Teaching in Higher Education 13 (3):327-340 (2008)

Martin Davies
University of Melbourne
This paper looks at the need for a better understanding of the impediments to critical thinking in relation to graduate student work. The paper argues that a distinction is needed between two vectors that influence student writing: (1) the word-level–sentence-level vector; and (2) the grammar–inferencing vector. It is suggested that much of the work being done to assist students is only done on the first vector. This paper suggests a combination of explicit use of deductive syllogistic inferences and computer-aided argument mapping is needed. A methodology is suggested for tackling assignments that require students to ‘make an argument’. It is argued that what lecturers understand tacitly, now needs to be made a focus of deliberate educational practices.
Keywords critical thinking  Informal logic  argumentation
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References found in this work BETA

Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation.Douglas Walton - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
Critical Thinking and Education.John E. McPeck - 1981 - New York, NY, USA: St. Martin's Press.
Introduction to Logic.Irving M. Copi - 1956 - Philosophy of Science 23 (3):267-268.
Introduction to Logic.Alfons Borgers - 1961 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 35 (1):166.

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