Define Critical Thinking Theory

Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.[1] The subject is complex, and there are several different definitions which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis or evaluation of factual evidence.

History[edit]

Critical thinking was described by Richard W. Paul as a movement in two waves (1994).[2] The "first wave" of critical thinking is often referred to as a 'critical analysis' that is clear, rational thinking involving critique. Its details vary amongst those who define it. According to Barry K. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments. During the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned, well thought out, and judged.[3] The U.S. National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking[4] defines critical thinking as the "intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action."[5]

Etymology[edit]

In the term critical thinking, the word critical, (Grk. κριτικός = kritikos = "critic") derives from the word critic and implies a critique; it identifies the intellectual capacity and the means "of judging", "of judgement", "for judging", and of being "able to discern".[6]

Definitions[edit]

Traditionally, critical thinking has been variously defined as:

  • "the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion"[7]
  • "disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence"[7]
  • "reasonable, reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do"[8]
  • "purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based"[9]
  • "includes a commitment to using reason in the formulation of our beliefs"[10]
  • the skill and propensity to engage in an activity with reflective scepticism (McPeck, 1981)
  • disciplined, self-directed thinking which exemplifies the perfection of thinking appropriate to a particular mode or domain of thinking (Paul, 1989, p. 214)
  • thinking about one's thinking in a manner designed to organize and clarify, raise the efficiency of, and recognize errors and biases in one's own thinking. Critical thinking is not 'hard' thinking nor is it directed at solving problems (other than 'improving' one's own thinking). Critical thinking is inward-directed with the intent of maximizing the rationality of the thinker. One does not use critical thinking to solve problems—one uses critical thinking to improve one's process of thinking.[11]
  • "an appraisal based on careful analytical evaluation"[12]
  • the ability to think clearly about what to do or what to believe.

Contemporary critical thinking scholars have expanded these traditional definitions to include qualities, concepts, and processes such as creativity, imagination, discovery, reflection, empathy, connecting knowing, feminist theory, subjectivity, ambiguity, and inconclusiveness. Some definitions of critical thinking exclude these subjective practices.[13]

Logic and rationality[edit]

Main article: Logic and rationality

The ability to reason logically is a fundamental skill of rational agents, hence the study of the form of correct argumentation is relevant to the study of critical thinking.

"First wave" logical thinking consisted of understanding the connections between two concepts or points in thought. It followed a philosophy where the thinker was removed from the train of thought and the connections and the analysis of the connect was devoid of any bias of the thinker. Kerry Walters describes this ideology in his essay Beyond Logicism in Critical Thinking, "A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective. This model of thinking has become so entrenched in conventional academic wisdom that many educators accept it as canon" (Walters, 1994, p. 1). The adoption of these principals parallel themselves with the increasing reliance on quantitative understanding of the world.

In the ‘second wave’ of critical thinking, as defined by Kerry S. Walters (Re-thinking Reason, 1994, p. 1 ), many authors moved away from the logocentric mode of critical thinking that the ‘first wave’ privileged, especially in institutions of higher learning. Walters summarizes logicism as "the unwarranted assumption that good thinking is reducible to logical thinking" (1994, p. 1).

"A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective." (Walters, 1994, p. 1) As the ‘second wave’ took hold, scholars began to take a more inclusive view of what constituted as critical thinking. Rationality and logic are still widely accepted in many circles as the primary examples of critical thinking.

Deduction, Abduction and Induction[edit]

Main article: logical reasoning

There are three types of logical reasoning Informally, two kinds of logical reasoning can be distinguished in addition to formal deduction: induction and abduction.

e.g. X is human and all humans have a face so X has a face.
  • Induction is drawing a conclusion from a pattern that is guaranteed by the strictness of the structure to which it applies.
e.g. The sum of even integers is even. 2x+2y = 2(x+y); The sum of integers is an integer and x and y are integers, so 2x+2y=2z where z is an integer, thus 2z is an even integer, so the sum of even integers is even.
  • Abduction is drawing a conclusion using a heuristic which is likely but not certain given some foreknowledge.
e.g. I observe sheep in a field and they appear white from my viewing angle, so sheep are white. Contrast with the deductive statement:"Some sheep are white on at least one side."

