A phenomenography of critical thinking of graduate students with an emphasis on the levels of “Explicating” and “Analyzing” of Paul and Elder's perspective

Document Type : Original Article


1 department of Educational Psychology, education and psychology faculty, Alzahra university, Tehran,Iran

2 Professor, Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran



Background and Objective: Nowadays, the importance of critical thinking in promoting students’ academic and career
success has increased. Therefore, many higher educational institutions
consider reinforcing critical thinking as one of their ultimate goals. The present study was conducted with the aim of describing the graduate students ' perception of the second level “explicating the thesis of a text “and third level “analyzing the Logic of Text” of critical thinking based on Paul and Elder framework (2012).  
Methods:         This research was conducted based on a qualitative approach, and phenomenography method. 15 voluntary Participants were from first year, second year and graduated educational psychology students of at master level from Alzahra University, in the academic year of 2016-2018. First of all, they were requested to read a part of the book entitled “Art of Loving” and answer to the questions of second and third level of critical thinking. Then, data were analyzed based on the inductive method. The categories description was plotted with internal and external horizons and outcome space.
Results: The results showed eight descriptive category including, explicating the thesis of a text based on the elaboration strategy, application of deductive reasoning, remembering of prior literacy knowledge, text analysis with regard to the components of critical thinking, inappropriate diagnosis of critical thinking components, exploratory questions vs no exploratory questions, general expression of content of text and overcoming the person's vision on author vision.
Conclusion: Therefore, to promote the critical thinking of students, it is recommended the instructing of critical thinking components and strengthening critical reading skills be considered by policy makers of higher education.


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