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A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking The intellectual roots of critical thinking are as ancient as its etymology

, traceable, ultimately, to the teaching practice and vision of Socrates 2, !! years ago "ho discovered by a method of probing #uestioning that people could not rationally $ustify their confident claims to kno"ledge% Confused meanings, inade#uate evidence, or self&contradictory beliefs often lurked beneath smooth but largely empty rhetoric% Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in 'authority' to have sound kno"ledge and insight% He demonstrated that persons may have po"er and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational% He established the importance of asking deep #uestions that probe profoundly into thinking before "e accept ideas as "orthy of belief%

He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely e(amining reasoning and assumptions, analy)ing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of "hat is said but of "hat is done as "ell% His method of #uestioning is no" kno"n as 'Socratic #uestioning' and is the best kno"n critical thinking teaching strategy% In his mode of #uestioning, Socrates highlighted the need in thinking for clarity and logical consistency% Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking, namely, to reflectively #uestion common beliefs and e(planations, carefully distinguishing those beliefs that are reasonable and logical from those "hich&&ho"ever appealing they may be to our native egocentrism, ho"ever much they serve our vested interests, ho"ever comfortable or comforting they may be&lack ade#uate evidence or rational foundation to "arrant our belief% Socrates* practice "as follo"ed by the critical thinking of +lato ,"ho recorded Socrates* thought-, Aristotle, and the .reek skeptics, all of "hom emphasi)ed that things are often very different from "hat they appear to be and that only the trained mind is prepared to see through the "ay things look to us on the surface ,delusive appearances- to the "ay they really are beneath the surface ,the deeper realities of life-% /rom this ancient .reek tradition emerged the need, for anyone "ho aspired to understand the deeper realities, to think systematically, to trace implications broadly and deeply, for only thinking that is comprehensive, "ell&reasoned, and responsive to ob$ections can take us beyond the surface% In the middle ages, the tradition of systematic critical thinking "as embodied in the "ritings and teachings of such thinkers as Thomas A#uinas ,Sumna Theologica- "ho to ensure his thinking met the test of critical thought&al"ays systematically stated, considered, and ans"ered all criticisms of his ideas as a necessary stage in developing them% A#uinas heightened our a"areness not only of the potential po"er of reasoning but also of the need for reasoning to be systematically cultivated and 'cross& e(amined%' 0f course, A#uinas* thinking also illustrates that those "ho think critically do not al"ays re$ect established beliefs, only those beliefs that lack reasonable foundations% In the 1enaissance ,2 th and 23th Centuries-, a flood of scholars in 4urope began to think critically about religion, art, society, human nature, la", and freedom% They proceeded "ith the assumption that most of the domains of human life "ere in need of searching analysis and criti#ue% Among these scholars "ere Colet, 4rasmus, and 5ore in 4ngland% They follo"ed up on the insight of the ancients% /rancis Bacon, in 4ngland, "as e(plicitly concerned "ith the "ay "e misuse our minds in seeking kno"ledge% He recogni)ed e(plicitly that the mind cannot safely be left to its natural tendencies% In his book The Advancement of 6earning, he argued for the importance of studying the "orld empirically% He laid the foundation for modern science "ith his emphasis on the information&gathering processes% He also called attention to the fact that most people, if left to their o"n devices, develop bad habits of thought ,"hich he called 'idols'- that lead them to believe "hat is false or misleading% He called attention to 'Idols of the tribe' ,the "ays our mind naturally tends to trick itself-, 'Idols of the market&place' ,the "ays "e misuse "ords-, 'Idols of the theater' ,our tendency to become trapped in conventional systems of thought-, and 'Idols of the schools' ,the problems in thinking "hen based on blind rules and poor instruction-% His book could be considered one of the earliest te(ts in critical thinking, for his agenda "as very much the traditional agenda of critical thinking% Some fifty years later in /rance , 7escartes "rote "hat might be called the second te(t in critical thinking, 1ules /or the 7irection of the 5ind% In it, 7escartes argued for the need for a special systematic disciplining of the mind to guide it in thinking% He articulated and defended the need in thinking for clarity and precision% He developed a method of critical thought based on the principle of systematic doubt% He emphasi)ed the need to base thinking on "ell&thought through foundational assumptions% 4very part of thinking, he argued, should be #uestioned, doubted, and tested% In the same time period, Sir Thomas 5ore developed a model of a ne" social order, 8topia, in "hich every domain of the present "orld "as sub$ect to criti#ue% His implicit thesis "as that established social systems are in need of radical analysis and

criti#ue% The critical thinking of these 1enaissance and post&1enaissance scholars opened the "ay for the emergence of science and for the development of democracy, human rights, and freedom for thought% In the Italian 1enaissance, 5achiavelli*s The +rince critically assessed the politics of the day, and laid the foundation for modern critical political thought% He refused to assume that government functioned as those in po"er said it did% 1ather, he critically analy)ed ho" it did function and laid the foundation for political thinking that e(poses both, on the one hand, the real agendas of politicians and, on the other hand, the many contradictions and inconsistencies of the hard, cruel, "orld of the politics of his day Hobbes and 6ocke ,in 23th and 29th Century 4ngland- displayed the same confidence in the critical mind of the thinker that "e find in 5achiavelli% :either accepted the traditional picture of things dominant in the thinking of their day% :either accepted as necessarily rational that "hich "as considered 'normal' in their culture% Both looked to the critical mind to open up ne" vistas of learning% Hobbes adopted a naturalistic vie" of the "orld in "hich everything "as to be e(plained by evidence and reasoning% 6ocke defended a common sense analysis of everyday life and thought% He laid the theoretical foundation for critical thinking about basic human rights and the responsibilities of all governments to submit to the reasoned criticism of thoughtful citi)ens% It "as in this spirit of intellectual freedom and critical thought that people such as 1obert Boyle ,in the 29th Century- and Sir Isaac :e"ton ,in the 29th and 2;th Century- did their "ork% In his Sceptical Chymist, Boyle severely critici)ed the chemical theory that had preceded him% :e"ton, in turn, developed a far&reaching frame"ork of thought "hich roundly critici)ed the traditionally accepted "orld vie"% He e(tended the critical thought of such minds as Copernicus, .alileo, and <epler% After Boyle and :e"ton, it "as recogni)ed by those "ho reflected seriously on the natural "orld that egocentric vie"s of "orld must be abandoned in favor of vie"s based entirely on carefully gathered evidence and sound reasoning % Another significant contribution to critical thinking "as made by the thinkers of the /rench enlightenment= Bayle, 5ontes#uieu, >oltaire, and 7iderot% They all began "ith the premise that the human mind, "hen disciplined by reason, is better able to figure out the nature of the social and political "orld% ?hat is more, for these thinkers, reason must turn in"ard upon itself, in order to determine "eaknesses and strengths of thought% They valued disciplined intellectual e(change, in "hich all vie"s had to be submitted to serious analysis and criti#ue% They believed that all authority must submit in one "ay or another to the scrutiny of reasonable critical #uestioning% 4ighteenth Century thinkers e(tended our conception of critical thought even further, developing our sense of the po"er of critical thought and of its tools% Applied to the problem of economics, it produced Adam Smith*s ?ealth of :ations% In the same year, applied to the traditional concept of loyalty to the king, it produced the 7eclaration of Independence% Applied to reason itself, it produced <ant*s Criti#ue of +ure 1eason% In the 2@th Century, critical thought "as e(tended even further into the domain of human social life by Comte and Spencer% Applied to the problems of capitalism, it produced the searching social and economic criti#ue of <arl 5ar(% Applied to the history of human culture and the basis of biological life, it led to 7ar"in*s 7escent of 5an% Applied to the unconscious mind, it is reflected in the "orks of Sigmund /reud% Applied to cultures, it led to the establishment of the field of Anthropological studies% Applied to language, it led to the field of 6inguistics and to many deep probings of the functions of symbols and language in human life% In the 2!th Century, our understanding of the po"er and nature of critical thinking has emerged in increasingly more e(plicit formulations% In 2@!3, ?illiam .raham Sumner published a land&breaking study of the foundations of sociology and anthropology, /olk"ays, in "hich he documented the tendency of the human mind to think sociocentrically and the parallel tendency for schools to serve the ,uncritical- function of social indoctrination = 'Schools make persons all on one pattern, orthodo(y% School education, unless it is regulated by the best kno"ledge and good sense, "ill produce men and "omen "ho are all of one pattern, as if turned in a lathe%%%An orthodo(y is produced in regard to all the great doctrines of life% It consists of the most "orn and commonplace opinions "hich are common in the masses% The popular opinions al"ays contain broad fallacies, half&truths, and glib generali)ations ,p% 3A!-% At the same time, Sumner recogni)ed the deep need for critical thinking in life and in education= 'Criticism is the e(amination and test of propositions of any kind "hich are offered for acceptance, in order to find out "hether they correspond to reality or not% The critical faculty is a product of education and training% It is a mental habit and po"er% It is a prime condition of human "elfare that men and "omen should be trained in it% It is our only guarantee against delusion, deception, superstition, and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances% 4ducation is good $ust so far as it produces "ell&developed critical faculty% %%%A teacher of any sub$ect "ho insists on accuracy and a rational control of all

processes and methods, and "ho holds everything open to unlimited verification and revision is cultivating that method as a habit in the pupils% 5en educated in it cannot be stampeded%%%They are slo" to believe% They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, "ithout certainty and "ithout pain% They can "ait for evidence and "eigh evidence%%%They can resist appeals to their dearest pre$udices%%%4ducation in the critical faculty is the only education of "hich it can be truly said that it makes good citi)ens ,pp% 3A2, 3AA-%' Bohn 7e"ey agreed% /rom his "ork, "e have increased our sense of the pragmatic basis of human thought ,its instrumental nature- , and especially its grounding in actual human purposes, goals, and ob$ectives% /rom the "ork of 6ud"ig ?ittgenstein "e have increased our a"areness not only of the importance of concepts in human thought, but also of the need to analy)e concepts and assess their po"er and limitations% /rom the "ork of +iaget, "e have increased our a"areness of the egocentric and sociocentric tendencies of human thought and of the special need to develop critical thought "hich is able to reason "ithin multiple standpoints, and to be raised to the level of 'conscious reali)ation%' /rom the massive contribution of all the 'hard' sciences, "e have learned the po"er of information and the importance of gathering information "ith great care and precision, and "ith sensitivity to its potential inaccuracy, distortion, or misuse% /rom the contribution of depth&psychology, "e have learned ho" easily the human mind is self&deceived, ho" easily it unconsciously constructs illusions and delusions, ho" easily it rationali)es and stereotypes, pro$ects and scapegoats% To sum up, the tools and resources of the critical thinker have been vastly increased in virtue of the history of critical thought% Hundreds of thinkers have contributed to its development% 4ach ma$or discipline has made some contribution to critical thought% Cet for most educational purposes, it is the summing up of base&line common denominators for critical thinking that is most important% 6et us consider no" that summation% The Common 7enominators of Critical Thinking Are the 5ost Important By&products of the History of Critical Thinking ?e no" recogni)e that critical thinking, by its very nature, re#uires, for e(ample, the systematic monitoring of thought, that thinking, to be critical, must not be accepted at face value but must be analy)ed and assessed for its clarity, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, and logicalness% ?e no" recogni)e that critical thinking, by its very nature, re#uires, for e(ample, the recognition that all reasoning occurs "ithin points of vie" and frames of reference, that all reasoning proceeds from some goals and ob$ectives, has an informational base, that all data "hen used in reasoning must be interpreted, that interpretation involves concepts, that concepts entail assumptions, and that all basic inferences in thought have implications% ?e no" recogni)e that each of these dimensions of thinking need to be monitored and that problems of thinking can occur in any of them% The result of the collective contribution of the history of critical thought is that the basic #uestions of Socrates can no" be much more po"erfully and focally framed and used% In every domain of human thought, and "ithin every use of reasoning "ithin any domain, it is no" possible to #uestion= D ends and ob$ectives, D the status and "ording of #uestions, D the sources of information and fact, D the method and #uality of information collection, D the mode of $udgment and reasoning used, D the concepts that make that reasoning possible, D the assumptions that underlie concepts in use, D the implications that follo" from their use, and D the point of vie" or frame of reference "ithin "hich reasoning takes place% In other "ords, #uestioning that focuses on these fundamentals of thought and reasoning are no" baseline in critical thinking% It is beyond #uestion that intellectual errors or mistakes can occur in any of these dimensions, and that students need to be fluent in talking about these structures and standards% Independent of the sub$ect studied, students need to be able to articulate thinking about thinking that reflects basic command of the intellectual dimensions of thought= '6et*s see, "hat is the most fundamental issue hereE /rom "hat point of vie" should I approach this problemE 7oes it make sense for me to assume thisE /rom these data may I infer thisE ?hat is implied in this graphE ?hat is the fundamental concept hereE Is this consistent "ith thatE ?hat makes this #uestion comple(E Ho" could I check the accuracy of these dataE If this is so, "hat else is impliedE Is this a credible source of informationE, etc%%%, etc%%%' ,/or more information on the basic elements of thought and basic intellectual criteria and standards, see Appendices C and 7-% ?ith intellectual language such as this in the foreground, students can no" be taught at least minimal critical thinking moves "ithin any sub$ect field% ?hat is more, there is no reason in principle that students cannot take the basic tools of critical thought "hich they learn in one domain of study and e(tend it ,"ith appropriate ad$ustments- to all the other domains and

'as an e(ercise'. 5arch 2@@9% +rincipal authors= 1ichard +aul. given the results of this study.a set of information and belief generating and processing skills. and philosophical thinking% Critical thinking can be seen as having t"o components= 2. biologically. or communication.the mere possession of a set of skills. though sub$ect to the charge of 'idealism' by those habituated to its selfish use% Critical thinking of any kind is never universal in any individualF everyone is sub$ect to episodes of undisciplined or irrational thought% Its #uality is therefore typically a matter of degree and dependent on . and fairness% It entails the e(amination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning= purpose. I am more likely to #uestion the "ording of a problem in the other sub$ects I study% As a result of the fact that students can learn these generali)able critical thinking moves. having #uestioned the "ording of a problem in math. based on intellectual commitment. or generated by. relevance. that "e are very far from this ideal state of affairs% ?e no" turn to the fundamental concepts and principles tested in standardi)ed critical thinking tests% GTaken from the California Teacher +reparation for Instruction in Critical Thinking= 1esearch /indings and +olicy 1ecommendations= State of California. observation. sub$ect to such&and&such tendencies to"ards self&delusion% /or this reason. it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one*s o"n. it is apparent. among other things. synthesi)ing. moral thinking. or build depends precisely on the #uality . or #uestion&at& issueF assumptionsF conceptsF empirical groundingF reasoning leading to conclusionsF implications and conse#uencesF ob$ections from alternative vie"pointsF and frame of reference% Critical thinking & in being responsive to variable sub$ect matter. andJor evaluating information gathered from. or one*s groups*."ithout acceptance of their results% Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it% ?hen grounded in selfish motives. distorted. it is typically of a higher order intellectually. applying. left to itself. as a guide to belief and action% In its e(emplary form. chemically. because it involves a particular "ay in "hich information is sought and treatedF 2.sub$ects "hich they study% /or e(ample. ho"ever pragmatically successful it might be% ?hen grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity. precision. is biased. anthropological thinking.the habit. and purposes & is incorporated in a family of inter"oven modes of thinking. of using those skills to guide behavior% It is thus to be contrasted "ith= 2. accuracy. mathematical thinking. issues. in courses "ithin these disciplines% In principle. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. all students can be taught so that they learn ho" to bring the basic tools of disciplined reasoning into every sub$ect they study% 8nfortunately. the #uality and depth of e(perience in a given domain of thinking or "ith respect to a particular class of #uestions% :o one is a critical thinker through& and&through. breadth. uninformed or do"n&right pre$udiced% Cet the #uality of our life and that of "hat "e produce. depth. 6inda 4lder. CA. good reasons. vested interest% As such it is typically intellectually fla"ed. "ith such&and&such insights and blind spots. e(perience. then. sound evidence. among them= scientific thinking. consistency. analy)ing. they need not be taught history simply as a body of facts to memori)eF they can no" be taught history as historical reasoning% Classes can be designed so that students learn to think historically and develop skills and abilities essential to historical thought% 5ath can be taught so that the emphasis is on mathematical reasoning% Students can learn to think geographically. reasoning. the development of critical thinking skills and dispositions is a life&long endeavor% ?hy Critical ThinkingE The +roblem= 4veryone thinksF it is our nature to do so% But much of our thinking. but only to such&and&such a degree. reflection. economic thinking. economically. it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend sub$ect matter divisions= clarity. partial. and Ted Bartell & H 7efining Critical Thinking .the mere ac#uisition and retention of information alone.the mere use of those skills . make. historical thinking. Sacramento. and 2. problem.A statement by 5ichael Scriven I 1ichard +aul for the :ational Council for 4(cellence in Critical Thinking InstructionSummary Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptuali)ing. because it involves the continual use of themF and A.

'By their #uestions yea shall kno" them' "ould be a salient teaching "ithin it% ?e shall use the art of asking po"erful #uestions as a key organi)er for this book% ?e shall use it as the vehicle for teaching the . at any point in time. their assumptions. Customs. can go off in thousands of different directions. testing them against relevant criteria and standardsF D thinks openmindedly "ithin alternative systems of thought. self&disciplined. +robing Nuestions Introduction The key to po"erful thinking is po"erful #uestioning% ?hen "e ask the right #uestions. 3AA%H The Critical 5ind is A Nuestioning 5ind 6earning Ho" to Ask +o"erful. superstition. using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to "ell&reasoned conclusions and solutions. and practical conse#uencesF and D communicates effectively "ith others in figuring out solutions to comple( problems% Critical thinking is. and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances% 4ducation is good $ust so far as it produces "ell&developed critical faculty%%%%A teacher of any sub$ect "ho insists on accuracy and a rational control of all processes and methods. 5ores. 5anners. as need be. or problem & in "hich the thinker improves the #uality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them% The 1esult= A "ell cultivated critical thinker= D raises vital #uestions and problems. recogni)ing and assessing. formulating them clearly and preciselyF D gathers and assesses relevant information. a crucial part of our thinking% 'By their #uestions yea shall kno" them' If there "ere a bible for critical thinking.2@!3KCritical thinking isL%%%the e(amination and test of propositions of any kind "hich are offered for acceptance. deception. pp% 3A2. implications. and self&corrective thinking% It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of e(cellence and mindful command of their use% It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism% ?hat is Critical ThinkingE ?illiam . self&directed. for #uestions are the force that po"ers our thinking% Thinking.of our thought% Shoddy thinking is costly. "ithout certainty and "ithout pain% They can "ait for evidence and "eigh evidence%%%They can resist appeals to their dearest pre$udices% 4ducation in the critical faculty is the only education of "hich it can be truly said that it makes good citi)ens% GSumner. in order to find out "hether they correspond to reality or not% The critical faculty is a product of education and training% It is a mental habit and po"er% It is a prime condition of human "elfare that men and "omen should be trained in it% It is our only guarantee against delusion. therefore.raham Sumner . and "ho holds everything open to unlimited verification and revision is cultivating that method as a habit in the pupils% 5en educated in it cannot be stampeded%%%They are slo" to believe% They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees. "e succeed as a thinker. :e" Cork= . both in money and in #uality of life% 4(cellence in thought. must be systematically cultivated% A 7efinition= Critical thinking is that mode of thinking & about any sub$ect. by the "ay. ho"ever. ?% . self&monitored. some of "hich.inn and Co%. and 5orals.% . are dead&ends% Nuestions define the agenda of our thinking% They determine "hat information "e seek% They lead us in one direction rather than another% They are. in short.2@M!-% /olk"ays= A Study of the Sociological Importance of 8sages. content.

fundamental tools of critical thinking% ?e shall translate all concepts. "hat is my spouse*s point of vie"E . some motivation.the nervous system. there are constituent.and hence do chemistry-% 8nless "e kno" the basic building blocks of thinking. and check those building blocks . and about the future . you must make sense of it% To make sense of information. for e(ample-% D 5y thinking "ill also be generating some implications "hich I ought to look at= the implications of possibly being out of a $ob for a period of time. you must use concepts% To use concepts. to come to conclusions is to think "ithin a point of vie"% This "ill be perhaps clearer "ith an e(ample% D Imagine. e(amine.for e(ample. interrelated elements that make it up% The 4lements 4numerated 6et us no" consider these elements% To think as a human is to think for a purpose . interrelated physiological systems . understandings. for a moment. the implications of possibly losing seniority. it is a short step in thought to recogni)ing that I "ill have to gather information about available $obs. but also to begin to determine its strengths and "eaknesses% 6et us begin "ith the elements of thought% These are the inescapable structures underlying one*s thinking every step along the path of thought% If one is thinking about anything. and principles into the #uestions one asks "hen one internali)es them% The Basic Building Blocks for Thinking= 0ne <ey To +o"erful Nuestioning /or e(ample. you must make assumptions% To make assumptions leading to inferences generates implications and conse#uences% And.the constituent parts that make it up-% Coming to understand the elements of thought is not a matter of memori)ing definitions of a set of terms% 1ather. that my purpose is to get a better $ob. the impact on my family. make some inferences% To make inferences.my "ay of looking at the nature and direction of my life in general-E ?hat other points of vie" do I need to considerE If a $ob change might re#uire a move.using thought-. "e cannot identify. one basic understanding essential to critical thinking is based on insight into the basic structures common to all thinking% Another is based on insight into fundamental standards for the assessment of thinking% /rom the foundation of both of these understandings "e can generate po"erful #uestions for the thinker to ask. the body of that person "ill necessarily include certain constituent. then there are necessarily some #uestions inherent in that purpose= ?hat $obs are available that I might #ualify for and "ould be interested inE ?hat are the advantages and disadvantages of each available $obE Ho" can I most effectively apply for the $obs that best suit meE D 0nce these #uestions are clear to us. I "ill then have to come to some conclusions about potential $obs= "hich seem the best options and ho" I should go about pursuing those options% D 8navoidably in deciding to pursue some options I "ill be making some assumptions about my #ualifications. you must regularly take your thinking apart and come to terms "ith its interrelated elements .1emember. it is a matter of understanding an interrelated set of functions that all thinking unavoidably includes% Bust as you can say "ith confidence that "herever there is a living human being. the cardiovascular system. finally. e(amine. #uestions are generated . so too as a thinker you can say "ith confidence that if you are dealing "ith the thinking of any human. ho" can I best achieve this purposeE-% To ans"er a #uestion you need information that bears on it% To use information. and check those building blocks . etc%% D 0nce I get my information.the likelihood of my being satisfied by "orking in this or that setting.our thinking never lacks some end. to think purposively. etc%-.and hence do critical thinking-% Nuestions for Thinking about Thinking= Breaking Thinking 7o"n As a developing critical thinker. you must come to some conclusions. the nature of the $obs themselves. using information. one is using these structures% They are generated by every act of thinking by its very nature% The 4lements of Thought The elements of thinking are as important to thinking as the elements of chemistry are to the composition of every substance% 8nless "e kno" the basic chemical building blocks of chemical composition. the respiratory system. "e cannot think "ithout ideas and conceptsD I should also think about my overall point of vie" in pursing the option of a change of $ob% Ho" am I looking at my present circumstancesE Ho" am I envisioning a changeE Ho" realistic is my vie"pointE Ho" does it relate to my overall life ob$ectives . #uestions that can be usefully asked about virtually any thinking in virtually any conte(tF #uestions that give us leverage by helping us not only to get to the foundation of thinking. some goal-% In pursuing a purpose . or of having greater difficulty getting to and from "ork. etc% D In my thinking I should also look at the very concept or idea of improving the #uality of my life by improving the #uality of my $ob% I should make sure that I am not uncritically assuming that a $ob change "ill make my life better in general or that problems that stem from other parts of my life "ill be lessened by a change of $ob% . "e cannot identify.

at this meeting. as a parent. in my life as a "holeAs you deploy these #uestioning strategies in the various domains of your life. in my marriage. in my relationship "ith Back. you "ill discover features of your thinking that need to be revised. in my relationship "ith Back. "hat am I taking for granted or assumingE Am I $ustified in doing soE . you are better able to ans"er and solve them% Cou "ill find that "hen the key #uestion is clearly before your mind. in my life as a "hole. in my $ob.at this meeting. suppose someone rubs me the "rong "ay on one occasion% I may find . in my leisure time. in my relationship "ith Back.at this meeting. solve the problem. in my leisure time. in my relationship "ith Back. you "ill also become more clear about the inferences or conclusions you are coming to based on that information% 0nce these relationships become clear. in this argument. in my life as a "hole?hat is the key concept or idea I need to understand to make sense of the data and to ans"er the #uestion. in my life as a "hole?hat is the key #uestion I must ans"erE ?hat is the main problem I need to solveE ?hat is the crucial issue I must resolveE . in my $ob. in this argument. in this argument. in buying a ne" car. in buying a ne" car. in engaging in this discussion. as a parent. goal. in buying a ne" car. "hat are the implications or conse#uences likely to beE . in my marriage. in this argument. I often discover that I don*t have enough relevant information to come to sound conclusions% I nevertheless find myself coming to conclusions% ?hen I catch myself engaging in such fla"ed thought. only a very sketchy e(ample% If I "ere actually thinking through a potential $ob change. in buying a ne" car. as a parent. in my marriage. in my leisure time. in my life as a "hole?hat is the key information I need to ans"er the #uestionE ?hat is the information I need to solve the main problemE ?hat is the information I need to resolve the crucial issueE . in my marriage. or agendaE . other relationships also become clearer to you% /or e(ample. in buying a ne" car. in my leisure time. you "ill find yourself checking that information more closely and $udging it more effectively% ?hen you are more clear about the information you are using. in my relationship "ith Back. in this discussion. and reconstructed% Cou "ill discover that many of the purposes and goals that are buried in your behavior need to be #uestioned% Cou "ill discover that you are often unclear about #uestions and problems that you need to be clear about% Cou "ill find that as you put #uestions and problems in a clear and precise form. rethought. in my $ob. in this discussion.iven the information I have at my disposal. in this discussion. in my relationship "ith Back. in this discussion. in buying a ne" car. they "ill serve as a po"erful set of guides for the generation of useful #uestions% Cou "ill find yourself fre#uently #uestioning in each of these categories= ?hat is my purpose. you "ill also notice that you are making one or more assumptions and using one or more concept or idea% 8nderstanding that you are engaged in the sum total of the above. in this argument. "hat does my reasoning implyE If I act on my conclusions. in my $ob. in my life as a "hole. in carrying on this argument. in my life as a "hole/rom "hat point of vie" am I approaching this #uestion. in my leisure time. or issue. in my $ob.at this meeting. in my $ob.at this meeting. in my life as a "holeAs I think through this #uestion. in this argument. the more you do so. problem. in this discussion.This is. the information relevant to the #uestion is much more apparent% Cou "ill then more e(plicitly seek out the information you need% As you e(plicitly seek out information. in this argument. of course. problem. in buying a ne" car. I then #uestion my motivation% I ask myself "hether I have an egocentric motive for my conclusion% /or e(ample. "hen you become comfortable "ith and practiced in e(plicitly analy)ing and evaluating these basic structures of thought. or resolve the issueE . in my relationship "ith Back. "hen you recogni)e you are coming to a particular conclusion based on particular information. in this discussion. in my leisure time. the better you get at it% /or e(ample. in my marriage. "hen I #uestion the information I am using in coming to conclusions about people and events in my life.at this meeting. in my leisure time. in my leisure time. the process of simply #uestioning the basic elements of your o"n thinking "ill automatically improve the #uality of your thinking% /urthermore. in my $ob. as a parent. as a parent. as a parent. in buying a ne" car. or issueE Should I consider an alternative point of vie" . as a parent. in my marriage. as a parent.at this meeting. there "ould be many details and specifics incorporated in my thinking% :evertheless.iven "hat I have reasoned through thus far. in my $ob. in my marriage. you "ill recogni)e that you are thinking "ithin a point of vie"% In other "ords. in my marriage. in my relationship "ith Back. "hat tentative conclusions can I come toE Ho" can I best interpret the information I haveE .at this meeting. in this discussion. I then #uestion those conclusions% I take them out of the category of 'fact' and put them into the category of a hypothesis or guess% 1ecogni)ing that I don*t have solid information to go on.

the irony of the failure of humans to make a commitment to substantive intellectual standards is not pu))ling. have not developed a significant interest in establishing and teaching legitimate intellectual standards% There are too many domains of our thinking that "e.' then it is not surprising that "e. from an intellectual point of vie"% /or e(ample. accurate thinking better than inaccurate. for e(ample. irrelevant. or personal advantage and not noticing the evidence or reasoning against those beliefsIf "e concede that humans are naturally prone to assess thinking in keeping "ith the above 'criteria. superficial. and trivialOOO ?hat*s "rong "ith thatOOOOF' "e "ould immediately recogni)e the statement to be absurd% There is no need to 'prove' that. etc% This is intuitive to us&&if the #uestion is e(plicitly put . assess. '0<.innate selfishness= in "hich case I find myself gravitating to beliefs "hich if true "ould $ustify my getting more po"er. to develop as a thinker. it is a matter of understanding an interrelated set of standards that virtually all thinking must fulfill to be sound thinking% It is ironic that humans have been assessing thinking for thousands of years but have spent very little time coming to terms "ith the criteria they habitually use in deciding "hich thinking to accept and "hich to re$ect. admittedly my thinking is typically unclear. imprecise.innate sociocentrism= in "hich case I find myself continually assuming that the dominant beliefs in the groups to "hich I belong are true even though I have never #uestioned the basis for many of these beliefs'It*s true because I "ant to believe it' .in a positive rather than a negative light even though I have not seriously considered the evidence for the more negative account% I believe "hat 'feels good. precise thinking better than imprecise. "hat does not re#uire me to admit I have been "rong'It*s true because I have al"ays believed it' .myself coming to a negative conclusion about the person on another occasion "ithout good reason for doing so% I then recogni)e that I am allo"ing my native egocentric tendency to"ard pre$udicial thinking to take control% I can then correct for my un$ustifiable inference% Nuestions for Thinking about Thinking= 8sing 4(plicit Intellectual Standards to Assess Thinking As a developing critical thinker. once "e recogni)e that the human mind by nature is deeply prone to self&deception and to using thinking in a highly self&serving "ay&&&then. and improve thinkingF "e must internali)e the logic of basic intellectual standards% These are eight basic intellectual standards "e shall concentrate on% 4ach speaks for itself and is conse#uently highly intuitive. "hich to praise and "hich to critici)e% 0f course. to become a thinker "ith a foundational kno"ledge of ho" to analy)e. ho"ever ve(ing it may be% :evertheless.' "hat supports my other beliefs.innate egocentrism= in "hich case I find myself continually assuming that "hat I believe is true even though I have never #uestioned the basis for many of my beliefs'It*s true because "e believe it' . you must also come to #uestion those elements using e(plicit intellectual standards% Coming to understand the basic standards for thought is not a matter of memori)ing definitions of a set of terms% 1ather. collectively. inaccurate. all other things being e#ual clear thinking is better than unclear thinking. as a species.innate self&validation= in "hich case I feel a strong ego&attraction to beliefs that I have long held even though I have not seriously considered the evidence for the criti#ue of these traditional beliefs-% 'It*s true because it is in my vested interest to believe it' .the constituent parts that make it up-. do not "ant #uestioned% ?e have too many pre$udices that "e do not "ant challenged% ?e are committed to having our vested interests served% ?e are not in fact typically concerned to protect the rights of others% ?e are not typically "illing to sacrifice our desires to meet someone else*s basic needs% ?e do not "ant to discover that beliefs "hich "e have taken to be 'obvious' and 'sacred' might not be either% ?e "ill ignore any number of basic principles if doing so enables us to maintain our po"er or to gain more po"er and advantage% In other "ords.innate "ish fulfillment= in "hich case I find myself believing in. "hat does not re#uire me to change my thinking is any significant "ay."hich "e set out in the first -= 'It*s true because I believe it' . 0<.or the groups to "hich I belong. suppose someone said. narro"&minded. relevant better than irrelevant. "e should not be surprised that the implicit standards that humans instinctively use to assess thinking are not only intellectually fla"ed but actually intellectually absurd% ?e have in mind the follo"ing criteria . money. you must not only regularly take your thinking apart and come to terms "ith its interrelated elements . accounts of behavior that put me . illogical.

