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importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Reflective Practice: A Critical Thinking Study Method

In the ever-evolving landscape of education and self-improvement, the quest for effective study techniques is unceasing. One such technique that has gained substantial recognition is reflective practice. Rooted in the realms of experiential learning and critical thinking, reflective practice goes beyond pure memorisation and aims to foster a deeper understanding of concepts.

In this article, we’ll explore the essence of reflective practice as a study technique and how it can be harnessed to elevate the learning experience.

What is Reflective Learning?

The concept of reflective practice has been explored by many researchers , including John Dewey. His work states that reflective learning is more than just a simple review of study material. It's an intentional process that encourages students to examine their experiences, thoughts, and actions. This process aims to uncover insights and connections that lead to enhanced comprehension. The essence of reflective practice lies in its ability to turn information consumption into an active cognitive exercise that leads to the understanding and retention of information.

At its core, reflective learning involves several key steps:

  • Experience : the first step to reflective learning is to engage with the material, whether it's a lecture, a reading, a discussion, or any other learning experience.
  • Reflection : after engaging with the material to be understood it’s important to take time to ponder and evaluate the experience. This involves questioning what was learnt, why it was learnt, and how it fits into the larger context of the subject matter.
  • Analysis : once the information has been questioned, it’s important to dive deeper into the experience by analysing the components, concepts, and connections. Explore how the new information relates to what you already know.
  • Synthesis : it’s then time to integrate the new knowledge with your existing understanding, creating a cohesive mental framework that bridges the gaps between concepts.
  • Application : it’s then important to consider how this newly acquired knowledge can be applied in real-life scenarios or to solve problems, thus enhancing its practical relevance.
  • Feedback and adjustment : the final step is to reflect on the effectiveness of the learning process. What worked well? What could be improved? This step encourages continuous refinement of your study techniques.

The Benefits of Reflective Practice

There are a variety of benefits that reflective practice can offer students as they attempt to understand and retain new information, making the studying process much more effective. 

Deeper Understanding

Reflective practice prompts students to go beyond surface-level comprehension. By dissecting and analysing the material, students are able to gain a more profound understanding of the subject matter. When engaging in reflective practice, you're not just skimming the surface of the information; you're actively delving into the core concepts, identifying underlying relationships, and unravelling the intricacies of the topic.

Imagine you're reading a challenging chapter in your history textbook.Rather than quickly flipping through the pages, using reflective practice would mean taking a moment to think about why this historical event is important. You might wonder how it connects to events you've learnt about before, and how it might have shaped the world we live in today. By taking the time to really think about these things, you'll start to see patterns and connections that make the topic much more interesting and understandable. 

Critical Thinking

This technique nurtures critical thinking skills by encouraging individuals to evaluate and question information, enhancing their ability to think logically and make informed judgements. Critical thinking involves analysing information, assessing its validity and reliability, and discerning its relevance. Reflective practice compels you to question the material, explore its underlying assumptions, and consider different perspectives.

If we once again use history as an example, a reflective practice will prompt you to question the biases of the sources, evaluate the motivations of the individuals involved, and critically assess the long-term impact of the event. These analytical skills extend beyond academia, enriching your ability to evaluate information in everyday situations and make informed decisions.

Long-Tern Retention

Engaging with material on a reflective level enhances memory retention. When you actively connect new information to existing knowledge, it becomes more ingrained in your memory. This process is often referred to as ‘elaborative rehearsal’, where you link new information to what you already know, creating meaningful connections that make the material easier to recall in the future.

For example, when learning a new language, reflecting on how certain words or phrases relate to your native language or personal experiences can help you remember them more effectively.


Reflective practice is adaptable to various learning styles. It allows students to tailor their approach to fit their strengths, preferences, and pace. This is because reflective practice is a self-directed process, allowing you to shape it in ways that align with your individual learning style .

For instance, if you're a visual learner, you might create concept maps or diagrams during your reflective sessions to visually represent the connections between ideas. However, if you're an auditory learner, you might prefer recording your reflections as spoken thoughts.

Real-Life Application

By encouraging students to consider how knowledge can be applied practically, reflective practice bridges the gap between theoretical learning and real-world scenarios. This benefit is especially valuable as you are preparing to tackle challenges beyond the classroom .

For example, if you're studying economics, reflective practice prompts you to think about how the principles you're learning can be applied to analyse current economic issues or make informed personal financial decisions.


Reflective practice cultivates self-awareness, as students learn about their thought processes, learning preferences, and areas of growth. As you reflect on your learning experiences, you become attuned to how you absorb information, what strategies work best for you, and where you might encounter challenges.

How to Apply Reflective Learning

Reflective learning can easily be integrated into your study routine, all it takes is a bit of planning, time and patience in order to get used to it. 

Set Aside Time

Dedicate specific time slots for reflective practice in your study routine. This could be after a lecture, reading a chapter, or completing an assignment.

Allocating dedicated time for reflective practice ensures that you prioritise this valuable technique in your learning process. After engaging with new material, take a few moments to step back and contemplate what you've learnt. This practice prevents information overload and provides an opportunity for your brain to process and make connections. 

For example, if you've just attended a lecture, set aside 10–15 minutes afterwards, or as soon as you can, to reflect on the main points, key takeaways, and any questions that arose during the session.

Create a Reflection Space

Creating a conducive environment for reflection is crucial. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can concentrate without interruptions. Having a designated journal or digital note-taking app allows you to capture your thoughts systematically. 

A voice recorder can be particularly helpful for those who prefer verbalising their reflections. 

The act of recording your reflections also adds a layer of accountability, making it easier to track your progress over time.

Ask Thoughtful Questions

Asking insightful questions is at the heart of reflective practice. Challenge yourself to go beyond the superficial understanding of a concept by posing thought-provoking inquiries. 

For instance, if you've just read a chapter in a textbook, consider why the concepts covered are significant in the larger context of the subject. Reflect on how these ideas relate to your prior knowledge and experiences. Additionally, explore real-world scenarios where you could apply the newfound knowledge. This will enhance your comprehension and problem-solving skills.

Review Regularly

Revisiting your reflections is akin to reviewing your study notes. Regularly returning to your reflections reinforces your understanding of the material. Over time, you might notice patterns in your thinking, areas where you consistently struggle, or subjects that spark your curiosity. 

This insight can guide your future study sessions and help you allocate more time to topics that need a little more attention.

Engage in Dialogue

Sharing your reflections with others opens the door to valuable discussions. Conversations with peers, parents, teachers, or mentors offer different viewpoints and insights you might not have considered on your own. Explaining your thoughts aloud also helps consolidate your understanding, as articulating concepts requires a deeper level of comprehension. 

Ultimately, engaging in dialogue enriches your learning experience and enables you to refine your thoughts through constructive feedback.

A Reflective Learner is A Life Long Learner

Reflective learning has the remarkable ability to cultivate a love for learning and foster a lifelong learner mindset. 

This method will encourage you to actively engage with your learning experiences, critically examine your knowledge, and apply insights to real-life situations. This process of examination, questioning, and application will nurture intrinsic motivation , curiosity, and ownership of learning. 

This will also empower you to view challenges as opportunities for growth and to embrace a mindset of continuous improvement. This joy of discovery, combined with collaborative interactions, can also strengthen your sense of community and amplify the satisfaction you derive from the learning process. 

Ultimately, reflective practice instils a belief in the value of lifelong learning, encouraging you to seek out new knowledge, explore diverse fields, and continuously evolve intellectually and personally.

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importance of critical thinking and reflective practice


  • Cambridge Libraries

Study Skills

Reflective practice toolkit.

  • Introduction

What is reflective practice?

  • Everyday reflection
  • Models of reflection
  • Barriers to reflection
  • Free writing
  • Reflective writing exercise
  • Bibliography

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Reflective practice

Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one's actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning.

- Donald Schon

Imagine that you come home at the end of a really bad week where everything possible has gone wrong. When you walk in the front door you are confronted with a time machine which can take you back to Monday morning so you can live the whole week over again. You use this opportunity to think about everything that went wrong and what you could do (if anything) to correct things as well as trying to repeat the things that you have done right. It may not seem like it but this is reflective practice - the act of thinking about our experiences in order to learn from them for the future. In real life you probably don't have access to time travel but you can still work towards being a reflective practitioner. We can all undertake activities to think about our experiences, learn from them and develop an action plan for what we will do next.

Reflective practice was something which developed in disciplines such as teaching, medicine and social work as a way to learn from real life experiences. People in these areas would think about encounters with their students, patients or clients, how these worked and what lessons they could take away. Over time many other areas have adopted the principles of reflective practice, including universities. You can use reflection when studying, for example when preparing group work or when working on assignments. It is also useful beyond academia when you are applying for jobs, as part of a professional qualification or just as a way of thinking about your role.

Although a definition of reflective practice has been included above this is only one part of a larger process. Reflection is a very personal thing and different people will define it in different ways. It is important to remember that there is no one 'correct' way of defining what reflection is or how it should be done as a lot of this will depend on your own circumstances.

Think about ... Definitions

Take a few minutes to think about what reflective practice means to you. There is no right or wrong answer to this question and your answer will depend on many factors and your own background. Keep this definition in mind as you read through the rest of the resource.

Why reflect?

You can practice reflection during your education, within the workplace or as part of your general personal wellbeing. It has many benefits at both a personal and professional level and can help you to focus on planning for future experiences.

So what are the main benefits of reflection?

