Define Critical Thinking In Research

Halpern listed a series of skills and dispositions required for good critical thought.

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This discussion has generally occurred between philosophers, cognitive psychologists and education researchers.

This study examined the perceptions around critical thinking of 470 chemistry students from an Australian University, 106 chemistry teaching staff and 43 employers of chemistry graduates.

The dispositions Halpern described are a willingness to engage and persist with complex tasks, habitually planning and resisting impulsive actions, flexibility or open-mindedness, a willingness to self-correct and abandon non-productive strategies and an awareness of the social context for thoughts to become actions (Halpern, 1998).

Glaser (1984) further elaborated on the awareness of context to suggest that critical thinking requires proficiency in metacognition.

Furthermore, the report stated that a good critical thinker demonstrates a series of dispositions which is required for the individual to utilise the aforementioned skills.

According to the report a ‘good critical thinker, is habitually disposed to engage in, and to encourage others to engage in, critical judgement’ (Facione, 1990, p. These dispositions were later categorised into inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, systematicity, analyticity, truth seeking, critical thinking self-confidence and maturity (Facione, 1990).

The importance of critical thinking is commonly referred to in literature discussions regarding employability and transferable skills (Ghulam and David, 1999; Leggett , 2016).

In Australia, Group of Eight Universities list critical thinking and reasoning among the attributes of their science graduates (Australian National University, 2015; Monash University, 2015; The University of Adelaide, 2015; The University of Melbourne, 2015).

Good critical thinking is important to the development of students and a valued skill in commercial markets and wider society.

There has been much discussion regarding the definition of critical thinking and how it is best taught in higher education.


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