as "e have already suggested.or protecting the status #uo "hen it favors us . deeply. precisely. relevantly.irrespective of the legitimate rights of others. 'absurd' standards for thinking. egocentric. "e teach. if anything. the home.precise. and sociocentric% Inadvertently.pathological. the school. though "e all fre#uently fall prey to using 'absurd' standards . therefore. though of course these absurd standards serve various . and logically% The problem is that the #uestion is not being put to us% The basic intellectual standards essential to critical thinking are not typically taught in schools or in the home% They are certainly not being taught in the popular media% Indeed. the media. etc% Nuestions based on the standards for thought are. accurately. "e have tried to find a place "ith unclear directionsF "e have been misled by inaccurate statementsF "e have not had the .responding rather to it superficially-F "e reasoned narro"ly ignoring an alternative point of vie" only to find that "e needed the insight that only that point of vie" could provideF etc% In other "ords.details "e needed in some conte(tF "e "ere diverted from achieving "hat "e "ere after by getting dra"n off into irrelevant detailsF "e failed to deal "ith the comple(ity of an issue .to us. and social life in general tend to praise thinking that is self&serving. the #uestion '?hat can be done about the education system in AmericaE' is unclear% In order to ade#uately address the #uestion. "e cannot tell anything about it because "e don*t yet kno" "hat it is saying% /or e(ample. "e cannot determine "hether it is accurate or relevant% In fact. broadly.human functions&&like $ustifying getting "hat "e "ant .irrespective of "ho suffers deprivation as a result-. largely intuitive "hen e(plicitly e(pressed= Is my thinking clearE Is my thinking accurateE Is my thinking as precise as it needs to beE Is my thinking relevant to the issueE Is my thinking dealing "ith the comple(ities of this issue or problemE Is my thinking too narro" or one&sidedE Is my thinking logicalE Is my thinking focusing on "hat is most significantE 4ach of these basic #uestions leads to more refined #uestions that enable us to make a better determination of "here our thinking stands% Consider each of these sub&#uestions as follo"&up on the basic ones= Is my thinking clearE Clarity is a gate"ay standard% If a statement is unclear. "e "ould need to have a clearer understanding of "hat the person asking the #uestion is considering the 'problem' to be% A clearer #uestion might be '?hat can educators do to ensure that students learn the skills and abilities "hich help them function successfully on the $ob and in their daily decision&makingE' 7o I need to elaborate my thinking moreE 7o I need to provide an illustration of "hat I meanE 7o I need to give an e(ample from everyday lifeE Is my thinking accurateE Ho" could I check to see if this is trueE Ho" could I find out if this is correctE Ho" could I verify or test to see if this is accurateE . because on many occasions "e have e(perienced the problems that result from a failure to check thinking against such standards% /or e(ample.because they often function subconsciously and self&servingly-F "e nevertheless are #uite capable of recogni)ing appropriate intellectual standards "hen they are put to us e(plicitly and consciously% At an abstract level virtually everyone&&if the #uestion "ere properly put to them&&"ould value being able to think clearly.

the thinking is 'logical%' ?hen the combination is not mutually supporting. issue. it lacks depth because it treats an e(tremely comple( issue. accurate. is clear. the statement 'Bust Say :o' "hich is often used to discourage children and teens from using drugs. accurate. relevant. #uestions "hich hold students accountable for their thinking. and relevant. and deep.Is my thinking as precise as it needs to beE 7o I need to be more specificE 7o I need to give more detailsE 7o I need to be more e(actE Is my thinking relevant to the issueE Ho" does that relate to the #uestion at issueE Ho" does that bear upon the problem I am concerned "ithE Ho" does this information help me effectively deal "ith the issueE Is my thinking dealing "ith the comple(ities of this issue or problemE A statement can be clear. "e bring a variety of thoughts together into some order% ?hen the combination of thoughts are mutually supporting and make sense in combination. or does not 'make sense. lack depth-% /or e(ample.' the combination is 'not logical%' 7oes my thinking make sense togetherE 7oes my conclusion follo" from the evidence or is there a more logical conclusionE Is my thinking focusing on "hat is most significantE Is this the most important problem I need to deal "ith at this timeE ?hich of these facts are the most important for me to considerE Is this the most essential idea "hich I should focus onE Some 8niversal Intellectual Standards= And #uestions that can be used to apply them 8niversal intellectual standards are standards "hich must be applied to thinking "henever one is interested in checking the #uality of reasoning about a problem. precise. precise. through consistent use by the teacher in the classroom. but lack breadth . become internali)ed by students as #uestions they need to ask themselves% . #uestions "hich. but superficial . is contradictory in some sense.that is. or situation% To think critically entails having command of these standards% To help students learn them.as in an argument from either the conservative or liberal standpoints "hich gets deeply into an issue. teachers should pose #uestions "hich probe student thinking. and relevant% :evertheless. precise. but only recogni)es the insights of one side of the #uestion%Am I look at this issue in a narro"&minded "ayE 7o I need to look at this from another perspectiveE 7o I need to consider another poing of vie"E 7o I need to look at this situation in other "aysE Is my thinking logicalE ?hen "e think. superficially% It fails to deal "ith the comple(ities of the issue% ?hat factors make this a difficult problemE ?hat are some of the comple(ities embedded in this issueE ?hat are some of the difficulties I need to deal "ithE Is my thinking taking into account the multiple perspectives I need to considerE A line of reasoning may be clear. the pervasive problem of drug use among young people. accurate.

+aul. and "hen that is so. as in '5ost dogs are over A!! pounds in "eight%' +recision= Could you give me more detailsE Could you be more specificE A statement can be both clear and accurate. self&esteem. 1ichard +aul provides a #uick overvie" of critical thinking and the issues surrounding it= defining it. and assessment strategies% . students often think that the amount of effort they put into a course should be used in raising their grade in a course% 0ften. "e cannot tell anything about it because "e don*t yet kno" "hat it is saying% /or e(ample. the follo"ing are the most significant= Clarity= Could you elaborate further on that pointE Could you e(press that point in another "ayE Could you give me an illustrationE Could you give me an e(ampleE Clarity is a gate"ay standard% If a statement is unclear.The ultimate goal. but not relevant to the #uestion at issue% /or e(ample. accurate. $ob skills for the future. common mistakes in assessing it. then.April *@2-. the #uestion '?hat can be done about the education system in AmericaE' is unclear% In order to ade#uately address the #uestion. one pound or !! pounds%-% 1elevance= Ho" is that connected to the #uestionE Ho" does that bear on the issueE A statement can be clear. national standards. I don*t see ho" both can be true% . as in 'Back is over"eight' . motivation. curiosity. forming part of their inner voice. effort is irrelevant to their appropriate grade% 7epth= Ho" does your ans"er address the comple(ities in the #uestionE Ho" are you taking into account the problems in the #uestionE Is that dealing "ith the most significant factorsE Breadth= 7o "e need to consider another point of vie"E Is there another "ay to look at this #uestionE ?hat "ould this look like from a conservative standpointE ?hat "ould this look like from the point of vie" of%%%E 6ogic= 7oes this really make senseE 7oes that follo" from "hat you saidE Ho" does that follo"E But before you implied this and no" you are saying that.?e don*t kno" ho" over"eight Back is. "e "ould need to have a clearer understanding of "hat the person asking the #uestion is considering the 'problem' to be% A clearer #uestion might be '?hat can educators do to ensure that students learn the skills and abilities "hich help them function successfully on the $ob and in their daily decision&makingE' Accuracy= Is that really trueE Ho" could "e check thatE Ho" could "e find out if that is trueE A statement can be clear but not accurate. its relation to communication skills. 0nline at "ebsite= """%criticalthinking%orgCritical Thinking= Basic Nuestions I Ans"ers Critical Thinking= Basic Nuestions and Ans"ers Abstract In this intervie" for Think maga)ine . "hich then guides them to better and better reasoning% ?hile there are a number of universal standards. "e cannot determine "hether it is accurate or relevant% In fact. 6% . collaborative learning. is for these #uestions to become infused in the thinking of students. 'effort' does not measure the #uality of student learning. and precise. ho"ever. but not precise.5ay 2@@3-% /oundation /or Critical Thinking. 1% and 4lder.

through standards . namely.!!! or so teachers "ho read the publication% Nuestion= Could this possibly be a rare mistake. "e should not put a lot of "eight on any one definition% 7efinitions are at best scaffolding for the mind% ?ith this #ualification in mind. but thinking "hich entails self&improvement and 2. and "ell&supported $udgment to notice the discrepancy% The result "as. here is a bit of scaffolding= critical thinking is thinking about your thinking "hile you*re thinking in order to make your thinking better% T"o things are crucial= 2. by the "ay. not reasoning things out at all.in ASC7*s 7eveloping 5inds-. and did not select evidence that clearly supported his $udgment% Instead the student described an emotional e(change asserted&"ithout evidence&some #uestionable claims e(pressed a variety of sub$ective preferences The assessing teachers "ere apparently not clear enough about the nature of evaluative reasoning or the basic notions of criteria. that "as nothing more than one sub$ective reaction after another% . since critical thinking can be defined in a number of different "ays consistent "ith each other. teachers are unclear about this basic difference% 5any teachers are apt to take student "riting or speech "hich is fluent and "itty or glib and amusing as good thinking% They are often unclear about the constituents of good reasoning% Hence. spontaneous thought% The dimension of critical thinking least understood is that of intellectual standards% 5ost teachers "ere not taught ho" to assess thinking through standardsF indeed.See '?hy Students&and Teachers&7on*t 1eason ?ell'The assessing teachers and testers did not notice that the student failed to respond to the directions.critical thinking is not $ust thinking. did not consider possible criteria on "hich to base his $udgment. "e don*t "ant students simply to assert thingsF "e "ant them to try to reason things out on the basis of evidence and good reasons% 0ften. systematically misleading the 2 !.Nuestion= Critical thinking is essential to effective learning and productive living% ?ould you share your definition of critical thinkingE +aul= /irst. is that bet"een reasoning and sub$ective reaction% If "e are trying to foster #uality thinking. an essay that contained no reasoning at all. not representative of teacher kno"ledgeE +aul= I don*t think so% 6et me suggest a "ay in "hich you could begin to test my contention% If you are familiar "ith any thinking skills programs. one of the most important distinctions that teachers need to routinely make.this improvement comes from skill in using standards by "hich one appropriately assesses thinking% To put it briefly. even though a student may $ust be asserting things. one of the ma$or .in thinking.that assess thinking-% To think "ell is to impose discipline and restraint on our thinking&by means of intellectual standards&in order to raise our thinking to a level of 'perfection' or #uality that is not natural or likely in undisciplined. I think you "ill find that the person is not able to articulate any such standards% Thinking skills programs "ithout intellectual standards are tailor&made for mis&instruction% /or e(ample. did not analy)e the sub$ect in the light of the criteria. if she is doing so "ith vivacity and flamboyance. that a flagrantly mis&graded student essay "as sho"cased nationally . and "hich takes disciplined thinking to make. it is self&improvement . evidence. did not support his $udgment "ith reasons and evidence. '?hat intellectual standards does the program articulate and teachE' I think you "ill first find that the person is pu))led about "hat you mean% And then "hen you e(plain "hat you mean. reasons. "hich they said illustrated 'e(ceptional achievement' in reasoned evaluation. often the thinking of teachers themselves is very 'undisciplined' and reflects a lack of internali)ed intellectual standards% Nuestion= Could you give me an e(ampleE +aul= Certainly. ask someone kno"ledgeable about it the '?here*s the beefE' #uestion. teachers are apt to take this to be e#uivalent to good reasoning% This "as made clear in a recent California state&"ide "riting assessment in "hich teachers and testers applauded a student essay.

critical thinking. self&esteem. not $ust one. not to help students to come up "ith more analogies but "ith more useful and insightful ones% Nuestion= ?hat is the solution to this problemE Ho". a ne" 'making'. a conglomeration of separate problems. not something else% /urthermore. #uality. to "ork on their o"n thinking and come to terms "ith "hat intellectual standards are. ideas. not $ust critical thinking.see 'mentor program'-% So that*s one model your readers might look at% In addition. and so forth% Ho" are districts to deal "ith the full array of needsE Ho" are they to do all of these rather than simply one. frame decisions. if one is not solving any problems% If there is no problem there is no point in thinking critically% The 'opposite' is also true% 8ncritical problem solving is unintelligible% There is no "ay to solve problems effectively unless one thinks critically about the nature of the problems and of ho" to go about solving them% Thinking our "ay through a problem to a solution. or collaborative learning. it is a ne" creation precisely because of the inevitable novelty of that integration% And "hen it helps us to solve problems that "e could not solve before. any "ell&conceived program in critical thinking re#uires the integration of all of the skills and abilities you mentioned above% Hence. effectively communicate "ith others% The making. but communication skills. in short. and ho" to teach for them% The State 7epartment in Ha"aii has $ust such a long&term. has taken some ideas and in some "ay represented . nor is it indifferent to one*s sense of self&"orth% Nuestion= Could you e(plain briefly "hy this is soE +aul= Consider critical thinking first% ?e think critically "hen "e have at least one problem to solve% 0ne is not doing good critical thinking. collaborative learning. like so many bee&bees in a bag% In fact. not "ith more gimmicks or #uick&fi(es% :ot "ith more fluff for teachers% 0nly "ith #uality long&term staff development that helps the teachers. a bunch of separate goals. and "hen it is disciplined so as to be "ell& integrated into our e(perience. and reasoning. can share gossip% And "e don*t re#uire any intricate skills to do that fairly "ell% ?here communication becomes part of our educational goal is in reading. and because our o"n thinking is al"ays a uni#ue product of our self&structured e(perience. but is silent about ho" to teach students to assess the inferences they make and the strengths and "eaknesses of the analogies they use% This misses the point% The idea is not to help students to make more inferences but to make sound ones. trivial communication&&surface and trivial communication don*t really re#uire education% All of us can engage in small talk. through efforts such as these. and communicating are not different activities of a fragmented mind but the same seamless "hole vie"ed from different perspectives% Nuestion= Ho" do communication skills fit inE +aul= Some communication is surface communication. is a creation of the mind*s "ork. "riting. is intrinsically a ne" 'creation'. "hy they are essential. "e can move from the superficial to the substantial in fostering #uality student thinking% The present level of instruction for thinking is very lo" indeed% Nuestion= But there are many areas of concern in instruction. problem solving. over years not months. then. the :ational Council for 4(cellence in Critical Thinking Instruction is focused precisely on the articulation of standards for thinking% I am hopeful that eventually. creative thinking. it is surely properly called 'creative'% The 'making' and the 'testing of that making' are intimately interconnected% In critical thinking "e make and shape ideas and e(periences so that they may be used to structure and solve problems. therefore. testing. shaping. structuring. no matter ho" important that one may beE +aul= This is the key% 4verything essential to education supports everything else essential to education% It is only "hen good things in education are vie"ed superficially and "rongly that they seem disconnected. problem solving. as a practical matter. creative thinking. as the case may be. can "e solve itE +aul= ?ell. critical thinking program . and. a ne" set of cognitive and affective structures of some kind% All thinking. is critical thinking. over an e(tended period of time. critical thinking is not a set of skills separable from e(cellence in communication. because it involves our "orking out afresh our o"n thinking on a sub$ect.programs asks teachers to encourage students to make inferences and use analogies. speaking and listening% These are the four modalities of communication "hich are essential to education and each of them is a mode of reasoning% 4ach of them involves problems% 4ach of them is shot through "ith critical thinking needs% Take the apparently simple matter of reading a book "orth reading% The author has developed her thinking in the book. solving.

alternatively. there is the logic of the thinking of the author and the logic of the thinking of the reader% The critical reader reconstructs . "hat about collaborative learningE Ho" does it fit inE +aul= Collaborative learning is desirable only if grounded in disciplined critical thinking% ?ithout critical thinking.and so translates. collaboratively% If "e don*t put disciplined critical thinking into the heart and soul of the collaboration. and genuine success% If one simply feels good about oneself for no good reason. then one is either arrogant .those ideas in e(tended form% 0ur $ob as a reader is to translate the meaning of the author into meanings that "e can understand% This is a complicated process re#uiring critical thinking every step along the "ay% ?hat is the purpose for the bookE ?hat is the author trying to accomplishE ?hat issues or problems are raisedE ?hat data. these e(periencesE Ho" is the author thinking about the "orldE Is her thinking $ustified as far as "e can see from our perspectiveE And ho" does she $ustify it from her perspectiveE Ho" can "e enter her perspective to appreciate "hat she has to sayE All of these are the kinds of #uestions that a critical reader raises% And a critical reader in this sense is simply someone trying to come to terms "ith the te(t% So if one is an uncritical reader. to solve specific problems of communication. as I have said. "e get the mode of collaboration "hich is antithetical to education. has a dangerous sense of misplaced confidence% Teenagers.mass learning of a most undesirable kind-% ?e learn pre$udices collaboratively. "hat e(periences. $ust as self&"orth emerges from competence. at one and the same time. and insight% So there are a lot of important educational goals deeply tied into critical thinking $ust as critical thinking is deeply tied into them% Basically the problem in the schools is that "e separate things. speaker. is al"ays a transaction bet"een at least t"o logics% In reading. "riter. kno"ledge. or listener. critical thinking% Nuestion= And finally. yes you guessed it. speaker. collaborative learning is likely to become collaborative mis&learning% It is collective bad thinking in "hich the bad thinking being shared becomes validated% 1emember. treat them in isolation and mistreat them as a result% ?e . "riter. for e(ample.the logic of the "riter into the logic of the reader*s thinking and e(perience% This entails disciplined intellectual "ork% The end result is a ne" creationF the "riter*s thinking for the first time no" e(ists "ithin the reader*s mind% :o mean feat Nuestion= And self esteemE Ho" does it fit inE +aul= Healthy self&esteem emerges from a $ustified sense of self&"orth. or. stereotypes and narro"ness of mind. ability."hich is surely not desirable-. social hates and fears collaboratively. sometimes think so "ell of themselves that they operate under the illusion that they can safely drive "hile drunk or safely take drugs% They often feel much too highly of their o"n competence and po"ers and are much too una"are of their limitations% To accurately sort out genuine self&"orth from a false sense of self&esteem re#uires. in short. hence to effectively communicate% Communication. one is not a good reader. gossip is a form of collaborative learningF peer group indoctrination is a form of collaborative learningF mass hysteria is a form of speed collaborative learning . or listener at all% To do any of these "ell is to think critically "hile doing so and. "hat evidence are givenE ?hat concepts are used to organi)e this data.

it must be "illing to "ork. a "orld in "hich $ob skills must continually be upgraded and perfected P even transformed% ?e have never had to face such a "orld before% 4ducation has never before had to prepare students for such dynamic flu(. intellectual curiosity is not a thing in itself P valuable in itself and for itself% It is valuable because it can lead to kno"ledge. then. rather than seeing ho" each important good thing helps inform all the others Nuestion= 0ne important aim of schooling should be to create a climate that evokes children*s sense of "onder and inspires their imagination to soar% ?hat can teachers do to 'kindle' this spark and keep it alive in educationE +aul= /irst of all. to take their ideas seriously% It is in the totality of this intellectually rigorous atmosphere that natural curiosity thrives% Nuestion= It is important for our students to be productive members of the "ork&force% Ho" can schools better prepare students to meet these challengesE +aul= The fundamental characteristic of the "orld students no" enter is ever&accelerating change. #uestions that stimulate students to follo" out the implications of their thought. "illing to suffer through confusion and frustration. making us better. so that the more "e kno" the more "e recogni)e "e don*t kno"% It is only people "ho have little kno"ledge "ho take their kno"ledge to be complete and entire% If "e thought deeply about almost any of the ans"ers "hich "e glibly give to children. because it can help broaden. intellectual integrity. every ans"er generates more #uestions. ho" to satisfy itE ?e can create the environment necessary to the discipline. and insight. by superficial didactic instruction% Coung children continually ask "hy% ?hy this and "hy thatE And "hy this other thingE But "e soon shut that curiosity do"n "ith glib ans"ers. even to ourselves% ?hy does rain fall from the skyE ?hy is sno" coldE ?hat is electricity and ho" does it go through the "ireE ?hy are people badE ?hy does evil e(istE ?hy is there "arE ?hy did my dog have to dieE ?hy do flo"ers bloomE 7o "e really have good ans"ers to these #uestionsE Nuestion= Ho" does curiosity fit in "ith critical thinkingE +aul= To flourish. deepen. "e "ould recogni)e that "e don*t really have a satisfactory ans"er to most of their #uestions% 5any of our ans"ers are no more than a repetition of "hat "e as children heard from adults% ?e pass on the misconceptions of our parents and those of their parents% ?e say "hat "e heard. but it re#uires a family of other traits to fulfill it% It re#uires intellectual humility. understanding. for such ferment. "illing to face limitations and overcome obstacles. "here one must respect the need for accuracy and precision and meticulousness. po"er. #uestions that lead students to e(amine interpretations and conclusions. $oy. #uestions that probe information and e(perience. tumult. intellectual perseverance. if "e are not "illing to foster an environment in "hich the minds of our students can learn the value and pain of hard intellectual "ork% ?e do our students a disservice if "e imply that all "e need is unbridled curiosity. fun% ?hat good is curiosity if "e don*t kno" "hat to do ne(t. and disarray% ?e as educators are no" on the firing line% . "here one must continually adapt one*s thinking to the thinking of others. to take their ideas apart. unpredictability. right into the groundO Intellectual curiosity is an important trait of mind. the mind must be more than curious. open to the vie"s of others. more humane. sharpen our minds. and "illing to entertain ideas that many people find threatening% That is. a "orld in "hich ideas are continually restructured. intellectual courage. to challenge their ideas. not "hat "e kno"% ?e rarely $oin the #uest "ith our children% ?e rarely admit our ignorance. #uestions that call for reasons and evidence. pursuing their basis in fact and e(perience. curiosity must evolve into disciplined in#uiry and reflection% 6eft to itself it "ill soar like a kite "ithout a tail. "here one cannot survive "ith simply one "ay of thinking. that is.end up "ith a superficial representation. that "ith it alone kno"ledge comes to us "ith blissful ease in an atmosphere of fun. her desire to #uestion deeply. more richly endo"ed persons% To reach these ends. of each of the individual things that is essential to education. a "orld in "hich information is multiplying even as it is s"iftly becoming obsolete and out of date. fun. and "ork of critical thinking only by modeling it before and "ith our students% They must see our minds at "ork% 0ur minds must stimulate theirs "ith #uestions and yet further #uestion. #uestions that help students to discover their assumptions. and faith in reason% After all. and rethought. "e kill the child*s curiosity. ans"ers to fend off rather than respond to the logic of the #uestion% In every field of kno"ledge. retested. and comple(ity. there is no point in our trying to model and encourage curiosity. to test their ideas.

higher&order thinking. that it must assess more reasoning than recall. problem&solving. and at the national level% 0f course "e "ant to do this in such a "ay as not to commit the 'Harvard /allacy'. communication.Are "e "illing to fundamentally rethink our methods of teachingE Are "e ready for the 22st CenturyE Are "e "illing to learn ne" concepts and ideasE Are "e "illing to learn a ne" sense of discipline as "e teach it to our studentsE Are "e "illing to bring ne" rigor to our o"n thinking in order to help our students bring that same rigor to theirsE Are "e "illing. to the #uality of thinking and learning of their students% . at the level of the school system. to become critical thinkers so that "e might be an e(ample of "hat our students must internali)e and becomeE These are profound challenges to the profession% They call upon us to do "hat no previous generation of teachers "as ever called upon to do% Those of us "illing to pay the price "ill yet have to teach side by side "ith teachers un"illing to pay the price% This "ill make our $ob even more difficult. to assess the instruction they received on their "ay from the beginning to the end% ?e need pre&and post&testing and assessment in order to see "hich schools. but if "e take the kno"ledge. the mistaken notion that because graduates from Harvard are very successful. that it must assess authentic performances. and significant value. no matter "hat college they attend% ?e need to focus our assessment. taught% Third. students engaged in bona fide intellectual "ork% 0ur problem is in designing and implementing such assessment% In :ovember of this last year. critical thinking abilities. "hat is not assessed is not. and Commerce that such an assessment is in the cards% The fact is "e must have standards and assessment strategies for higher&order thinking for a number of reasons% /irst. and testing scholars and practitioners. at the re#uest of the 8%S% 7epartment of 4ducation. understanding. "hich districts are really adding value. in other "ords. that the teaching at Harvard necessarily had something to do "ith it% It may be that the best prepared and "ell&connected students coming out of high school are going to end up as the best "ho graduate from college. not less important. critical thinking research is making the cultivation and assessment of higher&order thinking do&able% The road "ill not be easy. at the level of the state. are increasingly crucial to success in every domain of personal and professional life% /ifth. but not less e(citing. assessment and accountability are here to stay% The public "ill not accept less% Second. "hat is mis&assessed is mis&taught% /ourth. 6abor. on the "hole. there is much that "e could do in assessment that "e haven*t yet done P at the level of the individual classroom teacher. in short. and insights "e have gained about critical thinking over the last t"elve years. it "as almost unanimously agreed that it is possible to assess higher&order thinking on a national scale% It "as clear from the commitments of the 7epartments of 4ducation. "hich institutions. a model for the national assessment of higher order thinking% At a follo"&up meeting of critical thinking. not less re"arding% Critical thinking is the heart of "ell&conceived educational reform and restructuring because it is at the heart of the changes of the 22st Century% 6et us hope that enough of us "ill have the fortitude and vision to grasp this reality and transform our lives and our schools accordingly% Nuestion= :ational Standards "ill result in national accountability% ?hat is your vision for the futureE +aul= 5ost of the national assessment "e have done thus far is based on lo"er&order learning and thinking% It has focused on "hat might be called surface kno"ledge% It has re"arded the kind of thinking that lends itself to multiple choice machine& graded assessment% ?e no" recogni)e that the assessment of the future must focus on higher Q not lo"er Q order thinking. on ho" much value has been added by an institution% ?e need to kno" "here students stood at the beginning. .erald :osich and I developed and presented.

a ne" and better "orld% GThis is taken from the book= Ho" to +repare Students for a rapidly Changing ?orld by 1ichard +aul%H . consider the statement. complacency and ineptness% The ball is in our court% 6et*s take up the challenge together and make. assumptions. enough intellectual courage. narro"ness. "ith our students. and national performance% The pro$ect "ill take generations and perhaps in some sense "ill never end% After all. fragmentary. "e are #uite able to design prompts that re#uire students to= recogni)e clarity in contrast to unclarityF distinguish accurate from inaccurate accountsF decide "hen a statement is relevant or irrelevant to a given pointF identify inconsistent positions as "ell as consistent onesF discriminate deep. the teacher*s. they can make little or no progressF they aren*t arguing about the same point% 4vidence and considerations relevant to one interpretation may be irrelevant to others% . inferences./inally. or some standardF precise suggests minute accuracy of detail% Accuracy is an important goal in critical thinking. complete. not every sentence that can be construed in more than one "ay is problematic and deserving of analysis% 5any sentences are clearly intended one "ayF any other construal is obviously absurd and not meant% /or e(ample. the te(t*s. at the state and national level to provide for long&term assessment of district. "hen "ill "e have developed our thinking far enough. enough fairmindedness. "e have to reali)e that "e already have instruments available for assessing "hat might be called the fine&te(tured micro&skills of critical thinking% ?e already kno" ho" to design prompts that test students* ability to= identify a plausible statement of a "riter*s purposeF distinguish clearly bet"een purposes.lossary= A&B An 4ducator*s . than that they parrot the thinking of the te(t or teacher% It should also be recogni)ed that some distortion usually results "henever "e think "ithin a point of vie" or frame of reference% Students should think "ith this a"areness in mind. and conse#uencesF discuss reasonably the merits of different versions of a problem or #uestionF decide the most reasonable statement of an author*s point of vie"F recogni)e bias. enough intellectual perseverance. but interpret the claim differently. "ith some sense of the limitations of their o"n. enough reasonabilityE 0ne thing is painfully clear% ?e already have more than enough rote memori)ation and uninspired didactic teaching. '?elfare is corrupt%' Among the possible meanings of this sentence are the follo"ing= Those "ho administer "elfare programs take bribes to administer "elfare policy unfairlyF ?elfare policies are "ritten in such a "ay that much of the money goes to people "ho don*t deserve it rather than to those "ho doF A government that gives money to people "ho haven*t earned it corrupts both the giver and the recipient% If t"o people are arguing about "hether or not "elfare is corrupt.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts accurate= /ree from errors. truth. '5ake me a sand"ich%' is never seriously intended to re#uest metamorphic change% It is a poor e(ample for teaching genuine insight into critical thinking% /or an e(ample of a problematic ambiguity. and trivialF evaluate responses "ith respect to their fairnessF distinguish "ell&evidenced accounts from those unsupported by reasons and evidenceF tell good reasons from bad% ?ith respect to large scale essay assessment "e kno" enough no" about random sampling to be able to re#uire e(tended reasoning and "riting "ithout having to pay for the individual assessment of millions of essays% ?hat remains is to put "hat "e kno" into action= at the school and district level to facilitate long&term teacher development around higher&order thinking. state. and contradictions in the point of vie" of an e(cerptF distinguish evidence from conclusions based on that evidenceF give evidence to back up their positions in an essayF recogni)e conclusions that go beyond the evidenceF distinguish central from peripheral conceptsF identify crucial implications of a passageF evaluate an author*s inferencesF dra" reasonable inferences from positions statedF and so on% ?ith respect to intellectual standards. the sub$ect*s perspective% See perfections of thought% ambiguous= A sentence having t"o or more possible meanings% Sensitivity to ambiguity and vagueness in "riting and speech is essential to good thinking% A continual effort to be clear and precise in language usage is fundamental to education% Ambiguity is a problem more of sentences than of individual "ords% /urthermore. mistakes. "hen "ill "e have enough intellectual integrity. cynicism and defeatism. more than enough passivity and indifference. enough intellectual skill and ability. or distortion% Correct connotes little more than absence of errorF accurate implies a positive e(ercise of one to obtain conformity "ith fact or truthF e(act stresses perfect conformity to fact. and significant accounts from those that are superficial. though it is almost al"ays a matter of degree% It is also important to recogni)e that making mistakes is an essential part of learning and that it is far better that students make their o"n mistakes.

