Foundations of Critical Thinking

Critical C iti l Thinking Thi ki
What is It? Why y is it Important? p How Does it Improve Teaching and Learning?



Student Thi ki Thinking


John Henry Newman A man may y hear a thousand lectures.” . It must not be passively received. but actually and actively entered into. embraced. and read a thousand volumes. and be at the end of the process very y much where he was. mastered. as regards g knowledge. g Something more than merely admitting it in a negative g way y into the mind is necessary y if it is to remain there. The mind must go halfhalf-way to meet what comes to it from without.

ll f from th the M Magnificant ifi t A Ambersons b (1918)} .Booth Tarkington. i in i three h or f four days d and d nights i h h he could get into his head enough of a selected fragment of f some scientific i ifi or philosophical hil hi l or li literary or linguistic subject to reply plausibly to six questions out of f ten. and leave him undisturbed.” On O what h t George G Amberson A b h had dl learned di in college. He H could ld retain i the h i information f i necessary for f such a feat just long enough to give a successful performance. i ’ that h is. f then h i it would ld evaporate utterly l f from his hi brain. g author “He had learned how to pass examinations by ‘ ‘cramming’.

Circle – Dots .

and let them be thrown into every combination possible.Whitehead. ideas not illuminated with any spark of vitality.” . Let the main ideas which hi h are i introduced d di into a child’s hild’ education d i be few and important. The Aims of Education “The The result of teaching small parts of a large number of subjects is the passive reception of disconnected ideas.

. The discovery which he has to make k is that general ideas d give an understanding of that stream of events which pours through his life. the child should sho ld experience e perience the joy jo of discovery.“The child should make them his own. life From the very beginning of his education.” . and should understand their application here and now in the circumstances of his actual life.

time .Typical yp student beliefs. All I need to do is the absolute absol te minimum minim m to get an A. Cheating to get by is fine because all I need is the piece of paper (the college degree) to get a job anyway.  Learning should be fun. I shouldn’t have to waste my y time learning g anything y g I can’t use. A Learning means doing what the teacher says.        Learning should be easy. I believe that learning biology is a waste of my time. If I do what the teacher says. that’s all that matters.

Three Types of “Knowledge” Knowledge    Inert Information A i Activated dI Ignorance Activated Knowledge .

Critical thinking is the way you doCritical everything you do Thinking Something you add onto everything else Rather The Way You Do Everything You Do .

but an accumulation of f facts is i no more science i than h a pile il of f bricks is a house!” .Poincare “Science Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks.

Content is:       Understood by thinking Constructed by thinking M difi d by Modified b thinking hi ki Applied by thinking Questioned by thinking Assessed by thinking .

to learn content students have to think it into their h i thinking hi ki using i their h i thinking.Therefore. .

Critical thinking provides the t l students tools t d t need d to t think thi k through content. hi ki . Critical thinking is a system of thinking that opens up all other h systems of f thinking.

What is Critical Thinking? .

What is Critical Thinking? Thin ing?
To be clear in writing: 1) state 2) elaborate (In other words…) 3) exemplify and/or illustrate

Write your understanding of critical thinking thinking, in this form: 1) ) 2) 3) Critical thinking is ….. In other words… For example …

Critical Thinking is a self self-directed process b which by hi h we take k

deliberate steps
to think at the highest level of quality.

Read, write hear etc

Read It

Write It

Hear It

Substantive Learning

Draw It

Teach It

Apply It

Critical thinking is the way you doCritical everything you do Thinking Something you add onto everything else Rather The Way You Do Everything You Do .

self-guided thinking aimed at living g a rational life.Overview slide Thinking that analyzes thinking Thinking that assesses thinking critical i i l thinking: hi ki di i li d disciplined. thinking hi ki that h combats its native egocentricity Thinking that develops within itself intellectual habits .

VirtuesElements Standards .

p . Person A Person B. aloud then states in his/her own words what has been read. merely interpret. Person A then either agrees with the interpretation or offers a different interpretation. together using the following method: a Person B reads one sentence aloud. b. B Critically read page 2 together. . do not critique q what you y are reading. During g this process. . a. adds to the interpretation. c. Concepts and Tools mini mini-guide. p . person p B interprets p the sentence. A. etc. In other words.Why Critical Thinking? Work in pairs.

. . f.d Person B then reads the second sentence. each person reading and interpreting p g two sentences. until the entire page is read. d. g. Person A then takes the next two sentences. Take turns reading and interpreting using this method. using the same method method. one sentence at a time. e. p g. getting feedback from person B. interpreting. then switching g roles. reading. sentence and the same process occurs.

Thinking that analyzes. spontaneous thinking.Red/green thinking Red Thinking: Higher order executive f ti i functioning. automatic. Green Thinking: Instinctive. Unconsciously guided . assesses and improves green Thinking.

. mode Green thinking goes without assessing itself. . as well as nonsense.Green Thinking Unconscious Mixture Of High Quality And Low Quality Thinking Spontaneous Impulsive Reflexive fl Subconscious Self protecting Self lf validating ld Uncontrolled Unanalyzed Includes ideas that are valid. confusion. stereotypes. . The key is that we cannot distinguish the difference between high and low quality thought in green thinking mode. prejudices. .

Disciplined Critical Thinking g Seeks the truth Self correcting g Self assessing Probing g In red thinking mode. . dysfunctional thinking from our thinking. We actively work on our thinking. biases. we actively work to eliminate prejudices.Red Thinking Red Thinking stops and assesses itself before going forward. We rigorously apply intellectual standards to our thinking.

Trap or free Your Thinking can either Trap You Free Y You Hold y you Hostage within uncritically held beliefs Open your mind to new ways y of thinking .

