Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 21, Issue 1, Fall 2001

Robert L. Williams, Stephen L. Worth
Pages 5-16

The Relationship of Critical Thinking to Success in College

The definition, assessment, predictive validity, demographic correlates, and promotion of critical thinking at the college level are addressed in this article. Although the definitions of critical thinking vary substantially, a common theme is the linkage of conclusions to relevant evidence. Assessment measures range from quasi-standardized instruments to informal class assessment and include both generic and subject-specific formats. Although critical thinking potentially serves both as a predictor of college success and as a criterion of suceess, its greater utility may be as a predictor. nonetheless, the college experience in general and critical thinking courses in particular offer some promise for promoting critical thinking. However, efforts to infuse critical thinking activities into subject-specific courses have produced marginal improvement in critical thinking.