A literature review of critical thinking in engineering education

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Title: A literature review of critical thinking in engineering education
Authors: Ahern, Aoife
Dominguez, Caroline
McNally, Ciaran
O'Sullivan, John J.
Pedrosa, Daniela
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10715
Date: 8-Mar-2019
Online since: 2019-05-30T07:35:12Z
Abstract: Developing optimum solutions to engineering problems typically relies on structured and complex thought processes that require evaluation, interpretation and opinion. Well-developed critical thinking (CT) skills are essential for dealing with the multi-dimensional nature of these problems. CT in an engineering context is well reported in teaching and learning academic literature. However, much of this is framed within theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Practical approaches of how CT skills are best promoted in engineering curricula are less common. A state-of-art review of practical interventions that target the development of CT in engineering students is presented. The review draws on 25 selected peer-reviewed journal articles in established engineering databases and focusses on teaching strategies where their effects in promoting CT skills in students are measured. Considerable variability in the reviewed literature was apparent. CT interventions and strategies are often reported, but metrics of their success in enhancing students’ CT is often limited to qualitative, subjective inferences. To more robustly and holistically ensure that CT is clearly embedded in university curricula, there needs to be well-funded research programmes that allow different methods to be developed and trialled over extended periods in higher education engineering programmes.
Funding Details: European Commission
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: Studies in Higher Education
Volume: 44
Issue: 5
Start page: 816
End page: 828
Copyright (published version): 2019 Society for Research into Higher Education
Keywords: Critical thinkingSkillsDispositionsEngineeringInterventionAssessment
DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1586325
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering Research Collection

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