Faculty Development for Fostering Students’ Critical Thinking


Given the complexity of fostering critical thinking (CT) skills in undergraduate students and the lack of effective faculty training methods, the authors provide a comprehensive and evidence-based framework to prepare faculty in the instruction of CT skills. The model consists of an extensive workshop, mentoring, daily classroom observations, informative feedback consultations, and an end-of-semester feedback report on students’ higher order thinking growth. Two aspects of the training were assessed: Did consultations impact professor’s pedagogy in fostering CT? Did professors’ level of experience with this model impact students' CT gains? Fifteen professors were assessed during seven semesters (45 classes and 904 students). Results indicate that between first and second consultations, professors demonstrated statistically significant change (p < .05) in the frequency of four of the six pedagogical processes. Professors’ training experience in this model significantly affected student growth (p < .01) within three levels of CT knowledge. Findings reflect the benefits of a program model that offers continued feedback and training to professors.