1ather than saying ':ever assume'. emphasi)es some points rather than others. evaluation. $udgment. students do not learn ho" to assess authority% See kno"ledge% bias= A mental leaning or inclination% ?e must clearly distinguish t"o different senses of the "ord *bias*% 0ne is neutral. "e say. this is "hat they mean% In fact. interpretations. and to bring forth facts to support or refute a point% It is done in a spirit of cooperation and good "ill% argument= A reason or reasons offered for or against something. and correct them% Assumptions can vary from the mundane to the problematic= I heard a scratch at the door% I got up to let the cat in% I assumed that only the cat makes that noise. "e often e(perience the "orld in such a "ay as to assume that "e are observing things $ust as they are. as though "e "ere seeing the "orld "ithout the filter of a point of vie"% +eople "e disagree "ith. hence reliable% Critical thinkers recogni)e that ultimate authority rests "ith reason and evidence.analy)e= To break up a "hole into its parts. assess them. and be ready to e(amine and criti#ue them%' See assumption.in sense one. and that if he*s angry at me. opinion% . the other negative% In the neutral sense "e are referring simply to the fact that. he dislikes me% :otice that people often e#uate making assumptions "ith making false assumptions% ?hen people say. take action. to look more deeply into an issue or situation% All learning presupposes some analysis of "hat "e are learning. 'Be a"are of and careful about the assumptions you make. one notices some things rather than others. "e recogni)e as having a point of vie"% 0ne of the key dispositions of critical thinking is the on&going sense that as humans "e al"ays think "ithin a perspective. "e continually try to get our students to move from the first sense of the "ord to the secondF that is. and thinks in one direction rather than others% This is not in itself a criticism because thinking "ithin a point of vie" is unavoidable% In the negative sense. and theories and those they hear and read% See elements of thought% argue= There are t"o meanings of this "ord that need to be distinguished= 2. claims.to give reasons for or against a proposal or proposition% In emphasi)ing critical thinking. and that he makes it only "hen he "ants to be let in% Someone speaks gruffly to me% I feel guilty and hurt% I assume he is angry at me. if only by categori)ing or labeling things in one "ay rather than another% Students should continually be asked to analy)e their ideas. perceiving any e(pression of emotion or any use of evaluative "ords to be biased . bet"een thinking so as to be a"are of our assumptions and being intellectually humble% authority= 2. e(periences.The po"er or supposed right to give commands.A person "ith much kno"ledge and e(pertise in a field.and try hard to avoid bias . the offering of such reasons% This term refers to a discussion in "hich there is disagreement and suggests the use of logic and bringing forth of facts to support or refute a point% See argue% to assume= To take for granted or to presuppose% Critical thinkers can and do make their assumptions e(plicit. of course.in sense t"o-% 5any people confuse these t"o senses% 5any confuse bias "ith emotion or "ith evaluation./or instance.to argue in the sense of to fight or to emotionally disagreeF and 2. therefore. or make final decisions% 2. "e try to get them to see the importance of giving reasons to support their vie"s "ithout getting their egos involved in "hat they are saying% This is a fundamental problem in human life% To argue in the critical thinking sense is to use logic and reason. to e(amine in detail so as to determine the nature of. elements of thought% assumption= A statement accepted or supposed as true "ithout proof or demonstrationF an unstated premise or belief% All human thought and e(perience is based on assumptions% 0ur thought must begin "ith something "e take to be true in a particular conte(t% ?e are typically una"are of "hat "e assume and therefore rarely #uestion our assumptions% 5uch of "hat is "rong "ith human thought can be found in the uncritical or une(amined assumptions that underlie it% /or e(ample. enforce obedience.sense t"o-% 4valuative "ords that can be $ustified by reason and evidence are not biased in the negative sense% See criteria. "e cannot avoid making assumptions and some are $ustifiable% . '7on*t assume'. because of one*s point of vie". "e have assumed that people "ho buy this book can read 4nglish%. $udgments. that "e virtually never e(perience things totally and absolutistically% There is a connection. "e are implying blindness or irrational resistance to "eaknesses "ithin one*s o"n point of vie" or to the strength or insight "ithin a point of vie" one opposes% /airminded critical thinkers try to be a"are of their bias . that he is only angry at me "hen I do something bad. since it is only on the assumption that purported e(perts have the backing of reason and evidence that they rightfully gain authority% 5uch instruction discourages critical thinking by encouraging students to believe that "hatever the te(t or teacher says is true% As a result.

rule. most people say they believe strongly in democracy. or actions are based on human thought. treating our desires as e#uivalent to needs. uses some ideas and not others. key concepts and ideas. done. vague% concept= An idea or thought. lean over back"ards to $ustify "hat "e "ant or negate "hat does not serve our interests% Similarly.lossary= C An 4ducator*s . and hypocrisy% See personal contradiction. hypocrisy. has implications. to infer. one "ay or another. that person is a critical thinker only in a "eak or #ualified sense% If that person generally uses those skills fairmindedly.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts clarify= To make easier to understand. human nature% contradictJcontradiction= To assert the opposite ofF to be contrary to. pl-= A standard. elements of thought. and so cannot assess the reasoning that took them from evidence to conclusion% 1ecogni)ing that human life is inferential. based on conclusions that "e have come to during our lifetime% Cet. to deduceF the last step in a reasoning processF a $udgment. means entering into a point of vie" other than our o"n. logic of language. "hy it is important to say "hat you mean and mean "hat you say% The key to clarification is concrete. "e don*t critically assess the conclusions "e come to. specific e(amples% See accurate. critical "riting. to remove obscurities% Clarity is a fundamental perfection of thought and clarification a fundamental aim in critical thinking% Students often do not see "hy it is important to "rite and speak clearly. but rarely as the result of conscious reasoning or deliberation% All that "e believe is. reasons and . especially a generali)ed idea of a thing or of a class of things% Humans think "ithin concepts or ideas% ?e can never achieve command over our thoughts unless "e learn ho" to achieve command over our concepts or ideas% Thus "e must learn ho" to identify the concepts or ideas "e are using. by its very nature. or e(pressedF to have intellectual or moral integrity% Human life and thought is filled "ith inconsistency. etc%&critical thinkers can listen so as to enter sympathetically and analytically into the perspective of others% See critical speaking.criteria.. critical reading. contrast them "ith alternative concepts or ideas. entering empathically into the points of vie" of others. or belief formed after investigation or reasoning% All beliefs. but fe" can clarify "ith e(amples "hat that "ord does and does not imply% 5ost people confuse the meaning of "ords "ith cultural associations. go againstF a statement in opposition to anotherF a condition in "hich things tend to be contrary to each otherF inconsistencyF discrepancyF a person or thing containing or composed of contradictory elements% See personal contradiction. thought. to determine "hether "e have sufficient grounds or reasons for accepting them% +eople seldom recogni)e "hen they have come to a conclusion% They confuse their conclusions "ith evidence. is essential to thinking critically and reflectively% consistency= To think. or speak in agreement "ith "hat has already been thought. and contradiction% ?e often say one thing and do another. and action are based on human values% The standards by "hich "e determine "hether those values are achieved in any situation represent criteria% Critical thinking depends upon making e(plicit the standards or criteria for rational or $ustifiable thinking and behavior% See evaluation% critical listening= A mode of monitoring ho" "e are listening so as to ma(imi)e our accurate understanding of "hat another person is saying% By understanding the logic of human communication&that everything spoken e(presses point of vie". decision. that "e continually come to conclusions about ourselves and the things and persons around us. act. intellectually engaged process in "hich the reader participates in an inner dialogue "ith the "riter% 5ost people read uncritically and so miss some part of "hat is e(pressed "hile distorting other parts% A critical reader reali)es the "ay in "hich reading. decisions. putting "hat "e "ant above the basic needs of others% 6ogical and moral consistency are fundamental values of fairminded critical thinking% Social conditioning and native egocentrism often obscure social contradictions. and clarify "hat "e include and e(clude by means of them% /or e(ample. $udge ourselves and our friends by one standard and our antagonists by another. he or she is a critical thinker in the strong or fullest sense% See critical thinking% critical reading= Critical reading is an active. "e rarely monitor our thought processes. the point of vie" of the "riter% A critical reader actively looks for assumptions. social contradiction. intellectual integrity. or test by "hich something can be $udged or measured% Human life. "e often confuse desires "ith needs. ambiguous. "ith the result that Rdemocracy* means to people "hatever "e do in running our government&any country that is different is undemocratic% ?e must distinguish the concepts implicit in the 4nglish language from the psychological associations surrounding that concept in a given social group or culture% The failure to develop this ability is a ma$or cause of uncritical thought and selfish critical thought% See logic of language% concludeJconclusion= To decide by reasoning. to free from confusion or ambiguity. inconsistency. intellectual empathy% critical person= 0ne "ho has mastered a range of intellectual skills and abilities% If that person generally uses those skills to advance his or her o"n selfish interests. social contradiction% criterion .

or evaluation of something% The purpose of criti#ue is the same as the purpose of critical thinking= to appreciate strengths as "ell as "eaknesses. absorbed or uncritically formed% If a person "ho "as cruel to me as a child had a particular tone of voice. "e form any number of mental links "hich.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts . ho" "e can elaborate it to make it intelligible to others. implications and conse#uences. ho"ever. on the one hand. values. unduly influence our thinking% See concept./olk"ays. not 'things as they appear from a cultural vantage point'% Becoming a"are of our cultural assumptions so that "e might critically e(amine them is a crucial dimension of critical thinking% It is. there "ill be a tendency for schools as social institutions to transmit the prevailing "orld vie" more or less uncritically. because it is a "ay of taking up the problems of life% 5en educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators and are never deceived by dithyrambic oratory% They are slo" to believe% They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees.Thinking that displays mastery of intellectual skills and abilities% A.often implicit.lossary= 7 An 4ducator*s . and make better% cultural association= 8ndisciplined thinking often reflects associations. supporting e(amples.7isciplined. and practices% At the root of each of these are many kinds of assumptions% :ot kno"ing that "e perceive. ho" "e can support it. beliefs. pre$udice.raham Sumner. intellectual virtues. elements of thought. "hat ob$ections can be raised to it from other points of vie". more accurate. kno"ledge% critical thinking= 2. uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence "ith "hich assertions are made on one side or the other% They can resist appeals to their dearest pre$udices and all kinds of ca$olery% 4ducation in the critical faculty is the only education of "hich it can be truly said that it makes good citi)ens% . logic of language% criti#ue= An ob$ective $udging.$ustifications. perfections of thought. critical reading. and 'fairminded'. domains of thought. "e unconsciously take on its point of vie". "ill pervade all its mores. virtues as "ell as failings% Critical thinkers criti#ue in order to redesign. analysis. then "e must understand "hat our thesis is. 2@!38ntil critical habits of thought pervade our society. and reasoned dissent-% Socrates is not the only thinker to imagine a society in "hich independent critical thought became embodied in the concrete day&to&day lives of individualsF ?illiam . self&directed thinking "hich e(emplifies the perfections of thinking appropriate to a particular mode or domain of thinking% 2. critical society. re#uires that the school or classroom become a microcosm of a critical society% See didactic instruction. and e(perience "ithin assumptions "e have taken in. I may find myself disliking a person "ho has the same tone of voice% 5edia advertising $u(taposes and $oins logically unrelated things to influence our buying habits% 1aised in a particular country or "ithin a particular group "ithin it. intellectual virtues% critical "riting= To e(press ourselves in language re#uires that "e arrange our ideas in some relationships to each other% ?hen accuracy and truth are at issue. not as a picture of reality% 4ducation for critical thinking. to transmit it as reality. e(plicitly formulated the ideal= The critical habit of thought. and so forth% 7isciplined "riting re#uires disciplined thinkingF disciplined thinking is achieved through disciplined "riting% See critical listening. then. social contradiction% . dialogical instruction. parallel e(periences.The art of thinking about your thinking "hile you are thinking in order to make your thinking better= more clear. remodel. critical "riting. if they remain une(amined. "e take ourselves to be perceiving 'things as they are'.belief adopted by virtue of upbringing in a society% 1aised in a society. critical reading. if usual in a society. "ithout certainty and "ithout pain% They can "ait for evidence and "eigh evidence. conceive. and any other structural features of the "ritten te(t. critical listening. ho"ever.re"ards reflective #uestioning. :orth America*s distinguished anthropologist. a dimension almost totally absent from schooling% 6ip service to this ideal is common enoughF a realistic emphasis is virtually unheard of% See ethnocentricity. intellectual independence. personal and cultural. "hat the limitations are to our point of vie". think. or more defensible% Critical thinking can be distinguished into t"o forms= 'selfish' or 'sophistic'. critical society% cultural assumption= 8nassessed . on the other% In thinking critically "e use our command of the elements of thinking to ad$ust our thinking successfully to the logical demands of a type or mode of thinking% See critical person. to interpret and assess it accurately and fairly% See elements of thought% critical society= A society "hich re"ards adherence to the values of critical thinking and hence does not use indoctrination and inculcation as basic modes of learning .

"hen considering a #uestion.are often uncritically used as the norm of all $udgment and e(perience% 4gocentricity is one of the fundamental impediments to critical thinking% As one learns to think critically in a strong sense. "e can say then.data= /acts. Socratic #uestioning. personal contradiction% elements of thought= All thought has a universal set of elements. reasoners pit t"o or more opposing points of vie" in competition "ith each other.thinking "ithin more than one perspective. developing each by providing support. in circumstances in "hich they continually e(press their vie"s to others and try to fit other*s vie"s into their o"n% See Socratic #uestioning. trying to integrate or incorporate strong points found in other vie"s. strong sense critical thinker. $ealousy. each of "hich can be monitored for possible problems= Are "e clear about our purpose or goalE about the problem or #uestion at issueE about our point of vie" or frame of referenceE about our assumptionsE about the claims "e are makingE about the reasons or evidence upon "hich "e are basing our claimsE about our inferences and line of reasoningE about the implications and conse#uences that follo" from our reasoningE Critical thinkers develop skills of identifying and assessing these elements in their thinking and in the thinking of others% emotion= A feeling aroused to the point of a"areness. monological thinking.associated "ith critical thinking in the restricted or "eak sense-. and so on% 7ialectical thinking or discussion can be conducted so as to '"in' by defeating the positions one disagrees "ith&using critical insight to support one*s o"n vie" and point out fla"s in other vie"s . Befferson and ?ashington. by conceding points that don*t stand up to criti#ue. values. and less egocentric% See human nature. kno"ledge% domains of thought= Thinking can be oriented or structured "ith different issues or purposes in vie"% Thinking varies in accordance "ith purpose and issue% Critical thinkers learn to discipline their thinking to take into account the nature of the issue or domain% ?e see this most clearly "hen "e consider the difference bet"een issues and thinking "ithin different academic disciplines or sub$ect areas% Hence. in a sense. the class brings all relevant sub$ects to bear and considers the perspectives of groups "hose vie"s are not canvassed in their te(ts&for e(ample. dialectical%. egocentric ones% See rational passions. rather than to ho" it seems to their infantile ego% 4motions and feelings themselves are not irrationalF ho"ever. historical thinking% 5athematics and history. raising ob$ections. multilogical thinking. etc%E' or. this mode of teaching falsely assumes that one can directly give a person kno"ledge "ithout that person having to think his or her "ay to it% It falsely assumes that kno"ledge can be separated from understanding and $ustification% It confuses the ability to state a principle "ith understanding it.conducted to test the strengths and "eaknesses of opposing points of vie"% . the 1evolutionary ?ar. it is common for people to feel strongly "hen their ego is stimulated% 0ne "ay to understand the goal of strong sense critical thinking is as the attempt to develop rational feelings and emotions at the e(pense of irrational. "hen "e are e(cited by infantile anger. and using critical insight to develop a fuller and more accurate vie" . figures. dialectical thinking% didactic instruction= Teaching by telling% In didactic instruction.seeming to be self&evidently correct or superior to those of others.?hen thinking dialectically. or upon "hich interpretations or theories can be based% As critical thinkers "e must make certain to distinguish hard data from the inferences or conclusions "e dra" from them% dialectical thinking= 7ialogical thinking .eorge think of the 7eclaration of Independence. the teacher directly tells the student "hat to believe and think about a sub$ect% The student*s task is to remember "hat the teacher said and reproduce it on demand% In its most common form. intellectual virtues% . often a strong feeling or state of e(citement% ?hen our egocentric emotions or feelings get involved. fear.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts egocentricity= A tendency to vie" everything in relationship to oneselfF to confuse immediate perception . the Continental Congress. '?hat did <ing . one learns to become more rational. sociocentrism. represent different domains of thought% See the logic of #uestions% . mathematical thinking is #uite different from. kno"ledge% dialogical thinking= Thinking that involves a dialogue or e(tended e(change bet"een different points of vie" or frames of reference% Students learn best in dialogical situations. higher order learning. countering those ob$ections. and the act of saying that something is important "ith recogni)ing its importance% See critical society. our ob$ectivity often decreases% Critical thinkers need to be able to monitor their egocentric feelings and use their rational passions to reason themselves into feelings appropriate to the situation as it really is.Court trials and debates are. etc%.lossary= 4 An 4ducator*s . 'Ho" "ould an economist analy)e this situationE A historianE A psychologistE A geographerE' See critical society. or information from "hich conclusions can be inferred.associated "ith critical thinking in the fuller or strong sense-% See monological problems% dialogical instruction= Instruction that fosters dialogical or dialectic thinking% Thus. didactic instruction. or fairmindedly.ho" things seem"ith reality% 0ne*s desires. ethnocentrism. raising further ob$ections. say. and beliefs . lo"er order learning. the ability to supply a definition "ith kno"ing a ne" "ord.

right there for everyone to seeO Such people find it difficult or even impossible to describe the evidence or e(perience "ithout coloring that description "ith their interpretation% e(plicit= Clearly stated and leaving nothing impliedF e(plicit is applied to that "hich is so clearly stated or distinctly set forth that there should be no doubt as to the meaningF e(act and precise in this connection both suggest that "hich is strictly defined. based on the deep&seated belief that one*s o"n group is superior to all others% 4thnocentrism is a form of egocentrism e(tended from the self to the group% 5uch uncritical or selfish critical thinking is either egocentric or ethnocentric in nature% . though *sociocentricity* is broader. character. but I must evaluate those claims to determine if they are true% +eople often confuse these t"o senses. a conservative may distort the facts that support a liberal perspective to prevent empirical evidence from counting against a theory of the "orld that he or she holds rigidly% Indeed. relating to any group. e(act.Are "e clear about "hat precisely "e are evaluatingEF 2.as opposed to 'claimed to be true'-F and 'empirical' . they believe. but "ithout seriously considering those beliefs and "ays. and specific% 5ost students cannot make "hat is implicit in their thinking e(plicit% This deficiency hampers their ability to monitor and assess their thinking% .Are "e clear about our purposeE Is our purpose legitimateEF A.Have "e applied our criteria accurately and fairly to the facts as "e kno" themE 8ncritical thinkers often treat evaluation as mere preference or treat their evaluative $udgments as direct observations not admitting of error% evidence= The data on "hich a $udgment or conclusion might be based or by "hich proof or probability might be established% Critical thinkers distinguish the evidence or ra" data upon "hich they base their interpretations or conclusions from the inferences and assumptions that connect data to conclusions% 8ncritical thinkers treat their conclusions as something given to them in e(perience.The 'cure' for ethnocentrism or sociocentrism is empathic thought "ithin the perspective of opposing groups and cultures% Such empathic thought is rarely cultivated in the societies and schools of today% Instead. inference. or e(perience from those based on the meaning of a "ord or concept or the implications of a theory% 0ne common form of uncritical or selfish critical thinking involves distorting facts or e(perience in order to preserve a preconceived meaning or theory% /or e(ample. observation. but from e(perience or scientific la"% The redness of the coil on the stove empirically implies dangerous heat% ethnocentricity= A tendency to vie" one*s o"n race or culture as central. "hat are the relevant criteria or standards for evaluationEF M. fact. definite. or made unmistakably clearF definite implies precise limitations as to the nature. I should assess it% I should ask such #uestions as 'Ho" do you kno"E Ho" could this be kno"nE 7id you merely ask people if they "ere depressed and . that is. "ithin all perspectives and belief systems many "ill distort the facts before they "ill admit to a "eakness in their favorite theory or belief% See data.as opposed to conceptual or evaluative-% Cou may make many 'factual claims' in one sense. for e(ample. accurately stated. the truth of their vie"s is. not due to the logic of language. or e(perience rather than on theory or meaning% It is important to continually distinguish those considerations based on e(periment. many people develop an empty rhetoric of tolerance. '2@%2A S of Americans suffer from depression%' Before I accept this as true. $udgment. including. for the most part. claims "hich can be verified or disproven by observation or empirical study. and their reasons for maintaining them% evaluation= To $udge or determine the "orth or #uality of% 4valuation has a logic and should be carefully distinguished from mere sub$ective preference% The elements of its logic may be put in the form of #uestions "hich may be asked "henever an evaluation is to be carried out= 2. saying that others have different beliefs and "ays. meaning.*4thnocentrism* and *sociocentrism* are used synonymously. observation. etc% of somethingF specific implies the pointing up of details or the particulari)ing of references% Critical thinking often re#uires the ability to be e(plicit. statements "hich merely 'seem factual'.empirical= 1elying or based on e(periment.7o "e have sufficient information about that "hich "e are evaluatingE Is that information relevant to the purposeEF and . sociocentricity regarding one*s profession%.lossary= /&H An 4ducator*s . for e(ample. "hat is trueF verifiable by empirical meansF distinguished from interpretation. as something they directly observe in the "orld% As a result. even to the point of accepting as true. evidence% empirical implication= That "hich follo"s from a situation or fact.. or conclusionF the ra" data% There are distinct senses of the "ord *factual*= 'True' . "hat they mean to those others. they find it difficult to see "hy anyone might disagree "ith their conclusions% After all.iven our purpose.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts fact= ?hat actually happened.

one*s interests. and in doing so implies that there are good reasons for accepting one rather than another% A Christian. "hat is taught to them by religious and school authorities. skill. egocentric. etc% See dialogical instruction. that it is perfectly possible to have an over"helming inner sense of the correctness of oneTs vie"s and still be "rong% See intellectual virtues% . people need e(tensive and systematic practice to develop their secondary nature. believes that there are good reasons for not being an atheist. $ustification.e(trapolate those resultsE Ho" e(actly did you arrive at this figureE' +urported facts should be assessed for their accuracy.lossary= I An 4ducator*s .especially one that appears to be sound-% Containing or based on a fallacyF deceptive in appearance or meaningF misleadingF delusive% higher order learning= 6earning through e(ploring the foundations. or one can learn through mere association% 4ducation for critical thought produces higher order learning by helping students actively think their "ay to conclusionsF discuss their thinking "ith other students and the teacherF entertain a variety of points of vie"F analy)e concepts. or reliance% A critical thinker does not accept faith in the first sense. and impartiality% 4ducation "hich stresses retention and repetition of factual claims stunts students* desire and ability to assess alleged facts. "hat is repeated often by the media. and relevance to the issue% Sources of purported facts should be assessed for their #ualifications. completeness. and does not believe simply on the basis of blind faith% fallacyJfallacious= An error in reasoningF fla" or defect in argumentF an argument "hich doesn*t conform to rules of good reasoning . for e(ample. kno"ledge% fair= Treating both or all sides alike "ithout reference to one*s o"n feelings or interestsF $ust implies adherence to a standard of rightness or la"fulness "ithout reference to one*s o"n inclinationsF impartial and unbiased both imply freedom from pre$udice for or against any sideF dispassionate implies the absence of passion or strong emotion. for every belief is reached on the basis of some thinking. a love of clarity. mathematics by thinking mathematically. cultivating the capacity of the human mind to discipline and direct its thought through commitment to intellectual standards.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts . hence. principle.8n#uestioning belief in anything% 2. then. or concept% 6earning so as to deeply understand% 0ne can learn in keeping "ith the rational capacities of the human mind or in keeping "ith its irrational propensities. that they do not have a direct pipeline to reality. their implicit capacity to function as rational persons% They need e(tensive and systematic practice to recogni)e the tendencies they have to form irrational beliefs% They need e(tensive practice to develop a dislike of inconsistency. etc% faith= 2. critical society.Confidence. "hat preserves their sense of personal comfort and righteousness. principle. and e(planations in their o"n termsF actively #uestion the meaning and implications of "hat they learnF compare "hat they learn to "hat they have e(periencedF take "hat they read and "rite seriouslyF solve non&routine problemsF e(amine assumptionsF and gather and assess evidence% Students should learn each sub$ect by engaging in thought "ithin that sub$ect% They should learn history by thinking historically. and Christians often attempt to persuade non&Christians to change their beliefs% In some sense. leaving them open to manipulation% Activities in "hich students are asked to 'distinguish fact from opinion' often confuse these t"o senses% They encourage students to accept as true statements "hich merely 'look like' facts% See intellectual humility. trust. disinterested $udgmentF ob$ective implies a vie"ing of persons or things "ithout reference to oneself. lo"er order learning. kno"ledge. that they live inferentially. domains of thought% human nature= The common #ualities of all human beings% +eople have both a primary and a secondary nature% 0ur primary nature is spontaneous. track records. "hich may or may not be $ustified% 4ven in religion one believes in one religion rather than another. everyone has confidence in the capacity of his or her o"n mind to $udge rightly on the basis of good reasons. and value of a fact. and "hat is commonly believed in the nation in "hich they are raised% +eople need no training to think that those "ho disagree "ith them are "rong and probably pre$udiced% +eople need no training to assume that their o"n most fundamental beliefs are self&evidently true or easily $ustified by evidence% +eople naturally and spontaneously identify "ith their o"n beliefs% They e(perience most disagreement as personal attack% The resulting defensiveness interferes "ith their capacity to empathi)e "ith or enter into other points of vie"% 0n the other hand. theories. a passion to seek reasons and evidence and to be fair to points of vie" other than their o"n% +eople need e(tensive practice to recogni)e that they indeed have a point of vie". connotes cool. and "hat presupposes their o"n correctness% +eople need no special training to believe "hat those around them believe= "hat their parents and friends believe. "hat minimi)es their sense of inconsistency. implications. and strongly prone to irrational belief formation% It is the basis for our instinctual thought% +eople need no training to believe "hat they "ant to believe= "hat serves their immediate interests.

stubbornness. is persuaded by reason% Confidence in reason is undermined "hen one is e(pected to perform tasks "ithout understanding "hy. and to conform "hen it is rational to conform% See kno". that occurs to the mind in reasoning or contemplationF notion implies vagueness or incomplete intentionF impression also implies vagueness of an idea provoked by some e(ternal stimulus% Critical thinkers are a"are of "hat ideas they are using in their thinking. relating one sub$ect to other sub$ects and all sub$ects to personal e(perience% 1arely is insight formulated as a goal in present curricula and te(ts% See dialogical instruction. to repeat statements "ithout having verified or $ustified them. persuade each other by reason. uses reason to persuade. despite an intense conviction that "e "ere right. "e must not passively and uncritically 'accept' "hat "e have 'learned'% Intellectual courage comes into play here. precision. including sensitivity to circumstances in "hich oneTs native egocentrism is likely to function self&deceptivelyF sensitivity to bias and pre$udice in. lo"er order learning.people can learn to think for themselves. values. intellectual humility% intellectual autonomy= Having rational control of ones beliefs. dra" reasonable conclusions. an intellectual act by "hich one concludes that something is so in light of something else*s being so. critical listening. and ideas other than our o"n% This trait also re#uires that "e remember occasions "hen "e "ere "rong. to #uestion "hen it is rational to #uestion. based on kno"ledge of particular instances of the classF conception. logic of language% implyJimplication= A claim or truth "hich follo"s from other claims or truths% 0ne of the most important skills of critical thinking is the ability to distinguish bet"een "hat is actually implied by a statement or situation from "hat may be carelessly inferred by people% Critical thinkers try to monitor their inferences to keep them in line "ith "hat is actually implied by "hat they kno"% ?hen speaking. logic. or seeming to be so% If you come at me "ith a knife in your hand. concept. and inferences% The ideal of critical thinking is to learn to think for oneself. and consider that "e might be similarly deceived in a case at hand% intellectual humility= A"areness of the limits of one*s kno"ledge. for e(ample. higher order learning. $ustified or un$ustified% Inferences are based upon assumptions% See implyJimplication% insight= The ability to see and clearly and deeply understand the inner nature of things% Instruction for critical thinking fosters insight rather than mere performanceF it cultivates the achievement of deeper kno"ledge and understanding through insight% Thinking oneTs "ay into and through a sub$ect leads to insights as one synthesi)es "hat one is learning. and limitations of one*s vie"point% Intellectual humility is based on the recognition that no one should claim more than he or she actually kno"s% It does not imply . logic of language. I "ould probably infer that you mean to do me harm% Inferences can be strong or "eak."ith proper encouragement and cultivation. "here those ideas came from.idea= Anything e(isting in the mind as an ob$ect of kno"ledge or thoughtF concept refers to generali)ed idea of a class of ob$ects. or rebellion% It entails a commitment to analy)ing and evaluating beliefs on the basis of reason and evidence. and become reasonable. is to imply that it is intentional and un$ustified% See clarify.in "hole or in part-. because inevitably "e "ill come to see some truth in some ideas considered dangerous and absurd and some distortion or falsity in some ideas strongly held in our social group% It takes courage to be true to our o"n thinking in such circumstances% 4(amining cherished beliefs is difficult. and ho" to assess them% See clarify. critical thinkers try to use "ords that imply only "hat they can legitimately $ustify% They recogni)e that there are established "ord usages "hich generate established implications% To say of an act that it is murder. to gain command over oneTs thought processes% Intellectual autonomy does not entail "illfulness. solves problems through reason. to believe "hen it is rational to believe. kno"ledge% . elements of thought% inferJinference= An inference is a step of the mind. and the penalties for non&conformity are often severe% intellectual empathy= 8nderstanding the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others to genuinely understand them% ?e must recogni)e our egocentric tendency to identify truth "ith our immediate perceptions or longstanding beliefs% Intellectual empathy correlates "ith the ability to accurately reconstruct the vie"points and reasoning of others and to reason from premises.confidence or faith in reason= Confidence that in the long run one*s o"n higher interests and those of humankind at large "ill best be served by giving the freest play to reason&by encouraging people to come to their o"n conclusions through a process of developing their o"n rational facultiesF faith that . think coherently and logically. regardless of our strong negative reactions to them% This courage arises from the recognition that ideas considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally $ustified . and that conclusions or beliefs espoused by those around us or inculcated in us are sometimes false or misleading% To determine for ourselves "hich is "hich.intellectual. "hether or not e(pressed. critical reading. or vie"points to "hich "e have not given a serious hearing. assumptions. didactic instruction. despite the deep&seated obstacles in the native character of the human mind and in society% Confidence in reason is developed through e(periences in "hich one reasons one*s "ay to insight. often e#uivalent to concept. to accept beliefs on the sole basis of authority or social pressure% intellectual courage= The "illingness to face and fairly assess ideas. form rational vie"points. beliefs. specifically refers to something conceived in the mind or imaginedF thought refers to any idea.

