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From the cognitive scientist’s point of view, the mental activities that are typically called critical thinking are actually a subset of three types ofthinking:reasoning, making judgments and decision
Critical reasoning, decision making, andproblem solving
Critical thinking is effective in that it avoids common pitfalls,such asseeing only one side of an issue,discounting new evidencethat disconfirms your ideas,reasoning from passion rather than logic,failing to support statements with evidence, and so on
Solving a complex but familiar physics problem by applying a multi-step algorithm isn’t critical thinking because you are really drawing on memory to solve the problem
But devising a new algorithm is critical thinking.
When a student reads a word problem, her mind interprets the problem in light of her prior knowledge,
The student is unlikely to read the problem and think of it in terms of its deep structure—using the least common multiple. The surface structure of the problem is overt, but the deep structure of the problem is not.
Thus, people fail to use the first problem to help them solve the second: In their minds, the first was about vegetables in a garden and the second was about rows of band marchers.
1,2,3,4 Can say 5,6,7,8But it is difficult to sayA B C ?
If knowledge of how to solve a problem never transferred to problems with new surface structures, schooling would be inefficient
When one is very familiar with a problem’s deep structure, knowledge about how to solve it transfers well. That familiarity can come from long-term, repeated experience with one problem, or with various manifestations of one type of problem (i.e., many problems that have different surface structures, but the same deep structure).After repeated exposure to either or both, the subject simply perceives the deep structure as part of the problem description
It takes a good deal of practice with a problem type before students know it well enough to immediately recognize its deep structure, irrespective of the surface structure
V= U +at, V2= U2+ 2aS, S=ut+ ½ a t2Can it be used the situation
The ability to think critically depends on having adequate content knowledge;
A set of critical thinking skills that can be applied and practiced across content domains.They are designed to supplement regular curricula, not to replace them,Case studies/ Problem based learning
Helping students become better at regulating their thoughts was one of the goals of the critical thinking programs that were popular 20 years ago.
These programs are not very effective. Their modest benefit is likely due to teaching students to effectively use metacognitive strategies. Students learn to avoid biases that most of us are prey to when we think,
Only seeking evidence that confirms one’s beliefs, ignoring countervailing evidence, overconfidence, and others.
a student who has been encouraged many times to see both sides of an issue, for example, is probably more likely to spontaneously think
Knowing that one should think critically is not the same as being able to do so. That requires domain knowledge and practice.
But substantial improvement requires a great deal of practice. Unfortunately, because critical thinking curricula include many different types of problems, students typically don’t get enough practice with any one type of problem
Teaching students to think critically probably lies in large part in enabling them to deploy the right type of thinking at the right time.
Use the proper reasoning processes on problems that seem similar.For example, consider a type of reasoning about cause and effect that is very important in science: conditional probabilities.
Understanding and using conditional probabilities is essential to scientific thinking because it is so important in reasoning about what causes what.But people’s success in thinking this way depends on the particulars of how the question is presented.Studies show that adults sometimes use conditional probabilities successfully, but fail to do so with many problems that call for it.
“Teaching content alone is not likely to lead to proficiency in science, nor is engaging in inquiry experiences devoid of meaningful science content.”Case studies/ projects/ research/ portfolio/ presentations
To deploy the right type of thinking at the right time.
Subjects who started with more and better integrated knowledge planned more informative experiments and made better use of experimental outcomes.
The idea that scientific thinking must be taught hand in hand with scientific content is further supported by research on scientific problem solving; that is, when students calculate an answer to a textbook-like problem, rather than design their own experiment.
Prior knowledge and beliefs not only influence which hypotheses one chooses to test, they influence how one interprets data from an experiment.In one experiment, undergraduates were evaluated for their knowledge of electrical circuits. Then they participated in three weekly, 1.5-hour sessions during which they designed and conducted experiments using a computer simulation of circuitry, with the goal of learning how circuitry works.The results showed a strong relationship between subjects’ initial knowledge and how much subjects learned in future sessions, in part due to how the subjects interpreted the data from the experiments they had conducted
Further ReadingCrit_Thinking.pdf
Critical Thinking in Higher Education
EbscoHost: searches a wide range of magazines, many full-text, peer reviewed;􀁸InfotracOne File: master file of academic, general, and business periodicals;􀁸Lexis-Nexis: searches news, business, legal, medical, and general reference;􀁸ProQuest: includes many professional business and general reference periodicals and newspapers;􀁸Sage: 1.Full-text Communication Studies 2.Full-text Criminology 3.FulltextPolitical Science and 4. Full-text Sociology;􀁸Wilson Web: Full-text, abstract, and index databases for education and social sciences.
These students agreed that theirfavorite, most memorable teachers were demanding—insisting on high standards. Acker states there are no set rules for being an effective educator; however, most “good” teachers:􀁸possess a passion for teaching,􀁸relate to what the students already know,
are challenging, but caring,􀁸inspire students,􀁸are organized and knowledgeable,􀁸ask important questions that encourage critical thinking andproblem solving,􀁸desire that students learn by discovery, not recall.
