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Disposition Towards Critical Thinking and Student Engagement in Higher Education

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Developing student critical thinking skills is a core purpose of higher education, and requires the cognitive and disposition components of critical thinking to be fostered. The present study aims to examine the relationship between disposition towards critical thinking and engagement in higher education students. Participants were 836 students from two universities in Spain. Results showed a direct and positive relationship between student critical thinking disposition and several aspects of student engagement, such as reflective learning and participation in high-impact practices. These results could inform general pedagogical practices within the higher education curriculum so as to foster critical thinking disposition among future graduates.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, upon reasonable request.


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This research was supported by a grant from Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia to the Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences of Mondragon Unibertsitatea.

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PAH conceived the research; AM analyzed the data; IL contributed to the interpretation of the results. PAH, AM and IL wrote the manuscript. All authors provided critical feedback and helped shape the research, analysis and manuscript.

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Correspondence to Paula Álvarez-Huerta.

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The study protocol was reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Mondragon University (Mondragon Unibertsitatea).

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All authors agree with the content, and all gave explicit consent to submit this article for publication with this journal.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Álvarez-Huerta, P., Muela, A. & Larrea, I. Disposition Towards Critical Thinking and Student Engagement in Higher Education. Innov High Educ 48, 239–256 (2023).

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