Enhancing Critical Thinking in a PBL Environment

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6 Citationer (Scopus)


Engineering education accreditation bodies emphasize the need for competencies beyond technical expertise. Critical thinking is one of these competencies, which is also considered as a precursor for the development of other competencies such as multidisciplinary collaboration, problem-solving skills and lifelong learning. There is an urgent need to enhance engineering students’ critical thinking and one way to do this is to make use of active, student-centred learning approaches such as Problem Based Learning (PBL). This study aims to provide a model for understanding and enhancing critical
thinking in a PBL environment. The development of the model takes its point of departure from a conceptual model for critical thinking that is concretized in a PBL context by including theoretical as well as empirical perspectives. The
empirical study was conducted at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University (Denmark), which has more than 30 years of experience in educating engineers in a PBL environment. Based on the results, a model for critical thinking in aPBLenvironment is outlined emphasizing a problem-solving process grounded in open and real life problems as well as a self-directed, collaborative and team-based learning environment. The model also includes recommendations to overcome challenges detected in the empirical study, especially those related to the scaffolding of group collaboration and the use of theory in a self-directed learning environment based on real life problems.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Udgave nummer1(B)
Sider (fra-til)424-437
StatusUdgivet - 2016


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