Assessing Critical Thinking about Values

Inquiry 26 (1):19-28 (2011)
Critical thinking and values are fundamental topics of interest in higher education. The current study is an empirical validation of a university’s effort to teach students to apply critical thinking to the recognition and articulation of values contained in focal essays. A Critical Thinking about Values Assessment (CTVA) is provided, which evaluates students’ responses regarding (1) key components of critical thinking, and (2) “critical thinking about values,” in response to the essays. These two criteria were assessed at the beginning and end of the semester as part of a naturally-occurring quasiexperiment. Results provide some support for the reliability and validity of the CTVA and suggest that the program has a tenuous relationship with students’ critical thinking, but a moderate to strongrelationship with students’ ability to recognize and articulate values
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