Barriers in fostering critical thinking in higher distance education: faculty members’ perceptions



Nowadays, the central role of Critical Thinking (CT) in Higher Education is a fundamental educational priority and its fostering in courses is a fundamental major concern that underpins contemporary educational approaches, both in conventional (face-to-face) and Distance Education (DE). However, literature has highlighted several barriers that prevent the fostering of CT, which concern faculty, students, higher education institutions, and the educational methodologies they apply. While such barriers have been explored mainly in face-to-face education, their systematic detection in DE environments is limited. In an attempt to fill this gap, the present study conducted a qualitative research design regarding the perceptions of tutors who are employed in DE courses of the Hellenic Open University (HOU) about the factors that hinder the fostering of CT. The findings showed that the most important barrier which is related to tutors themselves is the lack of training in CT. Concerning students, their stereotypes, worldviews, busy schedules, and lack of motives and expectations, act as deterrents to any attempt toward CT. Regarding the implementation of DE, tutors pointed out several communication barriers they face, being away from students.


Critical thinking, Distance Education, barriers, tutors

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Mediterranean Journal of Education | ISSN: 2732-6489 |  Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood EducationUniversity of Patras.

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