As a philosophy professor, one of my central goals is to teach students to think critically. However, one difficulty with determining whether criticalthinking can be taught, or even measured, is that there is widespread disagreement over what criticalthinking actually is. Here, I reflect on several conceptions of criticalthinking, subjecting them to critical scrutiny. I also distinguish criticalthinking from other forms of mental processes with which it is often (...) conflated. Next, I present my own conception of criticalthinking, wherein it fundamentally consists in acquiring, developing, and exercising the ability to grasp inferential connections holding between statements. Finally, given this account of criticalthinking, and given recent studies in cognitive science, I suggest the most effective means for teaching students to think critically. (shrink)
The concepts of autonomy and of criticalthinking play a central role in many contemporary accounts of the aims of education. This book analyses their relationship to each other and to education, exploring their roles in mortality and politics before examining the role of criticalthinking in fulfilling the educational aim of preparing young people for autonomy. The author analyses different senses of the terms 'autonomy' and 'criticalthinking' and the implications for education. Implications (...) of the discussion for contemporary practice are also considered. (shrink)
This book covers all the material typically addressed in first or second-year college courses in CriticalThinking: Chapter 1: CriticalThinking 1.1 What is criticalthinking? 1.2 What is criticalthinking not? Chapter 2: The Nature of Argument 2.1 Recognizing an Argument 2.2 Circular Arguments 2.3 Counterarguments 2.4 The Burden of Proof 2.5 Facts and Opinions 2.6 Deductive and Inductive Argument Chapter 3: The Structure of Argument 3.1 Convergent, Single 3.2 Convergent, Multiple (...) 3.3 Divergent Chapter 4: Relevance 4.1 Relevance 4.2 Errors of Relevance Chapter 5: Language 5.1 Clarity 5.2 Neutrality 5.3 Definition Chapter 6: Truth and Acceptability 6.1 How do we define truth? 6.2 How do we discover truth? 6.3 How do we evaluate claims of truth? Chapter 7: Generalizations, Analogies, and General Principles 7.1 Sufficiency 7.2 Generalizations 7.3 Analogies 7.4 General Principles Chapter 8: Inductive Argument – Causal Reasoning 8.1 Causation 8.2 Explanations 8.3 Predictions, Plans, and Policies 8.4 Errors in Causal Reasoning (Three additional chapters – categorical logic, propositional logic, thinking critically about ethics – are available on the companion website.) -/- Special Features: -/- - The book takes a practice approach to learning how to think critically, so there are LOTS of exercises (within each chapter, focusing on discrete skills, and at the end of each chapter, focusing on more global skills in a cumulative fashion – thinking critically about what one sees, hears, reads, writes, and discusses). -/- - There is an extensive “Answers, Explanations, and Analyses” section that provides not just ‘the right answer’ but explanations as to why the right answer is right and why wrong answers are wrong; when the exercise is not a matter of providing an answer but of analyzing material, a detailed analysis is provided in this section; this feature is intended to help the student fully understand why some arguments are better than others (and why it’s not ‘just a matter of opinion’!). -/- - The regularly-appearing end-of-chapter “Thinking critically when you discuss” exercise is carefully graduated throughout the text, to gently lead students from sounding like a bad tv talk show to being able to hold an intelligent discussion. -/- - The regularly-appearing end-of-chapter “Thinking critically about what you write” exercise assumes almost no skill at the beginning and leads up to, in the last chapter, writing a 2,000 word position paper. -/- - A critical analysis template (a step-by-step approach to critical analysis) is presented in the first chapter and at the beginning of each subsequent chapter, and specific reference to it is made at the beginning of each end-of-chapter “Thinking critically about what you read” exercise (consisting of ten bits of increasing difficulty); this feature is intended to encourage the development of habitual, thorough analysis of arguments. -/- - Actual questions from standardized reasoning tests like the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, and GRE are included. -/- - Ancillaries include an instructor’s manual; a test bank; PowerPoint slides; downloadable MP3 study guides; and interactive flash cards. (shrink)
Attempts to persuade us - to believe something, to do something, to buy something - are everywhere. What is less clear is how one is to think critically about such attempts and whether any of them are sound arguments. CriticalThinking: A Concise Guide is a much-needed guide to thinking skills and a clear introduction to thinking clearly and rationally for oneself. Accessibly written, this book equips readers with the essential skills required to tell a good (...) argument from a bad one. (shrink)
This text uses the educational objectives of Benjamin Bloom as six steps to criticalthinking (namely: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation). The book starts with the absolute basics (for example, how to find the topic, issue, and thesis) vs. the usual "explaining and evaluating arguments" and fine distinctions that easily can lose students.
This clear, learner-friendly text helps today's students bridge the gap between everyday culture and criticalthinking. The text covers all the basics of criticalthinking, beginning where students are, not where we think they should be. Its comprehensiveness allows instructors to tailor the material to their individual teaching styles, resulting in an exceptionally versatile text.
