The global importance of critical thinking in enhancing academic success, employability, civic engagement, and mental health is universally acknowledged. Yet, its cultivation in educational systems, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, is largely unexplored and unmeasured. This gap is pronounced in Kenya’s higher education, where a recent paradigm shift in its educational curriculum has left room for enhanced critical thinking. However, more research is needed to develop and validate effective critical thinking assessment tools to showcase the power of new approaches to education. A team from the Lamm Lab, led by Dr. Millicent Oyugi, Dr. Kristin Gibson, and Dr. Alexa Lamm examined the applicability of the Critical Thinking Inventory (CTI) in the Kenyan higher education system using a convenience sample of 387 undergraduates from Egerton University.

The confirmatory factor analysis results indicated a less-than-ideal fit, showcasing the need to adjust and adapt instruments to be context specific. The team determined future research needs to be conducted with a more diverse and larger sample across various universities to improve the generalizability and determine if Kenya is unique due to its recent changes to higher education or representative of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The findings also indicated there is evidence for a focused effort on developing and validating contextually appropriate critical thinking assessment tools rather than one instrument that can be used globally. To learn more about our findings, check out the article published in the Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education titled, Assessing the dimensional validity and reliability of the Critical Thinking Inventory (CTI) in the Kenyan higher education system: A confirmatory factor analysis.