ERG SES D 11, Innovative Intercultural Learning in Education
The 21st century is characterized by the abundance of information that is accessible at anytime from anywhere (Wardani, Lindawati, & Kusuma, 2017); (b) the increasing demand for new types of jobs which require large doses of abstract thinking; (c) the deep problems in politics and social justice, and (d) the need to take action on the environmental crisis and global sustainability (Magrabi, Pasha, & Pasha, 2018).
To deal with these accelerating changes and requests related to global political, economic, and ecosystem networks, the citizen should possess and develop a set of thinking processes and dispositions. They should be empowered not only to be informed but to do so from various sources, to overcome pigeonholed beliefs and prejudices, to think about complex issues critically and creatively, to do analytical thinking, to formulate problems, and solve them in a cooperative and collaborative manner.
In order to face and promote this social and personal progress, the main aim of the Higher Education should be to foment student development of Critical Thinking (CT) sustained by the ability to engage in lifelong learning (Bernstein & Isaac 2018). In fact, in response to the situation it is unlikely, especially in the West, to find an educational institution of tertiary education that does not mention the development of critical skills in the list of their main purposes. However, even though the CT is included in the study programs in a theoretical way, it is unclear how this objective is materialized. In the light of the abovementioned, an important question arises: Does college foment the development of CT?
Most authors, such as Fong, Kim, Davis, Hoang, and Kim (2017), postulate that the university experience causes an increase in the students’ PC level. However, there is no unanimity in this concern among professionals: there are authors who do not seem to detect statistically significant changes (White, 2018) while others state that there is even a decrease (Phan, 2011).
In relation to the area of knowledge, some authors who have done research on CT development in the university field suggest that certain degrees or areas of knowledge produce higher gains in CT than others (Huber & Kuncel, 2016). Lawson (1999, cited by Adam & Manson, 2014), for example, postulates that in general terms Psychology as a discipline seems to be more effective in increasing CT than other disciplines. Others, such as Aybek and Aslan (2017), propose that there is a strong relationship between Philosophy and CT, suggesting that the study of Philosophy results in a higher development of CT. Nevertheless, results regarding differences among areas of knowledge are not conclusive.
Moreover, the lack of a shared meaning of CT among researchers has led to confusion in its development and assessment. In addition, as most of the research on CT has focused on the nature of its Skills, the nature of CT Dispositions has not been well investigated (Dwyer, Hogan, Harney & Kavanagh, 2017). Besides, few attempts are given to the research of the students’ self-perception of CT Dispositions.
Henceforth, in this study it is reflected the importance of developing Critical Thinking (CT) in college students. Moreover, it further identifies the necessity to examine the matters associated with the investigation of CT Dispositions. Firstly, its conceptualization and its sub-dimensions and indicators are examined. Secondly, an instrument to measure the self- perception of CT Dispositions of college students who have not received specific PC instruction is developed and applied. Finally, these self-perceptions are studied and possible differences between different areas of knowledge are analysed.
INSTRUMENT The instrument used for the collection of information was a 28-item (Likert type) value scale, in which the respondents were asked their level of agreement with the beforementioned items. This instrument was aimed at knowing the Dispositions towards CT understood in terms of motivation and attitude. The items to be answered were classified in five topics: Intellectual perseverance (5 items), Intellectual humility (8 items), Intellectual empathy (5 items), Intellectual restlessness (4 items) and Intellectual autonomy (6 items). Regarding the sample, an accidental sampling method was used. The students answered the test in a paper format in a period of approximately 15 minutes, during their lesson time. In total, 10 groups from different areas of knowledge (Arts and Humanities; Experimental Sciences, Formal Sciences; Social and Legal Sciences; Health Sciences) participated, with a total of 348 students. Concerning the statistical studies related to the technical characteristics of the instrument, the most remarkable ones are the following: - Content validity: through the theoretical foundation and using expert judges. In regard to the later, it was assessed the relevance of the items by calculating the percentages of agreement between the experts and eliminating those that were not equal to or higher than 62.5%. Once the items that did not comply with the premise were eliminated, it was calculated the Cohen's Kappa concordance coefficient (K). Finally, the degree of agreement based on Landis and Koch (1977) was interpreted. This interpretation is the following: Κ <0.20 INSIGNIFICANT; 0.21 <Κ <0.40 DISCRETE; 0.41 <Κ <0.60 MODERATE; 0.61 <Κ <0.80 SUBSTANTIAL; 0.81 <Κ <1.00 ALMOST PERFECT. - Reliability: the internal consistency value of the instrument (Cronbach’s α) was calculated in order to analyse the consistency of the measurements. STATISTICAL STUDIES Relating to the statistical studies applied to assess the studied students’ PC Dispositions, as well as to determine if there are statistically significant differences depending on the variable considered, a set of statistical techniques were used. Especially, descriptive and multivariate statistics.