In traditional analytic philosophy, criticalthinking is defined along Cartesian lines as rational and linear reasoning preclusive of intuitions, emotions and lived experience. According to Michael Gilbert, this view – which he calls the Natural Light Theory (NLT) – fails because it arbitrarily excludes standard feminist forms of argumentation and neglects the essentially social nature of argumentation. In this paper, I argue that while Gilbert’s criticism is correct for argumentation in general, NLT fails in a distinctive and particularly (...) problematic manner in moral argumentation contexts. This is because NLT calls for disputants to adopt an impartial attitude, which overlooks the fact that moral disputants qua moral agents are necessarily partial to their own values and interests. Adopting the impartial perspective would therefore alienate them from their values and interests, causing a kind of “moral schizophrenia.” Finally, I urge a re-valuation of epistemic virtue in argumentation. (shrink)
Designed to immediately engage students and other readers in philosophical reflection, the new edition of Ethical Argument: CriticalThinking in Ethics bridges the gap between ethical theory and practice. This brief introduction combines a discussion of ethical theory with fundamental elements of criticalthinking--including informal fallacies and the basics of logic--and uses case studies and practical applications to illustrate concepts. Author Hugh Mercer Curtler presents a carefully formulated critique of ethical relativism, encouraging students to reason along (...) with him and to question his argument at every point. This approach enables students to think systematically about ethical issues and to acquire basic skills in argumentation at the same time. They will learn how to bring principles to bear on ethical conflict, how to weigh pros and cons, how to recognize good ethical reasons, and how to distinguish sound argumentation from rationalization. The second edition of Ethical Argument: CriticalThinking in Ethics includes new exercises and examples, summary boxes, cartoons, and sample dialogues that demonstrate how to effectively debate ethical positions. It features more than forty case studies on ethical issues that are interesting and relevant to students. An ideal core text for courses in introductory ethics, this concise volume can be used along with additional primary sources, case studies, or newspaper articles and novels. It is also a helpful supplementary text for courses in applied ethics--including professional, business, and medical ethics--and in criticalthinking. (shrink)
Lively, comprehensive, and contemporary, The Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of CriticalThinking covers three principal areas: thought and language, systematic reasoning, and modes of proof. It employs highly accessible explanations and a multitude of examples drawn from social issues and various academic fields, showing students and other readers how to construct and criticize arguments using the techniques of sound reasoning. The Voice of Reason examines the traditional elements of the field and also explores new ground. The first section (...) of the book elucidates the relationship between thought and language, explaining how words function. It discusses meaning, connotation, vagueness, ambiguity, and definition, identifying the linguistic elements that can produce mistakes in thinking. The next section describes the rules of systematic reasoning, examining such topics as truth, relevance, and adequacy; deductive logic (categorical, hypothetical, and disjunctive); and induction (cause and effect, analogy, generalization, and hypothesis). Sixteen fallacies in thinking are also described through extensive illustrations and applications. The final section of the book offers a unique study of what constitutes proof in several different areas--including politics, advertising, law, and social issues--as well as in the academic disciplines of literature, science, history, and ethics. The author describes the various rules of evidence, using essays by major figures in each field as examples. An ideal text for courses in criticalthinking, informal logic, and reasoning and writing, The Voice of Reason offers numerous pedagogical features including a host of examples; assignments, exercises, and puzzles at both the halfway point and at the end of each chapter; cartoons and quotations throughout; and practical applications of theoretical concepts. An extensive Instructor's Manual contains answers to the exercises that appear throughout the text. (shrink)
Part one: Acquiring criticalthinking skills -- Out of the fog : the pathway to criticalthinking -- Nuts and bolts : the basics of argument -- Analysis : the heart of criticalthinking -- Handling claims, drawing inferences -- The logic machine : deductive and inductive reasoning -- Part two: Sharpening the tools -- The persuasive power of analogies -- Fallacies, fallacies : steering clear of argumentative quicksand -- Roll the dice : causal (...) and statistical reasoning -- Syllogisms -- Patterns of deductive reasoning: rules of inference -- Part three: Going out into the world -- Out of the silence: the power of language -- Desire and illusion: analyzing advertising -- Web sight : criticalthinking and the internet -- Voices and visions : the media -- Clearing the path : legal reasoning. (shrink)
This article challenges the common view that improvements in criticalthinking are best pursued by investigations in informal logic. From the perspective of research in psychology and neuroscience, hu-man inference is a process that is multimodal, parallel, and often emo-tional, which makes it unlike the linguistic, serial, and narrowly cog-nitive structure of arguments. At-tempts to improve inferential prac-tice need to consider psychological error tendencies, which are patterns of thinking that are natural for peo-ple but frequently lead to (...) mistakes in judgment. This article discusses two important but neglected error ten-dencies: motivated inference and fear-driven inference. (shrink)
Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of CriticalThinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Second Edition, explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out. Author Lewis Vaughn offers comprehensive treatments of core topics, including an introduction to claims and arguments, discussions of propositional and categorical logic, and full coverage of the basics of inductive (...) reasoning. Building on this solid foundation, he also delves into areas neglected by other texts, adding extensive material on "inference to the best explanation" and on scientific reasoning; a thorough look at the evaluation of evidence and credibility; and a chapter on the psychological and social factors that can impede criticalthinking. Additional notable elements are a chapter on moral reasoning, advice on how to evaluate Internet sources, and guidelines for evaluating occult, paranormal, or supernatural claims. The Power of CriticalThinking, Second Edition, integrates many pedagogical features including hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations; progressive, stand-alone writing modules; numerous text boxes; step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations; a glossary of important terms; and many reminders, summaries, and review notes throughout. The text is supplemented by a companion website at www.oup.com/us/criticalthinking (offering a student study guide and more), and an Instructor's Manual with Test Questions (available both in print and on a CD). This unique text features a modular structure that allows instructors to teach the chapters in almost any order. Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor where appropriate, it is ideal for courses in criticalthinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation. New to the Second Edition * Full-color throughout and an expanded art program (37 more photos and illustrations) * A new writing module--an annotated sample student paper--and five additional essays for analysis * A new section on evaluating news reports and advertising * Timely discussions of intelligent design and population (nonintervention) studies * Expanded coverage of experts and authors and reasons to doubt their reliability * More "Field Problems" and exercise questions * Chapter objectives and key terms with definitions for each chapter. (shrink)
The Vocabulary of Critical Thinkingtakes an innovative, practical, and accessible approach to teaching criticalthinking and reasoning skills. With the underlying notion that a good way to practice fundamental reasoning skills is to learn to name them, the text explores one hundred and eight words that are important to know and employ within any discipline. These words are about comparing, generalizing, explaining, inferring, judging sources, evaluating, referring, assuming and creating - actions used to assess relationships and arguments (...) - and the words are grouped according to these and other concepts essential to criticalthinking. Featuring five or more words and an introduction on how they are related, each chapter is organized into three parts. Part I includes definitions of the words, brief examples of their use, and matching exercises. To further contextualize the words, Part II, Understanding the Meaning, provides numerous real-world examples, with commentary, of the words in use. Finally, Part III, providing practice of the associated criticalthinking skills. Questions also appear throughout the chapters to encourage reflection and to highlight important points. Thirty-five photographs and illustrations additionally enrich the text. The book is an ideal text for criticalthinking and reasoning courses as well as a variety of courses that prepare students to succeed. (shrink)
Extensively classroom-tested, CriticalThinking: An Introduction to Analytical Reading and Reasoning provides a non-technical vocabulary and analytic apparatus that guide students in identifying and articulating the central patterns found in reasoning and in expository writing more generally. Understanding these patterns of reasoning helps students to better analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments and to more easily comprehend the full range of everyday arguments found in ordinary journalism. CriticalThinking distinguishes itself from other texts in the field by (...) emphasizing analytical reading as an essential skill. It also provides detailed coverage of argument analysis, diagnostic arguments, diagnostic patterns, and fallacies. Opening with two chapters on analytical reading that help students recognize what makes reasoning explicitly different from other expository activities, the text then presents an interrogative model of argument to guide them in the analysis and evaluation of reasoning. This model allows a detailed articulation of "inference to the best explanation" and gives students a view of the pervasiveness of this form of reasoning. The author demonstrates how many common argument types--from correlations to sampling--can be analyzed using this articulated form. He then extends the model to deal with several predictive and normative arguments and to display the value of the fallacy vocabulary. Designed for introductory courses in criticalthinking, critical reasoning, informal logic, and inductive reasoning, CriticalThinking features hundreds of exercises throughout and includes worked-out solutions and additional exercises (without solutions) at the end of each chapter. An Instructor's Manual, including solutions to the text's unanswered exercises and featuring other pedagogical aids, is available. (shrink)
Smart Thinking: Skills for Critical Understanding and Writing 2E is a practical step-by-step guide to improving skills in analysis, criticalthinking, and the effective communication of arguments and explanations. The book combines an accessible and straightforward style, with a strong foundation of knowledge. The text treats reasoning as an aspect of communication, not an abstract exercise in logic. The book not only provides detailed advice on how to practise analytical skills, but also demonstrates how these skills (...) can be used in research and writing. In particular, it emphasises how to develop arguments that are coherent and that take account of their audience and context. (shrink)
In this paper, we present an especially effective tool for helping students to learn and apply the skills of critical reasoning. Our Writing Portfolio Project is a set of nine progressively staged writing assignments that guide students through the formulation and development of an argumentative paper. The set of assignments are designed to reinforce, reintroduce, and repeat critical reasoning skills. In this paper, we articulate the potential uses for the Writing Portfolio Project, give a brief explanation of the (...) reasoning behind the format of the project, and indicate ways one might implement the Writing Portfolio Project into one's curriculum. (shrink)
In this paper, we present an especially effective tool for helping students to learn and apply the skills of critical reasoning. Our Writing Portfolio Project is a set of nine progressively staged writing assignments that guide students through the formulation and development of an argumentative paper. The set of assignments are designed to reinforce, reintroduce, and repeat critical reasoning skills. In this paper, we articulate the potential uses for the Writing Portfolio Project, give a brief explanation of the (...) reasoning behind the format of the project, and indicate ways one might implement the Writing Portfolio Project into one's curriculum. (shrink)
A demanding introduction to logic and criticalthinking, this book offers more traditional means of teaching the art of reasoning at a time when the field has become almost mathematical. Francis Dauer has rethought the framework for teaching reasoning in general and formal logic in particular, the desired epistemological context, and the role of the fallacies. The result is a coherent and very readable work, informed by Dauer's extensive experience teaching and writing on the subject.
