The chemistry of critical thinking: the pursuit to do both better

Lindsey Conner, Yetunde Kolajo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents a qualitative investigation of lecturers’ perceptions of
critical thinking and how this influenced how they taught. All of the participants
taught the same first-year university chemistry course. This case study
provides insights about how there may need to be fundamental shifts in lecturers’
perceptions about learning and the development of critical thinking skills
so that they can enhance knowledge and understanding of chemistry as well as
advance the students’ critical thinking. Recommendations are made for professional
learning for lecturers and for changing the “chemistry” of the design of
learning experiences through valuing critical thinking in assessments and making
critical thinking more explicit throughout the course. The authors argue
that critical thinking must be treated as a developmental phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImproving classroom engagement and international development programs
Subtitle of host publicationInternational perspectives on humanizing higher education
EditorsEnakshi Sengupta, Patrick Blessinger, Mandla Makhanya
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781839094729, 9781839094743
ISBN (Print)9781839094736
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameInnovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISSN (Print)2055-3641


  • critical thinking
  • chemistry
  • university
  • teaching strategy
  • learning
  • lecturer
  • perception
  • teaching activities
  • effective teaching
  • barriers and obstacles


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