University Applicants’ Critical Thinking Skills: The Case of the Finnish Educational Sciences
Utriainen, J., Marttunen, M., Kallio, E., & Tynjälä, P. (2017). University Applicants’ Critical Thinking Skills: The Case of the Finnish Educational Sciences. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 61 (6), 629-649. doi:10.1080/00313831.2016.1173092
Published inScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
© 2016 Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This study investigates the quality of the critical thinking skills of applicants (n = 77) seeking entry to the faculty of educational sciences in a Finnish university and how these skills are associated with the applicant’s age, previous higher education experience, and matriculation and entrance examination scores. The data consist of the applicants’ responses to problem-solving tasks and their matriculation and entrance examination scores. Critical thinking skills were measured with comparison and argumentation tasks. The results indicate that comparison of the texts and analysis of the arguments they contained were more difficult tasks than putting forward arguments both for and against of one’s personal standpoint. In addition, previous experience of higher education predicted participants’ comparison skills and their matriculation examination grades predicted their argumentation skills. The feasibility of using critical comparison tasks in the entrance examination tests is discussed. ...