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Sahra Yunusi

Dr.Smith

English 101

June 5, 2017

How to improve College Students Critical Thinking Skills

Undergraduate bachelors students make minor difference in their ability to synthesize

knowledge and put complex ideas on paper (Glenn). Many individuals believe a student

graduating with their bachelors degree means they can use their critical thinking skills in the

future, but if they are lacking this skill, how will they be able to use it? Universities should take

responsibility on how the students learn, and how they can support that learning (Matthews).

Many students who are freshmen in college struggle the first semester because the professor

expects them to know the information from high school and that is where they make the error.

One way universities can revise this cause is by providing required classes and strategies to

encourage creativity.

Critical thinking is not a skill that you can memorize overnight, it requires practice. The

only way students will practice their critical thinking skills is if they are required to. In the

article, New Book Lays Failure To Learn On College Door Steps By David Gleen it

mentions, Its encouraging to see new evidence that college does have an effect- that is, that

writing intensive and reading intensive courses actually do improve CLA scores of students

across the ability spectrum (Heiland). This statement proves that requiring students to take

reading and writing intensive courses improve their scores on the Collegiate Learning

Assessment (CLA) which is an essay test that measures reasoning and writing skills. The only

way students can improve is by practicing and if they are required to take such a course, they
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will be practicing and increasing their critical thinking skills at the same time. If universities do

not accept the facts they are only hurting the students future and the universities score over all.

Professors should encourage and support their students. The reason why professors

should support their student is because believe it or not it is also a strategy that helps students

self-esteem and motivates them to do better. Which will lead students to having improved critical

thinking skills. Many professors tend to teach their class in a teacher centered format where the

professor is doing most of the critical thinking when it should be vice versa. At times, it is

difficult for the student to concentrate in the class because of personally issues. Each professor

should create a friendly zone from the beginning of the course, where the students can send an

email or text to contact them in case of an emergency. It makes it easier for the student and the

professor. Many professors tend to ignore and not listen to the students issue which discourages

the student to do better and will lead to decreasing of their critical thinking skills. I do agree it is

college and not high school and students are paying for their classes, but that should not give the

professor a reason not to care about his or her students education but a valid reason why they

should care and help if they are able to. In the article, In Praise of the F Word by Mary Sherry,

it mentions, We must review the threat of flunking and see it as it really is- a positive teaching

tool. This statement means, if professors sees a student whom is performing poorly in their class

they should advise them they are in the edge of failing and if they dont improve they will fail

the course. This is also a great strategy the professors can do because they are giving the student

a wakeup call and the student will realize they are at the risk of failing. Once the student hears

you are at the edge of failing the course from the professor it will show them the professor

cares. Which will result the student to use and improve their critical thinking skills so they can

pass the course.


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Student center teaching helps improve the students critical thinking skills. The reason

being is because if the students can engage and have discussion about the topic they are being

taught it gives them a reason to be more interested, instead of hearing a lecture for three hours

from the professor. In in the article, Are College Lectures Unfair? by Annie Murphy Paul she

states, The act of putting ones own thoughts into words and communicating them to others,

research has shown, is a powerful contributor to learning. Active- learning courses regularly

provide opportunities for students to talk and debate with one another in a collaborative, low-

pressure environment (Paul). This statement talks about the benefits of active learning. The

students can discuss and debate about the topic and it creates a low-pressure environment. Why

would students want to be in a low-pressure environment? The reason being is because they can

speak their mind, without thinking of the right or wrong answer. Which also developes their

critical thinking skills because having discussions in class also is a strategy where students put

their thoughts together and hear their classmates opiopins. After discussing, the professor usually

assigns an assignment that is connected to what was spoken about in class. Reason being is now

the students have a better understanding of the topic and can perform better in the assignment.

Inconclusion, universities students are lacking critical thinking skills. Students are

graduating with their undergrad bachelor degree without being able to put complex ideas on

paper. Which is a serious problem and universities are to blame. One way universities can revise

this cause is by providing required classes and strategies to encourage creativity. Universities

should require student to take a least one writing and reading intensive courses, professor should

be more supporting and active learning skills should be encouraged in class rooms. Critical

thinking skills are not just to be used in college but it will benefit the students in their future and
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they will be thankful for their college system for giving them this skill. If universities change

their way all undergrad students will have critical thinking skills.