thinking. Similarly, Casner‐Lotto and Barrington () found that among 400 surveyed employers, 92.1% identified critical thinking/problem solving as a very important skill for 4‐year college graduates to be successful in today's workforce. Critical thinking was also considered important for high school and 2‐year college graduates as well.

Beyond Critical Thinking - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Whether we can actually teach students critical-thinking skills is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood issues in higher education today, argues John Schlueter.