I may interpret someone*s silence as an e(pression of hostility to"ard me% Such an interpretation may or may not be correct% I may have pro$ected my patterns of motivation and behavior onto that person.spinelessness or submissiveness% It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness. do students* thinking for them or substitute easy tricks. obstacles. must be meaningful to us. and frustrationsF firm adherence to rational principles despite irrational opposition of othersF a sense of the need to struggle "ith confusion and unsettled #uestions over an e(tended period of time in order to achieve deeper understanding or insight% This trait is undermined "hen teachers and others continually provide the ans"ers. or I may have accurately noticed this pattern in the other%The best interpretations take the most evidence into account% Critical thinkers recogni)e their interpretations. "e e(perience an inner sense that "hat "e believe is true% The problem is that sometimes "e are correct . and reconsider their interpretations in the light of ne" evidence% All learning involves personal interpretation.intellectual.having fallen victim to one of our pre$udices-% A critical thinker does not blindly accept that "hat he or she thinks or believes but cannot account for is necessarily true% A critical thinker reali)es ho" easily "e confuse intuitions and pre$udices% Critical thinkers may follo" their inner sense that something is so. or conceit. and "hy it applies% Helping students to develop critical thinking intuitions is helping them gain the practical insights necessary for a ready and s"ift application of concepts to cases in a large array of circumstances% ?e "ant critical thinking to be 'intuitive' to our students. intellectual empathy. and intellectual autonomy% interpretJinterpretation= To give one*s o"n conception of. or nationF implies adherence to intellectual standards "ithout reference to oneTs o"n advantage or the advantage of one*s group% intellectual virtues= The traits of mind and character necessary for right action and thinkingF the traits of mind and character essential for fairminded rationalityF the traits that distinguish the narro"minded.and sometimes "e are incorrect . in attempting to directly implant kno"ledge in students* minds. combined "ith insight into the strengths or "eaknesses of the logical foundations of one*s beliefs% intellectual integrity= 1ecognition of the need to be true to oneTs o"n thinking. and can develop and share realistic "ays of ameliorating them% It re#uires honest ackno"ledgment of the difficulties of achieving greater consistency% intellectual perseverance= ?illingness and consciousness of the need to pursue intellectual insights and truths despite difficulties. ready and available for immediate translation into their everyday thought and e(perience% irrationalJirrationality= 2. to practice "hat one advocates for others. "hen. independent thought% intellectual sense of $ustice= ?illingness and consciousness of the need to entertain all vie"points sympathetically and to assess them "ith the same intellectual standards. perspective. or the feelings or vested interests of one*s friends. the situation% . discovering you donTt kno" as much as you thought. "ithout reference to oneTs o"n feelings or vested interests. distinguish them from evidence. and to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in one*s o"n thought and action% This trait develops best in a supportive atmosphere in "hich people feel secure and free enough to honestly ackno"ledge their inconsistencies.and have genuinely e(perienced an intuition. community. point of vie".confidence in reason. typically ignores the role of personal interpretation in learning% intuition= The direct kno"ing or learning of something "ithout the conscious use of reasoning% ?e sometimes seem to kno" or learn things "ithout recogni)ing ho" "e came to that kno"ledge% ?hen this occurs. self&serving critical thinker from the openminded. to be consistent in the intellectual standards one applies.6acking the po"er to reason% . and short cuts for careful. since "hatever "e learn "e must integrate into our o"n thinking and action% ?hat "e learn must be given a meaning by us. intellectual perseverance. truth&seeking critical thinker% These intellectual traits are interdependent% 4ach is best developed "hile developing the others as "ell% They cannot be imposed from "ithoutF they must be cultivated by encouragement and e(ample% +eople can come to deeply understand and accept these principles by analy)ing their e(periences of them= learning from an unfamiliar perspective. it is important to develop your critical thinking intuitions%' This sense of the "ord is connected to the fact that "e can learn concepts at various levels of depth% If "e learn nothing more than an abstract definition for a "ord and do not learn ho" to apply it effectively in a "ide variety of situations. and so on% They include= intellectual sense of $ustice. to place in the conte(t of one*s o"n e(perience. intellectual courage. or philosophy% Interpretations should be distinguished from the facts. consider alternative interpretations. algorithms. and hence involves interpretive acts on our part% 7idactic instruction. boastfulness. but only "ith a healthy sense of intellectual humility% There is a second sense of *intuition* that is important for critical thinking. to hold oneself to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to "hich one holds one*s antagonists. the evidence. one might say that "e end up "ith no intuitive basis for applying it% ?e lack the insight into ho". intellectual integrity. intellectual humility. and that is the meaning suggested in the follo"ing sentence= 'To develop your critical thinking abilities. .

enuine kno"ledge is inseparable from thinking minds% ?e often "rongly talk of kno"ledge as though it could be divorced from thinking. then.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts $udgment= 2. opinion.ood $udgment is developed. hearsay. ho"ever. and fairmindedness% These global skills. or policy to be in accord "ith reason and evidence. because "e are more comfortable "ith belief. as though . not all learning is automatically or even commonly rational% 5uch that "e learn in everyday life is #uite distinctively irrational% It is #uite possible Q and indeed the bulk of human learning is unfortunately of this character&to come to believe any number of things "ithout kno"ing ho" or "hy% It is #uite possible.2. fears. to have a firm mental grasp ofF information applies to data that are gathered in any "ay. logic. the educated.The act of $udging or deciding% 2. because our vested interest is served by belief. to help them to develop the habit of $udging on the basis of reason. "e do so on the basis of implicit or e(plicit $udgments% All thought presupposes making $udgments concerning "hat is so and "hat is not so. opinions. passions. of course. our beliefs are "ithout rational grounding. and are sometimes senseless or absurd% It is important to recogni)e. etc% and to the ideas inferred from these facts. observation. didactic instruction% . but rather as a normal act of a rational person% 7idactic modes of teaching that do not encourage students to #uestion the $ustification for "hat is asserted fail to develop a thoughtful environment conducive to education% kno"= To have a clear perception or understanding of. observation. face no dilemma here because of their consistent commitment to advance their narro" vested interests% /airminded critical thinkers make these decisions self&consciously and honestly assess the results% irrational learning= All rational learning presupposes rational assent% And. to be sure of. as by reading. "ithout the foundation a rational person demands% ?e become rational.Senseless. to believe for irrational reasons= because those around us believe. integrated into behavior and thought. to be ethically acceptable. study. "hat is true and "hat is not% To cultivate people*s ability to think critically is to foster their $udgment. and dispositions. make a decision. kno"ledge. "hen students blindly memori)e and are tested for recall. or act. etc% and does not necessarily connote validityF kno"ledge applies to any body of facts gathered by study. and desiresF to the e(tent that "e have cultivated a passion for clarity.lossary= B&6 An 4ducator*s . characteri)e the rational. evidence. on the other hand. in other "ords. that in societies "ith irrational beliefs and practices. but by fre#uent practice $udging and assessing $udgments% $ustifyJ$ustification= The act of sho"ing a belief. not by merely learning about principles of good $udgment.Contrary to reason or logic% A. and policies% Asking for a $ustification should not. accuracy. and e(perience% *Thoughtless kno"ledge* is a contradiction% *Blind kno"ledge* is a contradiction% *8n$ustifiable kno"ledge* is a contradiction% <no"ledge implies $ustifiable belief or skilled action% Hence. absurd% 8ncritical thinkers have failed to develop the ability or po"er to reason "ell% Their beliefs and practices. or our personal being "ith belief% In all of these cases. "hich in turn are based on thought. because "e are afraid to disbelieve. they are not being tested for kno"ledge% <no"ledge is continually confused "ith recall in present&day schooling% This confusion is a deep&seated impediment to the integration of critical thinking into schooling% . "ithout good reason and evidence. suppose one*s vested interests are best advanced by adopting beliefs and practices that are contrary to reason% Is it then rational to follo" reason and negate one*s vested interests or follo" one*s interests and ignore reasonE These very real dilemmas of everyday life represent on&going problems for critical thinkers% Selfish critical thinkers. or both% 4ducation should foster reasonability in students% This re#uires that both teachers and students develop the disposition to ask for and give $ustifications for beliefs.8nderstanding and good sense% A person has good $udgment "hen they typically $udge and decide on the basis of understanding and good sense% ?henever "e form a belief or opinion. or because "e have ego identified ourselves. it is not clear "hether challenging those beliefs and practices&and therefore possibly endangering oneself&is rational or irrational% /urthermore. then. be vie"ed as an insult or attack. action. are often contrary to reason and logic. and connotes an understanding of "hat is kno"n% Critical thinkers need to distinguish kno"ledge from opinion and belief% See kno"ledge% kno"ledge= The act of having a clear and $ustifiable grasp of "hat is so or of ho" to do something% <no"ledge is based on understanding or skill. though "e sometimes forget it. and the critical person% See higher and lo"er order learning. because "e are re"arded for believing. actions. our image. to the e(tent that our beliefs and actions are grounded in good reasons and evidenceF to the e(tent that "e recogni)e and criti#ue our o"n irrationalityF to the e(tent that "e are not moved by bad reasons and a multiplicity of irrational motives. and good sense% .

makes claims. issues. students do not look for seminal terms as they study an area% They do not strive to translate technical terms into analogies and ordinary "ords they understand or distinguish technical from ordinary uses of terms% They do not look for the basic assumptions of the disciplines they study% Indeed. U-% The system of principles. of "hat they do or don*t imply. it is necessary that "ords have definite uses and defined concepts that transcend particular cultures% The 4nglish language. analy)ed by thought. most are ignorant of the logic of the disciplines they study% This severely limits their ability to grasp the discipline as a "hole. theories. and that every discipline relies on concepts. e(emplifies. and to apply it outside the conte(t of academic assignments% Typically no". in keeping "ith educated usage% . is learned by many peoples of the "orld unfamiliar "ith 4nglish or :orth American cultures% Critical thinkers must learn to use their native language "ith precision.it could be gathered up by one person and given to another in the form of a collection of sentences to remember% ?hen "e talk in this "ay. counts against. and transformed by thought% <no"ledge can be ac#uired only through thought% <no"ledge e(ists. evaluated. of "hat supports and "hat counts against a belief. comprehended by thought. they do not kno" "hat assumptions are nor "hy it is important to e(amine them% ?hat they have in their heads e(ists like so many BB*s in a bag% ?hether one thought supports or follo"s from another. on the "hole. and sometimes contradictory% See kno"ledge. assumptions. concepts. presupposes. properly speaking. organi)ed. has implications and conse#uences. etc% The concept of logic is a seminal notion in critical thinking% 8nfortunately. that logic is involved in all human thinking% It is rather to say that the logic "e use is often implicit. this is due to people*s failure to monitor their o"n thinking in keeping "ith the standards of reason and logic% This is not to deny. etc% Nuestions have a logic in that "e can investigate the conditions under "hich they can be settled% 7isciplines have a logic in that they have purposes and a set of logical structures that bear upon those purposes= assumptions. "hich is another "ay of saying that they have not learned ho" to use thought to gain kno"ledge% Instruction for critical thinking cultivates the studentsT ability to make e(plicit the logic of "hat they study% This emphasis gives depth and breath to study and learning% It lies at the heart of the differences bet"een lo"er order and higher order learning% See kno"ledge% the logic of language= /or a language to e(ist and be learnable by persons from a variety of cultures. "e forget that kno"ledge. data. or practice% The set of rational considerations that bear upon the truth or $ustification of any belief or set of beliefs% The set of rational considerations that bear upon the settlement of any #uestion or set of #uestions% The "ord *logic* covers a range of related concerns all bearing upon the #uestion of rational $ustification and e(planation% All human thought and behavior is to some e(tent based on logic rather than instinct% Humans try to figure things out using ideas. is relevant to. of course. claims. maintained. for e(ample. assumes. activity. "hether one thought elaborates another. higher and lo"er order learning. of "hat "e do and do not kno". to compare and contrast it "ith other disciplines. contradicts. etc% Though all students study disciplines. of "hat "e should and should not assume. to think independently "ithin it. and thought% Such intellectual behavior inevitably involves 'logic' or considerations of a logical sort= some sense of "hat is relevant and irrelevant. implications. depends on thought% <no"ledge is produced by thought. une(pressed. or contradicts another. conse#uences. and assumptions that underlie any discipline. the logic of a discipline. of "hat is and is not implied. concepts. it takes a considerable length of time before most people become comfortable "ith its multiple uses% In part. of "hat is relevant or irrelevant to them. only in minds that have comprehended and $ustified it through thought% <no"ledge is not to be confused "ith belief nor "ith symbolic representation of belief% Humans easily and fre#uently believe things that are false or believe things to be true "ithout kno"ing them to be so% A book contains kno"ledge only in a derivative sense. implies. the logic of #uestions% the logic of a discipline= The notion that every technical term has logical relationships "ith other technical terms. of "hat does and does not contradict. by its very nature. of "hat "e should or should not do or believe% Concepts have a logic in that "e can investigate the conditions under "hich they do and do not apply. are matters students have not learned to think about% They have not learned to use thought to understand thought. only because minds can thoughtfully read it and through that process gain kno"ledge% logic= Correct reasoning or the study of correct reasoning and its foundations% The relationships bet"een propositions .supports. gives reasons and evidence. of "hat "e should and should not claim. that some terms are logically more basic than others. and theories. the logic of language. avoids contradictions and inconsistencies. meanings.

many students do not understand the significant relationship bet"een precision in language usage and precision in thought% Consider. ho" most students relate to their native language% If one #uestions them about the meanings of "ords. nonatomic problems ine(tricably $oined to other problems. and construe% 4(plain implies the process of making clear and intelligible something not understood or kno"n% 4(pound implies a systematic and thorough e(planation.lossary= 5&0 An 4ducator*s . "ith some conceptual messiness to them and very often "ith important values lurking in the background% ?hen the problems have an empirical dimension. concept% the logic of #uestions= The range of rational considerations that bear upon the settlement of a given #uestion or group of #uestions% A critical thinker is adept at analy)ing #uestions to determine "hat. as a place "here you hear names. not noticing that.Ten full crates of "alnuts "eigh M2! pounds. consider the follo"ing problems= 2. often by an e(pert% 4(plicate implies a scholarly analysis developed in detail% 4lucidate implies a shedding of light upon by clear and specific illustration or e(planation% Interpret implies the bringing out of meanings not immediately apparent% Construe implies a particular interpretation of something "hose meaning is ambiguous% See clarify. interpret. different kinds of considerations. precisely. places. "e could not understand each other% Students speak and "rite in vague sentences because they have no rational criteria for choosing "ords&they simply "rite "hatever "ords pop into their heads% They do not reali)e that every language has a highly refined logic one must learn in order to e(press oneself precisely% They do not reali)e that even "ords similar in meaning typically have different implications% Consider. events. dates. "ere this true.8nfortunately. e(plicate. monological and multilogical problems and thinking% . symbols. a #uestion asks and ho" to go about rationally settling it% A critical thinker recogni)es that different kinds of #uestions often call for different modes of thinking. lo"er order learning is learning by sheer association or rote% Hence students come to think of history class. very fe" students think of "hat they are learning as "orthy of being arranged logically in their minds or have the slightest idea of ho" to do so% See didactic instruction. for e(ample. and drill% There are a variety of forms of lo"er order learning in the schools "hich "e can identify by understanding the relative lack of logic informing them% +aradigmatically. the problem is settled% The ans"er or solution proposed can be sho"n by standards implicit in the frame of reference to be the 'right' ans"er or solution% 5ost important human problems are multilogical rather than monological.problems= +roblems that can be solved by reasoning e(clusively "ithin one point of vie" or frame of reference% /or e(ample. the "ords e(plain. scraps left over after they have forgotten most of "hat they stored in their short&term memories for tests% >irtually never do they grasp the logic of "hat they learn% 1arely do they relate "hat they learn to their o"n e(perience or criti#ue each by means of the other% 1arely do they try to test "hat they learn in everyday life% 1arely do they ask '?hy is this soE Ho" does this relate to "hat I already kno"E Ho" does this relate to "hat I am learning in other classesE' To put the point in a nutshell. students leave "ith a $umble of undigested fragments. for e(ample. that dimension tends to have a controversial scope% In multilogical problems. their account is typically incoherent% They often say that people have their o"n meanings for all the "ords they use. elucidate. for e(ample. association. and formulas&mysterious things you mechanically manipulate as the teacher told you in order to get the right ans"er% 6iterature is often thought of as uninteresting stories to remember along "ith "hat the teacher said is important about them% Conse#uently.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts monological . and outcomesF "here you try to remember them and state them on tests% 5ath comes to be thought of as numbers. e(pound. and different procedures and techni#ues% 8ncritical thinkers often confuse distinct #uestions and use considerations irrelevant to an issue "hile ignoring relevant ones% lo"er order learning= 6earning by rote memori)ation. "hereas an empty crate "eighs 2! pounds% Ho" much do the "alnuts alone "eighEF and 2.In ho" many days of the "eek does the third letter of the day*s name immediately follo" the first letter of the day*s name in the alphabetE I call these problems and the means by "hich they are solved 'monological'% They are settled "ithin one frame of reference "ith a definite set of logical moves% ?hen the right set of moves is performed.one&dimensional. it is often .

and "orld vie"F a form of sociocentrism or ethnocentrism% It is natural. schooling today over&emphasi)es monological problems% ?orse. depth. ob$ective accounts. and uncritically accepted as such because people tend to uncritically assume that their o"n vie" of things is the "ay things really are% To become responsible critically thinking citi)ens and fairminded people. kno". etc% A person comfortable thinking about multilogical problems is comfortable thinking "ithin multiple perspectives. practices. logicalness. biological. higher order learning re#uires multi&logical thought. describing an e(perience. social. and "orld vie" "ithin "hich they "ere raised% 8nfortunately. traditions. precision. dialogical instruction% national bias= +re$udice in favor of one*s country.problems= +roblems that can be analy)ed and approached from more than one. and their consideration from multiple points of vie".lossary= +&N An 4ducator*s . one is thinking monologically about a multilogical #uestion%The strong sense critical thinker avoids monological thinking "hen the #uestion is multi&logical% 5oreover. and ade#uacy% These perfections are general canons for thoughtF they represent legitimate concerns irrespective of the discipline or domain of thought% To develop one*s mind and discipline one*s thinking "ith respect to these standards re#uires e(tensive practice and long&term cultivation% 0f course. to uncritically e(aggerate the virtues of one*s o"n nation "hile playing do"n the virtues of 'enemy' nations% :ational bias is reflected in the press and media coverage of every nation of the "orld% 4vents are included or e(cluded according to "hat appears significant "ithin the dominant "orld vie" of the nation. pre$udice. considers. for people to be favorably disposed to"ard the beliefs. this favorable inclination commonly becomes a form of pre$udice= a more or less rigid. $udgment. often from conflicting.thinking= Thinking that is conducted e(clusively "ithin one point of vie" or frame of reference= figuring our ho" much this V39%M@ pair of shoes "ith a 2 S discount "ill cost meF learning "hat signing this contract obliges me to doF finding out "hen <ennedy "as elected +resident% A person can think monologically "hether or not the #uestion is genuinely monological% . chemical. dialectical thinking. fairness. accuracy. and are shaped into stories to validate that vie"% Though constructed to fit into a particular vie" of the "orld. in thinking across disciplines and domains% See monological problems. play an important role in the cultivation of critical thinking and higher order learning% monological . "orld vie". sociocentrism. kno"ledge. students must practice identifying national bias in the ne"s and in their te(ts. and ho" their significance should be determined% ?hen they have a conceptual dimension. its beliefs. dialogical instruction. $ustify.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts the perfections of thought= Thinking.for e(ample. bias. the stories in the ne"s are presented as neutral. the logic of #uestions. moral./or e(ample. achieving these standards is a relative matter and varies some"hat among domains of thought% Being precise "hile doing mathematics is not the same as being precise "hile "riting a poem. specificity. significance. and to broaden their perspective beyond that of uncritical nationalism% See ethnocentrism. since students must e(plore and assess their original beliefs to develop insight into ne" ideas% multilogical . kno"ledge% opinion= A belief. the logic of disciplines. political. many ecological problems have a variety of dimensions to them= historical. traditions. relevance. '?ho caused the Civil ?arE' only from a :ortherner*s perspective. completeness. irrational ego&identification "hich significantly distorts one*s vie" of one*s o"n nation and the "orld at large% It is manifested in a tendency to mindlessly take the side of one*s o"n government. points of vie" or frames of reference% /or e(ample. present instructional practices treat multilogical problems as though they "ere monological% The posing of multilogical problems. as an attempt to understand the "orld as it is. to uncritically accept governmental accounts of the nature of disputes "ith other nations. critical society. learning a concept in chemistry-. has a natural e(cellence or fitness to it% This e(cellence is manifest in its clarity.arguable ho" some facts should be considered and interpreted. typically one open to dispute% Sheer unreasoned opinion should be distinguished from reasoned $udgment& beliefs formed on the basis of careful reasoning% See evaluation. if not inevitable. consistency. intellectual empathy.one&dimensional. if one considers the #uestion. in practicing intellectual empathy. and reasons "ithin multiple points of vie"% See multilogical problems. and more fre#uently. even "hen the problem is monological .multi&dimensional. economic. image. or e(plaining a historical event% . in engaging in dialogical and dialectical thinking. there tend to be arguably different "ays to pin the concepts do"n% Though life presents us "ith predominantly multilogical problems. practices. intellectual empathy. dialogical instruction% multilogical thinking= Thinking that sympathetically enters. reasoned $udgment% .

$udging oneself and one*s friends by an easier standard than that used for people one doesn*t likeF typically a form of hypocrisy accompanied by self&deception% 5ost personal contradictions remain unconscious% +eople too often ignore the difficulty of becoming intellectually and morally consistent. even in "hat appear to be lofty actions and moralistic rhetoric. one might say. "e "ill not face s#uarely the problem of pre$udice in human thought and action% 8ncritical and selfishly critical thought are often pre$udiced% 5ost instruction in schools today. skilled defense of a group*s interests. value. belief. to determine the considerations. analy)ed. or phenomenon from every vantage point simultaneously% 0ur purposes often control ho" "e see things% Critical thinking re#uires that this fact be taken into account "hen analy)ing and assessing thinking% This is not to say that human thought is incapable of truth and ob$ectivity. people often accept as authorities those "ho liberally sprinkle their statements "ith numbers and intellectual&sounding language. event. or in disregard of facts "hich contradict it% Self&announced pre$udice is rare% +re$udice almost al"ays e(ists in obscured. definite. and then. kno"ledge% premise= A proposition upon "hich an argument is based or from "hich a conclusion is dra"n% A starting point of reasoning% /or e(ample. rationali)ed. one perfection of thought may be periodically incompatible "ith the others= ade#uacy to purpose% Time and resources sufficient to thoroughly analy)e a #uestion or problem is all too often an unaffordable lu(ury% Also. situation. lo"er order learning. or commitment. and e(act% The standards and modes of precision vary according to sub$ect and conte(t% See the logic of language. points of . "hich are more specific. opinion. handle. monological problems. skilled deception of one*s enemy may re#uire the violation or selective application of any of the above standards% +erfecting one*s thought as an instrument for success in a "orld based on po"er and advantage differs from perfecting one*s thought for the apprehension and defense of fairminded truth% To develop one*s critical thinking skills merely to the level of ade#uacy for social success is to develop those skills in a lo"er or "eaker sense% personal contradiction= An inconsistency in one*s personal life. thought ade#uate to these manipulative purposes may re#uire skilled violation of the common standards for good thinking% Skilled propaganda. intellectual integrity% perspective . not rules and procedures% Critical thinking is principled. preferring instead to merely admonish others% +ersonal contradictions are more likely to be discovered. resistant to evidence and reason.point of vie"-= Human thought is relational and selective% It is impossible to understand any person. to determine the nature and dimensions of the problem. virtually never total and absolute% The hard sciences are themselves a good e(ample of this point. or to get it more easily% It is often sanctioned "ith a superabundance of pomp and self&righteousness% 8nless "e recogni)e these po"erful tendencies to"ard selfish thought in our social institutions.particular. and because skilled thought often serves vested interest. multilogical problems% problem&solving= ?henever a problem cannot be solved formulaically or robotically. since #ualitative realities are systematically ignored in favor of #uantifiable realities% precision= The #uality of being accurate./urthermore. and often superficial and arbitrary. matter. or resolve% +roblems. critical thinking is re#uired= first. socially validated. point of vie"&favorable or unfavorable&formed before the facts are kno"n. but only that human truth. thinking% +rinciples cannot be truly grasped through didactic instructionF they must be practiced and applied to be internali)ed% See higher order learning. "herein one says one thing and does another.logic% See logic of #uestions. skilled political debate. or person that is perple(ing or difficult to figure out. and reduced in an atmosphere in "hich they can be openly admitted and realistically considered "ithout e(cessive penalty% See egocentricity. 'Cou seem to be reasoning from the premise that everyone is selfish in everything they do% 7o you hold this beliefE principle= A fundamental truth. and insight is virtually al"ays limited and partial. in the light of the first. functional forms% It enables people to sleep peacefully at night even "hile flagrantly abusing the rights of others% It enables people to get more of "hat they "ant. or uses a double standard. ob$ectivity. since the social "orld is often irrational and un$ust. $udgment% problem= A #uestion. elements of thought% pre$udice= A $udgment. because students do not think their "ay to "hat they accept as true. la". like #uestions. because people are often manipulated to act against their interests. partly as a result of schooling. can be divided into many types% 4ach has a . in commenting on someone*s reasoning. upon "hich others are based% 1ules. ho"ever irrational or un$ust their positions% This pre$udice to"ard psuedo&authority impedes rational assessment% See insight. not procedural. doctrine. tends to give students pre$udices rather than kno"ledge% /or e(ample. are based on principles% 1ules are more algorithmicF they needn*t be understood to be follo"ed% +rinciples must be understood to be appropriately applied or follo"ed% +rinciples go to the heart of the matter% Critical thinking is dependent on principles.

intellectual virtues. and arbitrary fiat% The more developed emotion of indignation is aroused "hen some e(cess of arbitrariness is perpetuated in a situation "here people*s interests and claims are at stake% The positive side of this is the passion for fairness and impartial consideration of claims%%%% A man "ho is prepared to reason must feel strongly that he must follo" the arguments and decide things in terms of "here they lead% He must have a sense of the giveness of the impersonality of such considerations% In so far as thoughts about persons enter his head they should be tinged "ith the respect "hich is due to another "ho. complete. and dialogical or dialectical thought "herein several provisional descriptions of the problem are proposed. 'State the problem%' 1arely can problems be precisely and fairly stated prior to analysis. theories. logic. problem&solving schemas typically begin. along "ith the assumptions or premises upon "hich those inferences are based% 1easoning is a form of e(plicit inferring. or rather. "e "ant them to be clear about their reasoning% . slap his sides "ith delight or e(press indifference if he is told that "hat he says is confused. sho"s good $udgment. for e(ample. assessed. depending on "hether one considers only the logicalness and effectiveness by "hich one pursues one*s ends. or our predominant #ualities are. "ithout some special e(planation. distinguished from mere or unreasoned opinion on the one hand. may have a point of vie" "hich is "orth considering. is sensible. like himself. depending on the significance of the conclusion or the seriousness of the implications follo"ing from it% See domain of thought% . only by reducing our egocentrism and self&deception% Critical thinking is essential to this process% rational society= See critical society% reasoned $udgment= Any belief or conclusion reached on the basis of careful thought and reflection. and perhaps riddled "ith contradictions% 1eason is the antithesis of arbitrariness% In its operation it is supported by the appropriate passions "hich are mainly negative in character&the hatred of irrelevance. "hat our true character is.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts rationalJrationality= That "hich conforms to principles of good reasoning. is "hat "e call a reasonable man% rational self= 0ur character and nature to the e(tent that "e seek to base our beliefs and actions on good reasoning and evidence% ?ho "e are. data. the ability to make his or her inferences e(plicit. and relevant% 1ationality is a summary term like *virtue* or *goodness*% It is manifested in an unlimited number of "ays and depends on a host of principles% There is some ambiguity in it. for instance. usually involving multiple steps% ?hen students "rite a persuasive paper. and reasoning relevant to its solution% 4(tensive practice in independent problem&solving is essential to developing critical thought% +roblem&solving is rarely best approached procedurally or as a series of rigidly follo"ed steps% /or e(ample. gathering of evidence.vie". together "ith the love of clarity and hatred of confusion "ithout "hich "ords could not be held to relatively constant meanings and testable rules and generali)ations stated% A reasonable man cannot.lossary= 1 An 4ducator*s . irrationalJirrationality. become a person "ho gains significant insight into "hat our true character is. and from sheer fact on the other% /e" people have a clear sense of "hich of their beliefs are based on reasoned $udgment and "hich on mere opinion% 5oral or ethical #uestions.prove-= 4vidence or reasoning so strong or certain as to demonstrate the truth or acceptability of a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt% Ho" strong evidence or reasoning have to be to demonstrate "hat they purport to prove varies from conte(t to conte(t. is al"ays some"hat or even greatly different from "ho "e think "e are% Human egocentrism and accompanying self&deception often stand in the "ay of our gaining more insight into ourselves% ?e can develop a rational self. strong sense critical thinking% rational emotionsJpassions= 1% S% +eters has e(plained the significance of the affective side of reason and critical thought in his defense of the necessity of 'rational passions'= There is. "ho may have a glimmering of the truth "hich has so far eluded himself% A person "ho proceeds in this "ay. incoherent. or "hether it includes the assessment of ends themselves% There is also ambiguity in "hether one considers selfish ends to be rational. even "hen they conflict "ith "hat is $ust% 7oes a rational person have to be $ust or only skilled in pursuing his or her interestsE Is it rational to be rational in an irrational "orldE See perfections of thought. logical. "ho is influenced by such passions. are #uestions re#uiring reasoned $udgment% 0ne "ay of conceiving of sub$ect&matter education is as developing students* ability to engage in reasoned $udgment in accordance "ith the standards of each sub$ect% reasoning= The mental processes of those "ho reasonF especially the dra"ing of conclusions or inferences from observations. and revised% proof . special pleading. is consistent. for e(ample. concepts. the hatred of contradictions and inconsistencies. facts. "eak sense critical thinking. or hypothesesF the evidence or arguments used in this procedure% A critical thinker tries to develop the capacity to transform thought into reasoning at "ill.

