From Theory to Practice: Critical Thinking as a Multifaceted Concept


  • Beverley Barnaby Department of Education Middlesex University



Critical thinking, Assessment of Students, Early Childhood Studies, Higher Education, Northern London


In this article I reflect on the problem that critical thinking skills are simultaneously seen as important in higher education, and yet remain difficult to define. I draw on a small pilot study to explore the various dimensions to critical thinking and the extent to which students and their tutors identify similar characteristics as being of equal importance. Participants were also asked to reflect on the attainment level of students in critical thinking. The results of this pilot study suggest that, whilst all participants agree on the importance of critical thinking skills, there are some variations in how they understand the term and the extent to which they judge that students employ these skills.

Author Biography

Beverley Barnaby, Department of Education Middlesex University

Beverley Barnaby, B.Ed, M.A. (Education) is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Middlesex University in London. She is the module leader for Leadership, Management and Multidisciplinary Roles in Early Years Settings and Early Childhood Studies and Development. Her current research interest concerns critical thinking within higher educational settings.


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On the Horizon