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Open AccessArticle

Critical Thinking Development—A Necessary Step in Higher Education Transformation towards Sustainability

Institute of British and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Presov, 08001 Prešov, Slovakia
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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3366; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103366
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 16 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Leadership and Education)
Education for sustainable development has been addressed by professionals, authorities, and a number of research studies in the last decades, and yet the results are not clearly visible. Teachers as agents of a new mindset do not seem to understand the ways of approaching raising awareness of the issues of global challenges. This study investigated the possibility of raising the extent of applying critical thinking to the problem-solving issues of a group of student teachers in their initial training. The sample consisted of 48 student teachers. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used: namely, a questionnaire, content analysis, and focus group interviews. An archive of the students’ materials was also used for content analysis. In the data analysis, inter-rater reliability, as well as parametric (t-test) and non-parametric tests (Mann–Whitney U test) were applied. The results of the study provide evidence of the positive impact of the use of case studies in teaching pre-service teachers on the development of their critical thinking skills. It can be concluded that it should not be taken for granted that teachers automatically know how to develop the competencies that are necessary for sustainable development (SD). Instead, teacher education institutions need to incorporate thorough training that focusses on education for sustainable development (ESD) into the entire teacher programme in order to make sure that the teachers leave their initial training well prepared for guaranteeing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). View Full-Text
Keywords: education for sustainable development; key competencies for sustainable development; critical thinking; reflection; teacher education education for sustainable development; key competencies for sustainable development; critical thinking; reflection; teacher education
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Straková, Z.; Cimermanová, I. Critical Thinking Development—A Necessary Step in Higher Education Transformation towards Sustainability. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3366.

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