This essay examines the political-philosophical legitimacy of criticalthinking as an aim of compulsory education. Although criticalthinking is given an important role in Norwegian educational policy, the right to demand a critical attitude from all citizens has been extensively debated in political and pedagogical philosophy the last two decades. This debate stems in large part from the late work of John Rawls. In this essay, I start by stating the case for critical (...) class='Hi'>thinking as an educational aim, focusing on democratic education. Next, I give an account of the challenge that Rawls’ later philosophy puts to education for criticalthinking. Finally, I discuss some possible ways of responding to the Rawls. The upshot will be that some aspects of criticalthinking can and must be defended as politically legitimate. However, any such defence must include a reply to the Rawlsian argument – if not, it will simply be naïve. In that sense, much Norwegian educational policy has been naïve. (shrink)
For centuries, philosophy has been considered as an intellectual activity requiring complex cognitive skills and predispositions related to complex (or critical) thinking. The Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach aims at the development of criticalthinking in pupils through philosophical dialogue. Some contest the introduction of P4C in the classroom, suggesting that the discussions it fosters are not philosophical in essence. In this text, we argue that P4C is philosophy.
In this review of Christopher Winch's new book, Education, Autonomy and CriticalThinking (2006), I discuss its main theses, supporting some and criticising others. In particular, I take issue with several of Winch's claims and arguments concerning criticalthinking and rationality, and deplore his reliance on what I suggest are problematic strains of the later Wittgenstein. But these criticisms are not such as to upend Winch's powerful critique of antiperfectionism and 'strong autonomy' or his defence of (...) 'weak autonomy'. His account of autonomy as an educational aim is important and in several respects compelling. (shrink)
Constructivist pedagogies cannot achieve their criticalthinking ambitions. Constructivism, and constructivist epistemological presuppositions, actively thwarts the criticalthinking process. Using Wittgenstein's private language argument, this paper argues that corrective mechanisms—the ability to correct a student's propositions and cognitions against the background of a shared, knowable world—are indispensible to criticalthinking. This paper provides concrete examples of actual constructivist practice and shows how a particular constructivist classroom exercise can be modified to incorporate critical (...) class='Hi'>thinking elements as detailed by the American Philosophical Association. Finally, the paper states the significance of these arguments, particularly as they extend from the educational arena into the public and governmental domains. (shrink)
The way that criticalthinking has been framed as aneducational objective has led, on the one hand, to itssuccessful saturation of educational discourse and, onthe other, to an equation of criticalthinking withdemonstrable rhetorical skills. This essay suggeststhat both criticalthinking and obstacles tosuccessful criticalthinking are most commonly foundin the activities of everyday life. Humans deploycritical thinking in expressions of socialimagination, illuminations of our selves andrelationship, and in ethical choices and (...) publicengagements. By reframing criticalthinking,educators may find ways to enrich its exercise both inand out of the classroom. (shrink)
The development of modern science, as everybody knows, has come largely through naturalizing domains of inquiry that were traditionally parts of philosophy – a process that philosophers have, by and large, applauded. But could this worthwhile endeavor now move on to include criticalthinking? Here we argue that criticalthinking, a discipline devoted principally to the study of the normative aspects of reasoning, cannot be assimilated to purely naturalistic, descriptive studies of reasoning of the sort now (...) prevalent in the social sciences and in what is now called „experimental philosophy.‟ Criticalthinking, on our view, is a discipline whose central task is not that of constructing a catalogue of common patterns of reasoning, but instead of accounting for the normative worth of such patterns. Plainly, it is an enterprise that raises philosophical questions about the nature of such normativity and requires an evaluation of possible answers. The normativity issues at stake in criticalthinking are parallel in significant ways to those arising in normative ethics and traditional epistemology. And this is why successful arguments offered against attempts at eliminating or reducing the latter disciplines to the sciences could be adapted to support the philosophical autonomy of criticalthinking. A glance at the naturalistic approaches to reasoning currently on offer reveals that there is so far no naturalistic account of the normativity of reasoning in the offing. Not surprisingly, naturalistic studies of reasoning concerned with such normativity either fail to account for it or simply rehash traditional philosophical accounts. In a recent study, Sripada and Stich (2005) 1 seem to assume that all there is to explaining what moral judgments are can be captured by some results of experimental tests about what people standardly make of moral norms in general (e.g., Turiel‟s moral/conventional task experiments) – perhaps together with some psychological account of the role of emotions and motivation in normative judgment.. (shrink)
While there is no shortage of scholarship on the topic, there appears to be no widely accepted definition of criticalthinking. This is coupled with the troublesome fact that those in higher education often believe their definitions are the norm. In this article, we demonstrate a lack of uniformity through a representative sample of historically influential definitions for criticalthinking. These definitions are then classified into two distinct categories: context specific and cross-disciplinary definitions. From this lack (...) of uniformity we argue that at least two problems in higher education arise: lack of proper criticalthinking assessment and difficulty in interdisciplinary collaboration on the topic of criticalthinking. Given the current focus on criticalthinking assessment alongside a movement toward greater interdisciplinary collaboration within higher education, we conclude with a call for a uniform definition of criticalthinking. (shrink)
This paper considers two philosophical problems and their relation to science education. The first involves the rationality of science; it is argued here that the traditional view, according to which science is rational because of its adherence to (a non-standard conception of) scientific method, successfully answers one central question concerning science''s rationality. The second involves the aims of education; here it is argued that a fundamental educational aim is the fostering of rationality, or its educational cognate, criticalthinking. (...) The ramifications of these two philosophical theses for science education are then considered, and a science education which takes reasons in science as its fundamental feature is sketched. (shrink)
This article provides somephilosophical ``groundwork'' for contemporary debatesabout the status of the idea(l) of criticalthinking.The major part of the article consists of a discussionof three conceptions of ``criticality,'' viz., criticaldogmatism, transcendental critique (Karl-Otto Apel),and deconstruction (Jacques Derrida). It is shown thatthese conceptions not only differ in their answer tothe question what it is ``to be critical.'' They alsoprovide different justifications for critique andhence different answers to the question what giveseach of them the ``right'' to be (...) class='Hi'>critical. It is arguedthat while transcendental critique is able to solvesome of the problems of the dogmatic approach tocriticality, deconstruction provides the most coherentand self-reflexive conception of critique. A crucialcharacteristic of the deconstructive style of critiqueis that this style is not motivated by the truth ofthe criterion (as in critical dogmatism) or by acertain conception of rationality (as intranscendental critique), but rather by a concern forjustice. It is suggested that this concern should becentral to any redescription of the idea(l) ofcritical thinking. (shrink)
