Does College Teach Critical Thinking? A Meta-Analysis

Christopher R. Huber, Nathan R Kuncel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Educators view critical thinking as an essential skill, yet it remains unclear how effectively it is being taught in college. This meta-analysis synthesizes research on gains in critical thinking skills and attitudinal dispositions over various time frames in college. The results suggest that both critical thinking skills and dispositions improve substantially over a normal college experience. Furthermore, analysis of curriculum-wide efforts to improve critical thinking indicates that they do not necessarily produce incremental long-term gains. We discuss implications for the future of critical thinking in education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-468
Number of pages38
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

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© 2015, © 2015 AERA.


  • changes in critical thinking
  • college students
  • critical thinking


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