The Power Of Problem Based Learning In Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Traditional methods such as rote learning and memorization in teaching science create passive students in science classrooms.

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From this ancient Greek tradition emerged the need, for anyone who aspired to understand the deeper realities, to think systematically, to trace implications broadly and deeply, for only thinking that is comprehensive, well-reasoned, and responsive to objections can take us beyond the surface.) who to ensure his thinking met the test of critical thought, always systematically stated, considered, and answered all criticisms of his ideas as a necessary stage in developing them.

Aquinas heightened our awareness not only of the potential power of reasoning but also of the need for reasoning to be systematically cultivated and "cross-examined." Of course, Aquinas’ thinking also illustrates that those who think critically do not always reject established beliefs, only those beliefs that lack reasonable foundations.

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He also called attention to the fact that most people, if left to their own devices, develop bad habits of thought (which he called "idols") that lead them to believe what is false or misleading.

He called attention to "Idols of the tribe" (the ways our mind naturally tends to trick itself), "Idols of the market-place" (the ways we misuse words), "Idols of the theater" (our tendency to become trapped in conventional systems of thought), and "Idols of the schools" (the problems in thinking when based on blind rules and poor instruction).In his book , he argued for the importance of studying the world empirically.He laid the foundation for modern science with his emphasis on the information-gathering processes.He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief.He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done as well.In the Renaissance (15th and 16th Centuries), a flood of scholars in Europe began to think critically about religion, art, society, human nature, law, and freedom.They proceeded with the assumption that most of the domains of human life were in need of searching analysis and critique.His implicit thesis was that established social systems are in need of radical analysis and critique.The critical thinking of these Renaissance and post-Renaissance scholars opened the way for the emergence of science and for the development of democracy, human rights, and freedom for thought.Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking, namely, to reflectively question common beliefs and explanations, carefully distinguishing those beliefs that are reasonable and logical from those which — however appealing they may be to our native egocentrism, however much they serve our vested interests, however comfortable or comforting they may be — lack adequate evidence or rational foundation to warrant our belief.Socrates’ practice was followed by the critical thinking of Plato (who recorded Socrates’ thought), Aristotle, and the Greek skeptics, all of whom emphasized that things are often very different from what they appear to be and that only the trained mind is prepared to see through the way things look to us on the surface (delusive appearances) to the way they really are beneath the surface (the deeper realities of life).

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