As a nursing student, I found the concept approach that Teach1 mentioned to be very helpful.
Many students are cognitive learners, as opposed to verbal learners, and right brained, thus needing to look at a situation from a very different pov as the left brained. Critical thinking involves much more right brained activity, and can be stimulated by music, art, poetry etc.
I also found it helpful to have a sense of, well, balance in learning critical thinking; for example learning ABCs, prioritization and pathophysiology at the same time.
Situational learning was a wonderful learning tool, particularly during the final semester, a kind of what would you do and why scenerio which allowed brainstorming without fear of criticism. One very simple example that seems silly now: during management we were given a situation:
your neighbors' husband is c/o cp after cutting the grass and she asks for your. What do you do? My answer: have him sit still, take an aspirin and call 911. Wrong answer my instructor says, you are practicing medicine w/o a liscense. What?! I don't get it. If I don't do what I know to be the standard of care, won't I be liable? This simple discussion went on for 40 minutes, but the lessons learned were very important to us then.
I may be inappropriate to reply at all, as I have never taught nursing, but I did teach 1st grade for several years before going to nursing school
, so please forgive my impetuousness in replying.
God Bless the teachers, I do not envy you your task! Keep up the good work!