University establishes a conceptual framework on critical thinking and ethical commitment

Compromís ètic

A group of UAB professors and Fundació Autònoma Solidària wrote a document in which they established a conceptual framework for designing tools and resources for critical thinking and ethical commitment for university teaching.


Fundació Autònoma Solidària (FAS), within the framework of the ESDU Project, suggested the Teaching Quality Office (OQD) in UAB to prepare a training for professors to tackle critical thinking and ethical commitment. These two cross-wise competences are present in every degree’s curriculum and are essential when training committed and responsible students. After this year’s two first editions, a group of professors interested in the topic kept on working on this idea and created a Group of Interest recognized by the OQD in 2017 and supported by FAS.

“Critical thinking and ethical commitment as cross-wise competences in university teaching" (available in Catalan) is the result of the group’s first year of work. This document is focused on reflecting and establishing a shared conceptual framework that guides the design of tools and resources to be used in university teaching.

The document also has a more theoretical and conceptual part with the main elements to consider when teaching and learning critical thinking and ethical commitment; it also includes different teaching activities that would help in promoting these two competences, such as:

  • Critical reading of texts
  • Debating
  • Analysing dilemmas, controversies,
  • Case study, scenario planning
  • Reflective journals and producing other reflective writings
  • Roleplays

On the other hand, the last part presents the experience of an innovation project carried out by the IDES Interest group in UAB, “Critical thinking and ethical commitment as cross-wise competences for progress”, which was carried out through the 2017-2018 academic year in five courses in the Faculties of Education, Veterinary Sciences and Arts and Humanities. The objective of this project is to propose guidelines for the development of training activities that promote critical thinking and ethical commitment.

This publication’s coordination was in charge of Carme Ruiz and Silvia Puente. The group was composed of Ingrid Agud, Josep M. Basart, Asunción Blanco, Carme Casablanca, Mar Garcia, Anna Marbà, Núria Marzo, Montserrat Montaña, Montserrat Mor-Mur, Reyes Pla, Maria Prat, Sandra Olaya and Xavier Verge. Furthermore, Edgar Quilabert took part in the framework of a collaborative grant.

ESDU Project
The project “Education for Development in University(ESDU) is an initiative driven by FAS that aims to specifically and transversely promote the EpD’s perspectives in a formal university environment. The project aims to develop university’s role in a generating critical knowledge and shaping an active and committed citizenship before the transformation of inequalities in a local-global scale.