A transnational comparative study of preservice teachers’ critical thinking skills and metaliteracy self-efficacy
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Purpose. While training students to new literacy and critical thinking has been recognized for several decades, it seems even more crucial today as education is presented as a lever to fight against fake news. Preservice teachers, both so-called digital natives at the cutting edge of the social web and tomorrow’s educators, represent a useful object of study. Methodology. Using a quantitative methodology, this article is part of sequential mixed design research aiming to describe the level of preservice teachers’ (n = 245) critical thinking in three French-speaking nations: Wallonia, France, and Quebec. We aimed to see to what extent critical thinking skills (measured with a translated version of the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment; Halpern, 2016) can notably be influenced by metaliteracy self-efficacy. Metaliteracy is a concept that aims to join information, digital, and media literacy providing a comprehensive framework “for engaging with individuals and ideas in digital environments” (Mackey and Jacobson, 2011, p. 70). Findings. We establish the influence of individual determinants such as the feelings of self-efficacy in metaliteracy as well as the belief in the likelihood of becoming a teacher. We propose a model predicting the critical thinking skills based on selfefficacy in critical thinking and metaliteracy, the type of training, and the interaction between employment and the country of study. Originality. Considering contemporary information issues and infodemic phenomena, critical thinking skills should be developed among preservice teachers. There is a significant positive correlation between metaliteracy self-efficacy and critical thinking skills. Pre-service teachers’ country of study, as well as their training trajectory, seems to influence their critical thinking skills. Involvement in professional life also appears to promote critical thinking skills.