Over the past three decades or so, the teaching of criticalthinking as an essential part of general education has exerted a significant influence on contemporary post secondary education. Criticalthinking includes as a central part traditional logic but goes beyond it both in scope and in the conception of what the evaluation of arguments involves, or, to put it in another way, in the very conception of what constitutes the ability to reason well. Indeed one (...) of the notable trends that characterize recent developments in informal logic and criticalthinking has been ‘a move toward a broad conception of argumentation which extends the analysis of argumentation beyond the analysis of premises and conclusions’ (Groarke 2002: section 1). An important sign of this trend is the increasing number of scholarly journals in the field of informal logic and theory of argumentation — e.g. (shrink)
Although higher education understands the need to develop critical thinkers, it has not lived up to the task consistently. Students are graduating deficient in these skills, unprepared to think critically once in the workforce. Limited development of cognitive processing skills leads to less effective leaders. Various definitions of criticalthinking are examined to develop a general construct to guide the discussion as criticalthinking is linked to constructivism, leadership, and education. Most pedagogy is content-based built (...) on deep knowledge. Successful criticalthinking pedagogy is moving away from this paradigm, teaching students to think complexly. Some of the challenges faced by higher education moving to a criticalthinking curricula are discussed, and recommendations are offered for improving outcomes. (shrink)
On the point that, in practices of criticalthinking, we respond spontaneously in concrete situations, this paper presents an account on behalf of Wittgenstein. I argue that the ‘seeing-things-aright’ model of Luntley's Wittgenstein is not adequate, since it pays insufficient attention to radically new circumstances, in which the content of norms is updated. While endorsing Bailin's emphasis on criteria of criticalthinking, Wittgenstein would agree with Papastephanou and Angeli's demand to look behind criteriology. He maintains the (...) primacy of the practical, and yet contends that a reasonable person lets rules of rationality compel her. These rules are not mere heuristics. I further examine Burbules' conception of communicative reason, and, among others, his interpretation of Wittgenstein's sign-post example. (shrink)
Computer-based argument mapping greatly enhances student criticalthinking, more than tripling absolute gains made by other methods. I describe the method and my experience as an outsider. Argument mapping often showed precisely how students were erring (for example: confusing helping premises for separate reasons), making it much easier for them to fix their errors.
This paper explores the notion of âexpertâ health care practitioner in the context of criticalthinking and health care education where scientific rather than philosophical inquiry has been the dominant mode of thought. A number of factors have forced are appraisal in this respect: the challenge brought about by the identification of complex ethical issues in clinical situations; medicine's `solving' of many of the simple health problems; the recognition that uncertainty is a common and perhaps innate feature of (...) clinical practice; debate about the concepts of illness and disease; plus insights from psychology,sociology and medical anthropology. Together these have prompted alternative ways of thinking which have the aim of identifying the best rather than the right decision (where best equates to good and right equates to correct in the sense of true or approved). It is argued that phronesis adds a necessary corrective dimension to modern Western medicine's over-emphasis on techne and is one of the factors that differentiates novice from expert practitioner. However, this attracts certain conflicts of interest: phronesis can only be gained and assessed from experience of praxis; agencies with legitimate interests in medicine such as government and professional registering bodies require more substantive criteria. (shrink)
The presentation of analogical arguments in the criticalthinking literature fails to reflect cognitive research on analogy. Part of the problem is that these treatments of analogy do not address counterarguments, an important aspect of the analysis of analogical argumentation. In this paper, I present a taxonomy of four counterarguments, false analogy, misanalogy, disanalogy, and counteranalogy, analyzed along two dimensions, orientation and effect. The counterarguments are treated in the framework of the multiconstraint theory of analogy (Holyoak and Thagard, (...) 1995). This framework is also extended to account for the evidence brought to light by the consideration of counterarguments. The result is a psychologically motivated treatment of analogical arguments that will be useful both for critical and pedagogical purposes. (shrink)
In this essay Juho Ritola develops a justificationist approach to social epistemology, which holds that normatively satisfactory social processes pertaining to the acquisition, storage, dissemination, and use of knowledge must be evidence-based processes that include appropriate reflective attitudes by the relevant agents and, consequently, the relevant institutions. This implies that the teaching of criticalthinking and reasoning in general should strive to bring about such attitudes in students. Ritola begins by sketching a justificationist approach and defending it on (...) a general level against the criticism posed by Alvin Goldman. He then defends it on the level of individual reasoners against the argument set out by Michael Bishop and J.D. Trout. Based on empirical evidence, Bishop and Trout argue that the kind of reflection advocated by a justificationist approach to reasoning leads to worse outcomes than the use of various statistical prediction rules. Ritola, in contrast, maintains that one cannot and should not replace critical reflection on evidence by a mechanical application of rules. Instead, he asserts, statistical prediction rules and empirical evidence regarding our reasoning performance are part of the total evidence that we should reflect on in our critical reasoning. (shrink)
This is Part I of a two-part reflection by Robert Ennis on his involvement in the criticalthinking movement. Part I deals with how he got started in the movement and with the development of his influential definition of criticalthinking and his conception of what criticalthinking involves. Part II of the reflection will appear in the next issue of INQUIRY, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer 2011), and it will cover topics concerned with (...) assessing criticalthinking, teaching criticalthinking, and what the future may hold. (shrink)
Learners who are first introduced to the process of criticalthinking frequently experience a paradigm shift in their own thinking. However, such a major transition in one’s pattern of thinking may presentdifficulties when applying newly acquired criticalthinking skills in social contexts. Learners may lack the confidence required for engaging in intellectual discourse, placing inhibitions on their using criticalthinking. This article suggests several ways in which critical thinkers may more effectively (...) and confidently use their skills in daily conversation. (shrink)