reciprocity= The act of entering empathically into the point of vie" or line of reasoning of othersF learning to think as others do and by that means sympathetically assessing that thinking% .uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts self&deception= 7eceiving one*s self about one*s true motivations. understand. speech. to think closedmindedly% All dissent and doubt are considered disloyal and re$ected "ithout consideration% /e" people recogni)e the sociocentric nature of much of their thought% Socratic #uestioning= A mode of #uestioning that deeply probes the meaning. evaluating or $udging relevance. character. and misconceptions. and clear% 6earning ho" to state one*s vie"s specifically is essential to learning ho" to think clearly. kno"ledge% specifyJspecific= To mention.a pertinent suggestion-F apposite applies to that "hich is both relevant and happily suitable or appropriateF applicable refers to that "hich can be brought to bear upon a particular matter or problem% Students often have problems sticking to an issue and distinguishing information that bears upon a problem from information that does not% 5erely reminding students to limit themselves to relevant considerations fails to solve this problem% The usual "ay of teaching students the term *relevant* is to mention only clear&cut cases of relevance and irrelevance% Conse#uently.lossary= S An 4ducator*s . or define in detailF limiting or limitedF specifying or specifiedF preciseF definite% Student thinking. thereby discovering and contesting their o"n egocentric and sociocentric tendencies% 0nly if "e contest our inevitable egocentric and sociocentric habits of thought. etc% 0ne possible definition of the human species is 'The Self&7eceiving Animal'% Self&deception is a fundamental problem in human life and the cause of much human suffering% 0vercoming self&deception through self&critical thinking is a fundamental goal of strong sense critical thinking% See egocentric. or logical strength of a claim. precisely. social contradiction.ability to $udge. and ambiguous rather than specific.1eciprocity re#uires creative imagination as "ell as intellectual skill and a commitment to fairmindedness%relevant= Bearing upon or relating to the matter at handF relevant implies close logical relationship "ith. there is a tendency to presuppose this superiority in all of its thinking and thus. and accurately% See perfections of thought% strong sense critical thinker= 0ne "ho is predominantly characteri)ed by the follo"ing traits= an ability to #uestion deeply one*s o"n frame"ork of thought an ability to reconstruct sympathetically and imaginatively the strongest versions of points of vie" and frame"orks of thought opposed to one*s o"n an ability to reason dialectically . students do not learn that not everything that seems relevant is. concrete. and criti#ue their o"n deepest pre$udices. abstract. can "e hope to think in a genuinely rational fashion% 0nly dialogical thinking about basic issues that genuinely matter to the individual provides the kind of practice and skill essential to strong sense critical thinking% . personal contradiction.multilogically. dialogical instruction. the matter under considerationF germane implies such close natural connection as to be highly appropriate or fitF pertinent implies an immediate and direct bearing on the matter at hand .in such a "ay as to determine "hen one*s o"n point of vie" is at its "eakest and "hen an opposing point of vie" is at its strongest% Strong sense critical thinkers are not routinely blinded by their o"n points of vie"% They kno" they have points of vie" and therefore recogni)e on "hat frame"ork of assumptions and ideas their o"n thinking is based% They reali)e the necessity of putting their o"n assumptions and ideas to the test of the strongest ob$ections that can be leveled against them% Teaching for critical thinking in the strong sense is teaching so that students e(plicate. biases.relevance can only be developed "ith continual practice&practice distinguishing relevant from irrelevant data. intellectual virtues% social contradiction= An inconsistency bet"een "hat a society preaches and "hat it practices% In every society there is some degree of inconsistency bet"een its image of itself and its actual character% Social contradiction typically correlates "ith human self&deception on the social or cultural level% Critical thinking is essential for the recognition of inconsistencies. identity. and recognition is essential for reform and eventual integrity% sociocentricity= The assumption that one*s o"n social group is inherently and self&evidently superior to all others% ?hen a group or society sees itself as superior. and so considers its vie"s as correct or as the only reasonable or $ustifiable vie"s. and importance to. $ustification. rational self. arguing for and against the relevance of facts and considerations% . and all its actions as $ustified. position. or line of reasoning% Socratic #uestioning can be carried out in a variety of "ays and adapted to many levels of ability and understanding% See elements of thought. or that some things "hich do not seem relevant are% Sensitivity to . describe. and "riting tend to be vague.

for e(ample. concept. or e(pression% >agueness of thought and e(pression is a ma$or obstacle to the development of critical thinking% ?e cannot begin to test our beliefs until "e recogni)e clearly "hat they are% ?e cannot disagree "ith "hat someone says until "e are clear about "hat they mean% Students need much practice in transforming vague thoughts into clear ones% See ambiguous. closedminded. inconsistent. genuine fairmindedness% If critical thinking is taught simply as atomic skills separate from the empathic practice of entering into points of vie" that students are fearful of or hostile to"ard. not false or erroneous% 5ost people uncritically assume their vie"s to be correct and true% 5ost people. or logic= a statement proven to be or accepted as true. empirical implication. the values of critical thinking . if for no other reason% uncritical person= 0ne "ho has not developed intellectual skills . logic of #uestions. unclear. they "ill simply find additional means of rationali)ing pre$udices and preconceptions. certain. feeling. as by methodical discipline. events. precisely. starting "ith "hat is kno"n or assumed and advancing to a definite conclusion through the inferences dra"nF reflect implies a turning of one*s thoughts back on a sub$ect and connotes deep or #uiet continued thoughtF speculate implies a reasoning on the basis of incomplete or uncertain evidence and therefore stresses the con$ectural character of the opinions formedF deliberate implies careful and thorough consideration of a matter in order to arrive at a conclusion% Though everyone thinks. logic of language% verbal implication= That "hich follo"s. logic. narro"minded. conformist. that someone used flattery on me. or convincing people that their point of vie" is the correct one% They "ill be transformed from vulgar to sophisticated . or precise in thought.Students need to develop all critical thinking skills in dialogical settings to achieve ethically rational development. systematic teaching. though they may verbally espouse.uide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts teach= The basic inclusive "ord for the imparting of kno"ledge or skills% It usually connotes some individual attention to the learnerF instruct implies systemati)ed teaching. arrive at conclusions.but not to strong sense. actuality. etc%F reason implies a logical se#uence of thought. elements of thought% "eak sense critical thinkers= Those "ho do not hold themselves or those "ith "hom they ego&identify to the same intellectual standards to "hich they hold 'opponents' Those "ho have not learned ho" to reason empathically "ithin points of vie" or frames of reference "ith "hich they disagree Those "ho tend to think monologically Those "ho do not genuinely accept. I imply that the compliments "ere insincere and given only to make me feel positively to"ard that person. infer. unable to distinguish evidence from interpretation-% 8ncriticalness is a fundamental problem in human life. that is. e(ercise. easily manipulated. etc% See kno"ledge% theory= A systematic statement of principles involved in a sub$ectF a formulation of apparent relationships or underlying principles of certain observed phenomena "hich has been verified to some degree% 0ften "ithout reali)ing it. especially in institutions of higher learningF train implies the development of a particular faculty or skill or instruction to"ard a particular occupation.critical thinkers% . dogmatic. careless in "ord choice. for "hen "e are uncritical "e nevertheless think of ourselves as critical% The first step in becoming a critical thinker consists in recogni)ing that "e are uncritical% Teaching for insight into uncriticalness is an important part of teaching for criticalness% vague= :ot clearly. clarify. and problems in our lives% Critical thinkers put their theories to the test of e(perience and give due consideration to the theories of others% Critical thinkers do not take their theories to be facts% think= The general "ord meaning to e(ercise the mental faculties so as to form ideas. perfections of thought% truth= Conformity to kno"ledge. to manipulate me against my reason or interest for some end% See imply. usually in some particular sub$ectF educate stresses the development of latent faculties and po"ers by formal. according to the logic of the language% If I say. in other "ords. or definitely e(pressed or statedF not sharp. fe" people think critically% ?e don*t need instruction to thinkF "e think spontaneously% ?e need instruction to learn ho" to discipline and direct our thinking on the basis of sound intellectual standards% See elements of thought.lossary= T&W An 4ducator*s . "e form theories that help us make sense of the people. assume themselves to possess the truth% Critical thinking is essential to avoid this.naive. easily confused. fact.

precision.of thinking% ?hat follo"s are some guidelines helpful to students as they "ork to"ard developing their reasoning abilities= 2% All reasoning has a +81+0S4% D Take time to state your purpose clearly% D 7istinguish your purpose from related purposes% D Check periodically to be sure you are still on target% D Choose significant and realistic purposes% 2% All reasoning is an attempt to /I. T0 S4TT64 S054 N84STI0:. concepts and ideas% D All reasoning contains inferences by "hich "e dra" conclusions and give meaning to data% D All reasoning leads some"here. Appendi( B. and shaped by. relevance. T0 S06>4 S054 +10B645% D Take time to clearly and precisely state the #uestion at issue% D 4(press the #uestion in several "ays to clarify its meaning and scope% D Break the #uestion into sub #uestions% D Identify if the #uestion has one right ans"er. depth.that is. breadth.814 S054THI:. but some standards are virtually universal . "e make the discovery of one*s o"n "orld vie" and the e(perience of other people*s "orld vie"s a fundamental priority% See bias. to settle some #uestion. to solve some problem% D All reasoning is based on assumptions% D All reasoning is done from some point of vie"% D All reasoning is based on data. as follo"s= D All reasoning has a purpose% D All reasoning is an attempt to figure something out.at the e(pense of truth-F able to identify fla"s in the reasoning of others and refute themF able to shore up their o"n beliefs "ith reasons% "orld vie"= All human action takes place "ithin a "ay of looking at and interpreting the "orld% As schooling no" stands.Those "ho use the intellectual skills of critical thinking selectively and self&deceptively to foster and serve their vested interests . has implications and conse#uences% The #uestion can then be raised. CA%= /oundation /or Critical Thinking. is a matter of opinion. and evidence% D All reasoning is e(pressed through. accuracy. their conclusions about events and persons. interpret% G+aul.2@@ -% Critical Thinking= Ho" to +repare Students for a 1apidly Changing ?orld% 7illon Beach. 1% . or re#uires reasoning from more than one point of vie"% A% All reasoning is based on ASS85+TI0:S% D Clearly identify your assumptions and determine "hether they are $ustifiable% D Consider ho" your assumptions are shaping your point of vie"% .Helping Students Assess Their Thinkingby 1ichard +aul and 6inda 4lder There are t"o essential dimensions of thinking that students need to master in order to learn ho" to upgrade their thinking% They need to be able to identify the 'parts' of their thinking. and logic% Ho" "ell a student is reasoning depends on ho" "ell heJshe applies these universal standards to the elements .o to top The 4lements of Critical Thinking . applicable to all thinking-= clarity. very little is done to help students to grasp ho" they are vie"ing the "orld and ho" those vie"s determine the character of their e(perience. their interpretations. etc% In teaching for critical thinking in a strong sense. '?hat appropriate intellectual standards do students need to assess the 'parts' of their thinkingE' There are many standards appropriate to the assessment of thinking as it might occur in this or that conte(t. 08T. pp% 22& 2%H . and they need to be able to assess their use of these parts of thinking . information.or parts.

the follo"ing are the most significant= 2% C6A1ITC= Could you elaborate further on that pointE Could you e(press that point in another "ayE Could you give me an illustrationE Could you give me an e(ampleE Clarity is the gate"ay standard% If a statement is unclear. the 'effort' does not measure the #uality of student learning. #uestions "hich. through consistent use by the teacher in the classroom. effort is irrelevant to their appropriate grade% . and shaped by. as in 'Back is over"eight%' . accurate. one pound or !! pounds%M% 1464>A:C4= Ho" is that connected to the #uestionE Ho" does that bear on the issueE A statement can be clear. "e "ould need to have a clearer understanding of "hat the person asking the #uestion is considering the 'problem' to be% A clearer #uestion might be '?hat can educators do to ensure that students learn the skills and abilities "hich help them function successfully on the $ob and in their daily decision&makingE' 2% ACC81ACC= Is that really trueE Ho" could "e check thatE Ho" could "e find out if that is trueE A statement can be clear but not accurate. but not precise.M% All reasoning is done from some +0I:T 0/ >I4?% D Identify your point of vie"% D Seek other points of vie" and identify their strengths as "ell as "eaknesses% D Strive to be fair&minded in evaluating all points of vie"% % All reasoning is based on 7ATA. I:/015ATI0: and 4>I74:C4% D 1estrict your claims to those supported by the data you have% D Search for information that opposes your position as "ell as information that supports it% D 5ake sure that all information used is clear. issue. become internali)ed by students as #uestions they need to ask themselves% The ultimate goal. ho"ever. then. "e cannot tell anything about it because "e don*t yet kno" "hat it is saying% /or e(ample. or situation% To think critically entails having command of these standards% To help students learn them. as in '5ost dogs are over A!! pounds in "eight%' A% +14CISI0:= Could you give more detailsE Could you be more specificE A statement can be both clear and accurate. C0:C4+TS and I74AS% D Identify key concepts and e(plain them clearly% D Consider alternative concepts or alternative definitions to concepts% D 5ake sure you are using concepts "ith care and precision% 9% All reasoning contains I:/414:C4S or I:T41+14TATI0:S by "hich "e dra" C0:C68SI0:S and give meaning to data% D Infer only "hat the evidence implies% D Check inferences for their consistency "ith each other% D Identify assumptions "hich lead you to your inferences% . and precise. accurate.% All reasoning leads some"here or has I5+6ICATI0:S and C0:S4N84:C4S% D Trace the implications and conse#uences that follo" from your reasoning% D Search for negative as "ell as positive implications% D Consider all possible conse#uences% 8niversal Intellectual Standards by 6inda 4lder and 1ichard +aul 8niversal intellectual standards are standards "hich must be applied to thinking "henever one is interested in checking the #uality of reasoning about a problem. #uestions "hich hold students accountable for their thinking. "e cannot determine "hether it is accurate or relevant% In fact. but not relevant to the #uestion at issue% /or e(ample. is for these #uestions to become infused in the thinking of students. "hich then guides them to better and better reasoning% ?hile there are a number of universal standards. '?hat can be done about the education system in AmericaE' is unclear% In order to address the #uestion ade#uately. forming part of their inner voice. students often think that the amount of effort they put into a course should be used in raising their grade in a course% 0ften. and relevant to the #uestion at issue% D 5ake sure you have gathered sufficient information% 3% All reasoning is e(pressed through. teachers should pose #uestions "hich probe student thinking.?e don*t kno" ho" over"eight Back is. and "hen this is so. the #uestion.

% 74+TH= Ho" does your ans"er address the comple(ities in the #uestionE Ho" are you taking into account the problems in the #uestionE Is that dealing "ith the most significant factorsE A statement can be clear. but superficial . beliefs or vie"points to"ard "hich "e have strong negative emotions and to "hich "e have not given a serious hearing% This courage is connected "ith the recognition that ideas considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally $ustified .and that conclusions and beliefs inculcated in us are sometimes false or misleading% To determine for ourselves "hich is "hich. precise. lack depth-% /or e(ample.that is. the statement 'Bust say :o' "hich is often used to discourage children and teens fro using drugs. assumptions. accurate. of one*s beliefs% D Intellectual Courage= Having a consciousness of the need to face and fairly address ideas. "e must not passively and uncritically ' accept' "hat "e have ' learned%' Intellectual courage comes into play here.in "hole or in part. or lack of such foundations. and distortion or falsity in some ideas strongly held in our social group% ?e need courage to be true to our o"n thinking in such circumstances% The penalties for non&conformity can be severe% D Intellectual 4mpathy= Having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand them. but only recogni)es the insights of one side of the #uestion%9% 60. it lacks depth because it treats an e(tremely comple( issue. and relevant. and deep. accurate. but lack breadth . the thinking is 'logical%' ?hen the combination is not mutually supporting. precise. combined "ith insight into the logical foundations. the pervasive problem of drug use among young people.' the combination is not logical% >aluable Intellectual >irtues D Intellectual Humility= Having a consciousness of the limits of one*s kno"ledge. is contradictory in some sense.IC= 7oes this really make senseE 7oes that follo" from "hat you saidE Ho" does that follo"E But before you implied this and no" you are saying thatF ho" can both be trueE ?hen "e think. including a sensitivity to circumstances in "hich one*s native egocentrism is likely to function self&deceptivelyF sensitivity to bias. and ideas other than our o"n% This trait also correlates "ith the "illingness to remember occasions "hen "e "ere "rong in the past despite an intense conviction that "e "ere right. or does not 'make sense. is clear. relevant. boastfulness. and relevant% :evertheless. pre$udice and limitations of one*s vie"point% Intellectual humility depends on recogni)ing that one should not claim more than one actually kno"s% It does not imply spinelessness or submissiveness% It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness. "hich re#uires the consciousness of our egocentric tendency to identify truth "ith our immediate perceptions of long&standing thought or belief% This trait correlates "ith the ability to reconstruct accurately the vie"points and reasoning of others and to reason from premises. obstacles.as in an argument from either the conservative or liberal standpoint "hich gets deeply into an issue. precise. and frustrationsF firm adherence to rational principles despite the irrational opposition of othersF a sense of the need to struggle "ith confusion and unsettled #uestions over an e(tended period of time to achieve deeper understanding or insight% . superficially% It fails to deal "ith the comple(ities of the issue% 3% B14A7TH= 7o "e need to consider another point of vie"E Is there another "ay to look at this #uestionE ?hat "ould this look like from a conservative standpointE ?hat "ould this look like from the point of vie" of%%%E A line of reasoning may be clear accurate. because inevitably "e "ill come to see some truth in some ideas considered dangerous and absurd. "e bring a variety of thoughts together into some order% ?hen the combination of thoughts are mutually supporting and make sense in combination. and "ith the ability to imagine our being similarly deceived in a case&at&hand% D Intellectual Integrity= 1ecognition of the need to be true to one*s o"n thinkingF to be consistent in the intellectual standards one appliesF to hold one*s self to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to "hich one holds one*s antagonistsF to practice "hat one advocates for othersF and to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in one*s o"n thought and action% D Intellectual +erseverance= Having a consciousness of the need to use intellectual insights and truths in spite of difficulties. or conceit.

D /aith In 1eason= Confidence that, in the long run, one*s o"n higher interests and those of humankind at large "ill be best served by giving the freest play to reason, by encouraging people to come to their o"n conclusions by developing their o"n rational facultiesF faith that, "ith proper encouragement and cultivation, people can learn to think for themselves, to form rational vie"points, dra" reasonable conclusions, think coherently and logically, persuade each other by reason and become reasonable persons, despite the deep&seated obstacles in the native character of the human mind and in society as "e kno" it% D /airmindedness= Having a consciousness of the need to treat all vie"points alike, "ithout reference to one*s o"n feelings or vested interests, or the feelings or vested interests of one*s friends, community or nationF implies adherence to intellectual standards "ithout reference to one*s o"n advantage or the advantage of one*s group% Becoming a Critic 0f Cour Thinking By 7r% 6inda 4lder and 7r% 1ichard +aul 6earning the Art of Critical Thinking There is nothing more practical than sound thinking% :o matter "hat your circumstance or goals, no matter "here you are, or "hat problems you face, you are better off if your thinking is skilled% As a manager, leader, employee, citi)en, lover, friend, parent&&&in every realm and situation of your life, good thinking pays off% +oor thinking, in turn, inevitably causes problems, "astes time and energy, engenders frustration and pain% Critical thinking is the disciplined art of ensuring that you use the best thinking you are capable of in any set of circumstances% The general goal of thinking is to Xfigure out the lay of the landY in any situation "e are in% ?e all have multiple choices to make% ?e need the best information to make the best choices% ?hat is really going on in this or that situationE Are they trying to take advantage of meE 7oes so&and&so really care about meE Am I deceiving myself "hen I believe thatUE ?hat are the likely conse#uences of failing to UE If I "ant to do U, "hat is the best "ay to prepare for itE Ho" can I be more successful in doingUE Is this my biggest problem, or do I need to focus my attention on something elseE Successfully responding to such #uestions is the daily "ork of thinking% Ho"ever, to ma(imi)e the #uality of your thinking, you must learn ho" to become an effective 'critic' of your thinking% And to become an effective critic of your thinking, you have to make learning about thinking a priority% Ask yourself these&&rather unusual&&#uestions= ?hat have you learned about ho" you thinkE 7id you ever study your thinkingE ?hat do you kno" about ho" the mind processes informationE ?hat do you really kno" about ho" to analy)e, evaluate, or reconstruct your thinkingE ?here does your thinking come fromE Ho" much of it is of XgoodY #ualityE Ho" much of it is of XpoorY #ualityE Ho" much of your thinking is vague, muddled, inconsistent, inaccurate, illogical, or superficialE Are you, in any real sense, in control of your thinkingE 7o you kno" ho" to test itE 7o you have any conscious standards for determining "hen you are thinking "ell and "hen you are thinking poorlyE Have you ever discovered a significant problem in your thinking and then changed it by a conscious act of "illE If anyone asked you to teach them "hat you have learned, thus far in your life, about thinking, "ould you really have any idea "hat that "as or ho" you learned itE If you are like most, the only honest ans"ers to these #uestions run along the lines of= X?ell, I suppose I really donTt kno" much about my thinking or about thinking in general% I suppose in my life I have more or less taken my thinking for granted% I donTt really kno" ho" it "orks% I have never really studied it% I donTt kno" ho" I test it, or even if I do test it% It $ust happens in my mind automatically%X It is important to reali)e that serious study of thinking, serious thinking about thinking, is rare% It is not a sub$ect in most colleges% It is seldom found in the thinking of our culture% But if you focus your attention for a moment on the role that thinking is playing in your life, you may come to recogni)e that, in fact, everything you do, or "ant, or feel is influenced by your thinking% And if you become persuaded of that, you "ill be surprised that humans sho" so little interest in thinking% To make significant gains in the #uality of your thinking you "ill have to engage in a kind of "ork that most humans find unpleasant, if not painful&&intellectual "ork% Cet once this thinking is done and "e move our thinking to a higher level of #uality, it is not hard to keep our thinking at that level% Still, there is the price you have to pay to step up to the ne(t level% 0ne doesnTt become a skillful critic of thinking over night, any more than one becomes a skillful basketball player or musician over night% To become better at thinking, you must be "illing to put the "ork into thinking that skilled improvement al"ays re#uires% This means you must be "illing to practice special XactsY of thinking that are initially at least uncomfortable, and sometimes challenging and difficult% Cou have to learn to do "ith your mind XmovesY analogous to "hat accomplished athletes learn to do

,through practice and feedback- "ith their bodies% Improvement in thinking, in other "ords, is similar to improvement in other domains of performance "here progress is a product of sound theory, commitment, hard "ork, and practice% Consider the follo"ing key ideas, "hich, "hen applied, result in a mind practicing skilled thinking% These ideas represent $ust a fe" of the many "ays in "hich disciplined thinkers actively apply theory of mind to the mind by the mind in order to think better% In these e(amples, "e focus on the significance of thinking clearly, sticking to the point ,thinking "ith relevance-, #uestioning deeply, and striving to be more reasonable% /or each e(ample, "e provide a brief overvie" of the idea and its importance in thinking, along "ith strategies for applying it in life% 1eali)e that the follo"ing ideas are immersed in a cluster of ideas "ithin critical thinking% Though "e chose these particular ideas, many others could have instead been chosen% There is no magic in these specific ideas% In short, it is important that you understand these as a sampling of all the possible "ays in "hich the mind can "ork to discipline itself, to think at a higher level of #uality, to function better in the "orld% % 2% Clarify your thinking Be on the look&out for vague, fu))y, formless, blurred thinking% Try to figure out the real meaning of "hat people are saying% 6ook on the surface% 6ook beneath the surface% Try to figure out the real meaning of important ne"s stories% 4(plain your understanding of an issue to someone else to help clarify it in your o"n mind% +ractice summari)ing in your o"n "ords "hat others say% Then ask them if you understood them correctly% Cou should neither agree nor disagree "ith "hat anyone says until you ,clearly- understand them% 0ur o"n thinking usually seems clear to us, even "hen it is not% But vague, ambiguous, muddled, deceptive, or misleading thinking are significant problems in human life% If "e are to develop as thinkers, "e must learn the art of clarifying thinking, of pinning it do"n, spelling it out, and giving it a specific meaning% HereTs "hat you can do to begin% ?hen people e(plain things to you, summari)e in your o"n "ords "hat you think they said% ?hen you cannot do this to their satisfaction, you donTt really understand "hat they said% ?hen they cannot summari)e "hat you have said to your satisfaction, they donTt really understand "hat you said% Try it% See "hat happens% 2% Strategies for clarifying your thinking= 2% State one point at a time% A% 4laborate on "hat you mean% M% .ive e(amples that connect your thoughts to life e(periences% % 8se analogies and metaphors to help people connect your ideas to a variety of things they already understand ,for e(ample, critical thinking is like an onion% There are many layers to it% Bust "hen you think you have it basically figured out, you reali)e there is another layer, and then another, and another and another and on and on-% Here is one format you can use= D I think U,state your main pointD In other "ordsU,elaborate your main pointD /or e(ampleU,give an e(ample of your main pointD To give you an analogyU,give an illustration of your main pointTo clarify other peopleTs thinking, consider asking the follo"ing= D Can you restate your point in other "ordsE I didnTt understand you% D Can you give an e(ampleE D 6et me tell you "hat I understand you to be saying% 7id I understand you correctlyE 2% Stick to the +oint Be on the look out for fragmented thinking, thinking that leaps about "ith no logical connections% Start noticing "hen you or others fail to stay focused on "hat is relevant% /ocus on finding "hat "ill aid you in truly solving a problem% ?hen someone brings up a point ,ho"ever true- that doesnTt seem pertinent to the issue at hand, ask= XHo" is "hat you are saying relevant to the issueEY ?hen you are "orking through a problem, make sure you stay focused on "hat sheds light on, and thus helps address the problem% 7onTt allo" your mind to "ander to unrelated matters% 7onTt allo" others to stray from the main issue% /re#uently ask= X?hat is the central #uestionE Is this or that relevant to itE Ho"EY ?hen thinking is relevant, it is focused on the main task at hand% It selects "hat is germane, pertinent, related% It is on the alert for everything that connects to the issue% It sets aside "hat is immaterial, inappropriate, e(traneous, and beside the point% ?hat is relevant directly bears upon ,helps solve- the problem you are trying to solve% ?hen thinking drifts a"ay from "hat is relevant, it needs to be brought back to "hat truly makes a difference% 8ndisciplined thinking is often guided by associations ,this reminds me of that, that reminds me of this other thing- rather than "hat is logically connected ,XIf a and b are true, then c