  • When you're studying you are likely to be very involved in your work and achieving academic success. It can be easy to become too focused on your work in this situation but reflective practice allows you to look at the bigger picture. Undertaking regular reflection, for example once a term, can help you to think about your goals for studying and your plans for the future.
  • It can help with the issue of 'self-talk'. We all have a little voice inside our heads which reminds us of all the things we could have done differently in certain situations. Reflecting on an experience can help to put this voice to use as we learn from what we have done and move forward.
  • It gives you areas to improve on or develop. Whether you are a student or in the workplace you will find that you are constantly being asked for ways in which you can develop your knowledge and skills. Undertaking reflections can help you to think about areas that you can work on as well as what you are doing well.
  • Students are often asked to reflect as part of their assignments or coursework. Your tutor may give you an exercise where you have to think about a topic in relation to your own experiences or you may have to reflect on something as part of a general essay question.
  • Reflection can help you to be more creative and try new things. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut and it can be helpful to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. This can help to spark new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Human nature means that we all make assumptions about people and situations. Taking a step back and reflecting can help you to challenge some of these assumptions and see things from a new perspective.
  • Reflection is a key part of emotional intelligence - the ability to understand and remain in control of our emotions. This is a useful skills to have both for our own wellbeing and when working with others.
  • It helps to maintain a healthy work/life balance by offering a defined process for thinking things through. Hopefully you can learn from them and move on rather than dwelling on what happened.

How to reflect

Now you understand the benefits of being reflective how do you actually go about doing it? There is no one magic formula to follow and you will find that what works for your peers might not work for you. Some people find reflecting out loud works for them whilst for others it's something private. You can be really organised and regularly write your reflections down or you can do it as and when you can. It's best if you can reflect regularly as this will help you get into the habit and you will be able to build on what you learn.

The easiest way to get started with reflection is to ask yourself some of the following questions about the experience you want to reflect on. As you look at the questions think about how you might record your answers, for example in a reflective journal, so that you can remember them in the future.

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

  • Reflective questions transcript [Word]
  • Reflective questions transcript [PDF]

This section has introduced the concept of reflective practice and what you might use it for. As we move through this resource you will be encouraged to think about how you might make reflection work for you and how you can become a reflective person in your everyday life.

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Critical reflection for assessments and practice

Critical reflection for assessments and practice: homepage.

  • Reflective practice
  • Critical reflection
  • How to reflect
  • Critical reflection writing
  • Recount and reflect

About this guide

Critical reflection is core to any professional role. It allows you to develop greater self-awareness, engage in ongoing learning, and improve your practice. In fact, reflective practice, using critical reflection, impacts everything from writing an essay to leading a work project or providing health care!    

This guide provides strategies, tools and ways of thinking to build your critical reflection skills. Through engaging with the content and activities you will learn how to: 

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Recognise the main features of critical reflection

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Use critical reflection models in your assessments

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Build your critical reflective language and writing skills

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Distinguish between recount and reflection

Critical reflection and assessments

Reflection is a core skill for your uni work. Deakin University units and courses often have critical reflection based assessments. The assessments can take different forms, everything from a reflective essay to a video presentation, a reflective art piece to a digital portfolio blog post. While the focus of reflective writing can include:

  • describing how a critical experience in your life has shaped your world view
  • making connections between your learnings and your workplace practice
  • critiquing your art performance or creative output
  • analysing your experience of working on a group project
  • evaluating a teaching or learning activity.

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

This guide will share a few approaches to critical reflection. However, always check your assessment instructions in case there is a particular reflection model or set of questions that you need to use.

Getting started

When you move through any learning, whether for study or workplace needs, it’s important to take a minute to ask yourself three related questions:

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

What do I already know?

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

What's the next step in this knowledge?

importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

How will this knowledge influence my doing?

Consider your confidence as a critical reflector, draw from your practice and previous experiences. Identifying your current skills and knowledges in an area are the first step to developing them further.

If you need further digital or academic skills help:

  • Contact your Librarian
  • Contact a Language and Learning Adviser (Study Support)

Attribution and acknowledgement

Crediting creators or attributing content is a core part of both academic integrity and of being a digital citizen more broadly. This guide was co-created by Deakin Library and Deakin Language and Learning Advisers (Study Support). Academics from Early Childhood Education, Creative Arts and Global Studio also provided feedback or writing examples that impacted this guide. 

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Reflective practice

Reflective practice is a process of thinking clearly, honestly, deeply, and critically about any aspect of our professional practice. It requires committing to creating space to reflect on one's work and has long been recognised as an integral part of safety and quality.

Reflective practice is considered good practice and is foundational to processing the challenges of high stress and high risk associated with healthcare work.

For example, reflective practice directly strengthens our work in patient safety and quality using structure reflective processes to consider things such as:

  • Process the factors underpinning failures,
  • Identify opportunities for learning,
  • Distinguish accountability,
  • See the interplay of culture and
  • Strengthen teamwork.

CEC has developed a suite of resources to support the development of reflective practice skills. This includes tools and tips sheets that guide the application of reflective skills in different contexts e.g., as an individual; with peers; or within your supervision.

Download the CEC Reflective practice workbook.

  • Print friendly edition

Key qualities to build a reflective practice mindset (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to develop a reflective mindset when joining a reflective practice session either as a host or practitioner.

Creating reflective space (PDF)

Use this tip sheet if hosting a reflective practice session (1:1 or in a group) and want to create a safe space to reflect.

Getting in-sync (PDF)

Use this tip sheet when hosting a reflective practice session (1:1 or in a group).

Empathetic listening (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to deepen your listening skills.

Asking impactful questions (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to consider the types of questions you might ask to help you reveal new insights and deepen understanding.

Question bank (PDF)

These questions can be used to help guide individual reflective practice such as when journalling or preparing to bring a topic to a reflective practice session.

Considering multiple perspectives (PDF)

The tip sheet can help a person better understand someone else’s view or feelings before acting.

Building a shared understanding (PDF)

Use this tip sheet when building a shared understanding of the issue being raised in a reflective practice session.

Resetting our state (PDF)

Use this tip sheet as a stepped guide for generating a feel of 'The Third Space'.

Emotional regulation (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to help you take control of intense emotions.

Positive reframing to shift mindset (PDF)

Use this tip sheet when helping someone in a reflective practice session move beyond automatic negative thoughts to more constructive ways of thinking.

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Why Is Critical Thinking Important? A Survival Guide

Updated: December 7, 2023

Published: April 2, 2020


Why is critical thinking important? The decisions that you make affect your quality of life. And if you want to ensure that you live your best, most successful and happy life, you’re going to want to make conscious choices. That can be done with a simple thing known as critical thinking. Here’s how to improve your critical thinking skills and make decisions that you won’t regret.

What Is Critical Thinking?

You’ve surely heard of critical thinking, but you might not be entirely sure what it really means, and that’s because there are many definitions. For the most part, however, we think of critical thinking as the process of analyzing facts in order to form a judgment. Basically, it’s thinking about thinking.

How Has The Definition Evolved Over Time?

The first time critical thinking was documented is believed to be in the teachings of Socrates , recorded by Plato. But throughout history, the definition has changed.

Today it is best understood by philosophers and psychologists and it’s believed to be a highly complex concept. Some insightful modern-day critical thinking definitions include :

  • “Reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do.”
  • “Deciding what’s true and what you should do.”

The Importance Of Critical Thinking

Why is critical thinking important? Good question! Here are a few undeniable reasons why it’s crucial to have these skills.

1. Critical Thinking Is Universal

Critical thinking is a domain-general thinking skill. What does this mean? It means that no matter what path or profession you pursue, these skills will always be relevant and will always be beneficial to your success. They are not specific to any field.

2. Crucial For The Economy

Our future depends on technology, information, and innovation. Critical thinking is needed for our fast-growing economies, to solve problems as quickly and as effectively as possible.

3. Improves Language & Presentation Skills

In order to best express ourselves, we need to know how to think clearly and systematically — meaning practice critical thinking! Critical thinking also means knowing how to break down texts, and in turn, improve our ability to comprehend.

4. Promotes Creativity

By practicing critical thinking, we are allowing ourselves not only to solve problems but also to come up with new and creative ideas to do so. Critical thinking allows us to analyze these ideas and adjust them accordingly.

5. Important For Self-Reflection

Without critical thinking, how can we really live a meaningful life? We need this skill to self-reflect and justify our ways of life and opinions. Critical thinking provides us with the tools to evaluate ourselves in the way that we need to.

Woman deep into thought as she looks out the window, using her critical thinking skills to do some self-reflection.

6. The Basis Of Science & Democracy

In order to have a democracy and to prove scientific facts, we need critical thinking in the world. Theories must be backed up with knowledge. In order for a society to effectively function, its citizens need to establish opinions about what’s right and wrong (by using critical thinking!).

Benefits Of Critical Thinking

We know that critical thinking is good for society as a whole, but what are some benefits of critical thinking on an individual level? Why is critical thinking important for us?

1. Key For Career Success

Critical thinking is crucial for many career paths. Not just for scientists, but lawyers , doctors, reporters, engineers , accountants, and analysts (among many others) all have to use critical thinking in their positions. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, critical thinking is one of the most desirable skills to have in the workforce, as it helps analyze information, think outside the box, solve problems with innovative solutions, and plan systematically.

2. Better Decision Making

There’s no doubt about it — critical thinkers make the best choices. Critical thinking helps us deal with everyday problems as they come our way, and very often this thought process is even done subconsciously. It helps us think independently and trust our gut feeling.

3. Can Make You Happier!

While this often goes unnoticed, being in touch with yourself and having a deep understanding of why you think the way you think can really make you happier. Critical thinking can help you better understand yourself, and in turn, help you avoid any kind of negative or limiting beliefs, and focus more on your strengths. Being able to share your thoughts can increase your quality of life.

