X. Sotelo

Francisco de Vitoria university + SIIM-UCM (SPAIN)
In March 2010, the “Budapest-Vienna Declaration” was adopted, creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA was a turning point in the traditional approaches used in teaching. The student came to play a more active role in a student-centered approach. To these regards, EHEA requires not only that the learning outcomes required of students be designed in such a way as to involve them more actively in their learning process, but mostly, that competences, such as critical thinking skills, are at the core of successful learning outcomes.

With the purpose to help university students develop critical thinking competence within Bologna degrees, from the Complutense university Research group SIIM- Studies on Intermediality and Intercultural Mediation in conjunction with the Language department of Francisco de Vitoria university, since 2016 we are implementing an Interdisciplinary Innovation project called New Narrative for Europe Project from the Humanities . In this project, we examine the crisis of values and identity through inter-artistic expressions, with an emphasis on creativity and artistic forms as promoters of a humanistic conscience. Our main objective is to offer students the opportunity to participate in the European project relaunched by the European Commission in 2016 A New Narrative for Europe with the aim of actively involving them in the current debate on the crisis of values and identity in the European Union while improving both speaking and written English skills and developing critical thinking in the field of ethics and social responsibility. To encourage active learning that energizes students' abilities to make them more innovative, creative and enterprising, we explore examples of intermedial narratives as learning outcomes and digital formats as emerging forms of communication. Moreover, we seek to implement innovative learning methodologies that promote critical thinking and collaborative work, such as DesignForChange. The way we do so, is working with two sub-skills of Critical thinking, one being the development of a contrasted opinion and use of reliable resources to justify one´s reasoning (learning outcome: infographics), and the second, problem-solving skills (learning outcome: 3-5 min video with a social entrepreneurship proposal to promote common good in a European context). With both activities, we focus on the relationship between the degree of acquisition of this competence and the critical and entrepreneurial capacity of university students in a European context, while developing written and oral skills in a second language. That is to say, on the one hand, we want to understand if students are acquiring the critical thinking competence adequately in the new degrees; and on the other, to analyze if the students identify with values and a European identity. If this is so, we seek to explore the extent to which we can affirm that Spanish university students are part of a critical citizenship that is aware of the current challenges that Europe faces.

From SIIM-UFV we understand that if university students, European citizens, lack critical and contrasted thinking about the history of the European Union and its current situation, they will not be able to make the right decisions with respect of Europe´s future.