must also be trueY-% 7isciplined thinking intervenes "hen thoughts "ander from "hat is pertinent and germane and concentrates the mind on the things that help it figure out "hat it needs to figure out% Ask these #uestions to make sure thinking is focused on "hat is relevant= E Am I focused on the main problem or taskE E Ho" is this connectedE Ho" is thatE E 7oes my information directly relate to the problem or taskE E ?here do I need to focus my attentionE E Are "e being diverted to unrelated mattersE E Am I failing to consider relevant vie"pointsE E Ho" is your point relevant to the issue "e are addressingE E ?hat facts are actually going to help us ans"er the #uestionE ?hat considerations should be set asideE E 7oes this truly bear on the #uestionE Ho" does it connectE A% Nuestion Nuestions Be on the look out for #uestions% The ones "e ask% The ones "e fail to ask% 6ook on the surface% 6ook beneath the surface% 6isten to ho" people #uestion, "hen they #uestion, "hen they fail to #uestion% 6ook closely at the #uestions asked% ?hat #uestions do you ask, should you askE 4(amine the e(tent to "hich you are a #uestioner, or simply one "ho accepts the definitions of situations given by others% 5ost people are not skilled #uestioners% 5ost accept the "orld as it is presented to them% And "hen they do #uestion, their #uestions are often superficial or Xloaded%Y Their #uestions do not help them solve their problems or make better decisions% .ood thinkers routinely ask #uestions in order to understand and effectively deal "ith the "orld around them% They #uestion the status #uo% They kno" that things are often different from the "ay they are presented% Their #uestions penetrate images, masks, fronts, and propaganda% Their #uestions make real problems e(plicit and discipline their thinking through those problems% If you become a student of #uestions, you can learn to ask po"erful #uestions that lead to a deeper and more fulfilling life% Cour #uestions become more basic, essential, and deep% Strategies for formulating more po"erful #uestions= 2% ?henever you donTt understand something, ask a #uestion of clarification% 2% ?henever you are dealing "ith a comple( problem, formulate the #uestion you are trying to ans"er in several different "ays ,being as precise as you can- until you hit upon the "ay that best addresses the problem at hand% A% ?henever you plan to discuss an important issue or problem, "rite out in advance the most significant #uestions you think need to be addressed in the discussion% Be ready to change the main #uestion, but once made clear, help those in the discussion stick to the #uestion, making sure the dialogue builds to"ard an ans"er that makes sense% Nuestions you can ask to discipline your thinking= E ?hat precise #uestion are "e trying to ans"erE E Is that the best #uestion to ask in this situationE E Is there a more important #uestion "e should be addressingE E 7oes this #uestion capture the real issue "e are facingE E Is there a #uestion "e should ans"er before "e attempt to ans"er this #uestionE E ?hat information do "e need to ans"er the #uestionE E ?hat conclusions seem $ustified in light of the factsE E ?hat is our point of vie"E 7o "e need to consider anotherE E Is there another "ay to look at the #uestionE E ?hat are some related #uestions "e need to considerE E ?hat type of #uestion is this= an economic #uestion, a political #uestion, a legal #uestion, etc%E M% Be 1easonable Be on the lookout for reasonable and unreasonable behaviors P yours and others% 6ook on the surface% 6ook beneath the surface% 6isten to "hat people say% 6ook closely at "hat they do% :otice "hen you are un"illing to listen to the vie"s of others, "hen you simply see yourself as right and others as "rong% Ask yourself at those moments "hether their vie"s might have any merit% See if you can break through your defensiveness to hear "hat they are saying% :otice unreasonableness in others% Identify times "hen people use language that makes them appear reasonable, though their behavior proves them to be other"ise% Try to figure out "hy you, or others, are being unreasonable% 5ight you have a vested interested in not being open& mindedE 5ight theyE

they study the mind.0ne of the hallmarks of a critical thinker is the disposition to change oneTs mind "hen given good reason to change% . and the depth. XI may be "rong% I often am% ITm "illing to change my mind "hen given good reasons%Y Then look for opportunities to make changes in your thinking% Ask yourself.her. analy)e "hat "as going on in your mind by completing these statements= a% I reali)e I "as being close&minded in this situation becauseU% b% The thinking I "as trying to hold onto isU% c% Thinking that is potentially better isU% d% This thinking is better becauseU% In closing. let me remind you that the ideas in this article are a very fe" of the many "ays in "hich critical thinkers bring intellectual discipline to bear upon their thinking% The best thinkers are those "ho understand the development of thinking as a process occurring throughout many years of practice in thinking% They recogni)e the importance of learning about the mind. rational. feelings and desires and ho" these functions of the mind interrelate% They are adept at taking thinking apart. successful persons% 4lder. about thoughts.ood thinkers "ant to change their thinking "hen they discover better thinking% They can be moved by reason% Cet.uide to the Art of Strategic Thinking= 2 ?eeks to Better Thinking and Better 6iving% Thinking . or lack thereof.2!!M-% Adapted from The ThinkerTs . I may be "rong% Cou may be right%Y +ractice saying in your o"n mind. of our commitment to becoming more reasonable. and they apply "hat they learn about the mind to their o"n thinking in their o"n lives% The e(tent to "hich any of us develops as a thinker is directly determined by the amount of time "e dedicate to our development. and then assessing the parts "hen analy)ed% In short.ets 8s Into Trouble Because ?e 0ften= D $ump to conclusions D fail to think&through implications D lose track of their goal D are unrealistic D focus on the trivial D fail to notice contradictions D accept inaccurate information D ask vague #uestions D give vague ans"ers D ask loaded #uestions D ask irrelevant #uestions D confuse #uestions of different types D ans"er #uestions "e are not competent to ans"er D come to conclusions based on inaccurate or irrelevant information D ignore information that does not support our vie" D make inferences not $ustified by our e(perience D distort data and state it inaccurately D fail to notice the inferences "e make . the #uality of the intellectual practice "e engage in.vie"s than I had for mineEY To "hat e(tent are you open to ne" "ays of looking at thingsE To "hat e(tent can you ob$ectively $udge information that refutes "hat you already thinkE M% 1eali)e that you are being close&minded if you= a% are un"illing to listen to someoneTs reasons b% are irritated by the reasons people give you c% become defensive during a discussion% After you catch yourself being close&minded. 6% and +aul. X?hen "as the last time I changed my mind because someone gave me better reasons for his . 1% . comparatively fe" people are reasonable% /e" are "illing to change their minds once set% /e" are "illing to suspend their beliefs to fully hear the vie"s of those "ith "hich they disagree% Ho" "ould you rate yourselfE Strategies for becoming more reasonable= Say aloud= XITm not perfect% I make mistakes% ITm often "rong%Y See if you have the courage to admit this during a disagreement= X0f course.

XI canTt help ho" I amOY % /ocus on the negative side of life% Then you can make yourself miserable and blame it on others% 3% Blame others for your mistakes% Then you "onTt have to feel responsible for your mistakes% :or "ill you have to do anything about them% 9% >erbally attack those "ho critici)e you% Then you donTt have to bother listening to "hat they say% . look sorry and say. and can see it at "ork in our lives. say. look indignant and say.% .o along "ith the groups you are in% Then you "onTt have to figure out anything for yourself% @% Act out "hen you donTt get "hat you "ant% If #uestioned. XITm $ust an emotional person% At least I donTt keep my feelings bottled upOY 2!% /ocus on getting "hat you "ant% If #uestioned. al"ays be ready "ith an e(cuse% Then you "onTt have to take responsibility% If you canTt think of an e(cuse. do "e have a chance to alter it% The strategies outlined in this guide presuppose your "illingness to do so% art III The 4ducation Bureaucracy= Can It ChangeE Is the California Assessment /iasco a /lukeE The 4ducation Bureaucracy and Self&7eception /ragmentation and >ested Interests So ?hat Can ?e 7oE 1ecommendations /inal Conclusion Introduction . XIf I donTt look out for number one. XI thought you "ere my friendOY or XI thought you loved meOY M% ?hen you do something unreasonable. "ho "illEY As you see. the list is almost laughable% And so it "ould be if these irrational "ays of thinking didnTt lead to problems in life% But they do% And often% 0nly "hen "e are faced "ith the absurdity of dysfunctional thinking. look sad and de$ected and say.D come to unreasonable conclusions D fail to notice our assumptions D often make un$ustified assumptions D miss key ideas D use irrelevant ideas D form confused ideas D form superficial concepts D misuse "ords D ignore relevant vie"points D cannot see issues from points of vie" other than our o"n D confuse issues of different types D are una"are of our pre$udices D think narro"ly D think imprecisely D think illogically D think one&sidedly D think simplistically D think hypocritically D think superficially D think ethnocentrically D think egocentrically D think irrationally D do poor problem solving D make poor decisions D are poor communicators D have little insight into our o"n ignorance A ho"&to list for dysfunctional living 5ost people have no notion of "hat it means to take charge of their lives% They donTt reali)e that the #uality of their lives depends on the #uality of their thinking% ?e all engage in numerous dysfunctional practices to avoid facing problems in our thinking% Consider the follo"ing and ask yourself ho" many of these dysfunctional "ays of thinking you engage in= 2% Surround yourself "ith people "ho think like you% Then no one "ill critici)e you% 2% 7onTt #uestion your relationships% Cou then can avoid dealing "ith problems "ithin them% A% If criti#ued by a friend or lover.

the advance of science% ?hen deeply fla"ed thinking is embedded in teaching. "as used as a sophisticated tool to resist. "hich I shall presently document. and so on% . but is not pseudo critical thinking% +seudo critical thinking is a form of intellectual arrogance masked in self&delusion or deception. at the same time. sophisticated enough to take many people in% :o one takes a rock to be a counterfeit diamond% It is simply other than diamond% But a )ircon mimics a diamond and is easily taken for one and hence can be said to be a pseudo diamond% There is much XsophisticatedY but deeply fla"ed thinking "hich is presented as a model for thought% This is nothing ne" in the history of thought and kno"ledge% 5edieval philosophy and theology. then the development of thought and kno"ledge in the student is retarded or arrested% Teachers at every level of education. typically generates bad products% Consider one "ay in "hich the educational environment invites fla"ed thinking% It is an environment in "hich many "hose education may in fact have been #uite narro" and fla"ed. tell students ho" to think% They point out thinking "hich they in effect encourage students to emulate% ?hen "hat they point out as a model is deeply fla"ed. it is a form of destructive pseudo critical thinking% ?hen deeply fla"ed thinking is embedded in teaching. are not e(ceptions in a generally good record. and family life% The pseudo critical thinking that I propose to concentrate on in this chapter is pseudo critical thinking in the educational establishment% I "ill use as my ma$or illustration.see X1esearch /indings. in politics. in other "ords.Y I "ould like to set the stage for "hat "e shall do by providing the reader in advance "ith one P hopefully intuitive P e(ample of "hy it might be that fla"ed thinking is regularly generated in the educational establishment% It is important that the reader comes to see "hy the blunders and mistakes of the California reading and "riting assessment. that his or her o"n thinking is that of a fairminded person "ho $udges persons and events in an impartial and accurate "ay% 0ften people. and. #uite unkno"ingly of course. in personal.Sometimes "hen people think poorly. "ho recogni)es fundamental fla"s in his or her o"n thinking% 5ost people are victims of their bad thinking% They do not kno" ho" to analy)e and assess thinking% Conse#uently. designing a program that purports to foster critical thinking% But more often they simply implicitly propagandi)e for a form of fla"ed thinking. and yet sophisticated enough to take many in. XBack is very "ell educated. narro". XITm a #ualified teacher but my thinking is deeply fla"ed%Y That is to say. it is a rare person. the California State 7epartment of 4ducationTs ne" assessment tool for reading and "riting% Its development and nature provide an illuminating e(ample of ho" deeply&fla"ed thinking is generated and "orked into the system. insignificant. at least in some academic domain% Chemistry teachers take themselves to be e(perts in sound chemical thinking% 5ath teachers take themselves to be e(perts in sound mathematical thinking. . like many others. they donTt kno" they are making mistakes. for e(ample.take themselves to be e(perts in one form of kno"ledge or another. but they "ould "illingly correct their mistakes if they "ere pointed out to them% 0ften mistakes in thinking are #uite humble% :o one is apt to take them for models of ho" to think% Such thinking may be #uite uncritical. for every"here there are people "ho take themselves to be models of good thinking and "ho are engaged in influencing others by their model% Sometimes they foster an approach to thinking #uite e(plicitly P by. but is also. for e(ample% It "ould be odd for someone to say. from the system. imprecise. in "hich thinking "hich is deeply fla"ed is not only presented as a model of e(cellence of thought. "e must remember that there is local and state"ide bureaucracy and that they e(ist in symbiosis. but "ith $ust one minor e(ceptionF his thinking is unclear. inaccurate. and shallo"% 0ther than that.Y p% 2@. then the development of thought and kno"ledge in the student is retarded or arrested% +seudo critical thinking is every"here in the "orld. most people recogni)e that there is something incoherent about saying that one is "ell educated but thinks poorly% Imagine someone saying. irrelevant. social. they do so out of simple ignorance% They are making mistakes. he is "ell educated%Y Clearly this "ould be absurd% Hence to believe oneself an educator is pretty much tantamount to believing oneself a critical thinker. % % % most people recogni)e that there is something incoherent about saying that one is "ell educated but thinks poorly% and of course. scientific. so very often they are in effect asking for. not a"are of the thinking that they are modeling% In any case. for e(ample. for e(ample. not only in a form of kno"ledge per se but in the kind of thinking that has created or discovered the kno"ledge% These e(perts P called teachers and administrators P are presumed to be #ualified to tell the young not only "hat to think but ho" to think about mathematical. and literary #uestions. most believe that their thinking is instinctively and naturally of good #uality% 5ost believe. each feeding the other% And teachers themselves have learned to think the "ay they do in bureaucratic settings. "hat the system by its nature is ready to give them% It is therefore some"hat misleading to say that the fla"ed thinking at the state"ide bureaucratic level is the cause P it is rather a cause P of fla"ed thinking in the classroom% Before "e proceed to our Xe(emplar. one "ho really does think critically. inadvertently buy into one or more kinds of pseudo critical thinking= in business. then. but rather representative e(amples of a typically bad product in a system that. from the state"ide to the classroom level% 0f course. emotional. of course.

the first list% The California 7epartment of 4ducation 4nglish 6anguage Arts Assessment materials. a book. and "hen there is such discussion it is often simplistic% And that is not all% The kind of instruction that is prevalent at all levels is didactic instruction% The kind of testing that is prevalent is multiple&choice focused on recall% 5ost students pass their courses by relying on rote memori)ation% 5ost teachers. our bank account. purpose% :o". running through&out.Y p% 2@. as "e shall sho" belo".Cet many educators have been miseducated% 5any are poor reasoners% 5any confuse issues and #uestions.46AA. and reasoning can be done "ell or poorly% It can be assessed% And to assess it. even college professors. the educational environment dominant in the schools is not traditionally conducive to critical thinking or to the development of further learning on the part of teachers and administrators% 5uch of the in&service is episodic.It is the thesis of this chapter that the models for thinking and the assessment of thinking presented in the schools are generally deeply fla"ed. is that the ill&constructed California reading and "riting assessment is not an anomaly% The mistakes it makes are painfully predictable. and that the reason "hy this is so is systemic% I "ill also make recommendations at the end of this chapter as to the kind of action that is called for% The Bureaucracy Ignores 1easoning I Intellectual Standards 5uch of the pseudo critical thinking derives from the lack of a coherent understanding of the role of reasoning and intellectual standards in disciplined thought% ?hat do I mean by thisE Consider that as soon as "e set our minds to the task of figuring anything out P a poem. is that the ill&constructed California reading and "riting assessment is not an anomaly% The reason for this is simple% If one understands the general pattern of misunderstanding. three lists of fla"s% 1emember that each has a some"hat different. intellectually unchallenging.committees are not clear about the role of reasoning in reading and "riting. passed most of their courses in the same "ay% . then. and therefore they are not clear about the role of intellectual standards in the assessment of reasoning in reading and "riting% 8nfortunately. and fragmented% At most schools there is very little discussion on or about serious educational issues. contain all of the follo"ing fla"s= D Its treatment of intellectual standards is confused and erroneous% D It confuses recall "ith kno"ledge% D It confuses sub$ective preference "ith reasoned $udgment% D It confuses irrational "ith rational persuasion% D Its key terms are often vague% D Some key terms are dangerously ambiguous% D It inadvertently encourages Xsub$ectivism%Y D Its scoring is arbitrary% D It is both invalid and unreliable% . but related. the confusion inevitably spreads to other matters as "ell% And so "e should not be surprised to find a variety of confusions in their "ork% I "ill enumerate for your convenience some of the ma$or ones $ust belo"% In the ne(t section. a problem in our personal relationships. "hatever P "e are engaged in the task of reasoning. mistakes being made all over the country in any number of ill&designed tests. "e need intellectual standards% The California 7epartment of 4ducation 4nglish 6anguage Arts Assessment . to provide a background set of understanding in preparation for an in&depth analysis of the California reading and "riting assessment% The general point. in any number of ill& thought&through assignments% Cou shall read. in any number of ill&conceived curricula. I list fla"s characteristic of the educational establishment in general% 4ach item in this second list I analy)e in detail.see X1esearch /indings. are easily diverted from the relevant to the irrelevant% outside a narro" field% And many are not even up&to&date in their o"n field% /urthermore. "hen one is confused on a basic point such as this. running throughout. then specific instances of the pattern are much easier to see% A third list of fla"s follo"s the analysis of the test% This final list makes clear the significance and instructional implications of the fla"ed character of the test% The general point. are easily diverted from the relevant to the irrelevant% 5any lack a comprehensive educational philosophy% 5any do virtually no serious reading% 5any cannot speak kno"ledgeably %%% many educators have been miseducated% 5any are poor reasoners% 5any confuse issues and #uestions.

"e have not been educated to analy)e our thinking and assess it% ?e donTt have e(plicit standards already in mind to assess our thinking% ?e may then fall back on Xmental process "ordsY to talk about good thinking. and evaluating% These are "ords that name some of "hat thinking does% ?e use our thinking to identify things. have to be conte(tuali)ed% :evertheless P and this is the key point P there can be no critical thinking "ithout the use of intellectual standards% . then. but each also must submit to general standards that enable it to share its kno"ledge "ith all disciplines and enable all genuine +seudo critical thinking is revealed in educational assessment "hen the assessment theory or practice P or the approaches to teaching.Y Xaccuracy. indeed. then. though a form of classification. develops special standards in virtue of its speciali)ed concepts. and evaluation% It might be helpful to remember that all critical thinking abilities have three parts= a process. classification. accuracy. to apply them. is not an ability% The same goes for analysis. precision. that is. and to evaluate them% It is tempting. or kno"ledge that follo"s from it P fails to take into account fundamental conditions for the pursuit or $ustification of kno"ledge% The result is the un"itting or unkno"ing encouragement of fla"ed thinking% ?hat are some of the common "ays. "e have not been educated to analy)e our thinking and assess it% identifying. and a standard% Here are various critical thinking abilities "hich can serve as e(amples% As you read them see if you can identify the intellectual standard in each% D the ability to evaluate information for its relevance D the ability to accurately identify assumptions D the ability to construct plausible inferences D the ability to identify relevant points of vie" D the ability to distinguish significant from insignificant information The standards used in these e(amples are Xrelevance. it is not enough to classify. one must do it "ell. to analy)e them. thinking. to classify them. needless to say. evaluation. any approach to the teaching of thinking might be fla"edE Here are three% These are not by any means the only ones. consistency. "ords such as analy)ing. that the assessment of thinking or. application. or kno"ledge that follo" from it P fails to take into account fundamental conditions for the pursuit or $ustification of kno"ledge% kno"ledge to be integrated comprehensively and tested for coherence% All research must be put. in other "ords. an ob$ect. analysis. and think continually. depth. but they are very common. classifying. therefore. $ust as the discipline "ithin "hich they think must itself submit to the broader discipline of more encompassing intellectual standards% 4ach academic discipline.But before "e look at the detail of these manifestations of pseudo critical thinking in the California 7epartment of 4ducationTs assessment materials. it "ill be easier to e(plain "hat precisely is "rong "ith CaliforniaTs reading and "riting assessment% ?hat 7oes +seudo Critical Thinking 6ook 6ike in 4ducational AssessmentE The advance of kno"ledge has been achieved not because the mind is capable of memori)ing "hat teachers say but because it can be disciplined to ask probing #uestions and pursue them in a reasoned. and very important% /irst Basic /la" P The lack or misuse of intellectual standards This is one of the most common fla"s% It derives from the fact that though all of us think. in accord "ith the appropriate standards and criteria% 5isclassification. thinking. and the like% But it is important to remember that responsible critical thinking re#uires intellectual standards% Hence. both "ithin and ultimately "ithout the field. and think continually. to think of critical thinking as merely thinking engaged in identification. and coherence% +seudo critical thinking is revealed in educational assessment "hen the assessment theory or practice P or the approaches to teaching. relevance. procedures. very basic. and assumptions. "ho share not only its standards but the standards of good thinking generally% 4very field must be intellectually accountable to every other field by demonstrating its commitment to clarity. application.Y and Xsignificance%Y 4ach of these standards "ould. into a form of reasoning taken seriously in a field and the reasoning must then submit to the reasoned criti#ue of others. % % % though all of us think. self&critical "ay% Scholars pursuing kno"ledge submit their thinking to rigorous discipline.Y Xplausibility. letTs make clearer "hat some of the common confusions of pseudo critical thinking amount to in the domain of educational assessment and "hy they occur% ?ith these understandings in hand.

There can be no critical thinking "ithout the use of intellectual standards% then.factual #uestions fall into this category-. to uncritically assume that everyoneTs XopinionY is of e#ual value% Their capacity to appreciate the importance of intellectual standards diminishes. it is an e(ample of pseudo critical thinking% There are in fact many such approaches in use in education today% Second Basic /la" P 5isconceptions Built Into the System /la"s occur "hen thinking or an approach to thinking embodies a misconception about the nature of thinking or about "hat makes for e(cellence in it% I "ill e(plain $ust t"o of the most common misconceptions% The first involves confusing reasoned $udgment . the kind of $udgment most important to educated people and the kind "e most "ant to foster falls into a third. if an approach to teaching or thinking focuses on the use of mental processes "ithout a critical application of standards to that use. pseudo&critical thinking occurs% Here are e(amples of the three types= 2. and is never to be e#uated "ith."hich is a lo"er order use of the mind."ith kno"ledge . and respect good reasoning is one of the most significant failings of education today% 1ecall Confused ?ith <no"ledge A second common confusion "hich leads directly to pseudo critical thinking is recall confused "ith kno"ledge% As I suggested above this confusion is deeply embedded in the minds of many Xeducators%Y It results from the fact that most instruction involves didactic lectures and most testing relies fundamentally on recall% 4ducators confuse students recalling "hat "as said in the lecture "ith kno"ing the ho" and the "hy behind "hat "as said% /or e(ample.Ho" can "e best address the most basic and significant economic problems of the nation todayE and A. but good reasoning does more than state facts% /urthermore. very important. on his personal opinions. consistency and so forth-% ?hen #uestions that re#uire better or "orse ans"ers are treated as matters of opinion.those "ith as many ans"ers as there are different human preferences . some of "hich is true and some of "hich is not. relevant evidence and valid legal reasoning% A $udge is not e(pected to base his $udgments on his sub$ective preferences. as such% Cou might put it this "ay.Y but "e not only e(pect. fact alone or mere opinion alone% /acts are typically used in reasoning. 2. pseudo critical thinking occurs% Students come. and persuades many to do the same.Hence.?hich "ould you prefer. "e sometimes call the $udgeTs verdict an Xopinion. that of reasoned $udgment% A $udge in a court of la" is e(pected to engage in reasoned $udgmentF that is. and you may not kno" "hich is "hich% Another "ay to see this point is to figure out "hy "e don*t think of parrots as gaining any kno"ledge "hen they learn to repeat "ords% Tape recorders get no credit for kno"ledge either% 7o you see the pointE ."hich is one of the most important modes of thinking leading to the possibility of kno"ledge.a category in "hich mere opinion does rule-% ?hen #uestions that re#uire better or "orse ans"ers are treated as matters of opinion."ell&reasoned or poorly reasoned ans"ers-. a teacher might give you information. but also to base that $udgment on sound. value. "e demand that it be based on relevant and sound reasoning% HereTs a some"hat different "ay to put this same point% It is essential "hen thinking critically to clearly distinguish three different kinds of #uestions= 2. a vacation in the mountains or one at the seashoreE 0nly the third kind of #uestion is a matter of sheer opinion% The second kind is a matter of reasoned $udgment P "e can rationally evaluate ans"ers to the #uestion . and A. depth. $udgment based on sound reasoning goes beyond."hich re#uires higher order thinking-% Here are the e(planations in brief% See if you can follo" the e(amples and relate them to your e(perience% 1easoned Budgment Confused "ith Sub$ective +reference 5any pseudo critical thinking approaches present all $udgments as falling into t"o e(clusive and e(haustive categories= fact and opinion% Actually. a position that is "ell& reasoned is not to be described as simply Xopinion%Y 0f course.using universal intellectual standards such as clarity. and "e can e(pect to hear #uestions such as these= ?hat if I donTt like these standardsE ?hy shouldnTt I use my o"n standardsE 7onTt I have a right to my o"n opinionE ?hat if ITm $ust an emotional personE ?hat if I like to follo" my intuitionE ?hat if I donTt believe in being XrationalEY They then fail to see the difference bet"een offering legitimate reasons and evidence in support of a vie" and simply asserting the vie" as true% The failure to teach students to recogni)e. the $udge is e(pected not only to render a $udgment.those "ith one right ans"er ."hich is not a basis for attaining kno"ledge-% The second misconception involves confusing recall . then.?hat is the boiling point of leadE 2.those "ith better or "orse ans"ers . and no" almost totally ignored category."ith sub$ective preference .

through happen stance-. strictly speaking. are becoming rampant in the state% The $argon of reform is every"here. undermining the basic values of education and public service.for such confused persons. and arrogant% They lack rational $udgment. #uite selfishly% 8nless "e carefully design schooling to serve the XhigherY ends of education. I need to kno" "hat supports it. and "hy this or that is not so% They kno" "hat the te(tbook says. intellectual honesty. in fact. properly conceived% It is e(tremely important to see that intelligence and intellect can be used for ends other than those of gaining XtruthY or XinsightY or Xkno"ledge%Y 0ne can learn to be cunning rather than clever. "e kno" that it is and "hy it is% So. it is developing an assessment program "hich is shot&through "ith pseudo critical thinking confusions% It is no" deeply involved in developing "hat it calls XauthenticY assessment that focuses on student XperformancesY found in the student Xconstruction of meaningY in language arts and social studies% :o" all of these terms P XauthenticY and . etc%. it is no" becoming apparent that at the <Q22 level at least. of course. is very much part of the problem% :ot only is it failing to provide sound leadership in integrating critical thinking into instruction. "hat makes it true P to properly be said to kno" it% So if someone tells me Back has flo"n to +aris for the "eekend. and the misunderstandings that underlie them. convincing rather than rationally persuasive.because I trust the person "ho told me. it can easily. fairmindedness. I donTt kno" if he actually did% I might believe that he had .is nothing other than remembering "hat the te(tbook said% Third Basic /la" P The 5isuse of Intellect XSkilledY thinking can easily be used to obfuscate rather than to clarify. articulate rather than accurate% 0ne can become $udgmental rather than gain in $udgment% 0ne can confuse confidence "ith kno"ledge at the same time that one mistakes arrogance for self&confidence% In each of these cases a counterfeit of a highly desirable trait is developed in place of that trait% There are many people "ho have learned to be 0ne can learn to be cunning rather than clever. additionally. in fact. cunning. but not "hy the te(tbook says "hat it says.intellectual humility. for pseudo critical thinking approaches. that all information in a te(tbook is correct% Some. "ithout an ade#uate emphasis on the essential intellectual traits of mind . additionally. as it no" often does. but this does not dissuade them from issuing dogmatic $udgments and directives% They impress and learn to control others.the result can then be the inadvertent cultivation of the manipulator. is not% ?e attain genuine kno"ledge only "hen the information "e possess is not only correct but. articulate. certainly. articulate rather than accurate% skilled in merely appearing to be rational and kno"ledgeable "hen. convincing rather than rationally persuasive. the mandate is not on solid ground. they are not% Some of these have learned to be smooth. the California 7epartment of 4ducation is oblivious of the danger.and my belief might even be correct . I donTt kno" that something is true or correct if I have merely found it asserted to be so in a book% I need to have a greater understanding P for e(ample. degenerate into merely serving Xlo"erY ends% ?hen this happens.?e tend to assume. "e kno" that it is and "hy it is% significance of this distinction causes a lot of problems in schooling because many "ho teach do not really kno" their o"n sub$ects "ell enough to e(plain clearly "hy this or that is so. the propagandist. "e are prepared to e(amine the ne" California Assessment +rogram and its evaluation of reading and "riting% The California Assessment +rogram= 4nglish 6anguage Arts Assessment Introduction California has developed the reputation of being a leader in educational reform% It "as the first state to mandate critical thinking instruction at all educational levels% Ho"ever. or "hether "hat it says is so or not% Having kno"ledge . schooling often does more harm than good% It spreads the influence and resultant harm of pseudo critical thinking% ?ith the above understandings in mind. smooth rather than clear. but still I donTt yet kno" for sure that he did% I am operating on the basis of Xhearsay%Y The failure to appreciate the ?e attain genuine kno"ledge only "hen the information "e possess is not only correct but. confident. to aid in the defense of a narro" interest rather than to take into account the public good% If "e teach students to think narro"ly. smooth rather than clear. and the con artist% ?e unkno"ingly end up. to maintain a pre$udice rather than to break it do"n. to carry the point a bit further. then. but substance is virtually no"here% 8nfortunately.

in fact. imprecise. so letTs briefly revie" them% Testing and assessment in this country has come under increasing fire. of critical reading and "riting% Indeed. leading the students in turn to become inaccurate. leading the students in turn to become inaccurate. in XperformingY those tasks. to XauthenticallyY test higher order Xperformances%Y The reform of assessment has increasingly looked to an increased emphasis on XauthenticY items that involve XperformancesY of a Xhigher order%Y /urthermore. and smog% ?e immediately construct XmeaningY out of our e(perience% 0ur e(perience is made by our minds to Xfit intoY meanings "e have already constructed. "hat pu))led educational researchers "as "hat has come to be called the problem of Xtransfer%Y ?hy donTt students take "hat they are studying at school and use it in their daily acts of Xconstructing meaningsEY ?hy donTt they use scientific concepts "hen they make everyday predictions or form everyday theories about people and eventsE ?hy donTt they use concepts from their social studies te(tbooks "hen they go about interpreting social situations and trying to figure out solutions to their social problemsE Their conclusion "as that the students donTt use "hat they study in school in their everyday life because they are not engaged in the construction of meaning in class% In class. leads the teachers in the direction of malpractice.Y in other "ords. not constructing meaning. they are merely. imprecise. if "e cannot do this.Y Xperformance. not integrating school learning "ith everyday life% :o" "e are ready to bring the three theoretical concepts together P Xauthentic. into the systematic misassessment of reading and "riting. systems of meanings that enable us #uickly to si)e up "hatTs in front of us% The result is "e donTt see XmeaninglessY colors and shapes and sounds% ?e see trees. and speeding cars.Y and the Xconstruction of meaning%Y In authentic performances students construct meaning% They do not simply memori)e% So "hy not focus school instruction on $ust such mattersE ?hy not give them tasks that are XauthenticEY ?hy not help them. that is.ro"ing numbers of critics have pointed out that the items on "hich "e have been testing students do not involve reasoning and have little relationship to the kinds of tasks that students "ill later be called upon to Xperform%Y The tests fail. into the systematic misassessment of reading and "riting. as far as it goes. memori)ing. storing it temporarily in short&term memory P that learning involves the Xconstruction of meaning%Y HereTs ho" you might look at it% In order to get about successfully in the The reform of assessment has increasingly looked to an increased emphasis on XauthenticY items that involve XperformancesY of a Xhigher order%Y "orld in "hich "e live "e have to continually Xmake senseY of things. in other "ords. "e set about constructing a ne" meaning out of the old ones% :o". or at least mainly. and undisciplined readers and "riters% D There is no "ay that a teacher might grasp an organi)ed and systematic approach to the role of reasoning in reading and "riting by studying the materials being disseminated% The test. say. there can be no ob$ection% But as one "ise person once said. XThe important truths are in the details%Y And the details of the 46AA materials are horrendous% A close e(amination of the details of the California 6anguage Arts Assessment reveal that it is fla"ed in all of the follo"ing "ays= D The overall conception is not theoretically coherent% It is filled "ith vagueness and confusion% This is probably the result of the committee adopting the key bu)) "ords "ithout clearly understanding the theory underlying them% The bu)) "ords are then used vaguely and the details are filled out "ith terms from the agendas of the various stake&holders% D It does not provide a realistic model of reasoning. that is. and dogs. leads the teachers in the direction of malpractice. in fact. research by cognitive psychologists and others have clearly established the fact that "hen humans deeply learn something P in contrast to. the theoretical insights that led to emphasis on these "ords are important. multiple choice tests has contributed to little more than trivial pursuit. it is clear that the developers of the assessment do not reali)e that both reading and "riting intrinsically involve the use of reasoning and that reasoning can be done "ell or poorly% D The overall conception does not call attention to definite and clear intellectual standards% The criteria given are typically vague and applied inconsistently% Important intellectual standards are missing% The test. and people. machine scorable. to give a meaning to "hat is surrounding us% As "e do this "e develop net"orks. to actually Xconstruct meaning. more and more emphasis in instruction on the lo"est order of thinking= rote memori)ation% .XperformanceY and Xconstruction of meaningY P are part of the bu)) "ords of the day in educational circles% 0f course. and undisciplined readers and "riters% . or. and for good reason% 5uch of "hat has traditionally been tested in the popular. and. to integrate "hat they are learning into the net"ork of meanings they are already using to make sense of the "orld% This is the basic theoretical idea behind the 46AA materials.

