CGHE Seminar 104

Pedagogies for critical thinking: innovation and outcomes in African higher education

  • Thursday, 21 Mar 2019 12:30 - 14:00
  • Room 739, UCL Institute of Education
  • Tristan McCowan, UCL Institute of Education
  • Caine Rolleston, UCL Institute of Education

Critical thinking is a key learning outcome of a university education, featuring in national higher education and institutional strategies around the world. However, while universities can support the development of critical thinking skills in their students, they are only likely to do so if they foster certain kinds of pedagogy. Evidence to inform these debates is for the most part only available in high-income countries, and there is a critical lack of research in the African context. This seminar reports on a four-year ESRC/DFID funded study on three countries: Botswana, Ghana and Kenya, involving a longitudinal analysis of students’ critical thinking skills and qualitative analysis of student and staff understandings. Findings support the effectiveness of certain practices such as problem-based learning, collaborative group work and community-based learning, yet only in the context of institutional culture in which lecturer orientations towards knowledge and learning have been fundamentally transformed.

Listen to the seminar here:

Tristan McCowan

Tristan McCowan

Tristan McCowan is Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, and is a Co-Investigator on CGHE’s global higher education engagement research programme.

Caine Rolleston

Caine Rolleston

Caine Rolleston is a Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development at UCL Institute of Education. His research interests, experience and expertise focus on analysis of education systems in low and middle income countries, including school quality and effectiveness and educational access and equity.

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