LOGIC OF Instruction Student Thi ki Thinking Content .

Circle – Dots .

All I need to do is the absolute absol te minimum minim m to get an A.        Learning should be easy. that’s all that matters. I shouldn’t have to waste my y time learning g anything y g I can’t use.  Learning should be fun. A Learning means doing what the teacher says. If I do what the teacher says. Cheating to get by is fine because all I need is the piece of paper (the college degree) to get a job anyway. time . I believe that learning biology is a waste of my time.Typical yp student beliefs.

The critical thinking mind is the educated mind The Critical Thinking Mind = The Educated Mind .

To Learn Anything. We Must Actively Bring It Into Our Thinking .

In other words… For example … . in this form: 1) ) 2) 3) Critical thinking is ….The Test: Wh i What is C Critical i i l Thi Thinking? ki ? To be clear in writing: 1) state 2) elaborate (In other words…) 3) exemplify and/or illustrate Write your understanding of critical thinking thinking..

What do you know about thinking? What do you know about the connection between thinking and learning? .

for example example. What have you learned about how you think? Did y you ever study y your y thinking? g What information do you have have. about the intellectual processes that occur as your mind thinks?   .

or reconstruct your thinking?  Where does your thinking come from?  How much of it is of “good” good quality?  How much of it is of “poor” quality?  .What do you know about how to analyze. analyze evaluate.

in control of your thinking? g How do you control your thinking? Do you know how to test it? Do you have any conscious standards for d determining i i when h you are thinking hi ki well ll and d when you are thinking poorly? . in any real sense.    Are you.

about thinking. Have you ever discovered a significant pr bl m in problem i your r thi thinking ki and d th then changed h d it by a conscious act of will? If anyone asked you to teach them what you have learned. would you really have any idea what that was or how you learned it?  . thus far in your life.


Why concern ourselves with thinking? .

Wh Whenever we are d dealing li with ith human life life. . we are almost always dealing with thinking.

.Thinking is the way that the mind makes sense of the world.

There is no way to understand anything except through thinking. g .

Thinking tells us:        what there is what is happening what our problems are what our options are what threatens us what is important what h t is i unimportant i p rt t      who our friends are who our enemies are what our “history” history is who we are who loves us .

Thinking determines:          what we learn how we learn what we think is important to learn what effort we should expend what we think is true what we think is false how things should be viewed whether our learning is of high or low quality whether our learning is deep or superficial .

want. believe. fear and hope for. our thinking tells us.Everything y g we know. .

Most of the world’s problems p are caused by problems in human thinking hi ki .

Consider these problems         Humiliation Hunger Poverty Homelessness Torture Murder R Rape Global Warming .

See if you can identify the thinking that leads to the behavior.Think of some problem behavior your students engage in. .

When we place thinking at the center of instruction:    we approach students as thinkers we continually seek to connect the content we are teaching to the thinking of students – illuminating how and why the content is important to them as thinkers we design d i i instruction i so that h students d h have to think their way into and through the content. .

Thinking is at the core of human life and human p problems .

Therefore thinking g must be at the core of f the h curriculum .

p ob e . For each problem bl you id identify. make a list of any y problems p you y believe currently y exist with your y thinking. If I adequate adequately y add addressed essed this t s problem. Try to be as explicit as possible. tif complete l t the th following f ll i statements: 1 One problem with my thinking is… 1. the t e quality of my life would improve in the following ways… . This is a problem because… 3. The more problems you identify the better. is 2.Think for Yourself: 11-1 Beginning to Think About Your Thinking     To begin to think about your thinking.

my thinking is probably of low quality…  List at least three areas for each of the above. in dealing with your emotions. but not terrible either… 3. I believe my thinking across all domains of my life is of ______________ quality. in figuring out complex situations. . . in planning your life. I based this judgment on _________________. I think very well… 2. my y thinking g is OK. in intimate relationships. as a writer. Complete p these statements:  Right now. not great. in teaching. In the following areas. 1. g . in personal p relationships. as a reader.Think for Yourself: 11-2 Cii Critique Y Your Thi Thinking ki Consider y your thinking g in these domains of your y life: at work. . In the following areas. In the following g areas.

in which he documented various forms of human irrationality and the need to establish new habits of thought through education.400 years ago discovered by a method of probing p obing questioning q estioning that people often could not rationally justify their confident claims to knowledge knowledge. The Advancement of Learning. . B wrote t th the fi first tb book k on critical thinking. Socrates 2.Critical Thinking Is Not New In 1605 I 1605. Francis F i Bacon.

The Quality of My Parenting is given in the thinking that I do about my y Parenting .

16  p p. 19  21 . 7  p.13 p.11  p.  p.What is critical thinking? Concepts and Tools Guide  Silently Silentl revisit re isit page 2 – then discuss. disc ss  p. 3 – then discuss. p 88-9  p.13-15  p. p 6  p.

Robert Reich. Command of abstractions 2. Ability y to think within systems y 3. former secretary y of labor for Bill Clinton Reich identifies four components of the kind of thinking hi ki that h hi highly hl paid id workers k will ill increasingly need to master: 1. Ability to communicate effectively . Ability to evaluate ideas 4 4.

The Underlying Principles of Critical Thinking The h Standards S d d clarity precision y significance g accuracy relevance completeness logical fairness breadth depth Intellectual Traits intellectual i ll l humility h ili intellectual perseverance intellectual autonomy intellectual integrity confidence in reasoning intellectual courage intellectual empathy Fair-mindedness StandardsElementsTraits must be applied to The Elements purposes inferences questions concepts points of view implications information assumptions as we develop .

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