Helena Silva, José Lopes, Gonçalo Cruz (CIDTFF), Caroline Dominguez (CIDTFF) & Eva Morais | Higher Education Research & Development


While there is a strong consensus on the importance of Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) skills for the rise of participatory citizens and work-ready professionals, the extent to which university attendance by itself supports their development and acquisition remains controversial. This research presents a cohort, longitudinal follow-up study aimed at investigating the impact of university attendance by itself on the CCT skills development of 41 higher education students from two, 3-year Bachelor’s programmes at a northeastern Portuguese university, namely Pre-Service Teaching and Psychology. Using Lopes et al.’s Critical and Creative Thinking Test, an open-access CCT assessment instrument validated for the Portuguese higher education population, data were collected at the beginning of the first and of the third academic years: 2016–2017 and 2018–2019, respectively. Non statistically significant differences were found for both cohorts, suggesting that the domain-specific training of these study programmes per se are not a sufficient condition to enhance students’ domain-general CCT skills. Therefore, further research is still needed to better identify the moderating variables influencing the development of students’ CCT skills during their attendance in undergraduate higher education.

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Silva, H.. Lopes, J., Cruz, G., Dominguez, C., & Morais, E. (2022). Does university attendance affects students’ critical and creative thinking skills? A longitudinal research with pre-service teaching and psychology undergraduates. Higher Education Research & Development, ahead-of-print, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2022.2057448