15 February 2019 | Learning & Teaching Forum paper

Supporting critical thinking in higher education – considerations for strategic discussions

Martin G. Erikson (University of Borås)

Critical thinking is one of the most central concepts for teaching and learning in higher education, but definitions are manifold and disputed. It is argued that educational management and the professoriate have a shared strategic responsibility to facilitate critical thinking.


Issues that should be considered include the arbitrary nature of the concept of critical thinking and the concept’s normative nature. The need for realism in definitions is underlined, as well as the need for definitions that can be related to educational practice. In relation to educational practice, the risk of confusing critical thinking and righteous thinking, as well as the risk of confusing critical thinking and the experience of new ways of thinking, are pointed out. It is concluded that teachers’ abilities and dispositions are crucial aspects for the understanding of critical thinking in educational practice.

ISSN: 2593-9602

This paper was presented at the 2019 European Learning & Teaching Forum and reflects the views of the named authors only.

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