Students arriving from secondary schools or further education colleges have been found to struggle with transition in teaching methods.Often these students expect to be taught (Cotterell, 2017, p.12) and this can be a barrier to develop skills such as critical thinking.
Critical thinking is an important skill for students studying occupational therapy.
Healthcare professionals are often working in challenging environments that require a critical way of thinking (Aveyard et al; 2015, p.102).
Therefore, if secondary schools are failing to develop critical thinking skills, then universities need to ensure these skills are developed.
It therefore could be judged that the quality of an academic programme will equate to positive academic success.
A critical thinker is an individual who will question what s/he hears or reads, and in addition, has the understanding to be able to achieve an outcome through questioning (Mc Peck, 2016, p.32; Brookfield, 2012, p.9).
Critical thinking is a key concept well established within higher education (Moon, 2008, p.6).Students work hard and can often be disappointed when they do not achieve the high grades which they expect.This in turn can affect their mental health (Moon, 2009, p.163-4).Dean and Gibbs (2014, p.6-7) identify that the introduction of tuition fees has resulted in students developing into a more demanding consumer.However, the measurement of student satisfaction is not representative of students’ acquisition of knowledge, or skills such as critical thinking.Therefore, it is important for higher education providers to ensure they support and develop students’ knowledge and skills in order for them to thrive, such as critical thinking skills.Student engagement is an important issue in acquiring critical thinking skills; this can be influenced by many factors.This, in turn makes it difficult to achieve academic success within higher education.Some studies suggest this is common with non-traditional students, those studying alternative studies to A’levels (Moon, 2008, p.108).A high grade in an A’level in Ethics and Philosophy may be a good indicator of critical thinking as intelligence is identifiably linked to critical thinking (Mc Peck, 2016, p.35).Race (2014) argues in the end, it is the development of study skills, such as critical thinking that will align with academic success.