Browsing by Subject "Critical thinking"

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  • Sinervo, Stiina; Sormunen, Kati; Kangas, Kaiju; Hakkarainen, Kai; Lavonen, Jari; Juuti, Kalle; Korhonen, Tiina; Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, Pirita (2021)
    The study focuses on examining elementary pupils' (N = 42, 11-13 years old) reflections on collaborative design processes, team collaboration and their co-inventions. Digital and traditional fabrication technologies were used in a 2-year co-invention project containing approximately 16 sessions during year 1 and 11 sessions in year 2. Between the two project periods, the pupils were asked to write a structured essay about their co-invention and design process, and in year 2 they kept journal notes in each team's design-folder. Each pupil's structured essay was analyzed with qualitative content analysis that focused on three main aspects: (1) description of the co-invention, (2) progress of the co-invention process and (3) quality of collaboration. Based on the essay analysis, we constructed a "Co-invention Table" with five categories: user, conceptual design, technical design, appearance, and construction. The nature of the 13 pupil-teams' co-inventions varied greatly, and these co-inventions were divided according to three main functions: (1) improving cleanliness, (2) providing reminders or (3) addressing well-being. The essays provided information on how creative ideas were generated and how critical thinking and evaluation of ideas were crucial in improving ideas for further development. The collaboration was dependent on everyone's active and equal participation into work and the importance of an adequate division of the labor was highlighted.
  • Kleemola, Katri; Hyytinen, Heidi; Toom, Auli (2022)
    Critical thinking is a combination of complex cognitive skills that are used for purposeful thinking. It is important for the successful acquisition of disciplinary skills in higher education and thus, it is a valuable competency for a new student. The complex nature of critical thinking leads to challenges for its assessment even in performance assessments such as CLA+ International (Collegiate Learning Assessment). The aim with this study is to examine internal associations of a critical thinking assessment for new students in higher education. The sample consisted of 1469 first-year students in 18 higher education institutions in Finland. An open-ended performance task and multiple-choice tasks were used to assess six measures of critical thinking, namely analysis and problem solving, writing effectiveness, writing mechanics, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical reading and critiquing an argument. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to analyse the data. A latent component indicated by the measures derived from the performance task was identified. The measures derived from the multiple-choice tasks did not form a factorial structure. Multiple-choice questions are problematic in critical thinking assessment as they focus on individual skills instead of holistic use of skills. Implications for assessment development and higher education are discussed.
  • Rydenfelt, Henrik (Springer, 2020)
    Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education
    The concept of pluralism is of central importance in contemporary moral and political education, where a crucial aim is to promote acceptance of the life choices of others and to teach tolerance towards diversity of values. However, this promotion of pluralism suffers from two immediate difficulties. Firstly, the concept of pluralism has proved somewhat elusive, and it is far from clear that its various uses are congruent. Secondly, there is a long-standing criticism against ethical and political pluralism which maintains that pluralist views are difficult if not impossible to defend without succumbing to dreaded relativism. In this article, I will firstly distinguish an educationally interesting form of pluralism and then, drawing from thinkers in the tradition of philosophical pragmatism, attempt to meet the criticism that such pluralism has no interesting philosophical defense.
  • Hyytinen, Heidi; Ursin, Jani; Silvennoinen, Kaisa; Kleemola, Katri; Toom, Auli (2021)
    Our aim was to explore higher education students’ response and self-regulatory processes plus the relationship between these, as evidenced in two types of performance-based critical thinking tasks included in the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) International instrument. The data collection consisted of 20 cognitive laboratories. The data were analyzed using a qualitative approach. The tasks were found to trigger different response and self-regulatory processes. Overall, the performance task evoked more holistic processes than the selected-response questions, in which students’ processes were more question-oriented. The results also indicated the entanglement of students’ response and self-regulation processes. Three self-regulation groups were identified. Students with versatile self-regulation skills were able to complete the task thoroughly, whereas students with moderate self-regulation skills faced challenges in monitoring and evaluating their performance. Students who were lacking in self-regulation struggled both with the task as a whole and their own progress. Implications for higher education are discussed.
  • Hyytinen, Heidi; Toom, Auli; Postareff, Liisa (2018)
    Critical thinking is a key capability for academic experts and for developing one’s expertise from the very beginning of studying at university. Self-efficacy beliefs and approaches to learning are important in this process, although their relationships with critical thinking are not clear. This study explores the relationship between critical thinking, approaches to learning and self-efficacy beliefs among Finnish first-year students in educational sciences (n=92). The self-reported data were used to measure approaches to learning and self-efficacy beliefs, and performance-based assessment data of critical thinking skills were analysed by using both quantitative and qualitative procedures. The results showed that most of the new students applied the deep approach to learning and had high self-efficacy beliefs related to learning. However, there were great differences in the quality of their critical thinking. Three groups with remarkable differences in critical thinking skills were detected. There were no connections between critical thinking, approaches to learning and self-efficacy beliefs. The results imply that the development of critical thinking needs to be facilitated systematically during study at university.