Discussions, debates, and guided questioning are some of the techniques used in business courses to classify and evaluate the enormous amounts of information available.Instructors need to provide active learning activities to helpstudents practice critical thinking.Transferring these skills from one class or discipline to another is a worthwhile goal. Students can be taught to identify problems and classify the information to make intelligent decisions.The business curriculum needs to clearly state the critical thinking skills that are being taught and assess the improvement of these skills
Educators across time have disagreed on the definition of critical thinking.Socrates, Plato, and Aristotleencouraged students to realize that things were often not what they seemed to be.Deweyproposed that “critical thinking involved the suspension of judgment and healthyskepticism.”Ennisargued that students need assistance to be reflective, reasonableandshouldbe directed on what to believe or do.A panel of experts, the Delphi Project, determined this definition (in part): ”We understand critical thinking to bea purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference as well as explanation ofthe evidential conceptual methodological,criteriological, or contextual considerationsupon which that judgment was based.
Are critical thinking skills increased in an introductory level college leadership course that encourages active learning?”The Watson- Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA form B) was used to collect data from 80 students at a Midwestern university.Pre- and post-assessment tests revealed that active learning techniques appear to increase critical thinking.
All content must be “reasoned through” to be learned.􀁸All reasoning involves predictable parts or elements.􀁸All elements of high quality reasoning presuppose universal intellectual standards.
Critical thinking helps students learn that the ideologies of all groups, even our “own,” must beanalyzedand assessed.By questioning different viewpoints, students can develop the intellectual integrity needed to evaluate the reasoning of others.
Students needinstruction, as well as the(2)dispositionto use these skills.Halpern proposes a four-part model to teach critical thinking—which includes the two parts mentioned as well as(3) structure trainingto help students recognize when a certain thinking skill is needed and(4)metacognitive monitoringor the ability to reflect on thinking processes.
Help studentsanalyzethe logic of articles, essays, or chapters.Each template consists of eight questions asking themain purpose, the key question, the most important information, the main references or conclusions, the key idea, the main assumptions of the material, the implications, and the main point of view.By using these templates when reading an article or chapter, students will better understand critical thinking as a process that enables them to identify and evaluate information.Specifically, a critical thinking approach to reading equips students to know:􀁸how toanalyzethe logic of an article, essay, or chapter􀁸how to figure out the logic of a textbook􀁸how to evaluate an author’s reasoning.
From the beginning, the students were encouraged to share experiences and get to know one another.Newspaper articles about environmental issues sparked discussions. One picture of a child on the beach resulted in many descriptions—some students felt joy, some sadness that the child was alone, some wondered if the water were too polluted for swimming.The class paired off and shared their thoughts about the pictures. By the end of the first class, students had “given a brief oral report, written a short paper, reflected on why they chose the class, thought about who they were and what they valued, and made newfriends.”
Environmental studies
Critical teachers need to keep up the spirit of critique by pushing for change and challenging the power structures between teachers and students, even if that means that we, the instructors, are sometimes the enemy.
A series of questions were provided to students who started with an idea, gathered research based publications, read the literature and evaluated the literature. Critical thinking skills were developed while evaluating the research literature, as well as inductive and deductive logic reasoning skills.
Students were encouraged to print only relevant information so as to conserve paper.They were also taught correct citing of an Internet source using APA guidelines.Various sets of questions were provided for Internet sources, popular sources, trade magazines, proceedings of meetings of professional associations, scholarly journals in the student’s field of study and those scholarly journals outside the student’s field of study, as well as theses and dissertations
Student evaluation of the OBESAQ included these questions:What elements increased your knowledge and /or understanding?What elements of this course need improvement?
This method was found to promote more active learning and emphasize writing skills.Thus it would appear that open-book exams and student authored exam questions seem to cultivate critical thinking.
Critical thinking in teacher education could potentially increase society’s effectiveness in addressing national and international problems sounds far-fetched when first heard,The lack of critical thinking within teacher education could certainly have a negative effect on problem solving.New approaches need to be consistent and start at an early age.ReadCritical Thinking in Higher Education Annotated bibliography
Thinking skills, or cognitive skills, are, in large part, things you do with knowledge.Things like analysing, evaluating, synthesising, inferring, conjecturing, justifying, categorising and many other terms describe your cognitive events at a particular functional level.
Students can learn just by hearing about them.They need to be given experiences in which they are required to do them. The cognitive skills involve a learninghow, not just a learningthat.
Students can use such feedback by teacher reflectively and internalise this advice to develop their own autonomous systems of evaluation.Metacognition is therefore a necessary condition for students to improve their thinking.
Moving our educational focus from knowledge to inquiry allows for the development of effective thinking.Inquiry requires students to build strong cognitive skills that extend beyond simple recall or application of learned procedures into genuine critical thinking.
