Perceptions of Portuguese University Teachers About Critical Thinking Educational Practices

  • Felicidade MoraisEmail author
  • Helena Silva
  • Gonçalo Cruz
  • Daniela Pedrosa
  • Rita Payan-Carreira
  • Caroline Dominguez
  • Maria Manuel Nascimento
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 993)


Promoting students’ Critical Thinking (CT) in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) has been an essential and challenging goal in the 21st century. This exploratory research study attempted to characterize how CT is being fostered in Portuguese HEI. Semi-structured interviews were carried-out with 5 university teachers from different domains, focusing several topics: CT notion, CT aims, CT approach, interventions, teaching strategies, learning materials, assessment methods, challenges and barriers. Results highlighted the undervalue of CT dispositions by university teachers, the lack of clarity regarding the design principles and criteria behind effective CT instruction and assessment, and the need to change institutional culture and conditions towards the support of CT educational practices – this will also enable the long-term integration of CT across the curricula and the transferability of skills and dispositions to other contexts. In general, teachers agreed on the importance to be explicit and clear in their CT teaching practice, and on the use of authentic situations, dialogue and active learning strategies for the effective development of students’ CT.


Critical Thinking Skills Dispositions Higher Education Institutions Learning Assessment 



This work was supported by the ‘Critical Thinking Across the European Higher Education Curricula - CRITHINKEDU’ project, with the reference number 2016-1-PT01-KA203-022808, funded by the European Commission/EACEA, through the ERASMUS+ Programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Letters, Arts and CommunicationUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)Vila RealPortugal
  2. 2.CELGA-ILTECUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Education and PsychologyUTADVila RealPortugal
  4. 4.CIIE – Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Educativas, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da EducaçãoUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.CRITHINKEDU Research FellowUTADVila RealPortugal
  6. 6.School of Science and TechnologyUTADVila RealPortugal
  7. 7.Department of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Évora, Pole at MitraÉvoraPortugal
  8. 8.Department of EngineeringUTADVila RealPortugal
  9. 9.LabDCT/CITDFFUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  10. 10.Department of MathematicsUTADVila RealPortugal

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