4. Form Well-Informed Opinions

There is no shortage of information coming at us from all angles. And that’s exactly why we need to use our critical thinking skills and decide for ourselves what to believe. Critical thinking allows us to ensure that our opinions are based on the facts, and help us sort through all that extra noise.

5. Better Citizens

One of the most inspiring critical thinking quotes is by former US president Thomas Jefferson: “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” What Jefferson is stressing to us here is that critical thinkers make better citizens, as they are able to see the entire picture without getting sucked into biases and propaganda.

6. Improves Relationships

While you may be convinced that being a critical thinker is bound to cause you problems in relationships, this really couldn’t be less true! Being a critical thinker can allow you to better understand the perspective of others, and can help you become more open-minded towards different views.

7. Promotes Curiosity

Critical thinkers are constantly curious about all kinds of things in life, and tend to have a wide range of interests. Critical thinking means constantly asking questions and wanting to know more, about why, what, who, where, when, and everything else that can help them make sense of a situation or concept, never taking anything at face value.

8. Allows For Creativity

Critical thinkers are also highly creative thinkers, and see themselves as limitless when it comes to possibilities. They are constantly looking to take things further, which is crucial in the workforce.

9. Enhances Problem Solving Skills

Those with critical thinking skills tend to solve problems as part of their natural instinct. Critical thinkers are patient and committed to solving the problem, similar to Albert Einstein, one of the best critical thinking examples, who said “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Critical thinkers’ enhanced problem-solving skills makes them better at their jobs and better at solving the world’s biggest problems. Like Einstein, they have the potential to literally change the world.

10. An Activity For The Mind

Just like our muscles, in order for them to be strong, our mind also needs to be exercised and challenged. It’s safe to say that critical thinking is almost like an activity for the mind — and it needs to be practiced. Critical thinking encourages the development of many crucial skills such as logical thinking, decision making, and open-mindness.

11. Creates Independence

When we think critically, we think on our own as we trust ourselves more. Critical thinking is key to creating independence, and encouraging students to make their own decisions and form their own opinions.

12. Crucial Life Skill

Critical thinking is crucial not just for learning, but for life overall! Education isn’t just a way to prepare ourselves for life, but it’s pretty much life itself. Learning is a lifelong process that we go through each and every day.

How to Think Critically

Now that you know the benefits of thinking critically, how do you actually do it?

How To Improve Your Critical Thinking

  • Define Your Question: When it comes to critical thinking, it’s important to always keep your goal in mind. Know what you’re trying to achieve, and then figure out how to best get there.
  • Gather Reliable Information: Make sure that you’re using sources you can trust — biases aside. That’s how a real critical thinker operates!
  • Ask The Right Questions: We all know the importance of questions, but be sure that you’re asking the right questions that are going to get you to your answer.
  • Look Short & Long Term: When coming up with solutions, think about both the short- and long-term consequences. Both of them are significant in the equation.
  • Explore All Sides: There is never just one simple answer, and nothing is black or white. Explore all options and think outside of the box before you come to any conclusions.

How Is Critical Thinking Developed At School?

Critical thinking is developed in nearly everything we do. However, much of this important skill is encouraged to be practiced at school, and rightfully so! Critical thinking goes beyond just thinking clearly — it’s also about thinking for yourself.

When a teacher asks a question in class, students are given the chance to answer for themselves and think critically about what they learned and what they believe to be accurate. When students work in groups and are forced to engage in discussion, this is also a great chance to expand their thinking and use their critical thinking skills.

How Does Critical Thinking Apply To Your Career?

Once you’ve finished school and entered the workforce, your critical thinking journey only expands and grows from here!

Impress Your Employer

Employers value employees who are critical thinkers, ask questions, offer creative ideas, and are always ready to offer innovation against the competition. No matter what your position or role in a company may be, critical thinking will always give you the power to stand out and make a difference.

Careers That Require Critical Thinking

Some of many examples of careers that require critical thinking include:

  • Human resources specialist
  • Marketing associate
  • Business analyst

Truth be told however, it’s probably harder to come up with a professional field that doesn’t require any critical thinking!

Photo by  Oladimeji Ajegbile  from  Pexels

What is someone with critical thinking skills capable of doing.

Someone with critical thinking skills is able to think rationally and clearly about what they should or not believe. They are capable of engaging in their own thoughts, and doing some reflection in order to come to a well-informed conclusion.

A critical thinker understands the connections between ideas, and is able to construct arguments based on facts, as well as find mistakes in reasoning.

The Process Of Critical Thinking

The process of critical thinking is highly systematic.

What Are Your Goals?

Critical thinking starts by defining your goals, and knowing what you are ultimately trying to achieve.

Once you know what you are trying to conclude, you can foresee your solution to the problem and play it out in your head from all perspectives.

What Does The Future Of Critical Thinking Hold?

The future of critical thinking is the equivalent of the future of jobs. In 2020, critical thinking was ranked as the 2nd top skill (following complex problem solving) by the World Economic Forum .

We are dealing with constant unprecedented changes, and what success is today, might not be considered success tomorrow — making critical thinking a key skill for the future workforce.

Why Is Critical Thinking So Important?

Why is critical thinking important? Critical thinking is more than just important! It’s one of the most crucial cognitive skills one can develop.

By practicing well-thought-out thinking, both your thoughts and decisions can make a positive change in your life, on both a professional and personal level. You can hugely improve your life by working on your critical thinking skills as often as you can.

Related Articles

Exploring the role of reflection in nurse education and practice


  • 1 Waterside Campus, University of Northampton, Northampton, England.
  • PMID: 35403391
  • DOI: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11605

Reflection is an essential element in every nurse's practice and is embedded in the Nursing and Midwifery Council's code of conduct - the UK nursing regulatory body's code of professional standards of practice and behaviour. The application of reflection to practice has clear advantages, for example it enables nurses to learn from clinical events and adapt and enhance their skills. This article explores the role of reflection in nursing practice, considers the use of reflective models and explores how nurses can overcome barriers to reflection in their everyday practice. These barriers include psychological stress or discomfort when revisiting challenging clinical experiences, which may have been exacerbated during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; continuing professional development; coronavirus; education; mental health; professional; reflection; stress.

© 2022 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Education, Nursing*
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Critical Thinking and Reflective Thinking

Critical and Reflective Thinking encompasses a set of abilities that students use to examine their own thinking and that of others. This involves making judgments based on reasoning, where students consider options, analyze options using specific criteria, and draw conclusions.

People who think critically and reflectively are analytical and investigative, willing to question and challenge their own thoughts, ideas, and assumptions and challenge those of others. They reflect on the information they receive through observation, experience, and other forms of communication to solve problems, design products, understand events, and address issues. A critical thinker uses their ideas, experiences, and reflections to set goals, make judgments, and refine their thinking.

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Thinking Core Competencies

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Analyzing and critiquing

Students learn to analyze and make judgments about a work, a position, a process, a performance, or another product or act. They reflect to consider purpose and perspectives, pinpoint evidence, use explicit or implicit criteria, make defensible judgments or assessments, and draw conclusions. Students have opportunities for analysis and critique through engagement in formal tasks, informal tasks, and ongoing activities.

Questioning and investigating

Students learn to engage in inquiry when they identify and investigate questions, challenges, key issues, or problematic situations in their studies, lives, and communities and in the media. They develop and refine questions; create and carry out plans; gather, interpret, and synthesize information and evidence; and reflect to draw reasoned conclusions. Critical thinking activities may focus on one part of the process, such as questioning, and reach a simple conclusion, while others may involve more complex inquiry requiring extensive thought and reflection.

Designing and developing

Students think critically to develop ideas. Their ideas may lead to the designing of products or methods or the development of performances and representations in response to problems, events, issues, and needs. They work with clear purpose and consider the potential uses or audiences of their work. They explore possibilities, develop and reflect on processes, monitor progress, and adjust procedures in light of criteria and feedback.

Reflecting and assessing

Students apply critical, metacognitive, and reflective thinking in given situations, and relate this thinking to other experiences, using this process to identify ways to improve or adapt their approach to learning. They reflect on and assess their experiences, thinking, learning processes, work, and progress in relation to their purposes. Students give, receive, and act on feedback and set goals individually and collaboratively. They determine the extent to which they have met their goals and can set new ones.

I can explore.

I can explore materials and actions. I can show whether I like something or not.

I can use evidence to make simple judgments.

I can ask questions, make predictions, and use my senses to gather information. I can explore with a purpose in mind and use what I learn. I can tell or show others something about my thinking. I can contribute to and use simple criteria. I can find some evidence and make judgments. I can reflect on my work and experiences and tell others about something I learned.

I can ask questions and consider options. I can use my observations, experience, and imagination to draw conclusions and make judgments.

I can ask open-ended questions, explore, and gather information. I experiment purposefully to develop options. I can contribute to and use criteria. I use observation, experience, and imagination to draw conclusions, make judgments, and ask new questions. I can describe my thinking and how it is changing. I can establish goals individually and with others. I can connect my learning with my experiences, efforts, and goals. I give and receive constructive feedback.

I can gather and combine new evidence with what I already know to develop reasoned conclusions, judgments, or plans.

I can use what I know and observe to identify problems and ask questions. I explore and engage with materials and sources. I can develop or adapt criteria, check information, assess my thinking, and develop reasoned conclusions, judgments, or plans. I consider more than one way to proceed and make choices based on my reasoning and what I am trying to do. I can assess my own efforts and experiences and identify new goals. I give, receive, and act on constructive feedback.

I can evaluate and use well-chosen evidence to develop interpretations; identify alternatives, perspectives, and implications; and make judgments. I can examine and adjust my thinking.