Critical thinking and rationality[edit]

Kerry S. Walters (Re-thinking Reason, 1994) argues that rationality demands more than just logical or traditional methods of problem solving and analysis or what he calls the "calculus of justification" but also considers "cognitive acts such as imagination, conceptual creativity, intuition and insight" (p. 63). These "functions" are focused on discovery, on more abstract processes instead of linear, rules-based approaches to problem solving. The linear and non-sequential mind must both be engaged in the rationalmind.

The ability to critically analyze an argument – to dissect structure and components, thesis and reasons – is important. But so is the ability to be flexible and consider non-traditional alternatives and perspectives. These complementary functions are what allow for critical thinking a practice encompassing imagination and intuition in cooperation with traditional modes of deductive inquiry.

Functions[edit]

The list of core critical thinking skills includes observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and metacognition. According to Reynolds (2011), an individual or group engaged in a strong way of critical thinking gives due consideration to establish for instance:[14]

  • Evidence through reality
  • Context skills to isolate the problem from context
  • Relevant criteria for making the judgment well
  • Applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment
  • Applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and the question at hand

In addition to possessing strong critical-thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and decisions using those skills. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and fairness.[15]

Procedure[edit]

Critical thinking calls for the ability to:

  • Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems
  • Understand the importance of prioritization and order of precedence in problem solving
  • Gather and marshal pertinent (relevant) information
  • Recognize unstated assumptions and values
  • Comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment
  • Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments
  • Recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions
  • Draw warranted conclusions and generalizations
  • Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives
  • Reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience
  • Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life

In sum:

"A persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports or refutes it and the further conclusions to which it tends."[16]

Habits or traits of mind[edit]

The habits of mind that characterize a person strongly disposed toward critical thinking include a desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they may lead, a systematic approach to problem solving, inquisitiveness, even-handedness, and confidence in reasoning.[17]

According to a definition analysis by Kompf & Bond (2001), critical thinking involves problem solving, decision making, metacognition, rationality, rational thinking, reasoning, knowledge, intelligence and also a moral component such as reflective thinking. Critical thinkers therefore need to have reached a level of maturity in their development, possess a certain attitude as well as a set of taught skills.

Research[edit]

Edward M. Glaser proposed that the ability to think critically involves three elements:[16]

  1. An attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences
  2. Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning
  3. Some skill in applying those methods.

Educational programs aimed at developing critical thinking in children and adult learners, individually or in group problem solving and decision making contexts, continue to address these same three central elements.

The Critical Thinking project at Human Science Lab, London, is involved in scientific study of all major educational system in prevalence today to assess how the systems are working to promote or impede critical thinking.[18]

Contemporary cognitive psychology regards human reasoning as a complex process that is both reactive and reflective.[19]

The relationship between critical thinking skills and critical thinking dispositions is an empirical question. Some people have both in abundance, some have skills but not the disposition to use them, some are disposed but lack strong skills, and some have neither. A measure of critical thinking dispositions is the California Measure of Mental Motivation[20] and the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory.[21]

Education[edit]

John Dewey is one of many educational leaders who recognized that a curriculum aimed at building thinking skills would benefit the individual learner, the community, and the entire democracy.[22]

Critical thinking is significant in academics due to being significant in learning. Critical thinking is significant in the learning process of internalization, in the construction of basic ideas, principles, and theories inherent in content. And critical thinking is significant in the learning process of application, whereby those ideas, principles, and theories are implemented effectively as they become relevant in learners' lives.

Each discipline adapts its use of critical thinking concepts and principles. The core concepts are always there, but they are embedded in subject-specific content. For students to learn content, intellectual engagement is crucial. All students must do their own thinking, their own construction of knowledge. Good teachers recognize this and therefore focus on the questions, readings, activities that stimulate the mind to take ownership of key concepts and principles underlying the subject.

Historically, teaching of critical thinking focused only on logical procedures such as formal and informal logic. This emphasized to students that good thinking is equivalent to logical thinking. However, a second wave of critical thinking, urges educators to value conventional techniques, meanwhile expanding what it means to be a critical thinker. In 1994, Kerry Walters[23] compiled a conglomeration of sources surpassing this logical restriction to include many different authors’ research regarding connected knowing, empathy, gender-sensitive ideals, collaboration, world views, intellectual autonomy, morality and enlightenment. These concepts invite students to incorporate their own perspectives and experiences into their thinking.

In the English and Welsh school systems, Critical Thinking is offered as a subject that 16- to 18-year-olds can take as an A-Level. Under the OCRexam board, students can sit two exam papers for the AS: "Credibility of Evidence" and "Assessing and Developing Argument". The full Advanced GCE is now available: in addition to the two AS units, candidates sit the two papers "Resolution of Dilemmas" and "Critical Reasoning". The A-level tests candidates on their ability to think critically about, and analyze, arguments on their deductive or inductive validity, as well as producing their own arguments. It also tests their ability to analyze certain related topics such as credibility and ethical decision-making. However, due to its comparative lack of subject content, many universities do not accept it as a main A-level for admissions.[24] Nevertheless, the AS is often useful in developing reasoning skills, and the full Advanced GCE is useful for degree courses in politics, philosophy, history or theology, providing the skills required for critical analysis that are useful, for example, in biblical study.

There used to also be an Advanced Extension Award offered in Critical Thinking in the UK, open to any A-level student regardless of whether they have the Critical Thinking A-level. Cambridge International Examinations have an A-level in Thinking Skills.[25]

From 2008, Assessment and Qualifications Alliance has also been offering an A-level Critical Thinking specification.[26]

OCRexam board have also modified theirs for 2008. Many examinations for university entrance set by universities, on top of A-level examinations, also include a critical thinking component, such as the LNAT, the UKCAT, the BioMedical Admissions Test and the Thinking Skills Assessment.

In Qatar, critical thinking was offered by AL-Bairaq which is an outreach, non-traditional educational program that targets high school students and focuses on a curriculum based on STEM fields. The idea behind AL-Bairaq is to offer high school students the opportunity to connect with the research environment in the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM) at Qatar University. Faculty members train and mentor the students and help develop and enhance their critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.[27][not in citation given]

Efficacy[edit]

In 1995, a meta-analysis of the literature on teaching effectiveness in higher education was undertaken.[28] The study noted concerns from higher education, politicians and business that higher education was failing to meet society's requirements for well-educated citizens. It concluded that although faculty may aspire to develop students' thinking skills, in practice they have tended to aim at facts and concepts utilizing lowest levels of cognition, rather than developing intellect or values.

In a more recent meta-analysis, researchers reviewed 341 quasi- or true-experimental studies, all of which used some form of standardized critical thinking measure to assess the outcome variable.[29] The authors describe the various methodological approaches and attempt to categorize the differing assessment tools, which include standardized tests (and second-source measures), tests developed by teachers, tests developed by researchers, and tests developed by teachers who also serve the role as the researcher. The results emphasized the need for exposing students to real-world problems and the importance in encouraging open dialogue within a supportive environment. Effective strategies for teaching critical thinking are thought to be possible in a wide variety of educational settings.[29]

Importance in academia[edit]

Critical thinking is an important element of all professional fields and academic disciplines (by referencing their respective sets of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria, etc.). Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of critical thinking involves the careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach a well-justified conclusion. The concepts and principles of critical thinking can be applied to any context or case but only by reflecting upon the nature of that application. Critical thinking forms, therefore, a system of related, and overlapping, modes of thought such as anthropological thinking, sociological thinking, historical thinking, political thinking, psychological thinking, philosophical thinking, mathematical thinking, chemical thinking, biological thinking, ecological thinking, legal thinking, ethical thinking, musical thinking, thinking like a painter, sculptor, engineer, business person, etc. In other words, though critical thinking principles are universal, their application to disciplines requires a process of reflective contextualization.

[30] However, even with knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, mistakes can happen due to a thinker's inability to apply the methods or because of character traits such as egocentrism. Critical thinking includes identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, misinformation, etc.[31] Given research in cognitive psychology, some educators believe that schools should focus on teaching their students critical thinking skills and cultivation of intellectual traits.[32]

Critical thinking skills can be used to help nurses during the assessment process. Through the use of critical thinking, nurses can question, evaluate, and reconstruct the nursing care process by challenging the established theory and practice. Critical thinking skills can help nurses problem solve, reflect, and make a conclusive decision about the current situation they face. Critical thinking creates "new possibilities for the development of the nursing knowledge."[33] Due to the sociocultural, environmental, and political issues that are affecting healthcare delivery, it would be helpful to embody new techniques in nursing. Nurses can also engage their critical thinking skills through the Socratic method of dialogue and reflection. This practice standard is even part of some regulatory organizations such as the College of Nurses of Ontario – Professional Standards for Continuing Competencies (2006).[34] It requires nurses to engage in Reflective Practice and keep records of this continued professional development for possible review by the College.

Critical thinking is also considered important for human rights education for toleration. The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance adopted by UNESCO in 1995 affirms that "education for tolerance could aim at countering factors that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and could help young people to develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning."[35]

Critical thinking is used as a way of deciding whether a claim is true, partially true, or false. It is a tool by which one can come about reasoned conclusions based on a reasoned process.

Critical thinking in computer-mediated communication[edit]

The advent and rising popularity of online courses has prompted some to ask if computer-mediated communication (CMC) promotes, hinders, or has no effect on the amount and quality of critical thinking in a course (relative to face-to-face communication). There is some evidence to suggest a fourth, more nuanced possibility: that CMC may promote some aspects of critical thinking but hinder others. For example, Guiller et al. (2008)[36] found that, relative to face-to-face discourse, online discourse featured more justifications, while face-to-face discourse featured more instances of students expanding on what others had said. The increase in justifications may be due to the asynchronous nature of online discussions, while the increase in expanding comments may be due to the spontaneity of ‘real time’ discussion. Newman et al. (1995)[37] showed similar differential effects. They found that while CMC boasted more important statements and linking of ideas, it lacked novelty. The authors suggest that this may be due to difficulties participating in a brainstorming-style activity in an asynchronous environment. Rather, the asynchrony may promote users to put forth “considered, thought out contributions.”

Researchers assessing critical thinking in online discussion forums often employ a technique called Content Analysis,[37][36] where the text of online discourse (or the transcription of face-to-face discourse) is systematically coded for different kinds of statements relating to critical thinking. For example, a statement might be coded as “Discuss ambiguities to clear them up” or “Welcoming outside knowledge” as positive indicators of critical thinking. Conversely, statements reflecting poor critical thinking may be labeled as “Sticking to prejudice or assumptions” or “Squashing attempts to bring in outside knowledge.” The frequency of these codes in CMC and face-to-face discourse can be compared to draw conclusions about the quality of critical thinking.