Meaningful interactions with works of art are often absent from education. Across the country, art museums are intent on changing this situation. But to incorporate art viewing1 into an educational milieu that does not value art, art museum educators are constantly forced to justify the educational value of their programs. One common argument to substantiate the worth of art viewing is that it promotes criticalthinking. In fact, several museums across the United States assert that the goal of (...) their education programs is precisely to foster criticalthinking in students.2 These assertions are aligned with a growing body of research that proves that encounters with works of art can help develop skills .. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Confucius' view of learning in the Analects entails criticalthinking. Although he neither specified the logical rules of good reasoning nor theorised about the structure of argument, Confucius advocated and emphasised the importance of criticalthinking. For this thesis, I argue that a close examination of Confucius' pronouncements on learning reveals that he takes criticalthinking to be essential to learning. For Confucius criticalthinking refers to (...) reflective thinking: reflection on the materials of knowledge, in order to synthesise and systematise the raw materials into a whole, and to integrate them into oneself as wisdom. (shrink)
This reflective article details the evolution of Gerald Nosich’s view of what criticalthinking involves. Nosich recounts three major stages in the development of his views: (1) starting a course on Reasoning that strongly engaged students in the actual practices of argument analysis and evaluation, (2) then teaching a course CriticalThinking Across the Curriculum which called into graphic prominence other aspects of criticalthinking beyond arguments, for example, observing thoughtfully and reflectively, raising key (...) questions with respect to an issue, and discerning a common structure underlying different phenomena, and, finally, (3) realizing the power of Richard Paul’s emphasis on common elements and standards involved in criticalthinking. (shrink)
This paper underlines the need for teaching morals and values through critical reflection and active genuine dialogue. It promotes the pedagogy of dialogue within educational institutions, the creation of multi-dimensional learning environments for the cultivation and dissemination of intersubjective understandings of diverse moral worldviews, the use of criticalthinking skills and intellectual traits of mind forethical decision-making, and the communication of values and morals through dialogue. An argument is advanced to show how reflective dialogue lays the groundwork (...) for the creation of initial objective relations in the classroom and forms the basis for the pragmatic implementation of an interpersonal connection characterized by feelings of tolerance, empathy, and respect for the dignity of human beings and their way of life. (shrink)
Criticalthinking and values are fundamental topics of interest in higher education. The current study is an empirical validation of a university’s effort to teach students to apply criticalthinking to the recognition and articulation of values contained in focal essays. A CriticalThinking about Values Assessment (CTVA) is provided, which evaluates students’ responses regarding (1) key components of criticalthinking, and (2) “criticalthinking about values,” in response to the (...) essays. These two criteria were assessed at the beginning and end of the semester as part of a naturally-occurring quasiexperiment. Results provide some support for the reliability and validity of the CTVA and suggest that the program has a tenuous relationship with students’ criticalthinking, but a moderate to strongrelationship with students’ ability to recognize and articulate values. (shrink)
Traditionally, it has been held that criticalthinking requires a set of cognitive skills and dispositions. The present work supports the opinion of some theorists who have proposed that these might not be the only two ingredients necessary for improving criticalthinking. More specifically, new factors could be necessary if criticalthinking is to be achieved, such as gaining an epistemological understanding of criticalthinking; reaching a given level of epistemological development, or (...) the beliefs that are held about thinking. These new components are analysed conceptually and instructionally. Special attention is also devoted to dispositions. (shrink)
At various universities across the country, philosophers are organizing faculty development workshops for non-philosophy faculty members who want to incorporate criticalthinking about ethical and social justice issues into their courses. The demand for such programs is reasonably strong. In part this is due to the increasing pressure from professional associations (e.g., those of nursing and accounting) for the inclusion of ethics in the curriculum. In part, however, it is simply due to the recognition by faculty members across (...) the university that an adequate education must include some reflection on ethical issues. In this article we discuss some of the reasons for philosophers to become involved, describe a faculty development program that we are running, and offer some advice about how to succeed in such endeavors. (shrink)
Scientific reasoning has long been an integral part of criticalthinking taxonomies. In practice, however, it is frequently limited to induction, hypothesis testing and experimental design, thereby neglecting the central importance of modeling to contemporary scientific reasoning. In this paper, I wish to establish that this neglect undermines the possibility of critical engagement with the public discourse surrounding scientific reasoning. As a step towards rectifying that disconnect, I present one resource that I have developed to teach modeling (...) in an introductory criticalthinking course. (shrink)
In this paper, we study the manifestations of what we call “dialogical criticalthinking” in elementary school pupils when they are engaged in philosophical exchanges among peers: What are thecharacteristics of dialogical criticalthinking? How does it develop in youngsters? Our research was conducted during an entire school year, with eight groups of pupils from three different cultural contexts: Australia, Mexico and Quebec. Our findings were constructed in an inductive manner, inspired by qualitative analysis as defined (...) by Glaser and Strauss (1967). From our analysis, a grid was developed, illustrating the process by which dialogical criticalthinking developed among the pupils involved in our research. This process is manifested via four modes of thinking (logical, creative, responsible and meta-cognitive), which become increasingly complex according to three epistemological perspectives (egocentricity, relativism and inter-subjectivity oriented toward meaning). (shrink)
In this paper, I characterize Susan Haack’s so called passes-for fallacy, analyze both what makes this inference compelling and why it is illegitimate, and finally explain why reflecting on the passes-for fallacy—and others like it—should become part of criticalthinking pedagogy for humanities students. The analysis proceeds by examining a case of the passes-for fallacy identified by Haack in the work of Ruth Bleier. A charitable reconstruction of Bleier’s reasoning shows that it is enlightening to regard the passes-for (...) fallacy as an abuse of the application conditions of the concept of bias, rather than as an egregious case of Hasty Generalization. (shrink)
This essay provides a summary of the steps taken to build a criticalthinking based faculty learning community (CTB-FLC) on the Lone Star College – CyFair campus across various disciplines. The author shares the motivations driving this project, the challenges and successes of the ten participating members, and the plans for future CTB-FLCs. The primary purpose of this essay is to encourage other colleges to build similar criticalthinking based faculty learning communities as professional development opportunities (...) on their campuses. The essay culminates with a set of recommendations which result from the lessons learned during the implementation of a CTB-FLC from 2008 to 2010 at Lone Star College – CyFair. (shrink)
My paper is a reaction to the articles in the newsletter Inquiry, and additional articles by others, especially Mark Weinstein, the Acting Director of the Institute for CriticalThinking at Montclair State College. Weinstein and his colleagues are engaged in a most ambitious program, as they put it, of educational reform through criticalthinking across the disciplines. Without doubt, the ideologue of this school is Weinstein, and it is on his writings that I have concentrated.
