As with any system, critical thinking is not just a random series of characteristics or components.
All of its components — its elements, principles, standards and values — form an integrated, working network that can be applied effectively not only to academic learning, but to learning in every dimension of living.
We present examples of student thinking that demonstrate critical and uncritical thinking as we define those terms. particularly in those areas that require higher-order thinking . Second Finding: Textbooks in this country typically pay scant attention to big ideas, offer no analysis, and pose no challenging questions.
In other chapters, we identify approaches to teaching critical thinking that are flawed, and explain why they undermine the success of those who attempt to use them. Moreover, in international comparisons, American students are falling behind . Instead, they provide a tremendous array of information or ‘factlets,’ while they ask questions requiring only that students be able to recite back the same empty list.
Critical thinking implies a fundamental, overriding goal for education in school and in the workplace: always to teach so as to help students improve their own thinking.
As students learn to take command of their thinking and continually to improve its quality, they learn to take command of their lives, continually improving the quality of their lives.There is nothing more common than evaluation in the everyday world but for sound evaluation to take place, one must establish relevant standards, gather appropriate evidence, and judge the evidence in keeping with the standards.There are appropriate standards for the assessment of thinking and there are specific ways to cultivate the learning of them.It is essential, of course, that the reader becomes clear about the concept, including its translation into cases, for otherwise she is apt to mis-translate the concept or fail to see its relevance in a wide variety of circumstances.The danger of misunderstanding and mis-application is touched upon in this chapter at the end, but is developed at great length in another chapter, “Pseudo Critical Thinking in the Educational Establishment” (p. Effectively evaluating our own thinking and the thinking of others is a habit few of us practice.These standards guide the divers in each practice session, in each effort off the board.Without these criteria and standards, how would the diver and the judges know what was excellent and what was marginal?The goal of this chapter is to set out clearly what critical thinking is in general and how it plays itself out in a variety of domains: in reading, in writing, in studying academic subjects, and on the job.Richard Paul and Jane Willsen provide down-to-earth examples that enable the reader to appreciate both the most general characteristics of critical thinking and their specific manifestations on the concrete level.Mary Kennedy reports the findings on the opposite page in the Phi Delta Kappan, May, 1991, in an article entitled, “Policy Issues in Teaching Education.”How can we improve our thinking without effective evaluation practices?Can we learn how to evaluate our thinking and reasoning objectively?