About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 5569 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

FOSTERING CRITICAL THINKING IN SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN INVESTIGATION ON THE ROLE OF INTEGRATED ASSESSMENTS

R. Ditsele

Tshwane University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
The development of critical thinking faculties is at the heart of South African education policy framework (Letseka 2012). Critical thinking is an essential component and graduate attribute addressed within South African HE (higher education) landscape. Students at HE institutions are expected to possess and display certain levels of critical thinking skills. They, therefore, are expected upon completion of their programmes in HE, among others, to demonstrate personal and process competencies, and capacity to effectively interact in the world of work, as well as in a continuous changing global context by demonstrating their ability to identify and solve real world problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking in their fields of study.

This paper seeks to investigate the role of integrated assessments in fostering critical thinking in an under-graduate PM (Public Management) programme in South Africa. Conducted within the intepretivist and qualitative paradigm of social inquiry, this paper’s goal is to gain a deep level of understanding of university lecturers’ experiences, multiple perceptions and meanings of integrated assessments and critical thinking in their daily teaching and learning context. This is done in an attempt to gain valuable insights on the development and design of integrated assessment tools and instruments that incorporate critical thinking. The paper’s findings revealed that some respondents seemed to have a narrow understanding of what critical thinking is and what it meant to be a critical thinker. Respondents perceived that students who lacked critical thinking were lazy and only interested in obtaining certificates. This perception significantly made it difficult for them to foster it. The findings revealed that respondents conflated concepts like integrated, formative and summative assessment methods, strategies and their purposes thereof.

This paper has underscored a critical challenge to the under-graduate programme in PM pedagogy, that is, the gap in the knowledge base and sufficiency of capabilities that lecturers possess to foster these attributes of critical thinking through integrated assessment. Thus, the department or institution should conduct intensive refresher workshops and short learning programmes on curriculum development including, assessments, module guides and critical thinking as part of on-going staff development for lecturers in this under-graduate programme. This on-going training and development intervention will be beneficial to the department or institution as lecturers will polish or upgrade their knowledge as far as integrated assessment and critical thinking skills are concerned. The end-product of such constant training and development interventions should result in the department producing clear standards or guidelines on how to develop and design integrated assessment tools and instruments that incorporates critical thinking, therefore ensuring the promotion of the 21st century graduate attributes advocated by South Africa’s education policies becomes a reality.
@InProceedings{DITSELE2015FOS,
author = {Ditsele, R.},
title = {FOSTERING CRITICAL THINKING IN SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN INVESTIGATION ON THE ROLE OF INTEGRATED ASSESSMENTS},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {5569}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Ditsele
TI - FOSTERING CRITICAL THINKING IN SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN INVESTIGATION ON THE ROLE OF INTEGRATED ASSESSMENTS
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 5569
EP - 5569
ER -
R. Ditsele (2015) FOSTERING CRITICAL THINKING IN SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN INVESTIGATION ON THE ROLE OF INTEGRATED ASSESSMENTS, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, p. 5569.
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