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Enhancing college students' critical thinking: A review of studies

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Twenty-seven studies are reviewed that investigate the effect of instructional methods, courses, programs, and general college experiences on changes in college students' critical thinking. Only two studies used true experimental designs; most were nonequivalent pretest-posttest control group designs. The results failed to support the use of specific instructional or course conditions to enhance critical thinking, but did support the conclusion that college attendance improves critical thinking. What is lacking in the research is a common definition of critical thinking, good instrumentation to provide specific measurement, and a clear theoretical description of the nature of an experience that should enhance critical thinking.

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McMillan, J.H. Enhancing college students' critical thinking: A review of studies. Res High Educ 26, 3–29 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00991931

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  • College Student
  • Critical Thinking
  • Education Research
  • Specific Measurement
  • Theoretical Description