In this paper I argue for the efficacy of scaffolded writing assignments in teaching criticalthinking and writing in lower-division philosophy courses. Scaffolding involves converting the skills one expects students to display on a culminating assignment (in this case an argumentative paper) into a progressive series of smaller assignments, moving from papers that use relatively simple skills, such as summarizing small pieces of text, to much more complex skills, such as evaluating others’ positions, constructing their own judgments about (...) an issue, and defending those claims. I use this technique in a course oriented around the idea of enlightenment, so that students see the writing assignments as part of the practice of intellectual maturity. (shrink)
Peer Instruction is a simple and effective technique you can use to make lectures more interactive, more engaging, and more effective learning experiences. Although well known in science and mathematics, the technique appears to be little known in the humanities. In this paper, we explain how Peer Instruction can be applied in philosophy lectures. We report the results from our own experience of using Peer Instruction in undergraduate courses in philosophy, formal logic, and criticalthinking. We have consistently (...) found it to be a highly effective method of improving the lecture experience for both students and the lecturer. (shrink)
The author describes a published symposium which debated Is CriticalThinking Biased? The symposium meant to address concerns about criticalthinking that are being expressed by feminist and postmodern scholars. However, through the author's critique, and the symposium respondent's, we learn the participants ended up begging the question of bias. The author maintains that the belief that criticalthinking is unbiased is based on an assumption that knowers can be separated from what is known. (...) She argues that criticalthinking is a tool which has no life of its own, it only has meaning and purpose when fallible, biased people use it (weak sense bias). She challenges the idea of a transcendental epistemological perspective, thus all knowledge is provisional and perspectival (strong sense bias). The author begins to redescribe a transformed criticalthinking as constructive thinking. (shrink)
The article aims at (1) organizing the theoretical ideas of criticalthinking on the basis of an overall and systematic conception of education, (2) exposing tensions and contradictions in the various conceptions of criticalthinking and (3) suggesting a directing principle for the teaching of criticalthinking. In order to achieve these far-reaching aims, the author projects “The Cognitive Map of Instruction” developed by Zvi Lamm on the discourse of criticalthinking. Through (...) this “map” it seems that all sub-trends of teaching criticalthinking may be divided into three defined “logics,” and that these sub-trends harbor two kinds of internal contradictions: between the different “logics” of teaching, and between their pattern of teaching and the idea of criticalthinking. Since none of the three “logics” suggested by Lamm (1976) in “The Cognitive Map of Instruction” suits the purpose of teaching criticalthinking, the article turns away from this “map,” that served it so well to locate and expose the various trends of criticalthinking. This turn is made on behalf of another idea of Lamm—that of undermining pedagogy. This well-rooted idea may direct the pedagogy of criticalthinking toward a coherent and effective instruction. (shrink)
There is substantial evidence from many domains that visual representations aid various forms of cognition. We aimed to determine whether visual representations of argument structure enhanced the acquisition and development of criticalthinking skills within the context of an introductory philosophy course. We found a significant effect of the use of argument diagrams, and this effect was stable even when multiple plausible correlates were controlled for. These results suggest that natural and relatively minor modifications to standard critical (...)thinking courses could provide substantial increases in student learning and performance. (shrink)
Criticalthinking is often assumed to be an integral part of learning in higher education. This learning increasingly takes place in the online environment, where students and faculty are challenged to engage in a collaborative project of criticalthinking. This paper seeks to explore the process of criticalthinking that is currently taking place online and proposes that social interaction and the social construction of knowledge are integral parts of this process. Discussion boards from (...) economics, history, and sociology are discussed as examples of how criticalthinking is developed in the online environment. (shrink)
Critical theory and criticalthinking emphasize the power of self-reflection and educative analysis where students in higher education become motivated to change their present societal reality by being strategic and action orientated. Central to these theories is the enlistment of strategies that utilize educational vehicles infused with criticalthinking to engage students in the process of intensive evaluation of the theory, values, knowledge and skiIls of their respective fields with the often transformative impact upon a (...) student’s worldviews. This article reviews the theoretical and historical tenets of ctitical theory and its interdependence and reinforcing relationship with criticalthinking. An illustration is offered that represents the cyclical and often transformative relationship between critical theory and criticalthinking. Along with a definition of criticalthinking there is a discussion of the difference between criticalthinking and other forms of thinking. Last, at the core of the article will be suggestions for designing trans disciplinary teaching methods based upon Freire’s critical consciousness with an emphasis upon an instructor’s self-evaluative, liberating stance towards education. Strategies will be introduced that engage students in the act of intensive criticalthinking becomes transformative. (shrink)
This study investigated student development of criticalthinking skills in senior-level service-Iearning courses. The methodology included a pre- and post-test design. Findings indicate that facilitating criticalthinking as a function of developing critically engaged students is related to the pedagogical types of course content, discussions, and activities.
This paper presents an analysis of commonly held views about criticalthinking and how they relate to learning and teaching at the college level. It focuses on assumptions often held by researchers, such as those expressed in the three studies included in this issue, and considers as well the conclusions raised by these studies when addressing needs of those with disabilities. The theory of mediated learning experience offers a uniquely effective way to further criticalthinking skills. (...) The paper compares learner-centered vs. content-centered instructional design. (shrink)
This research describes and presents a reading comprehension strategy called the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) that was used in a graduate level children’s literature course that combined the characteristics of the case study method and criticalthinking connected to picture books. The intent of the research was to provide a framework to graduate students for teaching both reading comprehension and criticalthinking, The use of questioning served as the structure or strategy for the graduate students to subsequently (...) apply this to their classrooms. Problems, questions, and issues in one picture book (Faithful Elephants, 1951) served as sources of motivationand criticalthinking for the case study method. (shrink)
The problem with the traditional model of education is that the student is largely receptive. The constructivist model corrects this defect by promoting learning within a highly interaction oriented pedagogy. The problem is that sometimes it combines this with a constructivist view of knowledge, which does not provide an adequate epistemological framework for criticalthinking. Even though individual creativity should be encouraged, students’ constructions must be subject to critical scrutiny. This assumes the development of the capacity for (...)critical evaluation on the basis of generally valid rational criteria. The constructivist view of learning is most useful, when it is combined with moderate foundationalism about knowledge. Adequate knowledge constructions presuppose the development of the capacity for criticalthinking with its constitutive habits, skills and attitudes. (shrink)
After having achieved some level of competency in their criticalthinking classes, students are often frustrated by the effects of their use of criticalthinking with their friends and family. This threat to their long-standing relationships and social comfort should be addressed in our pedagogy if we are to enable criticalthinking to realize its potential for effective communication. Explicit attention to the emotional component of criticalthinking exchanges is a possible step (...) towards alleviating the negative tensions that would otherwise result from the socially clumsy deployment of criticalthinking. This paper offers suggestive evidence of relational frustration experienced by freshman criticalthinking students and provides practical suggestions whereby criticaI thinking can nurture, rather than jeopardize social networks. (shrink)