pp% 2MQ29-.Y Xfalse beliefs. and not indiscriminately credit any construction of meaning% To underscore the point.46AA. a $ury may not function as it ought% It may be irrational and pre$udiced. letTs make these relationships clear% 1ational and Irrational Constructions XConstructing meaningY is a process that is common to all learning "hich becomes deep&seated in the mind of the learner% It applies. are $ust as much XconstructionsY and as XmeaningfulY constructions as ones more insightful and discerning% ?e should rather be interested in fostering in children adherence to those intellectual standards that ma(imi)e their construction of genuine Xkno"ledge.Y and all manner of other intellectually fla"ed creations of the mind. that kno"ledge. is not a significant achievement. the ne" assessment allo"s students to shape the outcome rather than to identify correct meanings that test makers have posited%Y It is clear that the "riters of the assessment are either not clear about the difference bet"een recall and kno"ledge.Y for other"ise they % % % it must be underscored that the mere construction of meaning. is a product of a rational. as such. re#uires a clear&cut e(ercise of the rational faculties of the mind% /or e(ample. construction of meaning% 0f course. therefore. the 46AA commentators open by confusing kno"ledge "ith recall and Xconstructing meaningY "ith Xreasonably constructing meaning%Y Since these confusions are basic and lead to indiscriminate scoring. XAt the heart of the frame"ork is a paradigm shift in "hich Rconstructing meaningT replaced Rgaining kno"ledgeT as the primary goal%Y 0r. on the other hand.document e(plains. "ith focusing attention on the need of students to Xconstruct meaningY but it must be underscored that the mere construction of meaning. in the e(tended e(ample on reading as a form of thinking "hich "e cited . rational meanings% 7eep&seated irrational fears. or both% Briefly. and the canons of sound reasoning% ?hen a $ury appropriately attains the kno"ledge of guilt or innocence.Y Xillusions. ho"ever. begins by announcing a paradigm shift% As the 4nglish 6anguage Arts Assessment .Y Xdelusion. to appropriately $udge a person accused of murder to be guilty or innocent. as it says later. as such. legal criteria .Y Xstereotypes. $ust as much to the formation of fla"ed. for e(ample. both in their reading and in their "riting% But this can only defensibly be done by $udging them by means of those intellectual standards common to educated thought% A construct that is unclear is not to be confused "ith one that is clear% 0ne that is inaccurate is not to be confused "ith one that is accurate% 0ne that is relevant to an assigned task is not to be confused "ith one that is irrelevant% 0ne that is superficial is not to be confused "ith one that is deep% Hence "e do not need to decide bet"een emphasi)ing the construction of meaning and the goal of attaining kno"ledge% If "e properly understand the XdualY character of Xmeaning construction. oneTs thinking must be guided by a careful and rational use of evidence. letTs look at ho" this occurs% CaliforniaTs :e" 4nglish&6anguage Arts Assessment= An Integrated 6ook. and the $udge may overturn its verdict precisely because it did not properly discharge its responsibility to be Xrational%Y There is nothing "rong. but there "as a stark contrast in the #uality of reasoning in the t"o cases% . result as much from the personal construction of meaning as do insights and understandings% <no"ledge. irrational meanings as it does to the formulation of defensible. since it is done as much by Archie Bunker as by 4instein% are likely to engage in a great deal of XirrationalY construction and they "ill not kno" they are doing so% 4ducation must discriminate bet"een the #uality of studentsT constructions of meaning. both readers.Y Xself&deceptions. is not a significant achievement. since it is done as much by Archie Bunker as by 4instein% But the authors of The California Student Assessment System are confused on this point. for they talk as if the construction of meaning is an end in itself% They forget that Xpre$udice. the human mind naturally and inevitably constructs meaning% The mere fact that students construct meanings tells us nothing about the #uality of those constructs% /or e(ample. constructed meanings% But you "ill remember that the meanings constructed by Colleen "ere absurd% Both students reasoned about the te(tTs meaning. a reasoned. e(pressed in their verdict. or they are "rongly assuming that the attainment of kno"ledge is not intrinsically connected to the construction of meaning.Y Xmisconceptions.Y "e "ill immediately recogni)e the need to focus on the XreasonedY and XreasonableY construction of meaning. XSince the construction of meaning is the essence of both reading and "riting. Stephen and Colleen. though also the result of the construction of meaning.the criteria for XmurderY-.A Tangle of Confusions 6etTs no" look at the details and shed light on some of the theoretical confusions that undermine the approach% /irst of all.

in the "orkplace. setting goals. an ob$ective and accurate analysis of the nature of the problems.Y that.7epth implies criteria for distinguishing XdeepY from Xshallo"Y readings%. the assessment authors are a"are of this necessity% Their description of their o"n criteria imply both impartiality and commitment to intellectual standards% /or e(ample. solve problems. but rather a solid grasp of the meaning intended by the author% This is a fundamental premise of "ritten communicationO ?e should therefore continually 4mployers are not looking for a flashy. decisions can reasonably or unreasonably be arrived at% It becomes clear. clarifying values. but "e "ant to do this "hile teaching them to discipline their reading. not only in assessment but in any form of intellectual "ork "hatsoever.for purpose. lively.To improve the instructional program by providing an assessment that reflects the /rame"ork% They use language that implies a concern "ith rational $udgment= for e(ample. synthesi)eJapply learnings.vs Inade#uate /air vs Biased or 0ne&Sided A +seudo Commitment to Intellectual Standards Intellectual standards are essential to the appropriate assessment of reading and "riting% At some level. but rather a solid grasp of the meaning intended by the author% This is a fundamental premise of "ritten communicationO underscore the pivotal role of intellectual standards.p% I&2-= 2. generate ne" ideas.To establish standards for evaluating studentsT performance "hen they read diverse kinds of materials for different purposes% 2. from here on.Y to be shaped into any XmeaningY they choose% In passing. ?e "ant students to think critically as they e(plore interests. global statements about critical thinking and meaning&making and standards are losing their luster% Solving problems is not the product of an arbitrary construction of meaning. the processes of thinking critically. from here on. and entertaining meaning if it is irrational and reflects a fla"ed understanding of the te(t% 4mployers are not looking for a flashy. clarify values. and make decisions in response to the literature they read% . and such like% 4ffective goal setting re#uires that "e accurately identify possible competing goals and reasonably assess "hich make most sense% And certainly. reading and "riting% Intellectual Standards That Apply to Thinking in 4very Sub$ect Thinking that is= Thinking that is= Clear vs 8nclear +recise vs Imprecise Specific vs >ague Accurate vs Inaccurate 1elevant vs Irrelevant +lausible vs Implausible Consistent vs Inconsistent 6ogical vs Illogical 7eep vs Superficial Broad vs :arro" Complete vs Incomplete Significant vs Trivial Ade#uate .To measure ho" "ell students are able to construct meaning% A. that the California testing e(pertsT glossy. they imply impartial assessment "hen they state the three&fold purpose of the ne" 4nglish&6anguage Arts Assessment . amongst other things. of engaging in sound reasoning% To clarify values. to learn ho" to fit their interpretations to the logic of the "ords of the te(t% ?e "ant them to develop definite intellectual standards for their reading and not feel free to treat a te(t as if it "ere Xsilly putty. individuali)ed response to a piece of "riting. re#uires that "e rationally analy)e them% It becomes clear. solving problems. the 46AA report says "hen speaking of Xmeaning&making.The point should no" be clear% ?e "ant to "ork "ith our studentsT capacity to construct meaning from a te(t. resolve conflicts. but re#uires. global statements about critical thinking and meaning&making and standards are losing their luster% 4mpty platitudes and vacuous ideals are a specialty of virtually all bureaucracies% So common are they no" that they are hardly noticed anymore% . and making decisions all presuppose the importance of rationality. of the information relevant to the problems. set goals. fanciful. including of course.Secondly. there is no economic value in constructing irrational.p% I & 2:o". that the California testing e(pertsT glossy. the authors of the 4nglish&6anguage Arts Assessment often speak of their commitment to Xencourage students to read "idely and in depth%Y . individuali)ed response to a piece of "riting. for e(ample.

s-. criteria must be provided for each of the individual XperformancesY cited .s. the impartiality of application of the criteria is suspect% Also note that any and all of these activities can be done either defensibly or indefensibly% Hence. breadth. concepts. these readers sho" convincing evidence of their ability to construct meaning% They may= 2% 4(periment "ith ideasF think divergentlyF take risksF e(press opinions . comple(ity. or of life in general% The 4scape Hatch /irst off. if these are to be assessed in order to be credited or discredited. and this invalidates any attempt to use the results to assess one studentTs performances year after year. structural. having given us an array of vague descriptors.The +roblem of Scoring As you might e(pect.by agreeing or disagreeing. it is clear that since each scorer can pick and chose from such a "ide variety of criteria .Si( +ointsD 7iscerning 1eading +erformance . #uestioning. all of the confusions above come home to roost in the design for scoring student XperformancesY in reading and "riting% /or e(ample. speculate. andJor paraphrase "ith purpose% 2 % 1eflect on the meaning. arguing. andJor arguments% M% 1ecogni)e and deal "ith ambiguities in the te(t% % 1evise. reshape andJor deepen early interpretations% 3% 4valuateF e(amine the degree of fit bet"een the authorTs ideas or information and the readerTs prior kno"ledge or e(perience% 9% Challenge the te(t. are provided.T"o +ointsD 5inimal 1eading +erformance . and or "ondering% . hypothesi)e.a number of "hich as "e shall see are e(tremely vague-.of the te(t. year after year% Instead. endorsing.Three +ointsD 6imited 1eading +erformance . ho"ever.e%g%. andJor depth% Through their "riting and graphics.% 7emonstrate understanding of the "ork as a "hole% @% Sho" sensitivity to the structure of the te(t.s2M% 1etell./ive +ointsD Thoughtful 1eading +erformance . including larger or more universal significanceF e(press a ma$or understanding about or insight into a sub$ect./our +ointsD 6iteral 1eading +erformance .s-= ho" the parts "ork togetherF ho" characters andJor other elements of the "ork. cultural and psychological nuances and comple(itiesF D entertains challenging ideasF grounds meaning in acute perceptions of te(tual and cultural comple(ities% 7o the assessors really kno" ho" to impartially assess "hether or not a student reader is being Xsensitive to a psychological nuanceY or to a Xstructural nuanceY or a Xcultural nuanceEY 0r can they impartially determine "hether or not the student reader is entertaining a XchallengingY ideaE 0r "hether a student perception is XacuteY or notE IsnTt it highly probable that different assessors are going to have some"hat different conceptions of each of these matters.0ne +oint- .and their o"n ideas. and challenge the te(t% 1eaders do not need to sho" evidence of all the performances listed here% The discerning and insightful reader may display a broad spectrum of reading behaviors or may investigate a fe" selected behaviors in great depth% The e(emplary reader may sho" variety.s. summari)e. e(periences. the authors no" largely set them aside and focus instead on a si(&point XScoring . for e(ample. in e(plaining the design "ith respect to assessing elementary reading.s. and kno"ledge% 2A% 7emonstrate emotional engagement "ith the te(t.to validate andJor e(pand ideas% 22% 5ake connections bet"een the te(t.over ! are buried in the list-% ?e need some e(planation of ho" they e(pect someone assessing student reading to apply them% Consider each of the follo"ing% The assessor is left to her o"n intuitions in determining "hether or not a studentTs reading= D is insightfulF discerningF perceptiveF D is sensitive to linguistic. the authors introduce us to a 2 &point list under the head of the reading performances of effective readers% 4ffective readers connect "ith. an aspect of self. facts.uideY that is to be used in distinguishing student reading into the follo"ing categories= D 4(emplary 1eading +erformance . one thinking a given idea is X#uite challengingY and another thinking it is notE Surely this much is clearO :o criteria.change% 2!% Sho" aesthetic appreciation of the te(t. e(plore alternative scenariosF raise #uestionsF make predictionsF think metaphorically-% 2% 4(plore multiple possibilities of meaningF see cultural andJor psychological nuances and comple(ities in the te(t% A% /ill in gapsF use clues and evidence in the passage to dra" conclusionsF make plausible interpretations of ideas. as "ell as to assess all California students collectively.s.s. reflect on.s-F see linguistic and structural comple(ities% 22% Allude to andJor retell specific passages.

andJor logic by considering the authority of the author and the nature and #uality of the author*s source. cultural. information.See ColleenTs reading on pp% 2MQ29%. taking e(ception. the problem of the assessors being given many criteria that name processes that can. e(pand. but to their history as participants in a culture or larger community. e(perience. in principle. appreciating or ob$ecting to te(t features% They may test the validity of the author*s ideas. as I suggested above. raising #uestions. sometimes recogni)ing and embracing and sometimes resisting the ideological position that a te(t seems to construct for its reader% 5ust the Student Bust 7o It or 7o It ?ellE 4ven more problematic than the likely disagreement among assessors as to the application of the vague standards provided is.s-% They fre#uently suggest "ays of re"riting the te(t. often making connections to other te(ts or other "orks of art% 4(ceptional readers dra" on evidence from the te(t to generate. that of Xe(emplary reading performance%Y A person "ho takes seriously the characteri)ations of this first category should be prepared to notice and assess "hether or not the student is= filling in gaps dra"ing meaning entertaining ideas raising #uestions taking e(ception agreeingF disagreeing e(ploring possibilities developing connections making connections dra"ing on evidence ob$ecting to te(t features considering the authority of the author considering the #uality of the authorTs sources suggesting "ays of re"riting the te(t embracing the ideological position of a te(t resisting the ideological position of a te(t revising their understanding as they read carrying on an internal dialogue The State 7epartment Criteria for an 4(emplary 1eading +erformance 2. consider the "ords XdiscerningY and Ythoughtful%Y It is not obvious that one is better off being XdiscerningY than being Xthoughtful%Y It is also not obvious "hy XliteralY is above Xlimited%Y It is certainly not clear "hy the lo"est score is XminimalY reading% ?hat ever happened to $ust plain XpoorY readingE Has it disappeared or is it one of many forms of XminimalY reading% . discerning and perceptive as the reader constructs and reflects on meaning in a te(t% 1eaders at this level are sensitive to linguistic. validate. structural.These general descriptors are of very little use% /or e(ample. speculating about the ideology or cultural or historical biases that seem to inform a te(t. disagreeing. e(ploring possibilities for their resolution or tolerating ambiguities% They demonstrate their understanding of the "hole "ork as "ell as an a"areness of ho" the parts "ork together to create the "hole% 1eaders achieving score point si( develop connections "ith and among te(ts% They connect their understanding of the te(t not only to their o"n ideas. and kno"ledge. or dra"ing meaning from subtle cues% They differentiate bet"een literal and figurative meanings% They recogni)e real or seeming contradictions.An e(emplary reading performance is insightful. making plausible assumptions about unstated causes or motivations. the student is obliged to use the cited processes "ell or . and psychological nuances and comple(ities% They fill in gaps in a te(t. and reflect on their o"n ideas% These readers take risks% They entertain challenging ideas and e(plore multiple possibilities of meaning as they read.Is it XminimalY or $ust plain XpoorEYBut that is not all% 4ach of the terms listed in each of the si( point scoring guide create further problems for the conscientious scorer% Consider the terms in the first category alone. agreeing. be done "ell or poorly% The directions do not e(plain "hether. grounding these meanings in their acute perceptions of te(tual and cultural comple(ities% They often revise their understanding of a te(t as they re&read and as additional information or insight becomes available to them% They sometimes articulate a ne"ly developed level of understanding% 1eaders demonstrating a score point si( performance challenge the te(t% They carry on an internal dialogue "ith the "riter. to be credited.

a student "ho is dra"ing an absurd meaning is still dra"ing a meaning% A student "ho is making a trivial connection is still making a connection% A student "ho is dra"ing on irrelevant evidence is still dra"ing on evidence% A student "ho is raising a silly or superficial #uestion is still raising a #uestion% And so forth. criteria to assess ho" "ell the students used the processes credited% The California State 7epartment of 4ducation falls directly into the trap of failing to discriminate bet"een these crucial differences% The assessors are left to their o"n devices% They can dra" these distinctions or fail to dra" them% It is clear that most failed to dra" them% This is a fatal fla" in the assessment% It renders the results of the assessment virtually useless% The 5isassessment of 4lementary 1eading The only elementary reading passage "hich is given "ith scored e(amples is from a story by Bohn . since the student reader is not told that she is going to be evaluated on "hat she "rites and is told none of the criteria. it becomes painfully clear that the assessors "ere simply looking to see if the student in any sense used the process and did not have. feelings. at best.ardiner called Stone /o(% It is an emotionally e(plosive story. simply for amusementE 0r are they to do a Xclose readingY for detailE Are they to be analytical and reflective. feelings. "hat the directions might have said% +ossible 7irections ?hen "e read a story "e have to try to understand and follo" its meaning% ?e try to figure out "hat it is saying and "e try to connect it "ith our o"n life in some "ay% ?e "ant you to read this story and see "hat it means to you% ?hy do you think it "as "rittenE 7o you think that it "as "ritten "ellE 7o you think it is true to lifeE 7oes it illustrate anything that you believe is importantE +lease "rite in as many of your thoughts on these #uestions as possible as you read% Help us to understand "hat is going on in your mind as you are reading and trying to relate this story to your life% Can 0ne 4valuate +urely Sub$ective 1esponses to StoriesE ?hen the student reads that she is directed to e(press her Xfeelings. here. and so on% 8nfortunately. . feelings.Ho" do you feel "hen you read thisE. and #uestions they "ould not bother to e(press% Consider that you are a student reading the story% Cou see a column at the right "hich says.iven :o" the first remarkable feature of the Stone /o( reading prompt is that the student readers are given no indication "hatsoever of the purpose for "hich they are reading the story% This is ironic in the light of the fact that the CA+ materials emphasi)e the fact that one can read and "rite Xfor different purposesY . or did not use. they are asked to engage. once "e e(amine the actual student "riting e(amples along "ith the commentary provided.and a re#uest for a more reasoned response . or did not use. on the other hand. one chosen perhaps to ensure an emotional response% The children are simply asked to give some of their Xthoughts. and #uestions as they could% Some readers might presumably have thoughts. and #uestions about "hat I am reading%Y Ho" should you understand itE ?ouldnTt you "onder "hich thoughts %%% "hich feelings %%% based on "hatE ?hat am I to think aboutE ?hy am I to think about itE In any case. then ho" can "e legitimately go on to $udge those feelings and XscoreY them one through si(E Suppose the student #uite sincerely said. in an ill&defined Xperformance%Y :othing is given in the "ay of directions to the students e(cept X1ead to see "hat happensY and a place to the right in "hich the student may "rite notes under a column head titled. once "e e(amine the actual student "riting e(amples along "ith the commentary provided. XIn my vie" this is a sentimental story that insults my intelligence% I feel disgusted "hen I read it and bored silly%Y Ho" should the assessor evaluate that XfeelingY responseE Is there any "ay to discredit it according to the directionsE Certainly not% It is as good a response to a re#uest for XfeelingsY as any other% To put the point succinctly. feelings. X5y thoughts. the students are asked to read for no particular purpose% Are they to read in a casual fashion. criteria to assess ho" "ell the students used the processes credited% the student is doing these things or simply certify the fact of doing these things P ho"ever poorly% 1emember. X5y thoughts.p% I&A-% And yet. "hy should she be motivated to fully e(press her thoughts and feelingsE Consider. and #uestions about "hat I am reading%Y The students "ere apparently not even told that they should try to "rite out as much of their thoughts.Y "ith no e(planation given "hy she is so directed. and #uestionsY about "hat they are reading% :o other kind of "riting is given as an e(ample% Insufficient 7irections Are .simply use them in any "ay "hatsoever% That is. feelings.?hat feeling do you $udge the author "ants you to feel and "hyE In your $udgment is the author . either "e help students understand the difference bet"een a re#uest for a purely sub$ective response. it becomes painfully clear that the assessors "ere simply looking to see if the student in any sense used the process and did not have. or notE The students are given no indication of ho" they "ill be assessed% Hence. there is no indication as to "hether the assessor is to evaluate the X#ualityY of the "ay 8nfortunately.

or they may suggest a third position% 0rgani)ation% ?riters arrange reasons.XThis is "hat I believe and "hy I think you should believe it %%%Y-F A% :arrative "riting .p% IQMThe grade four "riting assessment is designed to reflect a variety of purposes for "hich children "rite= 2% 4(pressive "riting . evidence.successfulE Tell us the reasons "hy you think so%. e(amples. but they do so in depthF others may choose to develop several appropriate reasons.XThis is "hat I kno" and ho" I kno" it %%%Y-% Criteria /or +ersuasive ?riting +ersuasive "riting is e(plained in the follo"ing terms .s-% They sho" their arguments are valid based on prior kno"ledge. information. interpretation and controversial issues plus a reflective essay% .3 points. and so forth% 1elevance of Arguments% ?riters choose and present appropriate reasons. personal e(perience and reflection% Audience A"areness% ?riters choose and present arguments "ith a clear a"areness of reader needs% They often sho" credibility and a sense of authority by revealing source. e(amples. some students may choose to e(plore both sides of an issue and then offer a compromise.Si( +ointsAn e(ceptional score . argument re#uires "riters to consider their audience%%%% The best persuasive "riters systematically develop arguments "ith a strong sense of coherence and movement throughout the piece% CaliforniaTs Standards for 4(ceptional ?riting . e(amples. evaluation and speculation about cause and effect %%% High School= evaluation. to make $udgments.XThis is "hat I see.XThis is "hat happened %%%Y-F and M% Informational "riting . information andJor personal anecdotes in a discernible and effective pattern resulting in an overall persuasive effect% Coherence% ?riters provide overall links or transitionsF they present arguments.p% IIIQ22-= +ersuasive "riting re#uires students to choose positions.must meet the follo"ing standards= /ocusJcoherence +osition% ?riters of si(&point papers usually assert and maintain a clear position throughout the pieceF they present evidence and e(planations in a purposeful "ay% 0ccasionally these "riters "ill effectively evaluate both sides of an issue and offer a reasonable compromiseF or they may conclude that neither position is preferable.or "e must not indulge in any assessment of the students Xfeelings%Y ?e have no legitimate grounds for doing so% The student can legitimately take the re#uest to be one that asks for a sub$ective response and a purely sub$ective response cannot be impartially assessed or scored% The 5isassessment of ?riting at the 4lementary 6evel 7ifferent kinds of "riting "ill be assessed at different levels= 4lementary= persuasive "riting %%% 5iddle School= problem solution. to offer proposals.s. kno"ledgeable individuals% They orient readers%%% 5ore than any other kind of "riting. e(amples. information andJor anecdotes% Some "riters may develop only one reason or e(ample. and feel %%%Y2% +ersuasive "riting . emotions. think. and reasons logically so that the overall effect is one of coherence% 4laboration 7epthJ7ensity of Arguments% ?riters thoroughly develop and elaborate their reasons. and to argue convincingly for their beliefs and ideas% Ho"ever. andJor philosophical beliefs% +ersuasive "riters establish themselves as informed. %%% 4ffective "riters use evidence such as e(amples or anecdotes to support their arguments% Convincing arguments may appeal to logic. speculation about cause and effect. and so forth to support their argument.of information% They may anticipate possible reader response by including some counter&arguments% .

P is the student to be creditedE The formulators of the criteria are seemingly oblivious of the problem% A .rade /our 4ssay Budged to Illustrate High&1ange Achievement The CA+ Commentary /rom the opening %%% this "riter e(udes confidence.Y etc% Indeed. emotions. making the "riting interesting and readable% >oice% ?riters evidence confidence. "hich recogni)ed the "eaknesses in her position and the need to #ualify her claims. andJor philosophical beliefs%Y Suppose a student uses XconvincingY but XfallaciousY logic P is the student to be creditedE 0r suppose the student appeals to the emotions of the reader by engaging in name&calling . there is no indication of "hether the students are e(pected to do any of the above "ell. etc%. 0nce Again The problem of sub$ectivity that "as so apparent in the elementary reading assessment reappears again in the "riting assessment% It is clear in this. conviction. interesting concrete language that carries precise meanings and emotions% ?ord choice is appropriate to the "riter*s purpose% Sentence >ariety% ?riters vary sentence length and type.Y Xtaking a firm stand on the issue. if she uses an emotional appeal then credit the emotion criterion . take your dog for a "alk%Y She includes reflection. if the student says anything "hich can be construed as falling under one of the criteria then that is credited% /or e(ample. the issue of park versus mall should be decided on rational grounds% Ces.XI didnTt come here to "atch those C%A%T%s tare up that parkOYThis "riter is consistently a"are of and appeals to her audience "ith appropriate tone and lively language% The +roblem of Sub$ectivity. consider the claim that Xconvincing arguments may appeal to logic.Style ?ord Choice% These "riters use lively. though her presentation might appeal to a X$ury of reasonable persons.Y and notes that the park is a Xperfect place to play.and emotions . in the vie" of the commentator. she "ould be do"ngraded because she "ould not be Xe(uding confidence.regardless of ho" irrational it might be-% But the To suggest that this is good persuasive "riting is to teach children e(actly the "rong lesson% It fails to sho" them the vital distinction bet"een reason and its counterfeit% significant #uestion for anyone concerned "ith the traditional values of education is "hether a reasonable audience should be persuaded or Xmoved%Y The important distinction for students to grasp is that bet"een "hat might be called Xlo" level rhetorical appealsY and those appeals "hich "ould convince or XmoveY a reasonable audience% :o such distinction is recogni)ed by 46AA% The criteria are used crudely. that the commentators are using the criteria for good persuasive "riting literally and not making any real $udgments of reasonability% Hence. it is important that the park is a favorite place for children and that they are safe there. X7o you honestly think that children at the age of t"o or three are going to en$oy a mall %%%EY Her arguments are appropriate and appeal to reason . but this is really a decision about options.ho"ever irrelevant or inappropriate it might be-F if she says something that can be described as Xreflection.Y then credit the reflection criterion . like that of the child% To suggest that this is good persuasive "riting is to teach children e(actly the "rong lesson% It fails to sho" them the vital distinction bet"een reason and its counterfeit% .ho"ever irrelevant or inappropriate the XreflectionY might be-% Any kind of a move that "ould "ork "ith an audience. focuses on an audience and takes a firm stand on the issue% These attributes of persuasive "riting are maintained throughout the piece% Support for the "riterTs credible arguments in favor of a park versus a mall are dra"n from personal e(periences% She uses e(amples= X?e already have over five stores in our pla)a. and relative costs and benefits% This issue should be decided by looking at these factors and "eighing them as rationally as possible. belief and sometimes enthusiasm% +roblems ?ith the Criteria In Assessing ?riting 0nce again there are a host of problems "ith the criteria. is credited as good . and in other e(amples. or simply do them in any form "hatsoever% /or e(ample. though it is good for children to display confidence. the most serious being that.safety. not on the basis of emotional appeals. $ust as in the criteria for reading. "ithout any important intellectual distinctions in evidence% The implication of this is that if a student "rote a very rational appeal.XThis stupid communist idea%%%OY. for e(ample.Y the graders of the 46AA "ould not be impressed% In this particular essay. and alternatives.

