The Value of Critical Thinking in Higher Education and the Labour Market: The Voice of Stakeholders
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Critical thinking has been more than just a part of academic rhetoric and educational practice for some time now. In the rapidly changing world of information flow, critical thinking is often identified as the goal of higher education, and in the modern labour market, the importance of critical thinking to an organisation’s success is emphasised. Critical thinking is recognised as one of the tools for the formation and development of human and social capital. Nevertheless, there is a lack of evidence about the manifestation in the labour market of the critical thinking developed at institutions of higher education. This article seeks to reveal the attitude toward the importance of critical thinking in the modern labour market and toward the responsibility for developing it from the perspective of different stakeholder groups (lecturers, students, employers and employees) (the case of Lithuania). Quantitative research methodology was chosen, using a questionnaire for data collection. It was found that in both higher education and the labour market, critical thinking is treated as a developed and dynamic competence that encompasses both cognitive skills and dispositions. All of the stakeholder groups consider inference and argumentation to be the most important critical thinking skills in the modern labour market. Critical thinking dispositions such as self-confidence and fairness are the most valued. All of the stakeholder groups delegate responsibility for the development of critical thinking to the individual. In evaluating critical thinking, no divide was established between the higher education and labour market segments. The most differences in attitudes emerged in evaluating the assumption of responsibility for the development of critical thinking.
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