Critical Thinking Skills For College Students

Critical Thinking Skills For College Students-88
Meanwhile, students’ performance on course exams demonstrated gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data.Comments collected from undergraduate participants confirm the researchers’ conclusions: “Before, I would have been more prone to quickly accept the results from science experiments as being always correct,” said one student.

Meanwhile, students’ performance on course exams demonstrated gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data.Comments collected from undergraduate participants confirm the researchers’ conclusions: “Before, I would have been more prone to quickly accept the results from science experiments as being always correct,” said one student.of a p53 student-research project conducted by biologists at Stanford University found that the experience helped shift undergraduates’ conceptions of what it means to “think like a scientist,” from novice to more expert-like.

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I assumed that virtually all the readers would agree with this definition of critical thinking—the definition I was taught as a student in the 1980s and which I continue to use with my own students.An evaluation of a student-research project conducted by biologists at Stanford University found that the experience helped shift undergraduates’ conceptions of what it means to “think like a scientist,” from novice to more expert-like.Photocredit: Getty For decades—for centuries, in fact—students have been listening to lectures, reading books and taking exams.Second, the experimentation in which they engage involves “iteration”: repeating a process a number of times, altering a single variable to find out what happens.Third, participants experience a significant degree of collaboration, with their peers and with the expert scientists who are their instructors.found that at least 45 percent of students in its sample did not demonstrate any statistically significant improvement in their reasoning and communication skills during their first two years of college.Spurred by such findings, educators have sought to engineer new approaches.But this traditional mode of instruction is becoming ever more inadequate as a method of educating our young people.In a complex world overrun with information, there’s one skill above all that the next generation will need: the capacity to engage in critical thinking.“But because this course taught us to question our results and look for possible sources of errors, I developed a more critical eye when interpreting experimental results.” Remarked another student: “I am happy that errors occurred in the process, because troubleshooting them really helped me develop greater critical thinking skills, instead of just following the protocol.” conducted at Florida Atlantic University, where undergraduates were challenged to discover new antibiotics produced by soil bacteria that the students isolated from local habitats.Researchers at the university gave participating students a critical-thinking test before and after they worked on identifying novel antibiotics (an undertaking that, not incidentally, addresses a worldwide health threat: the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics).

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