I can ask questions and offer judgments, conclusions, and interpretations supported by evidence I or others have gathered. I am flexible and open-minded; I can explain more than one perspective and consider implications. I can gather, select, evaluate, and synthesize information. I consider alternative approaches and make strategic choices. I take risks and recognize that I may not be immediately successful. I examine my thinking, seek feedback, reassess my work, and adjust. I represent my learning and my goals and connect these with my previous experiences. I accept constructive feedback and use it to move forward.

I can examine evidence from various perspectives to analyze and make well-supported judgments about and interpretations of complex issues.

I can determine my own framework and criteria for tasks that involve critical thinking. I can compile evidence and draw reasoned conclusions. I consider perspectives that do not fit with my understandings. I am open-minded and patient, taking the time to explore, discover, and understand. I make choices that will help me create my intended impact on an audience or situation. I can place my work and that of others in a broader context. I can connect the results of my inquiries and analyses with action. I can articulate a keen awareness of my strengths, my aspirations and how my experiences and contexts affect my frameworks and criteria. I can offer detailed analysis, using specific terminology, of my progress, work, and goals.

The Core Competencies relate to each other and with every aspect of learning.

Connections among Core Competencies

The Core Competencies are interrelated and interdependent. Taken together, the competencies are foundational to every aspect of learning. Communicating is intertwined with the other Core Competencies.

Critical and Reflective Thinking is one of the Thinking Core Competency’s two interrelated sub-competencies, Creative Thinking and Critical and Reflective Thinking.

Critical and Reflective Thinking and Creative Thinking overlap. For example:

  • Students use creative thinking to generate new ideas when solving problems and addressing constraints that arise as they question and investigate, and design and develop
  • Students use critical thinking to analyze and reflect on creative ideas to determine whether they have value and should be developed, engaging in ongoing reflection as they develop their creative ideas


Critical and Reflective Thinking is closely related to the two Communication sub-competencies: Communicating and Collaborating. For example:

  • Students apply critical thinking to acquire and interpret information, and to make choices about how to communicate their ideas
  • Students often collaborate as they work in groups to analyze and critique, and design and develop

Personal and Social

Critical and Reflective Thinking is closely related to the three Personal and Social sub-competencies, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, Social Awareness and Responsibility, and Positive Personal and Cultural Identity. For example:

  • Students think critically to determine their personal and social responsibilities
  • Students apply their personal awareness as they reflect on their efforts and goals

Connections with areas of learning

Critical and Reflective Thinking is embedded within the curricular competencies of the concept-based, competency-driven curriculum. Curricular competencies are focused on the “doing” within the area of learning and include skills, processes, and habits of mind required by the discipline. For example, the Critical and Reflective Thinking sub-competency can be seen in the sample inquiry questions that elaborate on the following Big Ideas in Science:

  • Light and sound can be produced and their properties can be changed: How can you explore the properties of light and sound? What discoveries did you make? (Science 1)
  • Matter has mass, takes up space, and can change phase: How can you explore the phases of matter? How does matter change phases? How does heating and cooling affect phase changes? (Science 4)
  • Elements consist of one type of atom, and compounds consist of atoms of different elements chemically combined: What are the similarities and differences elements and compounds? How can you investigate the properties of elements and compounds? (Science 7)
  • The formation of the universe can be explained by the big bang theory: How could you model the formation of the universe? (Science 10)
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importance of critical thinking and reflective practice

Reflective Practice Through Writing

Subscribe to Learning through Experience in Apple Podcasts , Spotify , Google Podcasts , or your favorite podcast player .

This podcast season is all about the HOW of learning through experience. We learn through experience using four core practices: challenging your perspective, stretching and building range, directing your learning, reflection and inquiry. The core practice that we are paying attention to in this episode of Learning Through Experience is reflection and inquiry .

In this episode, I spoke with reflective writing practitioner and teacher Stephanie Dunson about reflective practice through writing . We cover the practice of reflective writing, including the struggle of writing, and she offers some prompts for you to use in your own reflective writing practice.

Stephanie is a renowned facilitator who uses writing as a tool for problem-solving and collaboration in both the academic and corporate worlds.

Key Topics:

04:24 The challenge of writing : The limits of writing towards an outcome in contrast to writing for the reflection and exploration of our own thoughts and feelings;

08:33 The meander of writing : Writing doesn’t work in a straight line, rather it follows a natural sort of meander. By meandering through a piece, we get to know the writer’s mind;

15:18 Reflective writing: The concept of using writing as a tool for deep thinking and developing relationships with complex material;

21:15 Reflective writing in groups : Engaging in the moment of making new ideas as a group and combining the strengths of the individual with the power and diversity of the group;

23:03 The practice of writing : Developing the capacity to reflect, notice, and meander as a practice in life and writing;

30:48 Prompts for reflective writing : What have you considered writing about but abandoned? Explore the places of resistance and write into that space.

Additional Resources from Stephanie Dunson

Podcast: 100 Mistakes Academic Writers Make …and How to Fix Them

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Critical Thinking: Creating Job-Proof Skills for the Future of Work

Daniela dumitru.

1 Teacher Training Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania

2 Doctoral School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Bucharest, 050663 Bucharest, Romania

Diane F. Halpern

3 Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA 91711, USA; moc.liamg@nreplahfenaid

In this study, we explore the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the job market and argue for the growing importance of critical thinking skills in the face of job automation and changing work dynamics. Advancements in AI have the potential to disrupt various professions, including, for example, programming, legal work, and radiology. However, solely relying on AI systems can lead to errors and misjudgments, emphasizing the need for human oversight. The concept of “job-proof skills” is introduced, highlighting the importance of critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy, ethics, and other human attributes that machines cannot replicate with the same standards and agility. We maintain that critical thinking can be taught and learned through appropriate classroom instruction and transfer-focused approaches. The need for critical thinking skills is further reinforced by the influx of information and the spread of misinformation in the age of social media. Moreover, employers increasingly value critical thinking skills in their workforce, yet there exists a gap between the demand for these skills and the preparedness of college graduates. Critical thinking is not only essential for the future of work, but also for informed citizenship in an increasingly complex world. The potential impact of AI on job disruption, wages, and employment polarization is discussed, highlighting the correlation between jobs requiring critical thinking skills and their resistance to automation. We conclude by discussing collaborative efforts between universities and labor market organizations to adapt curricula and promote the development of critical thinking skills, drawing on examples from European initiatives. The need to prioritize critical thinking skills in education and address the evolving demands of the labor market is emphasized as a crucial step for navigating the future of work and opportunities for workers.

1. Introduction: Critical Thinking: Creating Job-Proof Skills for the Future of Work

The rapid evolution of online technologies has ushered in a paradigm shift in employment, redefining the nature of work and the skills required to succeed in the digital age. This transformative landscape, characterized by the ubiquitous presence of the Internet, social media platforms, and advanced artificial intelligence systems, has created a plethora of new opportunities and challenges in the labor market. As we navigate this digital frontier, it is becoming increasingly clear that traditional employment paradigms are undergoing a profound transformation. The convergence of online technologies with the demands of a networked world has not only created new job opportunities, but it has also disrupted established industries, rendering some job roles obsolete while creating demand for previously unforeseen skills. In this era of unprecedented connectivity and innovation, examining the intricate interplay between online technologies and jobs is paramount as it holds the key to understanding the dynamics of our rapidly evolving workforce.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is disrupting many jobs and promises “to change the way the world works” ( adminGPT 2023, para. 13 ). The number and range of AI programs are increasing at a rapid pace, and they are likely to continually improve to meet user demands. Consider, for example, ChatGPT, which can respond to questions and requests in a way that seems to come from a human rather than a computer program. GPT stands for “generative pretrained transformer”. It is generative in that it can provide responses that it never “learned”; it is pretrained with a large language model ( Bushwick et al. 2023 ). Newer versions can describe visual images, although thus far, they cannot create visual images. Its uses are seemingly endless. It is easy to imagine how such programs can change the lives of blind individuals. In fact, it can and will change the lives of all of us.

In this paper, we argue that these advances in online technologies will make critical thinking (CT) more important than ever before. Many who are preparing to enter the job market, and many who are already employed, will need to adapt to new forms of job automation and different ways of working.

Consider, for example, that an early achievement of ChatGPT was its generation of Python code (a computer language) to compute various tasks, such as data analysis. Apparently, getting ChatGPT to generate code is so easy that several YouTube videos have popped up claiming that they can teach novice users to use ChatGPT to generate code in 90 s. ( Data Professor 2023 ). The benefits are obvious, but so are the potential job losses for people who work in Python. Python coders will need to upgrade their skills, perhaps first becoming experts in the use of ChatGPT and similar programs, but this also has a positive side--they can spend more time working on larger questions such as which analyses are needed, and, of course, carefully reviewing the work produced by AI to ensure that it is accurate and understandable. Early versions of ChatGPT responses often contained errors. A New York lawyer learned the hard way: Steven A. Schwartz, a lawyer for 30 years, used ChatGPT to create a legal document ( Weiser and Schweber 2023 ). It was filled with fake citations and bogus judicial opinions. Sadly, Mr. Schwartz never checked the accuracy of the document he filed in court. The judge was not amused. This highly public and embarrassing event should be a lesson for all of us. Current AI programs cannot be trusted to take over our work, though they may be able to aid or supplement it. However, other AI programs can “read” radiographs more accurately than human radiologists, which provides a benefit to both radiologists and patients. There is an immediate positive effect for this advancement: Radiologists will have more time to directly work with patients, and yes, they must also check the accuracy of the outputs from their programs when presenting diagnoses.

For the rest of us, whether we are students or early or late in our careers, we need to focus on the development of “job-proof skills” in the face of AI advances. A report from the United Nations defines job-proof skills as “conceptual and strategic thinking, problem-solving, empathy, optimism, ethics, emotional intelligence, and judgments are the future-proof skills and attributes that machines will not be able to replicate with the same standards and agility as qualified human beings” ( Elkeiy 2022, para. 5 ). In other words, critical thinking skills will always be needed.