To develop a deep understanding of the foundations of critical thinking involves a long-term approach to learning and applying those foundations.
function to heighten the awareness of faculty to the challenge of bringing critical thinking substantively into instruction,2)provide some strategies for up-grading the effectiveness of instruction, and3)lay a foundation for follow-up workshops
skilled reading, writing, speaking, and listeningskilled reasoning within all subject areasskilled decision-making and problem-solvingskilled analysis and evaluation of one’s emotions and valuesintelligent choices in human relationshipsskilled civic and personal choices
form a basic concept of critical thinking, understanding in general why it is essential to the mastery of content and effective day-to-day problem solvingform a basic concept of the affective and cognitive principles & strategies essential to critical teachingpractice using critical thinking in the solution of some everyday problems as well as in the redesign of instructional units.
form a basic concept of the interrelation of doubting, questioning, and learning, and a general understanding of why it is essential to question in order to master content and discipline the mindform a basic concept of the kinds of questioning strategies that foster the simultaneous development of disciplined thinking and learningform a basic concept of how to question students so that they, in turn, analytically question what they read, write, think, and believeProgram Description: The session begins with a general introduction into the interrelation of doubting, questioning, and learning and why it is essential to doubt and question in order to master content and discipline the mind.
Critical Thinking and the Process of Assessment
Introduction to AssessmentParticipants are introduced to the fundamental logic of all assessment: its contrast with subjective preference, its basis in assessment goals, the requirement of objective facts, relevant criteria, valid reasoning, and a fair application of criteria to data. A checklist for all assessment is developed.II. Critical Thinking Tests & The Improvement of InstructionThe common features, advantages, and disadvantages of available critical thinking tests are presented and discussed. A case is made for the use of an essay test (such as that available from the InternationalCenterfor the Assessment of Thinking) suitable to intradisciplinary as well as interdisciplinary testing of critical thinking. The speaker demonstrates how a testing program can be devised which is coordinated with faculty development, in-house student and programmatic assessment, and a long range instructional improvement plan.
III. Teaching Students to Assess Each Other's WorkEmphasis is placed on the theory which aims directly at teaching students how to assess each other's work. It is based on years of classroom experimentation and experience (on the part of presenters) with faculty models aimed at student assessment
Critical Thinking, Socratic Questioning, and AssessmentSystematic questioning and self-assessment are crucial not only to critical thinking but to effective teaching and learning as well. This think tank will focus on combining Socratic questioning sessions with practice in peer and group assessment.Participants will learn how to design instruction so that Socratic questioning plays a significant role in learning and so that students, as well as instructors, initiate and use it.Participants will also learn how to facilitate students learning how to assess their own work and that of their peers.
Begin with a QuestionThis is the simplest foray into critical thinking.What do you want to explore and discuss?It shouldn’t be a question you can answer with a‘yes’ or a ‘no.’
2. Create a FoundationStudents cannot think critically if they do not have the informationthey need. Begin any critical thinking exercise with a review ofrelated information. This ensures they can recall facts pertinent tothe topic. These may stem from things like:reading assignments and other homeworkprevious lessons or critical thinking exercisesa video or text
3. Consult the ClassicsGreat literary works boast challenging narratives and deepcharacterization.They are a perfect launch pad for critical thinking.Use them for specific lessons on character motivation, plotpredictions, and theme.
4. Creating a CountryHow does one create a country from scratch? This could be greatproject-based learning scenario.It requires sufficient research to discover what actually“makes” acountry. In the process students learn history, geography, politics,and more.
5. Use Information FluencyPart of critical thinking is knowing when to pursue and when to discard information.Students must learn to amass the appropriate knowledge to inform that thinking.Teaching critical thinking skills can be supported by an understanding ofInformation Fluency
6. Utilize Peer Groups
7. Try One SentenceTry this exercise: form groups of 8-10 students.Instruct each student to write one sentence describing a topic on a piece of paper.The student then passes the paper to the next student.The next student will add their understanding of the next step in a single sentence.This time, though, that student folds the paper down to cover their sentence.Now only their sentence is visible, and no other.
8. Problem-SolvingAssigning a specific problem is one of the best avenues forteaching critical thinking skills.Leave the goal or “answer” open-ended for the widest possibleapproach.This is the essence of asking essential questions that have noeasy answer.It requires discovery and synthesis of knowledge through criticalthinking.
9. Return to RoleplayingRoleplaying has always been an excellent method for exercisingcritical thinking.It involves inhabiting another persona and it’s characteristics.It’s the main reason why actors do tireless research for their roles.Becoming someone else calls upon stretching both your analyticaland creative mind.
10. Speaking With Sketch
11. Prioritize It
12. Change Their MisconceptionsCritical thinking involves intensive work and concentration.Students should be left to themselves for much of the process.That said, it can be helpful to step in partway through their process.You can do this to correct misconceptions or assumptions.
Teaching critical thinkingCritical thinking, as it pertains to teaching and learning,can be considered an open-minded process ofdiscovery and understandinganalysis and applicationsynthesis and evaluation
Additional readingsCritical thinking in higher educationDefining Critical Thinking in Higher EducationTeaching critical thinking skillsWay to promote critical thinking in higher education





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