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Fostering and assessing students creative and critical thinking skills in higher education and teacher education


Creativity and critical thinking are key skills for the complex and globalized economies and societies of the 21st century. A new project at the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) aims to support higher education institutions to enhance the quality of their teaching to foster students’ creative and critical thinking. The project will build an international community of practice around teaching, learning and assessing creativity and critical thinking in higher education. How do institutions currently foster and assess these skills as part of their teaching?

How could they improve their practices? How can the higher education sector use these practices to enhance the quality of its teaching internationally?

The project will have around 14 countries and 20 institutions that will design and document pedagogical activities, assessments and faculty development plans trying to intentionally foster creativity and critical thinking, as defined by a common international rubric. The effects of the pedagogical interventions on students and teachers will be monitored through a quasi-experimental research design involving pre- and post-testing on intervention and control groups. Qualitative reporting will complement quantitative data collection to provide evidence of the effects of the different pedagogies tested. The project is developed between 2018 and 2022 and its findings of the project will be published in an international report in 2022. Beyond contributing to the common good of teaching excellence in higher education, participating institutions will offer their faculty a unique opportunity for professional development and develop their innovation and improvement capacity in teaching and learning thanks to their involvement in an international network of like-minded institutions. Ultimately, the projects aims to trigger a sustainable improvement process in teaching and learning in higher education and beyond.


Self-Funded – 48000€




  • Elsa Estrela
  • Manuel José Damásio (CICANT)
  • Célia Pires (ULHT)
  • Carla Galego
  • Sónia Vladimira
  • Alcina Oliveira Martins
  • Susana Sá
  • Teresa Lopo
  • Vítor Rosa