Reflective Minds, Brighter Futures: Empowering Critical Reflection with a Guided Instructional Model


  • Trixie James CQUniversity Australia
  • Hayley Griffin CQUniversity, Australia
  • Katrina S Johnston CQUniversity, Australia
  • Frank Armstrong CQUniversity, Australia


critical thinking, self-reflection, intervention, guided-instructional model, critical self-reflection, intercoder reliability, framework analysis


Critical thinking is recognised as instrumental for positive, personal and professional, long-term outlooks. It is also widely accepted that the development of students’ critical thinking skills can be achieved through explicit interventions. This paper documents the outcomes of a pilot study that investigated the value and impact of an instructional model for guiding critical thinking skills. The model was implemented as an explicit framework, with pre-tertiary students, at a regional campus of an Australian university. Student participants were tasked with using the Review, Connect, Extend, Apply (RCEA) Framework (James, 2015) to support their analysis and critical reflection on the concepts explored in a unit of study. Data revealed that students exhibited limited critical thinking skills prior to participation in the pilot program and evidenced improvement after engaging with the RCEA framework. However, some students struggled with expressing their reflections, evaluations, and applications of knowledge, which resulted in considerations about the importance of vocabulary. The findings directed the authors to note the importance of qualifying the notion of explicit interventions for teaching critical thinking. Accordingly, they propose the use of an explicit teaching model for enabling students’ critical thinking, which encompasses a structured format, a thinking framework, and pedagogy that incorporates the modelling of metacognition and metalanguage for critical thinking.


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How to Cite

Reflective Minds, Brighter Futures: Empowering Critical Reflection with a Guided Instructional Model. (2023). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 20(6).