Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Building a Culture of Critical and Creative Thinking. Creating and Sustaining Higher-Order Thinking as part of a Quality Enhancement Plan
Tania Allen, Sara Queen, Maria Gallardo-Williams, Lisa Parks, Anne Auten, Susan Carson

Last modified: 25-06-2019

Abstract


Creating and Sustaining Higher-Order Thinking as part of a Quality Enhancement Plan at a US University

The TH!NK initiative at North Carolina State University seeks to bridge the gap between evidence-based research on teaching and actual teaching practices in the classroom. Through this work, the culture of teaching and learning on our campus is being transformed from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction that promotes higher-order thinking across a diverse array of disciplines. Participating faculty engage in intensive faculty development; create discipline-specific classroom activities and assignments; become adept at providing students feedback on their thinking skills; and engage in a learning community to share and provide peer feedback on pedagogical innovations.

The primary student learning outcome (SLO) is for students to apply critical and creative thinking skills and behaviors in the process of solving problems and addressing questions. Methods to achieve the institutional transformation include implementation of a comprehensive faculty development focused on the use of evidence-based pedagogy that promotes higher-order thinking, and rigorous outcomes assessment to provide means for continual improvement. The program has expanded into multiple phases, and involves strategies to create a more sustainable culture of critical and creative thinking through formal and informal learning and scholarship.


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