Increasingly, strength in critical thinking factors into workplace assessment. These studies demonstrate that critical thinking scores are predictive of employer and preceptor ratings.
Exploring Critical Thinking Skills in Novices Versus Experts in Dentistry.
Critical Thinking in Dental Students and Experienced Practitioners Assessed by the Health Sciences Reasoning Test. Hanlon, J. P. and colleagues. Journal of Dental Education September 2018, 82 (9) 916-920. This study compared first-year dental students at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (novices) to a recruited sample of dental faculty and practicing dentists (experts) using the HSRT. 79% of invited first year students participated in the study. Mean scores for HSRT OVERALL in experienced general dentists (25.31 on the 33-point version) were significantly stronger than those of first-year dental students (22.64), suggesting the instrument was able to measure differences between novice and expert. The expert cohort scored higher in all scales (Induction, Deduction, Analysis, Inference, and Evaluation). Further study is warranted to understand the correlation of the HSRT with strategies and practices aimed at developing critical thinking in dental students.
Predictive of Diagnostic Skills
Determinants of the accuracy of nursing diagnoses: Influence of ready knowledge, knowledge sources, disposition toward critical thinking and reasoning skills. Paans W, et al.. (2010). J Professional Nursing. The purpose of this study was to determine how knowledge sources, ready knowledge, and disposition toward critical thinking and reasoning skills influence the accuracy of student nurses’ diagnoses. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to determine the influence of knowledge sources. We used the following questionnaires: (a) knowledge inventory, (b) California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI), and (c) Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT). The use of knowledge sources had very little influence on the accuracy of nursing diagnoses. Accuracy was significantly related to the analysis domain of the HSRT. Students were unable to operationalize knowledge sources to derive accurate diagnoses and did not effectively use reasoning skills.
Predictive of Performance in Optometry
Association of critical thinking skills with clinical performance in fourth year optometry students. Denial, A. (2008). Journal of Optometry Education. After one year of clinical education critical thinking skills (total score on the CCTST) was significantly related to clinical rating. Lower performing (mean=15.5) medium performing (mean=19.3) and high performing (mean =22.9) p<.001.
The evaluation of students’ reflective writing for evidence of critical thinking. Kennison MM. (2006). Nursing Education Perspectives. The purpose of this study was to establish interrater reliability of the Critical Thinking Scale (CTS), a teacher-accessible tool designed to measure the critical thinking of baccalaureate nursing students as evidenced in their reflective writing about their practice experiences. The study is an extension of an earlier pilot test of the CTS. Graduating students from a nursing program at a small liberal arts college were asked to write about a significant practice experience encountered during their last clinical course. Three teachers used the CTS to independently evaluate the students’ writing. California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) scores provided a standard measure of critical thinking. Results indicated statistically significant positive relationships between the CCTST total critical thinking score and mean teacher ratings using the CTS. Meaningfully significant interrater reliability ratings for the CTS were also found. With further development, the CTS has promise as an appropriate tool to evaluate students’ reflective writing for evidence of critical thinking.
Predictive of Preceptor Ratings
Precepting in the fast lane: improving critical thinking in new graduate nurses. Sorensen HA, Yankech LR. (2008). Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods design measured critical thinking ability of new graduate nurses. Focus group interviews were conducted with preceptors who attended an author-developed educational program. Preceptors’ participation in the educational session contributed to (sic) the evaluation subscale of critical thinking skills of the experimental group on the California Critical Thinking Skills Test CCTST (F = 4.709, p = .039).