2. What Is Critical Thinking?

Although some scholars in the field of critical thinking have emphasized differences among various definitions, we believe that the commonalities are evident (c.f., Dwyer 2017 ; Nisbett 2015 ; Lipman 1991 ; Fisher 2001 ). There are some differences in the use of terms and several skills might be more important, but all of the definitions (more or less) conform to our preferred definition: “Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills and abilities that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is purposeful, reasoned, and goal directed. It is the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions. Critical thinkers use these skills appropriately, without prompting, and usually with conscious intent, in a variety of settings. That is, they are predisposed to think critically. When we think critically, we are evaluating the outcomes of our thought processes--how good a decision is or how well a problem is solved. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process--the reasoning that went into the conclusion we’ve arrived at, or the kinds of factors considered in making a decision” ( Halpern and Dunn 2023, pp. 6–7 ). The reason we need a common definition of critical thinking is that, without it, instructors can and have passed almost anything off as instruction in critical thinking. However, common ground is to be found concerning CT definitions. In a European project, which we shall refer to in Section 4.3 , the critical thinking definition is based on the works of Halpern and Dunn ( 2023 ), Facione ( 1990 ), Paul and Elder ( 2008 ), and Kuhn ( 1999 ). During two debate sessions, 33 international participants from higher education and the labor market defined critical thinking as a deliberate cognitive process guided by conscious, dynamic, self-directed, self-monitored, and self-correcting thought ( Rebelo et al. 2023 ). It relies on both disciplinary and procedural knowledge, along with metacognitive aspects (including metacognitive, meta-strategic, and epistemological dimensions). Critical thinking can be cultivated and enhanced through the development of competencies, and it is facilitated by various attitudes, such as systematic thinking, open-mindedness, empathy, flexibility, and cognitive maturity. Additionally, it encompasses intellectual skills such as reflection, self-regulation, analysis, inference, explanation, synthesis, and systematic thought. Critical thinking not only stimulates problem-solving capabilities but also facilitates effective communication, fosters independent and holistic thinking, and bolsters decision-making and active citizenship ( Pnevmatikos et al. 2021 ).

2.1. Can Critical Thinking Be Learned?

We teach writing, oral communication, and mathematics with the (often implicit) belief that these skills will be learned and transferred to multiple settings both inside and outside of the classroom. There is a large and growing research literature showing that, with appropriate classroom instruction in critical thinking, including specific instruction designed for transfer, the skills will spontaneously transfer and in uncued (i.e., there are no reminders to use the critical thinking skill that was learned in class) situations ( Dumitru 2012 ; Heijltjes et al. 2014 ; Tiruneh 2019 ). Several such studies were presented by Dwyer ( 2017 ) and Halpern and Dunn ( 2023 ). For the sake of brevity, we review just one recent study. The study was designed to counteract the effects of conspiracy theories. When people believe conspiracy theories, they often act in harmful ways–such as refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which resulted in the death of large numbers of people around the world, or attacking the United State Capitol Building on 6 January 2021 in the belief that there was a conspiracy afoot designed to steal the United States 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. In a review of the research literature on the efficacy of interventions, the researchers found “there was one intervention which was characteristically different to the rest” ( O’Mahony et al. 2023, para. 23 ). It was a semester-long university course in critical thinking that was designed to teach students the difference between good scientific practices and pseudoscience. These courses require effort and commitment, but they are effective. The same conclusion applies to all interventions designed to enhance critical thinking. There are no fast and easy “once and done” strategies that work. This is why we recommend continuous and pervasive coursework to make sure that the learning of CT skills “sticks.”

2.2. The Need for Critical Thinking Skills

Online technologies-related (including AI) job loss and redesign are not the only reasons why we need to concentrate on teaching and learning the skills of critical thinking. COVID-19 left 140 million people out of work, and many of their jobs will never return ( Roslansky 2021 ). We are drowning in a tsunami of information, confronted with advertisements online, in news reports, social media, podcasts, and more. The need to be able to distinguish good information from bad is critical. In addition, employers want to hire people with critical thinking skills. In a recent report by Hart Research Associated ( 2018 ), they found that in an employer survey of 501 business executives, 78% said that critical thinking/analytic reasoning is the most important skill they want in their employees, but they also added that only 34% of college graduates arrive well prepared in critical thinking. This gap between what employers want and their perception of the preparedness of the workforce was larger for critical thinking than for any other area. In fact, every report on the future of work made this same point. Consider this quote from The World Economic Forum ( 2020 ) on the future of jobs: “Skills gaps continue to be high as in-demand skills across jobs change in the next five years. The top skills and skill groups which employers see as rising in prominence in the lead up to 2025 include groups such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving.” (p. 5). In a report from the Office of the European Union: Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, the commissioner wrote “Critical thinking, media literacy, and communication skills are some of the requirements to navigate our increasingly complex world” ( Navracsics 2019, p. 3 ). Of course, critical thinking is not just needed in the world of work. A true democracy requires an educated citizenry with citizens who can think critically about world social issues, such as the use/threat of AI, war, poverty, climate change, and so much more. Irrational voters are a threat to all of us—and to themselves.

The need to think critically is not new, but it has taken on a new urgency as social media and other forms of communication have made the deliberate spread of misinformation move at the speed of light. There is nothing new about the use of lies, half-truths, and innuendos to get people to believe something that is not true. Anyone can post anything on popular media sites, and this “fake news” is often copied and shared thousands of times. Sometimes the information is spread with a deliberate attempt to mislead; other times, it is copied and spread by people who believe it is true. These messages are often used to discredit political adversaries, create social unrest, and incite fear. It can be a difficult task to determine what to believe and what to discard. Vosoughi et al. ( 2018 ) analyzed data from 126,000 tweets that were spread by approximately 3 million people. How did the researchers discriminate true data from false data? The same way we all should. They used several different fact-checking sites and found 95% to 98% agreement regarding the truth or falsehood of information. They found that false data spread more quickly and more widely than true data because the false data tended to be novel and sensational, rendering it salient and seductive.

In today’s landscape, the imperative to foster critical thinking skills is becoming increasingly apparent as we grapple with the rapid rise of social media and artificial intelligence technologies and their profound impact on the future of work. The confluence of these transformative forces has ushered in a new era characterized by the potential for significant job disruption. As online technologies advance and automation becomes more widespread, certain traditional job roles may become obsolete, requiring the development of innovative skills and adaptability in the workforce. In this context, critical thinking emerges as a central element in preparing individuals to navigate the evolving job market. It equips individuals with the ability to analyze complex information, discern credible sources from the proliferation of social media information, and make informed decisions in an era of blurring boundaries between human and machine contributions to the workforce. Cultivating critical thinking skills will be essential to ensuring that individuals can take advantage of the opportunities presented by new technologies while mitigating the challenges of job disruption in this AI-driven future.

3. Critical Thinking Skills and Job Disruption and Replacement

Eloundou et al. in 2023 estimated that about 15% of all U.S. workers’ jobs could be accomplished much faster and at the same level of quality with currently available AI. There are large differences in the extent to which various occupations and industries will be affected by advancements in AI. For example, tasks that require a high degree of human interaction, highly specialized domain knowledge, or creating innovative technologies will be minimally affected; whereas, other occupations such as providing captions for images or answering questions about a text or document are more likely to be affected. Routine-based jobs in general are more likely to be dislodged by advanced technologies ( Acemoglu 2002 ). Using the basic definitions of skills that are standard in O*Net, Eloundou et al. ( 2023 ) found a clear negative correlation between jobs requiring knowledge of science and critical thinking skills and the likelihood that AI will “take over” the job. These findings reinforce our main point—the best way to gain job-proof skills is with critical thinking.

The effect of online technologies on wages is complicated because of the large number of factors that come together to determine earnings. Acemoglu and Autor ( 2011 ) advocated for a model that simultaneously considers the level of the tasks required for any job (low, medium, and high), where a high level of skill is defined as one that allows employees to perform a variety of tasks, the demand for the tasks, and technological changes that can complement a task or replace it. They assert that employment has become increasingly polarized with the growth in both high education, high wage occupations and low education, and low wage occupations in the United States and the European Union. To understand and predict which occupations will be most disrupted by AI (and other developing technologies), an investigator will need to simultaneously consider all of these variables. Technological advancements can generate shifts in demand, favoring either high- or low-skilled workers. According to Acemoglu and Autor ( 2011 ), we can expect some of the largest disruptive effects at the middle level of skills, where some of the tasks performed at this level can be more easily replaced by new technologies, with widespread employment growth in high- and low-skilled occupations.

4. Business-University Collaborations

The pursuit of promoting high standards of critical thinking in university students across various academic disciplines is a challenging endeavor that should be leveraged through collaboration with stakeholders. In such collaborations, stakeholders can contribute to refining the skills required by learners and bring their own perspectives to academic instruction. This close partnership between universities and stakeholders helps minimize gaps and mismatches in the transition to the labor market, facilitates research collaboration, and increases student motivation.

Collaborations between businesses and universities have gained increasing importance in today’s rapidly evolving educational and economic landscape. These partnerships are instrumental in bridging the gap between academic learning and the real-world skills demanded by the job market. One key aspect of business-university collaboration (BUC) is the alignment of curricula with the dynamic needs of industries. This entails the joint effort of higher education institutions (HEIs) and industry experts to design, develop, and deliver educational programs that equip students with practical, job-ready skills. The curriculum design phase involves tailoring study programs, courses, and modules to address skills gaps and align with the specific requirements of employers.

Moreover, BUC extends beyond the classroom. Collaborations often involve business engagement in educational activities, including guest lectures, internships, co-op programs, and research projects. These interactions provide students with invaluable exposure to real-world scenarios, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings.

In essence, BUC is a multifaceted partnership that benefits both students and businesses. It ensures that educational programs remain relevant, fostering a seamless transition from academia to the workforce. This collaborative approach not only enhances students’ employability but also contributes to the overall growth and innovation of industries.

Operationalizing the collaboration implicates a particular focus on curriculum design, development, and delivery. These involve the collaboration between higher education institutions and labor market partners to create or enhance undergraduate or postgraduate study programs, courses, or modules. This collaborative effort aims to address skills gaps, align curricula with employers’ needs, integrate training initiatives, and improve graduates’ employability. Additionally, curriculum delivery includes various forms of business involvement, such as guest lectures, placements, supervision, mentoring, and work-based learning activities.

While the existing literature often discusses the barriers and motivations for university-business collaboration ( Healy et al. 2014 ; Orazbayeva et al. 2020 ), there is a need for more empirical insights into the roles and responsibilities of each party engaged in joint curriculum design, development, and delivery, as well as lessons learned from these collaborations ( Rebelo et al. 2023 ).

4.1. Why Do We Need Higher Education’s Help?

In the preceding sections of this paper, we delved into the disruptive forces of artificial intelligence (AI) on the job market and the critical need for individuals to adapt to these changes by developing “job-proof skills”. The rise of online technologies such as ChatGPT presents both opportunities and challenges, particularly in fields where middle-level skills are required. To effectively tackle these challenges, we must turn our attention to the pivotal role of education and the cultivation of essential skills such as critical thinking.

We highlighted how AI is rapidly transforming various industries and the need for individuals to adapt to these changes. Moreover, we explored the question of whether critical thinking can be learned, showcasing research evidence that supports the teachability of this skill. Now, we shall explore practical strategies for fostering critical thinking skills through collaborations between universities and businesses. The idea here is to create an educational framework that equips students with the capabilities needed to thrive in the evolving workforce.

Building upon the success of two European projects, “Critical thinking across higher education curricula—CRITHINKEDU” and “Critical thinking for successful jobs—THINK4JOBS”, we argue that incorporating practical experience and CT development through apprenticeships is a possible action for better higher education classes. This collaborative approach between HEI and LMO designed to address the differing perspectives and terminologies used by these two entities regarding critical thinking could be an important curriculum design for the better adaptation of job market technology disruptions.

Research conducted by Eloundou et al. ( 2023 ), which shows that critical thinking skills and science skills are less likely to be taken by AI, compels us to sustain the THINK4JOBS apprenticeship curricula as a possible teaching protocol for critical thinking enhancement to face challenges posed by AI at work.

The results from these projects demonstrate significant progress in students’ critical thinking skills and dispositions. These improvements, as highlighted below in Section 4.3 , underscore the effectiveness of embedding critical thinking in the curriculum. The guidelines formulated for implementing Critical Thinking Blended Apprenticeship Curricula provide a roadmap for educators to follow when effectively integrating critical thinking into their courses.

As we ponder the possibility of a world where critical thinking is widespread, we can envision a future where individuals are equipped to confront the ideological fanaticism that threatens global stability. Critical thinking, as both a cognitive skill and a disposition, has the potential to shape a workforce capable of adapting to the ever-changing landscape of work, making informed decisions, and contributing to a more rational and democratic world. The THINK4JOBS project emphasizes the practical steps taken to prepare students for the future job market and sets the stage for further exploration of the role of critical thinking in addressing global challenges, including AI presence in the job market.

4.2. CRITHINKEDU Proctocol for Critical Thinking Education across Curricula

Given that the best education for the future of work is the acquisition of critical thinking skills, how can we facilitate this sort of education? One way to obtain a job-proof education is to create classes with the help of labor market organizations. Two projects funded by the European Union were designed to bring to life the idea that better communication and collaboration between universities and employers result in a better adaptation of the curriculum, especially a curriculum involving critical thinking skill development.

Between 2016 and 2019, the project “Critical thinking across the European higher education curriculum—CRITHINKEDU” focused on how CT is taught in various academic domains. The CRITHINKEDU project, involving universities across Europe, exemplifies how academia and industry can join forces to bridge the gap between classroom learning and real-world job demands. This initiative aimed to enhance the curriculum by explicitly emphasizing critical thinking skill development. It revealed that employers across various fields value critical thinking, and they perceive it as essential for recent graduates entering the workforce.

The participants were eleven universities from nine European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Lithuania, and Ireland; Dominguez 2018). Qualitative research was conducted with 32 focus groups comprised of professionals from various European countries and fields. The findings align with previous studies: “CT is a set of interconnected skills (interpretation, inference, analysis, explanation, evaluation, self-regulation”, see Payan-Carreira et al. ( 2023, p. 16 ), and dispositions (open-mindedness, refection, attentiveness, organization, perseverance, intrinsic goal motivation ( Payan-Carreira et al. 2023 ), essential for recent graduates in response to labor market demands. However, an important consideration is that the practical application of CT varies across professional fields. The participants in this study defined the ideal critical thinker as someone with a cultivated mindset, motivated to learn and improve, and equipped with cognitive and behavioral tools to anticipate, regulate, and monitor their thinking. CT is associated with problem-solving and decision-making and is intertwined with other skills such as proactivity, adaptability, creativity, emotional intelligence, communication, and teamwork. The report from this project also introduced “a European collection of the Critical Thinking skills and dispositions needed in different professional fields for the 21st century” ( Dominguez 2018 ), which categorizes CT skills and dispositions based on professional fields and offers a basis for defining learning objectives and adapting university curricula. This study provides valuable insights from 189 European employers into CT needs in the labor market for new graduates. The interviewed professionals had an obvious preference for CT skills in STEM fields and an obvious preference for dispositions in the Humanities. Social Sciences and bio-medical sciences professionals were equally interested in CT skills and dispositions, with a slight preference for dispositions ( Dominguez 2018, p. 28 ).

4.3. Next Steps: THINK4JOBS Blended Appreticeship Curricula

After the termination of the CRITHINKEDU project, partners from Romania, Greece, Lithuania, and Portugal, with the addition of a new partner from Germany, proposed a new research application: “Critical Thinking for Successful Jobs—THINK4JOBS” ( ). The idea was to utilize the results from the previous project and, together with labor market organizations, create new courses that are more adapted to the reality of the future of work. The core element of the classes was explicit teaching of critical thinking, using real-life cases and methods. In an apprenticeship model, critical thinking skills are embedded in a relevant context. The value of realistic contexts is that students can see the need for the skills being taught in a workplace scenario. Relevant contexts enhance student engagement and motivation to learn. Dumitru et al. ( 2021 ) focused on improving students’ critical thinking skills and dispositions through collaboration between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Labor Market Organizations (LMOs). The aim was to bridge the gap between HEI curricula and the expectations of the labor market by incorporating apprenticeships that provide practical experience and CT development.

The process of mapping responses from those in the labor market organizations onto college curricula involved the use of research methods such as observation, focus groups, and documentary analysis, with stakeholders from HEIs and LMOs participating. The findings indicated that while there were no definitive “gaps” between HEIs and LMOs, there were contextual differences in the approach to CT. HEIs focus on long-term career preparation, while LMOs emphasize short-term learning strategies. The terminology and expression of CT also differed between the two contexts. Based on the findings, ten work-based scenarios were created, with one from each discipline involved in the project. Overall, the report ( Dumitru et al. 2021 ) highlighted the different goals and perspectives of HEIs and LMOs regarding CT, emphasizing the need for collaboration and a common understanding of which skills should be included in the college curriculum.

There is a different context in the approach to CT, since HEIs usually use different learning activities, focusing more on career preparation with long-term goals, while LMOs follow compact and short-term learning and teaching strategies. Furthermore, the findings suggest that CT is a new workplace requirement and that HEIs and LMOs do not choose the same terminology when referring to the concept, with HEIs usually choosing scientific terms. Another element that emerged is that CT is generally expressed in a declarative way in higher education institutions, while in LMOs the application to specific cases follows a more procedural approach. Put another way, LMOs are focused on making a profit, while HEI is focused on being socially responsible.

In the second phase of the project, partners ( Pnevmatikos et al. 2021 ) focused on the development of a collaborative training curriculum for Higher Education Instructors and LMO tutors. The purpose of the training was to enhance comprehension and knowledge of critical thinking for both sides of this collaboration, since previous research indicated a potential lack of conceptual and procedural understanding between these two entities. Additionally, the training aimed to facilitate the promotion, support, and evaluation of students’ CT skills within apprenticeship curricula, as well as the creation of blended curricula utilizing an open-source learning platform. The training course encompassed workshops that delved into various aspects of CT, including analyzing and reassembling ideas about CT, formulating a working definition of CT, instructional methodologies, blended learning techniques, usage of a learning platform, CT assessment, and the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between higher education institutions and LMOs. The participants’ knowledge about these topics was assessed through pre- and post-training online questionnaires. Although data analysis showed various predicted trends, only perceived self-confidence in the topics covered during the training obtained statistical significance ( Pnevmatikos et al. 2021 ).

In the final report from this project, Payan-Carreira et al. ( 2023 ) presented the results of the implementation of the critical thinking Blended Apprenticeships Curricula (CTBAC) and discussed the improvements in critical thinking skills and dispositions observed in students. The study involved cross-disciplinary analysis and assessed changes before and after the piloting activities. A total of 609 students participated, and their critical thinking skills and dispositions were evaluated.

