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Importance and possibilities of development of critical thinking in the university: the teacher's perspective

Abstract: In our globalised, pluralistic, and often information-swamped society, critical thinking is recognised as an important competence to be developed in university education. In order to investigate this, 142 Latin American and Spanish teachers were asked about the importance of and potential for developing critical thinking in university education. Their responses were subjected to an inductive analysis, which lead to 13 categories about the reasons why it is important, and 11 categories about the potential and limitations for developing it in university education. These categories were found to remain statistically unchanged regardless of age, years of teaching experience, area of knowledge, gender and geographical area. Results show that teachers consider important to teach critical thinking at university and mainly for students to become good professionals in a complex world. Teachers believe it is possible to teach it, as long as active methodologies are used, in addition to other reasons, such as taking into account the lack of interest and preparation about critical thinking that students bring to university. Getting to know university teacher´s views about the importance and possibilities of teaching and learning critical thinking is crucial for the establishment of meaningful curriculum plans and learning activities for its development.
Keywords: teachers / Critical thinking / University education / Development of Critical / Importance and Possibilities

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