Convinced that criticalthinking has value for people in Japan, the author describes his experiences introducing criticalthinking to the educational scene there. Finding students to be too uncritical aboutsources of information, he began teaching and promoting it among students and colleagues. Initially, some discouraging responses came from the latter group because of Japanese social norms in largemeetings and organizations. The author has since learned to make use of less explicit approaches to presenting critical (...) class='Hi'>thinking to fellow teachers and students. Among students, these include treating itas a collaborative activity and as an intellectual game. It was also necessary to deal explicitly with conceptual barriers, such as student views of friendship and popularity. Generally speaking, encouraging progress has been evident in classes and in the academic community. (shrink)
This essential that prospective teachers develop criticalthinking skills. However, they cannot develop these skills simply by reading the assigned text, taking notes during lecture, and completing exams. The case method of instruction (CMI) relies on real-life situations to teach students general problem solving and decision making through active participation in the leaming process. Thus, CMI offers an effective means of developing the criticalthinking skills of prospective teachers. This article presents guidelines teacher educators can follow (...) to create case-based classrooms. Specific recommendations are offered regarding case selection, case presentation, case writing, and case evaluation procedures. (shrink)
The Spellings Commission recommends widespread critical-thinking testing to help determine the “value added” by higher education institutions—with the data banked and made available (“transparent”) in order to enable parents, students, and policy makers to compare institutions and hold them accountable. Because of the likely and desirable promotion of criticalthinking that would result from the Commission’s program, I recommend cooperation by critical-thinking faculty and administrators, but only if there is much less comparability and considerably (...) deeper transparency of the tests and their justification than the Commission recommends, and only if vigilance in handling the many problems and dangers elaborated herein is successful. (shrink)
Lecture was the most prevalent teaching style in the colleges and universities we attended. Hired as a lecturer by a local university, the lead author choose to approach teaching based on two principles: first to teach the way she preferred to learn, which is in groups, and second to be both a teacher and a fellow learner.Ten adult practitioners were enrolled in the graduate course Iisted as “The Trainer/Manager as Coach.” This article includes their experiences along with those of the (...) instructor / facilitator.Criticalthinking and critical self-reflection are ways to help participants explore assumptions about coaching and particularly about their roles as coaches in the workplace. Criticalthinking is a means of examining assumptions by identifying patterns in ourselves and in others-patterns that influence our thinking and subsequent actions. Critical self-reflection is “challenging the vaIidity of presuppositions in prior learning” (Mezirow, 1990, p. 14). Our purpose together was to develop criticalthinking skills and practice critical self-reflection as they related to coaching within our practices.Participants used time between class sessions for integration of learning and self-reflection on their own assumptive worlds. Students participated in electronic dialogue and in action research. The online dialogue provided opportunities to share experiences from our places of work. It further served as a collaborative means for building a knowledge base from onIine discussion of coaching literature.Action research is a means of studying one’s practice for the purpose of improvement. Students applied an action research model to a workplace problem that involved them in the role of coach.The results were transformational for all co-Iearners. Changes took pIace in our approaches to coaching. Changes in the focus of coaching, from focusing on the coach to focusing on the learner, are prevalent. (shrink)
I describe some pedagogical challenges of teaching criticalthinking, and propose one way of partly meeting them: the application of criticalthinking skills to beliefs responsible for our emotions. I suggest ways of introducing the topic of emotions in our criticalthinking courses, describe a project assigned to my students, and provide a model of the project.
In this paper I argue that creative and criticalthinking operate in tandem in the mind as a purposeful dialectic of generative and evaluative dimensions of sense-making. The complementariness of these two forms of thought are dramatized through a case study in an innovative literature-history class, by tracing thc development of critical and creative thinking in one students process of authoring. In the class the teachers mediated students’ thinking by engaging them in open-forum conversation about (...) varied cultural-historical perspectives and then providing strategies for both generating interpretations and questioning/critiquing them. As multiple conflicting perspectives from literature and history interplayed in the class, the student was prompted to construct a point of view by considering opposing lines of thought in a dialogue of creative and criticalthinking. He appropriated these new tools, internalizing strategies for and a disposition toward creative and criticalthinking to make sense of complex texts and social issues. Vygotsky’s notions of problem-solving, play, mediation, ZPD, and internalization are used to explain how student thinking developed in this context. (shrink)
This is Part II of a reflection by Richard Paul on criticalthinking, its theory and pedagogy, and on political and personal barriers to criticalthinking education and practice. Part I of Paul’s reflection appeared in INQUIRY, Vol. 26 No. 3 (Fall 2011), pp. 5-24. In Part II Paul focuses on the concept of criticalthinking, pointing out its unifying features as well as the many ways it can be contextualized in human thought and (...) life. He lays out his basic criticalthinking theory and offers criticalthinking polarities for use in assessing criticalthinking approaches. He provides an overview of the work of the Foundation for CriticalThinking in advancing fairminded critical thought in education and in society. (shrink)
A selective compilation of 24 useful websites likely to interest a practicing teacher of thinking; it is not directed at scholar-researchers in any particular discipline. Hence, Web resources in philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science are not included. Also excluded are well-known general Internet comprehensive lists of resomces in the various disciplines and the many sites helpful to students writing researched persuasive arguments which can be found in any recent writing handbook. Included are general comprehensive resources in higher education, communication (...) (including writing) across the curriculum, resources on teaching criticalthinking, problem-based learning, and publishers specializing in criticalthinking. (shrink)
Criticalthinking measures have often been empirically associated with other cognitive dimensions (e.g., achievement test scores, IQ scores, exam scores) but seldom with sociopolitical perspectives. Consequently, the current study examined the relationship of criticalthinking to sociopolitical values reflective of political ideology, namely respect for civil liberties, emphasis on national security, militarism, and support for the Iraq War. In a sample of 232 undergraduates attending a Southeastern university, criticalthinking correlated significantly with respect for (...) civil liberties (.19), emphasis on national security (-.29), militarism (-.25), and support for the Iraq War (-.28). A logistic regression analysis showed that the sociopolitical measures significantly predicted placement in high and low criticalthinking groups, with support for the Iraq War being the primary predictor. A multivariate analysis (MANOVA) revealed that the sociopolitical means for the high and low criticalthinking groups all differed significantly. The results suggest that criticalthinking scores are generally predictive of liberal versus conservative political ideology. (shrink)
As more professors implement criticalthinking training in their classrooms, these professors not only must teach the process of criticalthinking, but they must also instruct students about how to effectivelyuse their newly acquired skills. Because criticalthinking tends to promote reconsideration of strong personal beliefs, students may be resistant to change, resulting in various kinds of emotions. In addition, students who have been trained to in criticalthinking may experience resistance from (...) friends and family, leading to greater interpersonal conflict. Therefore, professors should strive for greater sensitivity and understanding, responding to students’ personal needs by teaching them how to effectively and appropriately use their criticalthinking skills in various environments. (shrink)
Offering an innovative approach to criticalthinking, Good Reasoning Matters! identifies the essential structure of good arguments in a variety of contexts and also provides guidelines to help students construct their own effective arguments. In addition to examining the most common features of faulty reasoning--slanting, bias, propaganda, vagueness, ambiguity, and a common failure to consider opposing points of view--the book introduces a variety of argument schemes and rhetorical techniques. This edition adds material on visual arguments and more exercises.
