Critical Thinking Blog

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The highly formal, top-down, methods of teaching brittle content do not work as methods of teaching for critical thinking.

The highly formal, top-down, methods of teaching brittle content do not work as methods of teaching for critical thinking.

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Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions to the best of your ability.

For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them.

As a principal at Measured Reasons LLC, a consulting firm supporting excellence in strategic thinking and leadership decision-making, he leads workshops, executive coaching sessions and speaks at conferences and conventions.

Facione recently spoke at the the 9 Annual Critical Thinking and Innovative Education Conference.

This recounting of the 50-year journey to define, teach, and measure critical thinking begins at the end, with assessment.

Empirical data show there are large differences between critical thinking skills even in fairly homogeneous samples, like college students.

“Everything is at risk if we don’t all learn to think more critically.” If people cannot think critically, he explains, they not only lessen their prospects of climbing the ladder in their respective industries, but they also become easily susceptible to things like fraud and manipulation.

With that in mind, you’re likely wondering what you can do to make sure you’re not one of those people.

Teachers who describe accurately their own thinking process, talking about how they analyze, interpret, explain, and evaluate reflectively, are able to model the positive habits of mind as they demonstrate the skills.

To teach for critical thinking, no matter what the subject matter is or the age of the students, effective instructors can be found doing these five things: Having shared assessment data and identified effective teaching strategies, the story comes full circle with the Expert Consensus Definition of Critical Thinking which grounds all of our assessment instruments: Critical thinking is the process of purposeful reflective judgment which manifests itself in reasoned consideration of evidence, context, methods, standards, and conceptualizations in order to decide what to believe or what to do. Peter Facione, Ph D is the Founder and Senior Researcher at Insight Assessment, the provider of critical thinking assessments and development programs for more than 30 years.


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