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Critical thinking skills in college students in Mexico: a mixed methods approach

Date

2019

Authors

Parra Pérez, Lizeth G., author
Gloeckner, Gene W., advisor
Valdés Cuervo, Angel A., committee member
Birmingham, Daniel, committee member
Buchan, Victoria, committee member

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Volume Title

Abstract

Mexico recently adopted Critical Thinking Skills (CTS) as one of its primary goals in higher education. From now on, institutions are required by Mexican legislation to foster CTS in college students. This condition has brought concerns among scholars and practitioners, who still debate about the meaning of CTS, regarding to the way to bridge this legislation to actual CTS. Mainly, due to the lack of empirical research studying the factors leading Mexican college students to develop CTS. This Mixed Methods study analyzed student-related variables (gender, age, GPA, parental education, enrollment status, and degree aspirations) that may be influential factors predicting CTS in college students, according to the current body of literature conducted in other populations. It also studied the effect of academic engagement and the association with critical thinking skills due to its emerging relevance in higher education literature. Moreover, it explored student perception regarding the academic experiences they had in college to better understanding of how perceptions may have contributed to developing CTS over college experience. Statistical analyses indicated only GPA and parental education as effective predictors of CTS in college student in Mexico. These variables were able to explain only 9% of the variance of the CTS. The qualitative analysis suggests low academic rigor, teacher-centered teaching, and teaching absence in classes are constraining CTS gains in college students.

Description

2019 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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Subject

higher education
Mexican students
mixed-methods
critical thinking

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