Building capacity in critical thinking

Building Capacity to Measure Essential Employability Skills: A Focus on Critical Thinking Gary Kapelus, Nancy Miyagi, and Valerie Scovill, George Brown College

A recently completed study follows a three-year exploration of critical thinking skills seeking to address the question of how we measure student learning of critical thinking, an essential employability skill.

The authors  learned that:

  • critical thinking was not explicitly being addressed or assessed within existing college English courses and rubrics;
  • assessing critical thinking was complicated or obscured by the quality of students’ English language skills and that faculty required additional training to separate assessment of critical thinking and language;
  • faculty had many different interpretations of critical thinking and how it could be demonstrated in student assignments within their unique contexts
  • considerable discussion was required to arrive at a consensus about the specific constructs to be included in a generic tool and how to best describe generic performance levels for each.

Resources developed during the three-year project include: