Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: T T T Critical Thinking:
Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: T T T Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is essential to effective learning and productive living. Would you share your definition of critical thinking?
First, since critical thinking can be defined in a number of different ways consistent with each other, we should not put a lot of weight on any one definition.
Definitions are at best scaffolding for the mind. With this qualification in mind, here is a bit of scaffolding: Two things are crucial: To put it briefly, it is self-improvement in thinking through standards that assess thinking.
Could you give me an example? Certainly, one of the most important distinctions that teachers need to routinely make, and which takes disciplined thinking to make, is that between reasoning and subjective reaction.
If we are trying to foster quality thinking, we don't want students simply to assert things; we want them to try to reason things out on the basis of evidence and good reasons.
Often, teachers are unclear about this basic difference. Many teachers are apt to take student writing or speech which is fluent and witty or glib and amusing as good thinking. They are often unclear about the constituents of good reasoning. Hence, even though a student may just be asserting things, not reasoning things out at all, if she is doing so with vivacity and flamboyance, teachers are apt to take this to be equivalent to good reasoning.
This was made clear in a recent California state-wide writing assessment in which teachers and testers applauded a student essay, which they said illustrated "exceptional achievement" in reasoned evaluation, an essay that contained no reasoning at all, that was nothing more than one subjective reaction after another.
See "Why Students-and Teachers-Don't Reason Well" The assessing teachers and testers did not notice that the student failed to respond to the directions, did not support his judgment with reasons and evidence, did not consider possible criteria on which to base his judgment, did not analyze the subject in the light of the criteria, and did not select evidence that clearly supported his judgment.
The result was, by the way, that a flagrantly mis-graded student essay was showcased nationally in ASCD's Developing Mindssystematically misleading theor so teachers who read the publication. Could this possibly be a rare mistake, not representative of teacher knowledge?
I don't think so. Let me suggest a way in which you could begin to test my contention. If you are familiar with any thinking skills programs, ask someone knowledgeable about it the "Where's the beef?
Namely, "What intellectual standards does the program articulate and teach? And then when you explain what you mean, I think you will find that the person is not able to articulate any such standards.
Thinking skills programs without intellectual standards are tailor-made for mis-instruction. For example, one of the major programs asks teachers to encourage students to make inferences and use analogies, but is silent about how to teach students to assess the inferences they make and the strengths and weaknesses of the analogies they use.
This misses the point. The idea is not to help students to make more inferences but to make sound ones, not to help students to come up with more analogies but with more useful and insightful ones.ANSWERS TO SELECTED EXERCISES CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THINKING No answers are given for the exercises in chapter one.
These exercises are best used as the focus of essays and discussions to. Hence, critical thinking is not a set of skills separable from excellence in communication, problem solving, creative thinking, or collaborative learning, nor is it indifferent to one's sense of self-worth.
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Get FREE 7-day instant eTextbook access! Hence, critical thinking is not a set of skills separable from excellence in communication, problem solving, creative thinking, or collaborative learning, nor is it indifferent to one's sense of self-worth.
Learn critical thinking chapter 3 with free interactive flashcards. Choose from different sets of critical thinking chapter 3 flashcards on Quizlet. The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Fifth Edition, explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating important topics that most other texts leave out, such as "inference to the best explanation," scientific reasoning, evidence and authority, visual reasoning, and obstacles to critical thinking.