Today I read a few papers written by first year students; this is uncommon for me, since I am university staff, not faculty. I was doing this as an academic exercise with a few professors, to learn more about how students develop over the course of the first semester at college.
During our discussion of what we had observed in the essays, the questions “where is the critical thinking?” and “are students using critical thinking?” were asked more than once. Unfortunately, a recent academic publication (Academically Adrift) reports critical thinking is lacking in college students and in recent graduates.
Here is a simple info-graphic that simplifies the critical thinking process. Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you!