Strengthening critical thinking in engineering students
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© 2019, Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature.Governments, accreditation agencies and employers are increasingly interested in the development of a set of soft skills in students among which critical thinking is found to be a highly relevant skill for engineers in order to meet the requirements of future job markets. In addition, there is great effort in the universities to include cognitive tools in their different engineering programs for training and developing these soft skills. The purpose of this study is to design strategies that develop critical thinking in engineering students, using three specific cognitive tools: (1) the enrichment of the vocabulary corpus; (2) the formation of coherent speech habits; and (3) the practice of argumentation and opinion. To achieve the objectives of this work, activities of the artistic-narrative modality of thinking in addition to the traditional logical-scientific modality of thinking were incorporated in the classroom. The results showed a substantial improvement in the development of the particular soft skill, critical thinking, in engineering students.