Standardized tests have been developed to assess the degree to which a person possesses such dispositions and abilities.
Educational intervention has been shown experimentally to improve them, particularly when it includes dialogue, anchored instruction, and mentoring.
Critical thinking is a widely accepted educational goal.
Its definition is contested, but the competing definitions can be understood as differing conceptions of the same basic concept: careful thinking directed to a goal.
: “The other day, when I was down town on 16th Street, a clock caught my eye. This suggested that I had an engagement at 124th Street, at one o'clock. If not, I might lose more than twenty minutes in looking for one.
I reasoned that as it had taken me an hour to come down on a surface car, I should probably be twenty minutes late if I returned the same way. Then I thought of the elevated, and I saw there was such a line within two blocks. If it were several blocks above or below the street I was on, I should lose time instead of gaining it.In 1987, the APA’s Committee on Pre-College Philosophy commissioned a consensus statement on critical thinking for purposes of educational assessment and instruction (Facione 1990a).Researchers have developed standardized tests of critical thinking abilities and dispositions; for details, see the Supplement on Assessment.It suggested a flagpole when I first saw it; its color, shape, and gilded ball agreed with this idea, and these reasons seemed to justify me in this belief. The pole was nearly horizontal, an unusual position for a flagpole; in the next place, there was no pulley, ring, or cord by which to attach a flag; finally, there were elsewhere on the boat two vertical staffs from which flags were occasionally flown.It seemed probable that the pole was not there for flag-flying.(b) Possibly it was the terminal of a wireless telegraph. Besides, the more natural place for such a terminal would be the highest part of the boat, on top of the pilot house.(c) Its purpose might be to point out the direction in which the boat is moving.In the 1930s, many of the schools that participated in the Eight-Year Study of the Progressive Education Association (Aikin 1942) adopted critical thinking as an educational goal, for whose achievement the study’s Evaluation Staff developed tests (Smith, Tyler, & Evaluation Staff 1942).Glaser (1941) showed experimentally that it was possible to improve the critical thinking of high school students.Controversies have arisen over the generalizability of critical thinking across domains, over alleged bias in critical thinking theories and instruction, and over the relationship of critical thinking to other types of thinking.active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends.