Critical thinking is a metacognitive process that, through purposeful, reflective judgement, increases the chances of producing a logical conclusion to an argument or solution to a problem. Instruction in critical thinking is becoming exceedingly important because it allows individuals to gain a more complex understanding of information they encounter and promotes good decision-making and problem-solving in real-world applications (Butler et al., 2012; Halpern, 2003; Ku, 2009). Due to what can be considered an exponential increase in the creation of new information every year (Darling-Hammond, 2008; Jukes 82 McCain, 2002), critical thinking skills are needed more than ever in order to aid individuals in becoming more adaptable, flexible and better able to cope with this rapidly evolving information. This review investigates existing theoretical frameworks of thinking skills and educational objectives, as well as cognitive models situated in empirical research; and aims to develop an integrated framework of learning outcomes based on the integration of these extant frameworks with recent conceptualisations of critical thinking. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.