The consortium chose the Critical Thinking Self-Assessment Scale (CTSAS) developed by Nair ( 2011 ) as an instrument to assess CT skills based on an earlier conceptualization ( Facione 1990 ). The questionnaire has been tested in various geographic and cultural contexts, demonstrating good reliability, internal consistency, and confirmatory factor analysis results. However, the original CTSAS was considered too long to complete, consisting of 115 items, so a shorter version was specifically developed for this project. The short form of the questionnaire (CTSAS-SF) was created through a two-step process. Items with loading weights below .500 were eliminated, resulting in 84 remaining items. Redundant and non-cognitive-focused items were marked for elimination, leaving 60 items. The short form maintained the original scale’s framework and utilized a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (Never) to 6 (Always) for students to respond to items assessing various dimensions and subdimensions of CT skills.

The CTSAS-SF validation process, with confirmatory factor analysis, resulted in two models with equivalent satisfactory goodness-of-fit indices. Model 4, the second-order factor model (RMSEA = .051; TLI = .924; CFI = .927), had a chi-square/df ratio of 2.33. The Cronbach alpha of the overall instrument was excellent (α = .969). Sample items are shown in Table 1 .

Sample items forming Critical Thinking Self-Assessment Scale (CTSAS), Nair ( 2011 ).

Compared to instruments for assessing CT skills, the availability of instruments for measuring critical thinking (CT) dispositions is limited. However, one of the instruments adopted by the consortium to assess CT dispositions is the Student-Educator Negotiated Critical Thinking Dispositions Scale (SENCTDS), which was developed by Quinn et al. ( 2020 ). The scale was validated with a mixed population of Irish and American undergraduate students. The scale considers a variety of CT dispositions that the authors consider important for the labor market and real-world decision-making. Some of the items in the scale combine Facione ’s ( 1990 ) original CT dispositions into new dimensions that are relevant to academic and labor market success, such as organization, perseverance, and intrinsic goal motivation. The scale consists of six dimensions (Reflection, Attentiveness, Open-mindedness, Organization, Perseverance, and Intrinsic Goal Motivation) and presents statements for students to respond to using a 7-point Likert scale. The Likert scale ranges from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The original version of the SENCTDS contains 21 items. The validation process, with confirmatory factor analysis, identified only one model presenting a satisfactory goodness-of-fit index—model 3, comprised of six correlated factors (RMSEA = .054; TLI = .974; CFI = .969) with a chi-square/df ratio of 2.57. The instrument presented a high Cronbach alpha (α = .842), suggesting a strong internal consistency of the instrument. Sample items are presented in Table 2 .

Sample items from Student-Educator Negotiated Critical Thinking Dispositions Scale (SENCTDS), developed by Quinn et al. ( 2020 ).

The analysis showed gains in critical thinking skills and indicated that changes were more prominent in skills than dispositions. All skills (interpretation, analysis, inference, explanation, self-regulation, and evaluation) obtained significant differences between the pretest and posttest, with p ≤ .0001 to all skills, plus the integrated critical thinking skills score was t = 9.705 and p ≤ .0001, which demonstrates strong significant difference between pre- and the posttest. Dispositions displayed no significant differences regarding the integrated score, but showed significant differences in reflection (t = 1.766, p = .079), open-mindedness (t = 2.636, p = .009), organization (t = 2.568, p = .011), and intrinsic goal motivation (t = 1.712, p = .088).

Based on the findings from the implementation of the blended apprenticeship curricula, the following guidelines were formulated for implementing Critical Thinking Blended Apprenticeship Curricula ( Payan-Carreira et al. 2023 ):

  • Provide an explanation of the importance of critical thinking—Clearly communicate to students why critical thinking is a vital skill in today’s workforce and how it is valued in specific professions. Explicitly incorporate the development of critical thinking as an outcome of the course.
  • Emphasize continuous and pervasive CT training—To achieve success, there should be a concerted effort across disciplinary curricula to foster students’ critical thinking skills and dispositions. Skills require training, and dispositions necessitate the internalization of desired attitudes. Therefore, sufficient time and a collaborative approach at the disciplinary level are necessary for consistent and significant progress.
  • Allocate dedicated time—Building on the previous point, it is essential to allocate specific time within the course to work on the proposed critical thinking goals. Students and educators need to schedule activities and create opportunities for preparation, development, and feedback exchange. This ensures that the intervention leads to meaningful, lasting learning.
  • Establish connections with real-world scenarios—Foster student engagement and improve their perception of learning experiences by incorporating case studies that reflect situations professionals encounter in their daily work. By grounding the learning content in reality, students are more likely to be motivated and actively participate in the educational process.

Foster reflection on CT skills and dispositions—Offer students the chance to reflect on their reasoning processes and the attitudes they have developed throughout their learning experiences. Encouraging reflective thinking enhances the effectiveness of learning interventions and helps cultivate a deeper understanding of one’s experiences.

These steps aim to guide educators in effectively implementing the critical thinking blended apprenticeship curricula while also maximizing the impact of critical thinking development in students.

The two European projects made a great start in integrating the skills that employers want employees to learn from university curricula, but the results are nonetheless provisional. There is not a clear agreement among participating universities regarding how best to teach critical thinking, nor any regarding its importance for future jobs. We urge that more work should be done to nurture critical thinking within university curricula in order to provide our current students—who represent the future of the workforce—the much-wanted job-proof skills they need.

5. European Recommendations and Good Practices

Critical thinking stands as a pivotal goal for European Higher Education Institutions. To facilitate the attainment of this objective, we present an educational protocol that draws from comprehensive research and practical experiences, including insights from the CRITHINKEDU project. This protocol amalgamates insights from both theoretical and empirical studies on critical thinking with practical strategies for its cultivation.

Recommendations go toward signing memorandums of understanding between universities and labor market organizations to cultivate strong partnerships ( Rebelo et al. 2023 ). Effective collaboration between universities and businesses is crucial in fostering critical thinking. This partnership thrives on the synergy that results when academic institutions and businesses combine their expertise, resources, and perspectives. Strategies such as aligning goals, fostering long-term commitment, and promoting a culture of collaboration can strengthen these partnerships and ensure that academic research is harmoniously aligned with real-world needs.

Another recommendation relates to the formulation of compelling goals . Accurate and transparent goals are fundamental to the successful implementation of university-industry collaborations to promote critical thinking. These goals must be clearly defined and easily understood at multiple levels, from the institutional to the program and course levels. Recognition of critical thinking as an overarching goal implies its integration into assessment and evaluation processes.

Another recommendation is to develop flexible curricula . To effectively foster critical thinking, curricula must demonstrate adaptability and responsiveness to emerging trends and market demands. The use of agile curriculum design methodologies and the involvement of business partners in curriculum development is of great value. Approaches such as problem-based and case-based learning facilitate rapid adaptation to evolving market needs, such as the use of AI-powered software to solve work tasks better and faster. Regular feedback mechanisms and ongoing collaboration with business partners ensure that curricula remain relevant and flexible.

Incorporating real-world challenges and case studies into curricula bridges the gap between academia and the business world, creating an environment that encourages experiential learning. The active involvement of business stakeholders in providing relevant challenges plays a key role. Students’ problem-solving skills are enhanced by shifting from traditional teaching methods to project-based, problem-based, or case-based learning. Engaging students through apprenticeships, internships, guest lectures, and seminars immerses them in authentic work environments and fosters their professional development.

Ongoing, multi-faceted evaluation is a cornerstone of the collaboration between higher education and the business community to cultivate critical thinking. Assessment includes measuring learners’ progress in critical thinking, the effectiveness of curricula, and the impact of partnerships through the use of key performance indicators.

Regarding how to implement a critical thinking curriculum, pedagogical research ( Elen et al. 2019 ) suggests that in the development of critical thinking, whether it is regarded as a skill, disposition, or a combination of both, three categories of supportive measures can be identified: modeling, induction, and declaration.

Modeling: Support the development of critical thinking skills by demonstrating what it means to think critically at the institutional, programmatic, and course levels, considering multiple perspectives and alternative viewpoints.

Induction: Support critical thinking development by provoking critical thinking through the presentation of open-ended questions, unstructured tasks, complex problems, and real-world issues. The exact nature of “induction” and how it is implemented may vary across fields and disciplines. Induction can be carried out in a variety of ways; for example, presenting unstructured problems, providing authentic tasks, encouraging constructive controversy, asking “why” questions, or encouraging student autonomy.

Explanation: Promote the development of critical thinking by articulating or explicitly stating what is at stake, what strategies can be used, and what criteria must be met. This explanation can take the form of oral or written communication and should always be explicit and specific. Declaring and making things explicit can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including using critical thinking rubrics, developing elaborate concept maps, providing feedback on critical thinking, and engaging in discussion and reflection on critical issues.

This integrated approach, encompassing university-business collaboration and an educational protocol, underscores the significance of critical thinking in higher education. It provides a structured framework for nurturing this essential skill by aligning objectives, fostering partnerships, adapting curricula, and implementing ongoing evaluation practices. In doing so, educational institutions are better poised to equip students with the critical thinking skills needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

6. Concluding Remarks or Can Critical THINKING Save the World?

In summary, the dynamic interaction between universities, businesses, and the evolving technology landscape, including the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and online technologies, underscore the critical need to nurture and develop students’ critical thinking skills. As we navigate the challenges posed by AI and the ever-expanding digital realm, collaborative efforts between academia and industry have proven to be instrumental in preparing students for the future job market.

Incorporating real-world experiences, such as apprenticeships, into the curriculum is an important step toward improving students’ critical thinking skills in real-world contexts. Projects such as “Critical thinking across higher education curricula—CRITHINKEDU” and “Critical thinking for successful jobs—THINK4JOBS” have demonstrated the potential of these collaborations to bridge the gap between classroom learning and industry needs. In addition, the development of flexible curricula that can adapt to the evolving needs of the job market, especially considering online technologies, is essential. By integrating real-world challenges and case studies into the curriculum, students gain valuable problem-solving skills and are better prepared to navigate the complexities of the digital age.