Searching for evidence of critical thinking in discourse has roots in a definition of critical thinking put forth by Kuhn (1991),[38] which places more emphasis on the social nature of discussion and knowledge construction. There is limited research on the role of social experience in critical thinking development, but there is some evidence to suggest it is an important factor. For example, research has shown that 3- to 4-year-old children can discern, to some extent, the differential creditability[39] and expertise[40] of individuals. Further evidence for the impact of social experience on the development of critical thinking skills comes from work that found that 6- to 7-year-olds from China have similar levels of skepticism to 10- and 11-year-olds in the United States.[41] If the development of critical thinking skills was solely due to maturation, it is unlikely we would see such dramatic differences across cultures.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^Edward M. Glaser. "Defining Critical Thinking". The International Center for the Assessment of Higher Order Thinking (ICAT, US)/Critical Thinking Community. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  2. ^Walters, Kerry (1994). Re-Thinking Reason. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 181–98. 
  3. ^Elkins, James R. "The Critical Thinking Movement: Alternating Currents in One Teacher's Thinking". myweb.wvnet.edu. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  4. ^"Critical Thinking Index Page". 
  5. ^"Defining Critical Thinking". 
  6. ^Brown, Lesley. (ed.) The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993) p. 551.
  7. ^ ab"Critical – Define Critical at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  8. ^"SSConceptionCT.html". 
  9. ^Facione, Peter A. (2011). "Critical Thinking: What It is and Why It Counts"(PDF). insightassessment.com. p. 26. 
  10. ^Mulnix, J. W. (2010). "Thinking critically about critical thinking". Educational Philosophy and Theory. 44: 471. doi:10.1111/j.1469-5812.2010.00673.x. 
  11. ^Carmichael, Kirby; letter to Olivetti, Laguna Salada Union School District, May 1997.
  12. ^"critical analysis". TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-11-30. 
  13. ^Walters, Kerry (1994). Re-Thinking Reason. Albany: State University of New York Press. 
  14. ^Reynolds, Martin (2011). Critical thinking and systems thinking: towards a critical literacy for systems thinking in practice. In: Horvath, Christopher P. and Forte, James M. eds. Critical Thinking. New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 37–68.
  15. ^Jones, Elizabeth A., & And Others (1995). National Assessment of College Student Learning: Identifying College Graduates' Essential Skills in Writing, Speech and Listening, and Critical Thinking. Final Project Report (NCES-95-001)(PDF). from National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328. PUB TYPE - Reports Research/Technical (143) pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-16-048051-5. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  16. ^ abEdward M. Glaser (1941). An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking. New York, Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University. ISBN 0-404-55843-7. 
  17. ^The National Assessment of College Student Learning: Identification of the Skills to be Taught, Learned, and Assessed, NCES 94–286, US Dept of Education, Addison Greenwood (Ed), Sal Carrallo (PI). See also, Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction. ERIC Document No. ED 315–423
  18. ^"Research at Human Science Lab". Human Science Lab. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 
  19. ^Solomon, S.A. (2002) "Two Systems of Reasoning," in Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment, Govitch, Griffin, Kahneman (Eds), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-79679-8; Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making: The Method of Argument and Heuristic Analysis, Facione and Facione, 2007, California Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-891557-58-3
  20. ^Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning, p. 46
  21. ^Walsh, Catherine, M. (2007). "California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory: Further Factor Analytic Examination". SAGE. 104: 141–151. doi:10.2466/pms.104.1.141-151 – via SAGE. 
  22. ^Dewey, John. (1910). How we think. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Co.
  23. ^Walters, Kerry. (1994). Re-Thinking Reason. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  24. ^Critical Thinking FAQs from Oxford Cambridge and RSA ExaminationsArchived 11 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^"Cambridge International AS and A Level subjects". 
  26. ^"New GCEs for 2008", Assessment and Qualifications Alliance Archived 17 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^"Welcome to Al-Bairaq World". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  28. ^Lion Gardiner, Redesigning Higher Education: Producing Dramatic Gains in Student Learning, in conjunction with: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, 1995
  29. ^ abAbrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Waddington, D. I., Wade, C. A., & Persson, T. (2014). Strategies for Teaching Students to Think Critically: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 1–40
  30. ^Critical thinking is considered important in the academic fields because it enables one to analyze, evaluate, explain, and restructure their thinking, thereby decreasing the risk of adopting, acting on, or thinking with, a false belief.
