Critical thinking in the university curriculum - the impact on engineering education

Ahern, A. and O'Connor, T. and McRuairc, G. and McNamara, M. and O'Donnell, D. (2012) Critical thinking in the university curriculum - the impact on engineering education. pp. 125-132. ISSN 03043797 (ISSN)

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Abstract

Critical thinking is a graduate attribute that many courses, including engineering courses, claim to produce in students. As a graduate attribute it is seen by academics as a particularly desirable outcome of student learning and is said by researchers to be a defining characteristic of university education. However, how critical thinking is understood and defined varies quite significantly between disciplines. The paper describes a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with academics involved in teaching and learning in a number of disciplines, including engineering. The objective of these interviews is to look at how different disciplines define critical thinking and how they teach critical thinking in their courses. The paper also describes how an analysis of student work and module descriptors has led to the development of a model of critical thinking that can be used across disciplines. © 2012 Copyright SEFI.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :2; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Ahern, A.; School of Civil, Structural and Civil Engineering, University College DublinIreland; email: aoife.ahern@ucd.ie; References: Barrie, S., Understanding what we mean by the generic attributes of graduates (2006) Higher Education, 51 (2), pp. 215-224; Jones, A., Multiplicities or manna from heaven? Critical thinking and the discipline context (2007) Australian Journal of Education, 51 (1), pp. 84-103; Maton, K., Analysing knowledge claims and practices: languages of legitimation (2009) Social realism knowledge and the sociology of education: Coalitions of the mind, pp. 35-59. , In: Maton K., Moore R., editors London: Continuum; Maton, K., Cumulative and segmented learning: exploring the role of curriculum structures in knowledge-building (2009) British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30 (1), pp. 43-57. , 2004; Phillips, V., Bond, C., Undergraduate experiences of critical thinking (2004) Higher Education Research and Development, 23 (3), pp. 277-294
Uncontrolled Keywords: creativity; critical thinking; curriculum design; science education; university education; Curriculum designs; Curricula; Education computing; Teaching; Technical presentations; Students
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 19:19
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2015 19:19
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/1704

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