Critical thought analysis: Bridging the gap between academia and business
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 5 No. 1 (2004): Vol-5-Issue-1-January-2004
Critical thought has been taught to students in varying degrees over the years, but employers believe
that critical thinking skills are still lacking in employees (Braun 2004). Some of the barriers between
employer expectations and academia concerning critical thought arise from a lack of congruity
regarding the meaning of critical thought. However, nearly all researchers agree teaching critical
thinking skills is a desirable aim of education (Hemming, 2000). According to Cheung (2002), critical
thinking covers four dimensions: (1) cognitive, (2) motivational, (3) ideological, and (4) behavioral.
However, other definitions of critical thought range from critical thinking originating from the left
hemisphere of the brain to critical thinking involving higher level thought (University of Phoenix 2007).
Cognitive theorists also believe logic skills are not attainable until age six or seven (University of
Phoenix 2007). Piaget (2007) stated cognitive development theory is comprised of four stages: (1)
sensorimotor stage, (2) pre-operational stage, (3) concrete operational stage, and (4) formal
operations stage. According to Piaget (2007), higher level thinking is attained at level four; however,
according to Riegel (2007), higher level thinking is not attainable at stage four, and he has “postulated
a fifth stage called Dialectical Reasoning” (para. 10-11).