Ongoing assessment and evaluation are critical components of this collaborative effort, ensuring that critical thinking remains a central focus and that students are making meaningful progress in acquiring this essential skill.

With the disruption of AI and the ubiquity of online technologies, the integration of critical thinking into higher education curricula is more important than ever. It enables students not only to thrive in a technology-driven world, but also to contribute to a rational, democratic, and globally interconnected society. The partnerships forged between universities and businesses, along with a well-defined educational protocol, provide a roadmap for cultivating these essential skills and preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the future job market. The imperative to foster critical thinking in university curricula remains a fundamental step in equipping tomorrow’s workforce to navigate the complexities of an AI-influenced job market and a rapidly changing world.

Lilienfeld ( 2007, para. 3 ) said it well: “The greatest threat to the world is ideological fanaticism, by ideological fanaticism I mean the unshakeable conviction that one’s belief system and that of other in-group members is always right and righteous and that others’ belief systems are always wrong and wrong-headed”. Imagine a world where (most or even many) people use the skills of critical thinking. Just maybe, CT could save the world.

The job market will require a psychologically adaptable toolkit, and we propose that critical thinking is an essential component therein. The disruptions imposed by new technological advances such as AI will require students to learn new employable skills because we will need not just an engineer, but a critical thinking engineer; not just a programmer, but a critical thinking programmer; and not just a journalist, but a critical thinking journalist. The dignity of workers—their humanity and our collective survival—may well depend on CT, a very human creation.


We sincerely thank Dana Dunn, Moravian University, for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Funding Statement

Daniela Dumitru received funding from European Commission/EACEA, through the ERASMUS+ Programme, “Critical Thinking for Successful Jobs—Think4Jobs” Project, with the reference number 2020-1-EL01-KA203-078797.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, D.F.H. and D.D.; investigation, D.F.H. and D.D.; resources, D.F.H. and D.D.; writing—original draft preparation, D.F.H. and D.D.; writing—review and editing, D.F.H. and D.D. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Critical Thinking Skills.

Ai generator.

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgment. It involves evaluating sources, such as data, facts, observable phenomena, and research findings. Developing critical thinking skills is essential for academic success and everyday decision-making. Here are strategies and examples to help enhance critical thinking skills.

1. Ask Questions

Asking questions is fundamental to critical thinking. Encourage curiosity and in-depth understanding by asking questions like:

  • What evidence supports this claim?
  • Are there alternative perspectives?
  • What are the implications of this decision?

2. Analyze Assumptions

Identifying and analyzing assumptions helps in understanding underlying biases and beliefs.

  • Example : When reading a news article, identify the assumptions the author makes and consider how they influence the argument.

3. Evaluate Evidence

Evaluating evidence involves assessing the reliability and validity of information sources.

  • Example : When researching a topic, compare information from multiple sources and evaluate their credibility.

4. Develop Hypotheses

Formulating and testing hypotheses can strengthen analytical skills.

  • Example : In a science experiment, develop a hypothesis, conduct experiments to test it, and analyze the results.

5. Reflect on Your Thinking Process

Reflection helps in recognizing and improving your thought process.

  • Example : After making a decision, reflect on the steps you took, what you learned, and how you could improve in the future.

6. Engage in Discussions

Participating in discussions encourages the exchange of ideas and perspectives.

  • Example : Join a debate club or discussion group to practice presenting and defending your viewpoints.

7. Practice Problem-Solving

Solving problems systematically can enhance critical thinking.

  • Example : Use problem-solving frameworks, like SWOT analysis, to evaluate a business case study.

8. Use Critical Thinking Exercises

Incorporate exercises and activities designed to boost critical thinking skills.

  • Example : Engage in brainteasers, puzzles, and logic games that challenge your reasoning abilities.

Examples of Critical Thinking in Action

  • Case Study: Socratic Method : Used in law schools, the Socratic method involves asking a series of questions to help students think deeply about the subject matter.
  • Example: Reflective Journals : Students keep journals where they reflect on their learning experiences, analyze their thinking processes, and develop insights.

Developing critical thinking skills is crucial for academic success and informed decision-making. By asking questions, analyzing assumptions, evaluating evidence, developing hypotheses, reflecting on thinking processes, engaging in discussions, practicing problem-solving, and using critical thinking exercises, individuals can enhance their ability to think critically.


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  1. What is Critical Thinking?

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  4. Critical Thinking Definition, Skills, and Examples

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  5. How to Improve Critical Thinking

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  1. Importance of Dialogic Education

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    Some of the significant contributions to the thinking about reflective practice are highlighted in Table 1.1. Each of the authors' conceptions add to or extend a ... and critical reflection, which focuses on inquiring about the moral, ethical, and social equity aspects of practice (e.g., Does this ... the importance of psychological presence ...

  12. Reflective practice, in practice

    Reflective practice is a core concept in social work and probably the most well known theoretical perspective across the entire applied professions of teaching, health and social care. ... and enabling critical thinking on what has been experienced. While Schon ... this argument clarifies the vital importance of reflection on action. Staff ...

  13. Full article: Facilitating reflection: a review and synthesis of the

    People engage in reflective thinking to varying degrees (Black & Plowright, Citation 2010; Dewey, Citation 1933; Sellheim & Weddle, Citation 2015); although they may be ineffective or unaware of using it (Black & Plowright, Citation 2010), or lack comprehensiveness and accountability (Sellheim & Weddle, Citation 2015).Practitioners are reported as engaging with intuitive and less critical ...

  14. PDF Reflection: A Key Component to Thinking Critically

    Importance of the Study. Learning is enhanced by critical reflection, which involves the "creation of meaning and conceptualization from experience" (Brockbank & McGill, 1998, p. 56). As educators we need to facilitate critical reflection to enable students to move beyond a superficial understanding of their world.

  15. Bridging critical thinking and transformative learning: The role of

    Given Ennis' well-known definition of critical thinking as 'reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do' (Ennis, 2018: 166), reflection is a good place to start in an attempt to explain how a thinker can bring themselves to a position of doubt. Reflection is undoubtedly a powerful thinking tool.

  16. Reflective practice

    Reflective practice. Reflective practice is a process of thinking clearly, honestly, deeply, and critically about any aspect of our professional practice. It requires committing to creating space to reflect on one's work and has long been recognised as an integral part of safety and quality. Reflective practice is considered good practice and ...

  17. Reflective practice

    Recognise, reflect, resolve: The benefits of reflecting on your practice. Working in health and care is rewarding but it is also fast paced, and can be challenging and stressful at times. Creating the space to reflect on your practice, by yourself, with a colleague or as part of a group, can help you to deal with high levels of pressure and ...

  18. Reflective Practices in Education: A Primer for Practitioners

    Abstract. Reflective practices in education are widely advocated for and have become important components of professional reviews. The advantages of reflective practices are many; however, the literature often focuses on the benefits to students, rather than the benefits for the educators themselves. Additionally, the extant literature ...

  19. The Importance Of Critical Thinking, and how to improve it

    Critical thinking can help you better understand yourself, and in turn, help you avoid any kind of negative or limiting beliefs, and focus more on your strengths. Being able to share your thoughts can increase your quality of life. 4. Form Well-Informed Opinions.

  20. Teachers' Critical Reflective Practice in the Context of Twenty-first

    Reflective Practice. Dewey defined reflective thought thus: 'Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends' (Citation 1910, p. 6, original emphasis).If Dewey was correct, reflective practice must assume a level of directed, proactive cognitive activity by ...

  21. Exploring the role of reflection in nurse education and practice

    The application of reflection to practice has clear advantages, for example it enables nurses to learn from clinical events and adapt and enhance their skills. This article explores the role of reflection in nursing practice, considers the use of reflective models and explores how nurses can overcome barriers to reflection in their everyday ...

  22. Critical Thinking and Reflective Thinking

    Critical and Reflective Thinking encompasses a set of abilities that students use to examine their own thinking and that of others. This involves making judgments based on reasoning, where students consider options, analyze options using specific criteria, and draw conclusions. People who think critically and reflectively are analytical and ...

  23. Critical Reflection: John Dewey's Relational View of Transformative

    Recent works have suggested that we may gain new insights about the conditions for critical reflection by re-examining some of the theories that helped inspire the field's founding (e.g. Fleming, 2018; Fleming et al., 2019; Raikou & Karalis, 2020).Along those lines, this article re-examines parts of the work of John Dewey, a theorist widely recognized to have influenced Mezirow's thinking.

  24. Reflective Practice Through Writing

    Website. This podcast season is all about the HOW of learning through experience. We learn through experience using four core practices: challenging your perspective, stretching and building range, directing your learning, reflection and inquiry. The core practice that we are paying attention to in this episode of Learning Through Experience is ...

  25. Critical Thinking: Creating Job-Proof Skills for the Future of Work

    2. What Is Critical Thinking? Although some scholars in the field of critical thinking have emphasized differences among various definitions, we believe that the commonalities are evident (c.f., Dwyer 2017; Nisbett 2015; Lipman 1991; Fisher 2001).There are some differences in the use of terms and several skills might be more important, but all of the definitions (more or less) conform to our ...

  26. Article on Critical Thinking Skills Example [Edit & Download]

    6. Engage in Discussions. Participating in discussions encourages the exchange of ideas and perspectives. Example: Join a debate club or discussion group to practice presenting and defending your viewpoints. 7. Practice Problem-Solving. Solving problems systematically can enhance critical thinking.