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What is Degree Specialization

Handbook of Research on Advancing Critical Thinking in Higher Education
Commonly known as an academic “major” in the United States, degree specialization refers to a student’s concentration within one academic discipline.
Published in Chapter:
The Erosion of Critical Thinking Development in Post-Secondary Education: The Need to Return to Liberal Education
Michael Robert Hepner (St. Louis Community College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8411-9.ch004
A quick look at virtually any list of college-level learning outcomes will almost certainly uncover the desire to develop critical thinking skills. While prioritizing the development of critical thinking skills on campuses nationwide is a noble cause, issues quickly arise because the definition of critical thinking varies widely amongst the different disciplines, so this chapter provides a history of the idea of critical thinking in higher education, as well as various critical thinking development strategies and assessment instruments. This chapter also outlines the need for the academe to move from simply mentioning the development of critical thinking skills in various institutional documents to prioritizing such skills through the return of liberal education.
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