  31. ^Lau, Joe; Chan, Jonathan. "[F08] Cognitive biases". Critical thinking web. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  32. ^"Critical Thinking, Moral Integrity and Citizenship". Criticalthinking.org. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  33. ^Catching the wave: understanding the concept of critical thinking (1999) doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1999.00925.x
  34. ^College of Nurses of Ontario – Professional Standards for Continuing Competencies (2006)
  35. ^"International Day for Tolerance . Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, Article 4, 3". UNESCO. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  36. ^ abGuiller, Jane; Durndell, Alan; Ross, Anne (2008). "Peer interaction and critical thinking: Face-to-face or online discussion?". Learning and Instruction. 18: 187–200. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.03.001. 
  37. ^ abNewman, D R; Webb, Brian; Cochrane, Clive (1995). "A content analysis method to measure critical thinking in face-to-face and computer supported group learning". Interpersonal Computing and Technology. 3 (September 1993): 56–77. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x. PMID 18352969. 
  38. ^Kuhn, D (1991). The skills of argument. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 
  39. ^Koenig, M A; Harris, P L (2005). "Preschoolers mistrust ignorant and inaccurate speakers". Child Development. 76: 1261–77. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00849.x. 
  40. ^Lutz, D J; Keil, F C (2002). "Early understanding of the division of cognitive labor". Child Development. 73: 1073–84. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00458. 
  41. ^Heyman, G D; Fu, G; Lee, K (2007). "Evaluating claims peoplemake about themselves: The development of skepticism". Child Development. 78: 367–75. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01003.x. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cederblom, J & Paulsen, D.W. (2006) Critical Reasoning: Understanding and criticizing arguments and theories, 6th edn. (Belmont, CA, ThomsonWadsworth).
  • College of Nurses of Ontario Professional Standards (2006) – Continuing Competencies
  • Damer, T. Edward. (2005) Attacking Faulty Reasoning, 6th Edition, Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-60516-8
  • Dauer, Francis Watanabe. Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Reasoning, 1989, ISBN 978-0-19-504884-1
  • Facione, P. 2007. Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts – 2007 Update
  • Fisher, Alec and Scriven, Michael. (1997) Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment, Center for Research in Critical Thinking (UK) / Edgepress (US). ISBN 0-9531796-0-5
  • Hamby, B.W. (2007) The Philosophy of Anything: Critical Thinking in Context. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque Iowa. ISBN 978-0-7575-4724-9
  • Vincent F. Hendricks. (2005) Thought 2 Talk: A Crash Course in Reflection and Expression, New York: Automatic Press / VIP. ISBN 87-991013-7-8
  • Kompf, M., & Bond, R. (2001). Critical reflection in adult education. In T. Barer-Stein & M. Kompf(Eds.), The craft of teaching adults (pp. 21–38). Toronto, ON: Irwin.
  • McPeck, J. (1992). Thoughts on subject specificity. In S. Norris (Ed.), The generalizability of critical thinking (pp. 198–205). New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Moore, Brooke Noel and Parker, Richard. (2012) Critical Thinking. 10th ed. Published by McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-803828-6.
  • Mulnix, J. W. (2010). "Thinking critically about critical thinking". Educational Philosophy and Theory. 44: 464–479. doi:10.1111/j.1469-5812.2010.00673.x. 
  • Paul, R (1982). "Teaching critical thinking in the strong sense: A focus on self-deception, world views and a dialectical mode of analysis". Informal Logic Newsletter. 4 (2): 2–7. 
  • Paul, Richard. (1995) Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World. 4th ed. Foundation for Critical Thinking. ISBN 0-944583-09-1.
  • Paul, Richard and Elder, Linda. (2006) Critical Thinking Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishing. ISBN 0-13-114962-8.
  • Paul, Richard; Elder, Linda. (2002) Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life. Published by Financial Times Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-064760-8.
  • Pavlidis, Periklis (2010). "Critical Thinking as Dialectics: a Hegelian–Marxist Approach". Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies. 8 (2). 
  • Sagan, Carl. (1995) The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-40946-9
  • Theodore Schick & Lewis Vaughn "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age" (2010) ISBN 0-7674-2048-9
  • Twardy, Charles R. (2003) Argument Maps Improve Critical Thinking. Teaching Philosophy 27:2 June 2004.
  • van den Brink-Budgen, R (2010) 'Critical Thinking for Students', How To Books. ISBN 978-1-84528-386-5
  • Whyte, J. (2003) Bad Thoughts – A Guide to Clear Thinking, Corvo. ISBN 0-9543255-3-2.
  • Zeigarnik, B.V. (1927). On finished and unfinished tasks. In English translation Edited by Willis D. Ellis ; with an introduction by Kurt Koffka. (1997). A source book of gestalt psychology xiv, 403 p. : ill. ; 22 cmHighland, N.Y: Gestalt Journal Press. "This Gestalt Journal Press edition is a verbatim reprint of the book as originally published in 1938" – T.p. verso. ISBN 9780939266302. OCLC 38755142

