Faculty perceptions of critical thinking at a health sciences university

Main Article Content

Joie Rowles
Christine Michelle Morgan
Shari Burns
Christine Merchant


The fostering of critical thinking skills has become an expectation of faculty, especially those teaching in the health sciences. The manner in which critical thinking is defined by faculty impacts how they will address the challenge to promote critical thinking among their students. This study reports the perceptions of critical thinking held by health sciences faculty representing multiple disciplines. The results provide a working definition of critical thinking and its components, and indicate the importance that critical thinking is given in the education of health care students. Implications of these results for teaching and learning are presented.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Rowles, J., Morgan, C. M., Burns, S., & Merchant, C. (2013). Faculty perceptions of critical thinking at a health sciences university. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(4), 21–35. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/3285


Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. (2008). Accreditation Standards for a Doctoral-Degree-Level Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist. Retrieved from http://www.aota.org/Educate/Accredit/StandardsReview.aspx

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. (2011). Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Retrieved from https://www.acpe-accredit.org/pdf/FinalS2007Guidelines2.0.pdf

Allen, G. D., Rubenfeld, M. G., & Scheffer, B. K. (2004). Reliability of assessment of critical thinking. Journal of Professional Nursing, 20(1), 15-22.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/BaccEssentials08.pdf

American Dental Education Association. (2008). Competencies for the New General Dentist. Retrieved from http://www.adea.org/about_adea/governance/Pages/Competencies-for-the-NewGeneral-Dentist.aspx

Appleby, D. C. (2005). Defining, teaching, and assessing critical thinking in Introductory Psychology. In D. S. Dunn & S. L. Chew (Eds.), Best Practices for Teaching Introduction to Psychology: Psychology Press.

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2011). The LEAP Vision for Learning: Outcomes, Practices, Impact, and Employers’ Views. Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/leap/documents/leap_vision_summary.pdf

Blouin, R. A., Riffee, W. H., Robinson, E. T., Beck, D. E., Green, C., Joyner, P. U., … Pollack, G. M. (2009). Roles of innovation in education delivery. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(8).

Busch, C., De Maret, P.S., Flynn, T., Kellum, R., Le, S., Meyers, B., … Palmquist, M. (1994 2012). Writing guide: Content Analysis. (Colorado State University). Retrieved from http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=61

Council On Podiatric Medical Education. (2011). Standards and Requirements for Accrediting Colleges of Podiatric Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.cpme.org/files/FileDownloads/CPME%20120%20November%202011.pdf

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

DeAngelo, L., Hurtado, S., Pryor, J. H., Kelly, K. R., & Santos, J. L. (2009). The American College Teacher: National Norms for the 2007-2008 HERI Faculty Survey. Retrieved from http://heri.ucla.edu/PDFs/pubs/briefs/brief-pr030508-08faculty.pdf

Ennis, R. H. (1996). Critical thinking dispositions: Their nature and assessability. Informal Logic, 18(2 & 3), 165-182.

Facione, N. A., & Facione, P. A. (2008). Critical thinking and clinical judgment. In N. C. Facione & P. A. Facione (Eds.), Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in the Health Sciences: An International Multidisciplinary Teaching Anthology. Millbrae, CA: The California Academic Press.

Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction. Retrieved from http://www.insightassessment.com/CTResources/Expert-Consensus-on-Critical-Thinking/Delphi-Consensus-Report-ExecutiveSummary-PDF

Gordon, J. M. (2000). Congruency in defining critical thinking by nurse educators and non-nurse scholars. Journal of Nursing Education, 39(8), 340-351.

Halpern, D. S. (1999). Teaching for critical thinking: Helping college students develop the skills and dispositions of a critical thinker. New Directions For Teaching and Learning, 80, 69-74.

Hatcher, D. L. (2000). Arguments for another definition of critical thinking. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, 20(1), 3-8.

Jenicek, M., Croskerry, P., & Hitchcock, D. L. (2011). Evidence and its uses in health care and research: the role of critical thinking. Medical Science Monitor, 17(1), RA12-17.

Jones, J. H. (2010). Developing critical thinking in the perioperative environment. Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses Journal, 91(2), 248-256.

Kennedy, M., Fisher, M. B., & Ennis, R. H. (1991). Critical thinking: Literature review and needed research. In L. Idol & B. F. Jones (Eds.), Educational Values and Cognitive Instruction: Implications for Reform. (pp. 11-40). Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.

Krupat, E., Sprague, J. M., Wolpaw, D., Haidet, P., Hatem, D., & O'Brien, B. (2011). Thinking critically about critical thinking: Ability, disposition or both? Medical Education, 45(6), 625635.

Liaison Committee on Medical Education. (2012). Functions and Structure of a Medical School: Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the MD Degree. Retrieved from http://www.lcme.org/functions.pdf

Midwestern University Catalog. (2012). Downers Grove, IL.

Oderda, G. M., Zavod, R. M., Carter, J. T., Early, J. L., Joyner, P. U., Kirschenbaum, H., … Plaza, C. M. (2011). An environmental scan on the status of critical thinking and problem solving skills in colleges/ schools of pharmacy: Report of the 2009-2010 academic affairs standing committee. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(10), S6.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2006). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2008). The Miniature Guide to Critial Thinking Concepts and Tools (5th ed.): The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Paul, R., Elder, L., & Bartell, T. (1995). Study of 38 Public Universities and 28 Private Universities to Determine Faculty Emphasis on Critical Thinking in Instruction. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/study-of-38-public-universities-and-28-privateuniversities-to-determine-faculty-emphasis-on-critical-thinking-in-instruction/598

Scheffer, B. K., & Rubenfeld, M. G. (2000). A consensus statement on critical thinking in nursing. Journal of Nursing Education, 39(8), 352-359.