CT Dispositions do not respond to a single concept. There are multiple definitions of CT Dispositions with different nuances among authors and disciplines. However, these conceptualizations complement each other since the bases of their definitions tend to coincide. Although the results are not conclusive, they suggest that students of certain disciplines or areas of knowledge consider that they have higher degrees of CT Dispositions than others do. In particular, students of Philosophy and Mathematics are the ones who seem to have developed them the most, in particular those Dispositions related to the Intellectual Perseverance and Restlessness. Also, students of Philosophy and Mathematics are the ones who consider having higher levels of commitment to their own learning, adherence to rational principles, rejection of impulsiveness, analysis of the credibility of information sources, and tolerance with ambiguity and uncertainty. In the same vein, these two groups of students are those who seem to adopt a more reflective and constant review, are more motivated to look for alternative ideas, and adapt and filter the knowledge and skills generated in some contexts to others. In relation to Philosophy student scores, these may be a consequence of the very nature of the philosophical science, which contributes to the critical formation of an ontological, logical, conceptual, and methodological rationality (Rojas, 2016). Consequently, Philosophy helps students to think with clarity and autonomy. In relation to Mathematics students, the results presented coincide with those obtained in the quasi-experimental research of Sumarna and Herman (2017), which postulates that the study of Mathematics favour the increase of CT.
Adam, A., & Manson, T. M. (2014). Using a pseudoscience activity to teach critical thinking. Teaching of Psychology, 41(2), 130-134. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628314530343 Aybek, B., & Aslan, S. (2017). The Relationship between Prospective Teachers' Critical Thinking Dispositions and Their Educational Philosophies. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(4), 544-550. DOI: https://doi.org/110.13189/ujer.2017.050403 Bernstein, A. G., & Isaac, C. (2018). Critical Thinking Criteria for Evaluating Online Discussion. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12(2), 11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2018.120211 Dwyer, C. P., Hogan, M. J., Harney, O. M., & Kavanagh, C. (2017). Facilitating a student-educator conceptual model of dispositions towards critical thinking through interactive management. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(1), 47-73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-016-9460-7 Fong, C. J., Kim, Y., Davis, C. W., Hoang, T., & Kim, Y. W. (2017). A meta-analysis on critical thinking and community college student achievement. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 26, 71-83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2017.06.002 Huber, C. R., & Kuncel, N. R. (2016). Does college teach critical thinking? A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 86(2), 431-468. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654315605917 Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). An application of hierarchical kappa-type statistics in the assessment of majority agreement among multiple observers. Biometrics, 33 (2), 363-374. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2529786 Magrabi, S. A. R., Pasha, M. I., & Pasha, M. Y. (2018). Classroom Teaching to Enhance Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills for developing IOT Applications. Journal of Engineering Education Transformations, 31(3), 152-157. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.16920/jeet/2018/v31i3/120785 Phan, H. P. (2011). Deep processing strategies and critical thinking: Developmental trajectories using latent growth analyses. The Journal of Educational Research, 104(4), 283-294. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671003739382 Rojas, N. M. (2016). Filosofía, Investigación y Desarrollo Humano. Un hito a promover en la escuela de posgrado de la UNCP. Convicciones, 2 (1), 50-55. Retrieved from: http://revistas.uncp.edu.pe/index.php/convicciones/article/download/194/190. Sumarna, N., & Herman, T. (2017). The Increase of Critical Thinking Skills through Mathematical Investigation Approach. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 812 (1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/812/1/012067 Wardani, S., Lindawati, L., & Kusuma, S. B. W. (2017). The Development of Inquiry by Using Android-System-Based Chemistry Board Game to Improve Learning Outcome and Critical Thinking Ability. Jurnal Pendidikan IPA Indonesia, 6(2), 196-205. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15294/jpii.v6i2.8360 White, J. A. (2018). Increasing Critical Thinking in Personal Decision Making-a Contextual Framework for College Student. [Doctoral Thesis]. University of Rhode Island, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Rhode Island. Retrieved from: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/oa_diss/748
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