External links[edit]

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ePooki 14/2015

Tulosta julkaisu : : Lataa PDF : : Julkaisuun viittaaminen : : Näytä metatiedot

Critical Thinking: From Theory to Teaching

Metatiedot

Nimeke: Critical Thinking: From Theory to Teaching

Tekijä: Alatalo Sari

Aihe, asiasanat: koulutus, kriittinen ajattelu, oppiminen, opetus, Oulun ammattikorkeakoulu

Tiivistelmä: Thinking, including critical thinking, is indispensable to a person so that a person can base his or her decisions on solid reasoning and facts. Even so, to think critically requires more than just being critical; it requires skills and aptitude for applying the skills in practice. In addition, to become an advanced thinker, the skills need to be practiced, and for that classroom offers a natural venue.

Among numerous alternatives, Bloom’s taxonomy and Paul’s model provide two applicable frameworks for thinking. They can be consciously employed to practice critical thinking. The first one is a method for classifying the outcome of a thinking process. In turn, the second framework refers to a model of the elements of a thinking process.

The frameworks for thinking are examples of teachers’ tools to formulate instructional objectives involving critical thinking. With the help of these frameworks, well-designed questions and the ABCD model, a teacher can strive to ensure students engage themselves in critical thinking during lessons.

Julkaisija: Oulun ammattikorkeakoulu, Oamk

Aikamääre: Julkaistu 2015-06-02

Pysyvä osoite: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe201505279357

Kieli: englanti

Suhde: http://urn.fi/URN:ISSN:1798-2022, ePooki - Oulun ammattikorkeakoulun tutkimus- ja kehitystyön julkaisut

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Alatalo, S. 2015. Critical Thinking: From Theory to Teaching. ePooki. Oulun ammattikorkeakoulun tutkimus- ja kehitystyön julkaisut 14. Hakupäivä 11.3.2018. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe201505279357.

We all think. It’s an essential part of us being human beings. But critical thinking – why should we be concerned with it? Don’t we have enough people happy to criticize just about anything and everything? And how does critical thinking relate to teaching and learning? Relevant questions which will be discussed here. 

Given the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of critical thinking (from now on referred to as CT) by the U.S. Department of State, I was happy to take on the challenge. The E-Teacher Scholarship Program provided me with an opportunity to explore the concept of CT, a couple of frameworks for thinking, and the application of them to teaching. The process took the best part of my summer but the insights I had during the stifling summer days – and some nights – next to compensated anything I missed out while contemplating the art of questioning, or the incorporation of CT to lessons.

In the course, it became evident that rather than being about criticizing, critical thinking refers to fair-minded thinking which is aimed at reasoning at the highest level of quality . This fair-mindedness entails a thinking process in which the strengths and weaknesses of different points are considered . Without this ability, our thinking would be biased or, possibly, downright flawed. Thus, the skill of critical thinking is of great importance for everyone. Effectively, there are two components to CT: skills and habit of applying the skills .

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Paul’s Model: Brief Overview

Critical thinking is about skills but the core question is which skills. To this, various scientists offer various solutions. Some of them are offered in a form of a framework for thinking. After a thorough literature research, Mosley et al.  ended up introducing 41 frameworks of this nature. For practical reasons, it’s appropriate to focus on some of them even if it were highly beneficial to acquire some knowledge of all of them. In the E-Teacher Scholarship Program, two were selected to be more closely reviewed, namely Bloom’s revised taxonomy of educational objectives , and Paul’s model of critical thinking. 

For many teachers Bloom’s revised taxonomy with its six cognitive levels from simple to more complex (see Figure 1) is somewhat well-known as it has provided them with a tool for measuring thinking. There is also an older model of the taxonomy presented in figure 1. The taxonomy is a model of classifying thinking according to six cognitive levels of complexity. This taxonomy can be helpful for a teacher attempting to move students through a learning process. After all, it has been employed in the design of lesson plans to make them effective in terms of learning.

FIGURE 1. Six major categories in Bloom’s Taxonomy: old and revised versions Forehand, M. 2014. Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved October 5, 2014. http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/index.php?title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy

As for Paul’s model of critical thinking, it’s possibly not as renowned as Bloom’s taxonomy but it could offer just as functional a tool as Bloom’s taxonomy (see Figure 1). These two frameworks seem to take two differing approaches to thinking. Bloom’s taxonomy is about classifying the level of thinking behavior, for example thinking can be classified as being about remembering facts or about applying these facts into practice. On the other hand, Paul’s model illustrates the process of thinking behavior. 

Bloom’s taxonomy can be portrayed as a hierarchical system whereas Paul’s model can be depicted as a wheel. In this wheel the eight elements of thought, which are present in all thinking, are placed as in Figure 2. The idea is that a thinker can move back and forth between the elements . This is a model of a process that can be consciously employed in decision making to guide one’s thinking into a direction of CT.

FIGURE 2. Elements of thought as presented by Paul & Elder Paul, R. & Elder, L. 2012. Critical Thinking. Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.

Even though Bloom’s taxonomy and Paul’s model appear to represent different approaches to thinking, they have some features in common as both include cognitive and affective aspects. The cognitive aspect is related to knowledge, and the affective aspect is concerned with attitudes, emotions and feelings (see Table 1).

