Preparing the practitioner for advanced academic study: the development of critical thinking

Authors

  • Elizabeth Anne Girot MN DIP NEd RNT RGN RM

    Corresponding author
    1. Nurse teacher, Advanced Nursing Studies, Avon and Gloucestershire College of Health, Stapleton, Bristol England
    • Elizabeth Anne Girot, 8 Woburn Close, Warmley Bristol BS15 7HB England

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Abstract

Using an evaluative approach, this paper explores the concept of critical thinking and its development within a recently revised study skills programme, preparing practitioners for the academic post-registration courses in one college of health The current and almost explosive move of nurse education in the United Kingdom into the halls of higher education seems to recognize the need for higher-order thinking skills in preparation for the unpredictability of nursing practice Using a quasi-experimental design, the qualitative data analysed from two groups of students who undertook the study skills programme were measured against a control group of students undertaking the same short professional development course through the more traditional university approach of 2 years part-time academic study The findings acknowledge that the development of critical thinking needs time and exposure to others seeking similar goals In addition, to encourage the process of critical thought, study skills applied to content should be offered, as well as attention to teaching/learning strategies If higher education means a change in culture, of attitude towards learning, then a more comprehensive foundation programme may better commence this process It is anticipated that through such a programme current practitioners may be enabled to achieve successfully within the new academic courses and ultimately be better equipped for the complex decision-making in practice

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