Creativity and critical thinking are key skills for the complex and globalized economies and societies of the 21st century. There is a growing consensus that higher education systems and institutions should cultivate these skills with their students. However, too little is known about what this means for everyday teaching and assessment practices.
About 25 higher education institutions from 13 countries joined the project. Participant institutions work with professors and instructors to change their courses and assessments with the intent of developing students’ creativity and critical thinking along with disciplinary content and skills. This redesign of courses relies on a shared definition of creativity and critical thinking made visible through a common international rubric. Beyond this common goal, institutions and their faculty preserve full pedagogical freedom. The project encompasses several domains and disciplines, including teacher education, medical and health sciences, engineering, psychology, natural sciences, architecture, economics, and environmental studies.
The OECD developed a comprehensive monitoring system to assess the impact of the project using both quantitative and qualitative data. This includes online questionnaires administered to students and faculty members at several stages of the project. Questionnaires were designed to measure progression of a series of skills, beliefs and attitudes. These are also administered to faculty and students in control groups to provide means for comparison and better appraise the outcomes of the pedagogical changes. Qualitative reporting based on interviews, focus groups and class observations, complement quantitative data collection to provide evidence of the effects of the different pedagogies tested.
Collaboration with faculty members started in 2019 with the development and implementation of faculty professional learning workshops and the (re)design of courses and assessments. The implementation of new courses in classrooms and amphitheatres will take place in 2020 and 2021.
Outlook and Outcomes
The findings of the project will be published in an international report in 2023. The monitoring instruments developed for the evaluation of the impacts of the project will also be made public. The pedagogical resources (rubrics, redesigned courses, assessments, faculty professional learning plans, etc.) will be shared under a Creative Commons licence so that they can inspire faculty and institutions internationally.
Beyond contributing to the common good of teaching excellence in higher education, participating institutions develop their innovation and improvement capacity in teaching and learning thanks to their involvement in an international network of like-minded institutions. Ultimately, the project aims to trigger a sustainable improvement process in teaching and learning in higher education and beyond.
Events and publicationsInternational meetings
The beta version of the OECD CERI Creativity and Critical Thinking App is now available!
The app brings together the pedagogical resources developed in the primary and secondary phase of the project with the aim of supporting changes in teaching and learning. Please register as a teacher to ensure you have access to all resources (whatever your status).
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
The CERI project team on Teaching, Learning and Assessing Creative and Critical Thinking Skills is looking for some partnerships to expand its bank of pedagogical resources and collaboration within countries, as well as make the objectives and instruments it developed more visible. Here below a call for proposals that summarises the types of support and partnerships it would welcome in 2023-24.
More information here.
Coordinated by the OECD Innovation Strategy for Education and Training Team.
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