TABLE 1. Cognitive and affective aspects in Bloom’s Taxonomy and Paul’s Model

Aspect / FrameworkBloom's Taxonomy

Paul's Model

Cognitive

levels of thinking

 

24 cognitive strategies (e.g. evaluating the credibility of sources of information)

Affective

five categories: receiving, responding, valuing, organizing and characterizing 

nine affective strategies (e.g. developing intellectual humility and suspending judgement)

In Bloom’s taxonomy, the levels of thinking are related to the cognitive aspect. When it comes to Paul’s model, the concept of critical thinking is broken down into a list of 24 cognitive and nine affective strategies . These strategies seem to address the elements of thinking (see Figure 2) from the viewpoint of action, i.e. what is to be learned or practiced, for example strategy 16 states: evaluating the credibility of source of information.

As for Bloom’s taxonomy , there is an affective domain with pertinent levels of behavior, and these levels depict the way people relate themselves to the phenomena they encounter. The levels encompass five categories starting with the simplest (receiving) and gradually moving towards more complex (responding, valuing, organizing and characterizing) behavior. In effect, the constant effort to improve critical thinking refers to an advancement to a higher level in Bloom’s taxonomy and to a refinement of the thinking process depicted for example by Paul’s model.

Some Implications of Critical Thinking for Lessons 

Bloom’s taxonomy and Paul’s elements of thought might suggest the frameworks being rather theoretical. The challenge here is to translate these somewhat academic thoughts into instructional practice. In addition to the frameworks, there are some tools to do this, though. 

In his book Chuska claims that well-designed questions will initiate higher-level thinking. He favors, for example, the idea of teachers posing students fewer, yet higher-quality questions with more than one viable answer. The aim would be to solicit higher-level thinking in forms of students applying, reacting to, or reflecting on the content, or the topic of the lesson.

Still another applicable tool to form instructional objectives with at least some critical thinking is the ABCD model. This model can be helpful in forming well-structured objectives in classrooms. The letters in this abbreviation stand for the following elements : 

A for the intended audience, i.e. students, of this particular objective, 

B for the new behavior or capability the audience will possess after the task, 

C for the conditions under which the audience is going to carry out the task, and 

D for the degree, i.e. the criteria against which the success of the task will be assessed. 

All of the elements above should be embodied in a concise description of an instructional objective for a specific lesson.

In order for an objective to be a CT objective, all of the elements above should be included in a concise description of an instructional objective for a specific lesson.

The following example of an instructional objective relates to a lesson topic of work motivation and constitutes only a part of the 90-minute lesson. Albeit important, the cognitive objective is set aside for now and the focus is on the affective objective. Employing the ABCD model, an instructional objective could be formulated in the following way: 

Affective

Condition          Audience          Behavior          Degree

Discussing in pairs, studentswill be able to co-operate in order to determine the distinct features and viewpoints behind them fairly incorporating the relevant and justified ideas of participants into a joint analysis.

In the example of an affective objective, the audience is the students in the class. The behavior in this case refers to the capabilities the students will possess after the exercise, i.e. they will be able to co-operate with another person and incorporate differing ideas into one. This they will do in pairs which is the way they work and thus constitutes the condition. Students’ success will be assessed based on whether in their analysis they demonstrate any distinct features and viewpoints of the theories as well as both participants’ ideas to make it truly a joint analysis.

To be able to analyze an objective in this way makes it a critical thinking objective. An objective of this kind can also be analyzed in terms of Bloom’s taxonomy and Paul’s model. In this example, the objective targets some of Paul’s critical thinking strategies and some of the levels in Bloom’s taxonomy. In this case the affective strategies targeted in this objective were S-3 Exercising Fairmindedness and S-5 Developing Intellectual Humility and Suspending Judgement. In Bloom’s taxonomy, the affective levels targeted in this objective were responding to others’ thoughts and organizing ideas.

There is obviously a lot more to designing this kind of teaching.  Firstly, to relate this to the frameworks for thinking, the following factors need to be determined: levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and CT strategies the activity aims to target. And secondly, assessment of the activity is yet another dimension to be thought out prior to the lesson. 

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