This paper’s purpose is to provide a foundation for viewing criticalthinking as both a maximal and typical performance construct. While maximal performance measures the best a person can do, typical performance measures what the person is most likely to do. An overview of maximal performance, including its history and limitations, will be given. The role of maximal and typical performance in cognitive development will be demonstrated through an exploration of the relationships between behavior, the environment, personality, crystallized (...) intelligence, and fluid intelligence. Furthermore, these topics will be related to the development and use of criticalthinking skills. Discussion will conclude with directions for future research. (shrink)
Among the claims made for online learning is its potential to foster criticalthinking, particularly by engaging students in asynchronous discussions conducted in writing. This paper reviews and critiques these claims. It first examines the uses of writing and classroom discussion in modeling and encouraging criticalthinking. It then reviews some of the arguments for the possible advantages of online interaction over face-to-face discussion. Finally, it critiques these claims by comparing the specific features, which distinguish the (...) experience of participation in asynchronous written discussions from synchronous oraldiscussion. This comparison illuminates the role of oral discussion in modeling and developing students’ criticalthinking skills and points out difficulty of doing so through asynchronous computer-mediated discussions. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of studies that sought to answer a number of questions about criticalthinking First, studies are reviewed that looked at the correlation of scores on two major instruments, the Watson-Glaser CriticalThinking Appraisal (WGCTA) and the California CriticalThinking Skills Test (CCTST). Then, results are reported that provide information about the relation between criticalthinking and academic skills, and the independence of the (...) construct of criticalthinking. Finally, findings are reported on the relation between criticalthinking and criticalthinking dispositions, job related skills, years of education, fields of study, classroom interactions, learning styles, and cultural factors. (shrink)
In a fictional conversation designed to appeal to both working teachers and social philosophers, three educators take up the question of whether criticalthinking itself can, or should, be taught independently of an explicit consideration of issues related to social justice. One, a thoughtful but somewhat traditional Enlightenment rationalist, sees criticalthinking as a neutral set of skills and dispositions, essentially unrelated to the conclusions of morality, problems of social organization, or the content of any particular (...) academic discipline. A second interlocutor, steeped in “critical” pedagogy of Paulo Freire, insists that the problem is the pose of neutrality itself. On this view, all honest and effective approaches to teaching must confront the hegemony of unjust relationships, institutions, and conceptual schemes. The third character attempts to resolve the tension between these two opposed camps. (shrink)
A narrative review of a 35-year career in criticalthinking reflecting an idiosyncratic approach to both practical and theoretical matters. The social as well as the intellectual context is described. Criticalthinking across the disciplines and metamathematics are discussed as alternatives to more standard perspectives such as informal logic.
Pre- and postmeasures of course knowledge correlated more strongly and consistently with course performance variables (essay quizzes, course project, multiple-choice exams, and total course credit)than did pre- and postmeasures of generic criticalthinking. In addition, the total sample (N =126) improved significantly on course knowledge from the pre- to the postassessment but changed minimally on criticalthinking. The extent and pattern of change in criticalthinking differed somewhat for students making high and low grades (...) in the course. High-grade students achieved significantly more favorable changes on both criticalthinking and course knowledge than did the low-grade students. (shrink)
Teacher-education students in a large Human Development course took a generic criticalthinking test and 2 companion questionnaires related to the accuracy of human-development claims andperceived sources of information for evaluating those claims. Based on their initial criticalthinking scores, some students were identified as high or low critical thinkers and subsequently compared ontheir evaluations of developmental claims and perceived sources of information for their evaluations. The criticalthinking groups differed in the following (...) respects: High critical thinkers better judged theaccuracy of developmental claims both at the beginning and end of the course; high critical thinkers made greater gains during the course in judging the accuracy of course-related claims; and high andlow critical thinkers differed in the sources of information used in evaluating developmental claims. (shrink)
The definition, assessment, predictive validity, demographic correlates, and promotion of criticalthinking at the college level are addressed in this article. Although the definitions of criticalthinking vary substantially, a common theme is the linkage of conclusions to relevant evidence. Assessment measures range from quasi-standardized instruments to informal class assessment and include both generic and subject-specific formats. Although criticalthinking potentially serves both as a predictor of college success and as a criterion of suceess, (...) its greater utility may be as a predictor. nonetheless, the college experience in general and criticalthinking courses in particular offer some promise for promoting criticalthinking. However, efforts to infuse criticalthinking activities into subject-specific courses have produced marginal improvement in criticalthinking. (shrink)
The unique collaborative effort of a professor of English and a professor of philosophy, Current Issues and Enduring Questions is a balanced and flexible book that provides the benefits of the authors’ dual expertise in effective persuasive writing and rigorous criticalthinking. Refined through eight widely adopted editions, it has been revised to address current student interests and trends in argument, research, and writing. Its comprehensive coverage of classic and contemporary approaches to argument includes Aristotle, Toulmin, and a (...) range of alternative views, making it an extraordinarily versatile text. Readings on contemporary controversies (including environmental stewardship, student-teacher relationships, cyber bullying, and the limits of reproductive rights) and classical philosophical questions (such as How free is the will of the individual?) are sure to spark student interest and lively discussion and writing. No other text and reader offers such an extensive resource for teaching argument. (shrink)
The Case Study Method of Instruction (CSMI) is an excellent vehicle for achieving many instructional goals, including employing criticalthinking to facilitate learning. The best results occur when instructors have a clear understanding of the CSMI and criticalthinking. In this article, the author describes the evolution of the CSMI, its notable characteristics, and its instructional benefits. The author also presents five detailed definitions of criticalthinking, and explains how case studies can be used (...) to lead students to think critically and subsequently learn. (shrink)
This paper is in two parts. Part I outlines three traditional approaches to the teaching of criticalthinking: the normative, cognitive psychology, and educational approaches. Each of these approaches is discussed in relation to the influences of various methods of criticalthinking instruction. The paper contrasts these approaches with what I call the “visualisation” approach. This approach is explained with reference to computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM) which uses dedicated computer software to represent inferences between premise and (...) conclusions. The paper presents a detailed account of the CAAM methodology, and theoretical justification for its use, illustrating this with the argument mapping software Rationale™. A number of Rationale™ design conventions and logical principles are outlined including the principle of abstraction, the MECE principle, and the “Holding Hands” and “Rabbit Rule” heuristics. Part II of this paper outlines the growing empirical evidence for the effectiveness of CAAM as a method of teaching criticalthinking. (shrink)
Students enter the classroom with a variety of perspectives and beliefs, adhering strongly to such beliefs that are most likely acquired from the teachings of certain authorities. Educators seeking to promote criticalthinking often encounter resistance from those students who are primarily interested only in dismantling the arguments of others, as opposed to students’ being skeptical of their own beliefs as well. This paper suggests that educators can promote strong-sense criticalthinking through the use of joint (...) inquiry, striving to create an environment of greater communal learning, where students are taught how to ask the right questions and not just how to look for the right answers. (shrink)