CRITICAL THINKING EMBEDDEDNESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAMMES

  • Natalija Valavičienė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Daiva Penkauskienė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Jolanta Pivorienė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Asta Railienė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Odeta Merfeldaitė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Justinas Sadauskas Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Violeta Jegelevičienė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Valdonė Indrašienė Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
Keywords: critical thinking, skills, dispositions, study programmes

Abstract

Aim. The aim of this research is to examine how critical thinking is reflected in Lithuanian higher education study programmes and what conceptual model(s) of critical thinking are used by study programme  makers.

Methods. The subject of the study encompasses 8 higher education study programmes and their subjects. They are analysed based on a constructed conceptual framework, which defines 9 critical thinking skills and 18 critical thinking dispositions.

Results. Analysis, evaluation and decision making are the most common critical thinking skills embedded in the goals of a study course and its learning outcomes. Explanation, interpretation and making inferences are less pronounced. Dispositions are listed rarely and in quite an indistinct way. Only open-mindedness and honesty have clear expression and statement in study programmes, though to a lesser extent. Dispositions such as concern for every person, inquisitiveness and flexibility are very fragmented.

Conclusions. For the meantime, critical thinking is neither reflected equally and coherently in all parts of study programmes – course goals, content, described methods and learning outcomes – nor clear conceptual models of critical thinking can be detected.

Research restrictions. The policy of the colleges and universities on providing the descriptions of study programmes and syllabuses publicly, limits their accessibility. Due to the sampling of study programmes, the research represents only selected study programmes.

Practical application. The created framework may be used to study programmes’ development by introducing the defined critical thinking skills in the descriptions of the study programmes more systematically.

Author Biographies

Natalija Valavičienė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Sociologist, lecturer and researcher at Mykolas Romeris University and at National Agency for Education. She is author and co-author of scientific articles and conference presentations in the field of social research methodology, international migration, academic integrity, students’ achievement.

Daiva Penkauskienė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Lecturer at Mykolas Romeris University. Subjects taught – Development of Critical Thinking; Social Programs and Projects; Psychological-Educational Technologies; Educational Projects. Her professional interests cover teaching and learning strategies, education for/of critical and creative thinking, phenomenological research.

Jolanta Pivorienė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Associated professor at Mykolas Romeris University, having over 20 years’ experience in initiation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the national and international projects. Her research interests are social changes, sustainable development, and higher education.

Asta Railienė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Associate professor at Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania. Subjects taught – Career Education; Socio-Educational Projects and Programs; Career Counselling in Organization. Her professional interests cover education of critical thinking, career education, and social pedagogical support strategies.

Odeta Merfeldaitė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Professor at Mykolas Romeris University. Subjects taught – Social Pedagogy; Social counseling; Modelling of Social Pedagogical Support. Her professional interests cover education of critical thinking, social pedagogical support strategies.

Justinas Sadauskas, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Lecturer at Mykolas Romeris University.  Subjects taught – Supervision in Social Work, Professional Development and Supervision in Social Work, Introduction to Social Work and Professional Ethics; Social Work Practice in Community. His professional interests cover higher education, competencies development, social work ethic and values. 

Violeta Jegelevičienė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Associate professor at Mykolas Romeris University, working in the areas of usability of the scientific results, study instruments’ validation as well as interested in learning motives, their role in the learning process and critical thinking in general education schools.

Valdonė Indrašienė, Institute of Educational Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Mykolas Romeris University Ateities g. 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania

Professor and director of Institute of Educational Science and Social Work at Mykolas Romeris University. Her most important research in recent years was related to the didactic activities of teachers and the improvement of teachers' qualifications as well as attitudes of students of higher education institutions.

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Published
2020-09-11
How to Cite
Valavičienė, N., Penkauskienė, D., Pivorienė, J., Railienė, A., Merfeldaitė, O., Sadauskas, J., Jegelevičienė, V., & Indrašienė, V. (2020). CRITICAL THINKING EMBEDDEDNESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAMMES. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 11(2), 121-132. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs2020.2.121.132