Confronting Critical Thinking Challenges “in” the College Classroom

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014


The goal of this pilot study was to develop a learner-centered teaching tool that would promote meaningful learning and enable higher education instructors to model critical thinking through concept mapping. Learner-centered approaches emphasize not only content, but the context, purpose, and process of learning. They also focus on the need for students to take responsibility for their own learning. However, students may not possess the foundational critical thinking skills necessary to be independent learners. Concept mapping allows university instructors to demonstrate basic critical thinking processes and provides students with the opportunity to practice the critical thinking that is essential to their success inside and outside the classroom. It can also facilitate meaningful learning by encouraging students to integrate new knowledge into prior knowledge structures.


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