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Kamal Ahmed

Abstract

Critical thinking (CT) and critical writing (CW) skills are no doubt one of the core requirements and necessary tools required in Higher Education (HE). Previous research has highlighted the need as well as the benefits of supporting students with critical thinking, yet few have identified strategies which can be used effectively to promote students’ understanding and development of the concepts. This study identified some of the challenges often faced by students in HE with regards to CT and CW and explores how a targeted intervention could potentially develop students’ understanding and application of CT and CW. In particular, the study found that although students were aware of what CT and CW were, they required explicit instruction on how to apply and demonstrate these concepts in their assignments. Using an action research methodology with a random sample of 10 students from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds at a university in London, England, the research found effective strategies through the use of a targeted workshop as an intervention to develop and enhance students’ CT and CW skills. Participant feedback revealed the workshop had a positive impact on all the students highlighting the need for such interventions in order to suitably equip students with the ‘critical’ demands of studying.

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