again. but highly irrational. although appeals lack the vigor and e(actness of higher score point papers% The use of bullets to summari)e the "riterTs arguments is an effective tool and adds to her sense of conviction%Y ?hy is the "riter critici)ed for a lack of vigor and praised for conveying a sense of convictionE :either is a virtue in itself% ?hat matters is that one e(hibits the appropriate degree of vigor and conviction.erman being% Come and see for yourselves "hether he has become "orse under :ational Socialist leadership or "hether he has not indeed become better% 7o not gauge only the increasing number of children being born P gauge above all the appearance of our youth% KThe "riter presents evidence and e(planations in a purposeful "ay%L Ho" lovely are our girls and our boys. true or false. not that one argues reasonably% But it is harder to imagine a distinction "hich it is more vital for the educated person to grasp% ?hat apparently matters in the mind of the 46AA assessors is that one successfully persuades. ho" bright is their ga)e. mid&range. but that they are good reasonsO "hat really mattersE It is not that the reasons are arranged in a sophisticated pattern. and self&seeking. not that one argues reasonably% But it is harder to imagine a distinction "hich it is more vital for the educated person to grasp% Indeed. the student "ho plays on those racist sentiments "ill score higher than one "ho opposes them% ?hat apparently matters in the mind of the 46AA assessors is that one successfully persuades. isnTt this "hat It is not that the reasons are arranged in a sophisticated pattern. persuasive rhetoric% The demagogues may often "in the day. reasonable argument. the commentators say . ho" healthy and fresh their posture. good or bad% Cet. not praised% The Coung Hitler Scores High on the CA+ Test ?e can no" make our point dramatically by considering ho" the follo"ing piece of persuasive. about ho" to solve problems bet"een children and parents. but "hat one fails to do in this area can often never be amended% ?hether our "ork in this area of purifying our race and thus our >olk has been fruitful is something you can best $udge for yourselves here during these fe" days% /or "hat you are encountering in this city is the . ho" splendid are the bodies of the hundreds of thousands and millions "ho have been trained and cared for by our organi)ationsO KThe "riter sho"s his arguments are valid based on personal kno"ledge and reflection%L ?here are better men to be found today than those "ho can be seen hereE It is truly the rebirth of a nation. but do "e "ant to use public monies to generate armies of demagogues.ermany has undergone "as that of the purification of the >olk KpeopleL and thus of the races. e(ample. "hich "as launched systematically in this country for the first time ever% K/rom the opening the "riter e(udes confidence. any other error can be corrected. XAudience a"areness is evident throughout.erman beingE And "hat good is any effort on behalf of this being if "e omit the most important thing to preserve it pure and unadulterated in its bloodE KThe "riter asserts and maintains a clear position throughout% He also chooses and presents arguments "ith a clear a"areness of reader needs%L Any other mistake can be rectified.erman racial policy "ill be more significant for the future of our >olk than the effects of all the other la"s put together% /or they are "hat is creating the ne" man% They "ill preserve our >olk from doing as so many historically tragic past prototypes of other races have done= lose their earthly e(istence forever because of their ignorance as regards a single #uestion% KThe "riter arranges reasons. XShe arranges her reasons and evidence in a sophisticated pattern%Y There is no mention of "hether the reasons and evidence are relevant or irrelevant. all having mastered the art of demagogery at the public e(penseE In another e(ample. focuses on an audience and takes a firm stand on the issue%L The conse#uences of this . depending on the strength of oneTs case% >igorously arguing a "eak case and displaying conviction despite poor supporting reasons ought to be marked do"n. "hich contains some very good reasoning about "hy another child should feel good about himself. one might almost regard it as a criterion of being educated that one sees the difference bet"een fairminded. lo"& level. the commentators say. but that they are good reasonsO In another.Suppose the child has to present a case before an audience she kno"s to be racistF if one reads and applies the criteria presented for good persuasive "riting in 46AA.Hitler Speech 2@A9- . e(amples and information in a discernible and effective pattern resulting in overall persuasive effect%L /or "hat is the sense of all our "ork and all our efforts if they do not serve the purpose of preserving the . brought about by the deliberate breeding of a ne" being KThe overall effect is one of coherence%L P. "riting should be graded according to the 46AA criteria% %%% the greatest revolution .among other things-.

the "riter consistently demonstrates broad kno"ledge and clear understanding of the situation% In this "ay the "riter establishes authority% 6ogic and 1elevance of Causes and 4ffects% In the si(&point essay. belief. by standards appropriate to oneTs response to fiction% Here is "hat is said about "riting of this kind "hich should score +oint 3. Interpretation. and Speculation About Causes and 4ffects. freshness% These essays may use an unconventional rhetorical approach% A si(&point essay may take chances and succeed% +resenting the Situation% The si(&point essay "riter clearly defines. builds on this a"areness to focus reader attention on a comparable situation% %%% ?hether the essay arises from a factual assessment of a real situation or from a fanciful guess about a fanciful situation. etc% Is that really "hat "e "ant to praiseE Is that the model of persuasive "riting that "e "ant to hold up to our childrenE If so. to e(ude confidence. the proposed causes and effects are clearly related to the particular situation that the "riter has defined% ?riters use imaginative. for all these reasons "e have to give this piece of HitlerTs "riting a +oint 3 scoreO It meets the C6AS criteria. the scoring guide for interpretation makes it clear that only sub$ective reactions to and sub$ective interpretation of fiction are really being considered% But interpretation is important in many other conte(ts. personal e(perience and reflectionF the "riter chooses and presents arguments "ith a clear a"areness of reader needsF the "riter evidences confidence. e(amples. conviction. e%g% history. 1eflective 4ssay. the situation is nevertheless presented fully and precisely% The "riter limits the occasion appropriately. and sometimes enthusiasm% Clearly. or describes the situation to be speculated about% Though it does not dominate the essay at the e(pense of speculation. Autobiographical Incident. inventive argument to convince the reader of the logic of their speculation% The best "riters are clearly considering possibilities and are seeing multiple perspectives%%%% Because speculation is essentially a persuasive type of "riting. they "ill use concrete language. for 4(ceptional Achievement= A si(&point essay engages the reader immediately% It seems purposeful% The "riter seems a"are of readerTs #uestions and needs throughout the essay% The essay seems to be not $ust "ritten but "ritten to particular readers% The "riter convinces the readers of the plausibility of the speculation% A si(&point essay demonstrates #ualities all readers admire= conviction. identifies. focusing reader attention on $ust those aspects of the situation that the "riter "ill speculate about% ?riters of si(&point essays may describe or detail the situation that is established in the prompt. rich in sensory detail% The "riter of the si(&point essay ackno"ledges readersT concerns% /or real "orld situations. the "riter of the si(&point essay ackno"ledges the readerTs e(perience or familiarity "ith a situation and. some of "hich are successors to the elementary level +ersuasive "riting% The same general faults that "ere mentioned earlier in connection "ith the elementary level are to be found at this level too% /or e(ample. convincing the reader that the "riterTs con$ectures are valid for the situation% These "riters elaborate their speculated causes and effects "ith carefully chosen . bet"een something "hich is rhetorically convincing and something "hich is true% :one of these distinctions is recogni)ed in the C6AS% To be specific in our criticisms. as does much of his "riting% HitlerTs "riting "as "idely recogni)ed to meet the needs of his audience. the best "riters "ill be continually a"are of readersT needs% They might refer to the readers directly. enthusiasm. or they might create the situation by using narrative or anecdotal techni#ues% In either case. information andJor personal anecdotes in a discernible and effective pattern resulting in overall persuasive effectF the overall effect is one of coherenceF the "riter sho"s his arguments are valid based on prior kno"ledge. trying to enlist their support %%% 4laboration of Argument% The si(&point essay provides substantial elaboration. consider the scoring guide for Speculation About Causes and 4ffectsF once again "riting of this kind is $udged almost entirely by sub$ective standards. and in history it is crucial to distinguish bet"een sub$ective response and ob$ective interpretation. using narrative or descriptive strategies. bet"een reasons that persuade irrational audiences and reasons "hich persuade rational and fairminded persons. shame on the California 6earning Assessment SystemO The 5isassessment of ?riting at the High School 6evel Introduction P Same +roblem= :e(t 6evel At the high school level the ?riting Assessment assesses four types of "riting.This piece asserts and maintains a clear position throughout and presents evidence and e(planations in a purposeful "ayF the "riter arranges reasons.

"hich in reality has represented Be"ryTs struggle for e(istence at all times. inventive argument to convince the reader of the logic of his speculationF D the "riter elaborates on possibilities arising from the proposed causes and effects. the promiscuous bastardi)ation of other peoples. ackno"ledges the readerTs e(perience or familiarity "ith the situation.p% IIIQ3MHo" may "e best make the point that these criteria again fail to recogni)e the crucial distinctions of "hich "e have been speaking P bet"een sub$ective responses and good reasons. etcE +erhaps the simplest "ay is to look at another e(ample of persuasive "riting. but as a support of its o"n e(istence it needs the "ork and creative activities of other nations% Thus the e(istence of the Be" himself becomes a parasitical one "ithin the lives of other people% Hence the ultimate goal of the Be"ish struggle for e(istence is the enslavement of productively active peoples% In order to achieve this goal. this time Speculating About Causes and 4ffects. etc.ive specific e(amples of comparable causes and effects that have arisen in analogous situations% .evidence that is logically and fully developed% Such evidence is chosen because it is relevant and convincing% It is developed fully "ith precise. e(plicit detail to convince the reader both of the logic and the authenticity of the proposed cause and effect% Some strategies "riters may use to develop their arguments are the follo"ing= D Cite facts. "hich he cultivates and "hich provides the general basis for an economy satisfying primarily its o"n needs "ithin its o"n orbit through the productive forces of its o"n people% Because of the lack of productive capacities of its o"n the Be"ish people cannot carry out the construction of a state. as a basic tendency of all its earthly actions possesses a mania for self&preservation as its driving force. the lo"ering of the racial level of the highest peoples as "ell as the domination of this racial mish&mash through the e(tirpation of the folkish intelligentsia and its replacement by the members of his o"n people% The end of the Be"ish "orld struggle therefore "ill al"ays be a bloody Bolshevi)ation% In truth this means the destruction of all the intellectual upper classes linked to their peoples so that he can rise to become the master of a mankind become leaderless% HitlerTs Secret Book. astuteness. and consider ho" "e should grade it according to the C6AS criteria% Bust as every people. and consistently demonstrates broad kno"ledge and clear understanding of the situationF D the "riter uses imaginative. in accord "ith their basically different dispositions. vie"ed in a territorial sense. like"ise is it e(actly so "ith Be"ry too% 0nly here. knavery. pp% 222&22A% HitlerTs Assessment Based on CA+ Criteria D This piece of "riting certainly engages the reader immediatelyF D it seems purposefulF D the "riter seems a"are of readerTs #uestions and needs throughoutF D the piece seems not $ust to be "ritten but "ritten to particular readersF D the "riter convinced those readers of the plausibility of the speculationF D the "riting sho"s conviction and enthusiasmF D the "riter clearly defines the situation to be speculated about. serve him as "eapons thereto% They are as much stratagems in his "ar of survival as those of other peoples in combat% In foreign policy he tries to bring nations into a state of unrest. opinions. and personal e(periences or observations . pro$ections. sho"ing possible Xdomino effectsY that might determine the direction of the developing situationF etc%. etc% . dissimulation. rooted in the character of his folkdom. the struggle for e(istence of Aryan peoples and Be"ry is also different in its forms% The foundation of the Aryan struggle for e(istence is the soil. the Be" makes use of all "eapons that are in keeping "ith the "hole comple( of his character% Therefore in domestic politics "ithin the individual nations he fights first for e#ual rights and later for super&rights% The characteristics of cunning. and to plunge them into reciprocal "ars and in this "ay gradually rise to mastery over them "ith the help of the po"er of money and propaganda% His ultimate goal is the denationali)ation.to e(plain or validate a cause or an effect% D 4laborate on possibilities arising from proposed causes and effects.anecdotes. sho"ing possible Xdomino effectsY that might determine the direction of the developing situation% D . to divert them from their true interests. intelligence.

XSince "e are obliged and committed to educating children. 8nderneath all of this is a #uestion of values% ?e are obliged to educate our students. and thinkers. appropriately and specifically e(plained and consistently and appropriately applied% :o assessment of :o assessment of intellectual "ork. there is little discussion of the need to create an accurate interpretation= there are many conte(ts in "hich it is not appropriate for the readers to Xcreate their o"n meaningY and "here accuracy is "hat is re#uired% This may be e#ually true if the author is addressing a particular #uestion or problem. "hich has again failed to see the difference bet"een a proper and improper use of rhetoric and reason% Summary Budgment on the California Assessment of 1eading I ?riting An assessment of reading and "riting should not only underscore the role of reasoning in both. and rational person. nor foundation for teaching.regardless of ho" irrational it might be-% The end result is that if a student "rote a very rational appeal. "inning.The overall conception does not call attention to definite and clear intellectual standards.Can there be any doubt that HitlerTs "riting in the category merits a +oint 3 gradeEO If that is so then once again. no intellectual assessment should encourage irrational sub$ectivism% /or e(ample. it "ill be recogni)ing reasonable ob$ectionsF it "ill e(press the degree of confidence that is appropriate but no more-% . or using particular basic conceptsF very often the good response to "hat is said or "ritten is good precisely because it is based on an accurate construal of the te(t% :othing in this assessment mentions the virtue of accuracy% 5ost importantly ho"ever.because it "onTt be maintaining a strong line.then it is marked positivelyF if she is giving anything that could be called evidence. it is going to be graded do"n because it "ouldnTt appeal to an irrational $udge . irrespective of fairness. then "e should teach them tools of manipulation. sub$ective preference "ith reasoned $udgment. "ays to $ust get "hat they "ant. shame on the California 6earning Assessment System. it is creditedF any kind of a move that "ould "ork "ith an audience. and "ithout them. nor foundation for teaching. should be based on an approach in "hich intellectual standards are confused and erroneous. it "onTt necessarily be persuasiveF it "ill be putting in #ualificationsF it "ill be speaking in terms of greys and greys donTt persuadeF it "ill not be engaging in hyperbole and hyperbole is effectiveF it "onTt be trying to negate everything about the other side. "riters. then the educated person.The overall conception fails to capture the practices of critical readers. and since this re#uires they learn to reason "ell as readers. you "ill be able to see that the criteria for success under C6AS are negating these rational #ualities and therefore encouraging irrational beliefs about ho" you communicate to people. and defeating others. "ho is more interested in getting at the truth than in "inning. this approach is fla"ed again and again because "hat gets credited is anything that could be construed as fulfilling one of the criteria and the criteria are the "rong ones for the purpose% If the "riter is using any emotion . this is "hat C6AS is supporting% C6AS does not have in mind a clear difference bet"een the educated. but also firmly establish defensible intellectual standards. should be based on an approach in "hich intellectual standards are confused and erroneous. it becomes impossible for both teacher and student to engage in Xob$ectiveY assessment% . one that "ould persuade a rational audience. and the person "ho is simply good at manipulating. not simply to shape them% even if it is bad evidence. on the one hand.iven a list of "hat a rational person "ould do. irrational "ith rational persuasion% intellectual "ork. "riters. it is striking that in the conte(t of reading and listening. "ays to "in battles.ho"ever discreditable. irrational "ith rational persuasion% :o assessment of intellectual "ork should use its key terms vaguely or oscillate bet"een t"o significant uses of a term or score in an arbitrary manner% And. indeed encouraging people to become manipulatorsO 8nderneath all of this is a #uestion of values% ?e are obliged to educate our students. fairminded. "e "ill not credit fla"ed reasoning% ?e "ill only credit "ell&reasoned responses%Y To Summari)e Some of 0ur Criticisms of the C6AS Approach= 2. "ays to undermine positions "hether those positions are rational or not. "ill "ant to make concessions% If the goal of education is simply to enable people to get "hat they "ant. confusing recall "ith kno"ledge. in the vie" of the reader is credited as good . confusing recall "ith kno"ledge. "hen the other side is more reasonable. and of the evidence% Inadvertently and unkno"ingly. not simply to shape them% The educated person is reasonableF the educated person isnTt simply concerned "ith "inning% The educated person "ants to "in "hen "inning is the appropriate thing% Ho"ever. and thinkers the "orld over% 2. most important of all. sub$ective preference "ith reasoned $udgment. on the other% In effect "hat C6AS has said is that the name of the game is to persuade the audience by "hatever methods "ork and "eTll credit anything that "orks% ShouldnTt they instead have said.

commentary.The student "ho learns through this approach "ill mislearn the art of reading and "riting% . the narro". narro"ness of vision. of ne" bu)) "ords and ne" $argon replacing old bu)) "ords and old $argon P each set of ne" "ords serving as a ne" mask to obscure the one&and&the&same consistent lo"er order face% . "hen classroom teachers receive copies. they also "ill fall easily into line "ith the fla"ed thinking passed do"n to them% To deal "ith the problem at its roots. of test items. because classroom teachers have emerged from a long&term training that reflects a similar background to that of the test designers. it is clear that the California 6earning Assessment System falls into the category of pseudo critical thinking. politici)ation. but "ill hinder this process% Indeed. sociologically. the pathetic side of the case is that there are systemic reasons "hy educational bureaucracies. analy)ing. lo"er order learning. they are not learning to reason scientifically. a high degree of narro" speciali)ation P and speciali)ation tends to bring fragmentation. the history of education in the 2!th Century is a triumph of propaganda and self&deception% This is documented in story after story of "ave after "ave of pseudo reform follo"ing pseudo reform. lo"er order learning.A. they are not given challenging instruction% They are not engaged in genuine intellectual "ork% They are not developing intellectual standards or discipline% And. "hat it is not% In the <Q22 domain especially.iven these failings. economically.Y p% 2@%0n the shoddy foundation of didactic instruction and passive. they "ill use them as a guide for instruction% Thousands of school children "ill lose an opportunity to begin to become critical readers and "riters% Thousands of school children "ill themselves learn to confuse recall "ith kno"ledge. not taking their education seriously% 0n the teaching side. and scores. "ill continue to generate $ust such fiascos regularly and predictably% And predictably. neither is it a plot to undermine education% The situation is "orse than either% 6arge&scale bureaucrati)ation entails. the politici)ation and self&deception helps hide those realities most unpleasant to think about. neither is it a plot to undermine education% The situation is "orse than either% As a fluke it could be corrected% As a plot the perpetrators could be severely dealt "ith "hen e(posed% :o. as they surely "ill. and to appear to be doing. geographically. to itself% It is almost impossible for the most pressing problems of education to become XissuesY in educational bureaucracies because the focus is inevitably on the political. sample ans"ers. the rhetoric of high goals and ideals.The teacher "ho takes this approach seriously "ill misteach reading and "riting% . the propaganda of the schools. and self&deception in its "ake% The fragmentation and narro"ness of vision makes it difficult to effect fundamental changes because the parts do not "ork together in a rational "ay and no one sees clearly that this is so. sub$ective preference "ith reasoned $udgment. framed as they are. the propaganda of the schools. or at least makes highly probable. or morally% . the fragmented part or parts% ?ith each part serving itself as an ultimate end P including those on the top P the "hole is left to take care of itself% :o one is left responsible for it% The e(ecutive "ing is also focused on itself and typically is satisfied "ith or driven to manufacture an illusion of serving the announced or official goals and ends% 5ean"hile. and to have to face. is overlaid% 5odern educational bureaucracy has developed 0n the shoddy foundation of didactic instruction and passive. most assuredly. is overlaid% multiple "ays to appear to be.Cf XCritical . since each element in the structure becomes an end in itself. and "ill not help students and teachers to develop their critical thinking abilities. mathematically. the rhetoric of high goals and ideals. "e must o"n the fact that there are significant problems in education due to its "ide& spread and large&scale bureaucrati)ation% 0ne of the most significant facts about the California language arts test fiasco is that it is not a fluke% But of course. the most significant one today= the fact that modern American bureaucratic schooling is a system that preserves at its heart a mode of instruction that is a hold&over from the 2@th Century and "hose consistent effect is a superficial one% 5ost students in most classes most of the time are not actively engaged in learning "hat is "orth learning% 5ost students are. and reasoning through problems embedded in everyday personal and professional reading and "riting% M. and conse#uently those realities most in need of change% This includes.The overall conception does not provide an organi)ed and systematic approach to posing. irrational "ith rational persuasion% They "ill learn to use language vaguely and to think that their sub$ective pronouncements are not to be critici)ed% Their reasoning skills "ill remain abysmally lo"% Is The California Assessment /iasco a /lukeE The 4ducational Bureaucracy and Self&7eception 0ne of the most significant facts about the California language arts test fiasco is that it is not a fluke% But of course. of course. on their side. many "ill be taken in% /urthermore.See X1esearch /indings.

most of the positions "ithin the state departments of education are for specialists. are a particularly interesting manifestation of the "orkings of the educational establishment% 4ach consists of huge bureaucracies. The goal %%% to evaluate studentsT capacities for insightful.p% I&25any political considerations go into the selection of the members of the development teamsF most of the members. nothing is really being changed% The result is that the most fundamental problem in education today P that students are not learning to reason "ell P is not only ignored.Thinking in Historical +erspective chapter%.is still officially in draft stage.8nfortunately. by itself.e(cept possibly the director of instruction-% 4ach specialist has his or her o"n special interest to focus on and a special group of stake&holders to represent% ?hen there is a need to develop an assessment instrument. and ethnicity% In addition. like the one "e e(amined of the California 7epartment of 4ducation. then.consisting of M3 additional members% According to the California State 7epartment= XThese development team teachers have been responsible for shaping the test format. /ebruary 2 . are not scholars "ith publications that could be used as the basis of selection% There is an effort made to balance the committee by region. learning and assessment% KSome +rinciples and Beliefs about the 1ole of Assessment in California*s School 1eform +lan. testing instrument% ?eTve seen "hat the 46AA has done% 6etTs see "hat C6AS and the 7epartment of 4ducation says it has done% The test is being represented to the public and to teachers "ithin the state and the nation as having. for those speciali)ing in a and b and c and d and e and f and g% >irtually no one. C74L 6etTs see "hat the legislature mandated. developing prompts for the assessment. for e(ample. virtually everyone in the game has a stake in making their playing of it look more honorable.X1eserve TeamY.the California State 7epartment of 4ducationTs ne" 4nglish&6anguage Arts Assessment materials. gender. it is intensified% /ragmentation and >ested Interests There are a number of reasons "hy it is unlikely that fundamental reforms "ill be effected by state departments of education or that this criti#ue. C74 +ublicationL The most important single component of the ne" assessment system "ill be the state"ide performance standards. it creates the The result is that the most fundamental problem in education today P that students are not learning to reason "ell P is not only ignored. illusion. and parents% The performance standards "ill undergird all aspects of the educational enterpriseF serving as the center of the seamless "eb of teaching. future&oriented. "ith a variety of misconceptions and fla"s emerging% But "hile its intellectual value is lo". reliable individual scores and to develop and implement common state"ide performance standards of student achievement as a basis for reporting all test results and setting targets for improvement% It sounded simple enough but it provided us "ith a classic model of pseudo critical thinking in the educational establishment% The manner in "hich it is structured provides a te(tbook case% By mirrors. for e(ample. more noble and effective than it really is% Cou may remember that it is only some three years no" since every state in the union. ho"ever. "ill bring about fundamental change% In the first place. a large group of teachers and administrators from around the state are appointed% /or e(ample. both invalid and unreliable% In fact. its political value is high% bring in the over&arching theoretical frame"ork% These consultants are usually the pipeline to the latest bu)) "ords and to the theory behind them% The consultants concede to each other the right to get their favored terms into the language of the test materials% . for those speciali)ing in learning disorders.Hart-= 7evelop a system for producing valid. but already is being highly touted as a refined. Senate Bill 332 . more lofty. there are AA members of the CA+ 4nglish&6anguage Arts committee% In addition to the main committee there is a supporting committee . for those speciali)ing in the la"s regarding education. through the massaging and manipulation of statistics by its o"n state department of education. as I have suggested. and the most important outcome of the assessment process "ill be the internali)ation of those standards in the thinking and "ork of teachers. and standards self&deception. it is intensified% appearance of substantial change and reform% In fact. productive thinking "ith tests that support the finest curriculum and instructional programs in the language arts %%% KCaliforniaTs 6earning Assessment System. it becomes a hot&bed of pseudo critical thinking. proudly announced that its students had scored above the national averageOOO This is the kind of self&serving propaganda and trickery that is the daily fare of educational reality% State departments of education. many members "ill have personal agendas to advance% There are usually three XConsultantsJAdvisorsY selected from universities to The test becomes. race. has a responsibility directly connected to the fundamental goals of education . interlaced "ith committees that are in turn tied into net"orks of teachers and administrators spread across their states% The microcosm "e analy)ed in this chapter . students. 2@@A. and constructing scoring rubrics%Y . for those speciali)ing in transportation. positions for those speciali)ing in nutrition.

a ne" catalogue of counterfeit. for teachers. for it is not going to result from action on one level alone% Because it must go to the roots of things. politicians. "ith a variety of misconceptions and fla"s emerging% But "hile its intellectual value is lo". in other "ords. and problem solving% They can help organi)e civic groups% They can use their superior access to other persons of leadership and influence to facilitate significant pressure on the educational . insightful business people can form alliances "ith insightful educators. and long&term% 4veryone "ith the insight to see the problem comprehensively should act "ithin the sphere of his or her greatest influence% There is a role for everyone concerned to e(ercise influence for the better= for parents. cutting&edge businesses are moving a"ay from an emphasis on hierarchy to an emphasis on group problem solving% Since critical thinking is essential to effective group problem solving. it becomes a hot&bed of pseudo critical thinking. and superficial Xreforms%Y So ?hat Can ?e 7oE 1ecommendations There is a pressing need to develop net"orks of educators. progressive business people "ill be able to talk intelligibly "ith educators and other citi)ens about ho" problem solving structures function in business and ho" parallel classroom problem solving groups might be set up% And. there are any number of civic groups that business people "ith insight might address on the problem of educational reform. for business people. for superintendents. of course. it must be incremental. can go to the local school board and ask "hether there is any long&term in&service in critical thinking and reasoning% They. both invalid and unreliable% In fact. is that the official XstandardsY embodied in the test become e(traordinarily numerous% 5any of them remain vague and ill&defined% 0thers take on a dangerous ambiguity% The diverse criteria and the open&ended nature of the directions combined "ith the ill&defined nature of the terms. on the missing foundation= the failure of teachers to learn ho" to think critically themselves and to teach for that thinking in their instruction. in "hich both they and their children routinely ask and give good reasons in support of their decisions and reason together about issues of importance not only to the family but to the broader society as "ell% ?hat can citi)ens doE Insightful public citi)ens can make the case for an emphasis on intellectual discipline and reasoning in the school curriculum in virtue of the need to develop voters "ho "ill help the country maintain a democratic form of government% They. because it must be substantial. moral persons. even for those in state educational bureaucracies% 6et us consider each briefly in turn% ?hat can parents doE Insightful parents can make the case for an emphasis on intellectual discipline and reasoning in the school curriculum% They can ask "hether there is any long&term in&service in critical thinking and reasoning% They can ask "hat intellectual standards the students are being taught and ho" they are being taught them% They can make the case to other parents% They can "rite letters to the local papers% They can organi)e groups of parents "ho petition the school board% And most important they can develop a home environment in "hich the reasonability and intellectual discipline of their children is fostered. critical thinking. they "ill have ready access to models and paradigms that can be used to illuminate "hat should be happening in the classroom% Increasingly. over educational decisions about "hat to teach and ho" to teach it% Since their success "ill be increasingly dependent upon their bringing critical thinking into the inner "orkings of their o"n businesses. for college professors.The result of this process. too. reflective. then. certainly.Ho" can they go do"n "hen anything can count as a good ans"erEThe politicians "ill gain because they can speak of their state as in the vanguard% And so it goes% A ne" pseudo reform is put in place and the educational bureaucracy grinds on until the ne(t "ave of public criticism re#uires it to generate a ne" and fresh illusion of change. and business people "ho see the need for truly fundamental reform% That reform must be advanced simultaneously on many levels. mutually useful dialogues on "hat each group can learn from the other and ho" each can profit by "orking together% ?hat can civic leaders doE Insightful civic leaders can dra" public attention to the need for intellectual discipline and reasoning in instruction% They can articulate publicly the key links to developing responsible citi)ens. and "orkers on the cutting edge of development% They can use their access to a more public forum by focusing the discussion of educational reform on the historical problem of the educational bureaucracy and its tendency to generate pseudo reform% They can create a public a"areness of the importance of reasoning. as "e have seen. to create symbiotic. evolutionary. can make the case to parents and other citi)ens% They can contact civic groups% They can "rite letters to the local papers% They can organi)e groups of interested citi)ens to petition the school board% ?hat can business people doE Insightful business people can use the respect that their success commands to e(ercise influence. for public citi)ens. parents. too. its political value is high% The various political interests around the state are served% The media has a simplistic event to cover% +arents can delight in the fact that the scores "ill go up% . for civic leaders. opens the "ay to arbitrary and inconsistent grading of student responses% The test becomes. putting emphasis. on "orkers learning ho" to continually relearn and improve in their performances and in the systems they use. bogus. on Xcarefully& reasonedY problem solving% /inally. alone or in concert "ith others. and %%% yes. because it involves deep understandings. the failure to focus education.

for e(ample. and parents% They can ensure that there is long&term in&service in critical thinking and reasoning% They can ensure that students are being taught intellectual standards in depth% They can create incentives to teachers motivated to move in this direction% They can make the case to civic groups% 5ost importantly they can model reasonability and help create an atmosphere conducive to making the school a net"ork of communities of in#uiry% ?hat can teachers doE Insightful teachers can make the case for an emphasis on intellectual discipline and reasoning in the school curriculum% They can re#uest and help design long&term in&service in critical thinking and reasoning% They can bring intellectual standards into the classroom% They can make the case to parents% They can "ork "ith other teachers to foster a school environment in "hich reasonability and intellectual discipline are accepted school norms% 5ost importantly.can play a number of significant roles% They can inform themselves and others they "ork "ith of the fundamental changes that are being made in businesses adopting structures contrary to those of traditional bureaucratic organi)ation% They can foster movement to"ard problem&solving teams% They can raise broader and deeper issues% They can recommend hiring people "ith broader vision and more developed reasoning abilities% They can help to "ork against narro" speciali)ation% At the same time. teachers. faulty assessment leads to faulty teaching. human "ell being and #uality of life% It is our intellectual and moral responsibility to make some contribution to this evolution% Though "e are only at the beginnings of this evolution. "hich leads to more faulty thinking in society."ho recogni)e the systemic "ays that educational bureaucracies have fostered pseudo reforms and constructed ill&designed assessments.bureaucracies% They can make contact "ith insightful and responsible politicians "ho are in a position to facilitate appropriate legislation% ?hat can superintendents doE Insightful superintendents can make the case for an emphasis on intellectual discipline and reasoning in the school curriculum to the school board. science. in business. they can routinely foster reasoning in their o"n classrooms and ensure that their students must regularly assess their o"n "ork using intellectual standards% ?hat can those in state&"ide bureaucracies doE Insightful members of state&"ide bureaucracies . so that those "ho lack e(pertise in a sub$ect "ill not become. in the "ay the American educational establishment goes about designing assessment% 8nfortunately. that the price of "aste and unnecessary human misery may be as little as possible% 1eferences . ethically&informed reasoning is dominant. and so forth% They can ensure that students must regularly assess their o"n "ork using intellectual standards% ?hat can college professors doE Insightful college professors can make the case for an emphasis on intellectual discipline and reasoning in the college curriculum% They can re#uest and help design long&term faculty development in critical thinking and reasoning% They can bring intellectual standards into the classroom% They can do research on the significance of critical thinking and reasoning in their discipline% They can "ork "ith schools and departments of education to ensure that those studying to become teachers take classes that re#uire reasoning and disciplined thought% They can articulate the need for prospective teachers to learn ho" to design assignments that re#uire reasoning and critical thinking% 5ost importantly. they can routinely ask for and give good reasons in the classroom% They can foster student reasoning in history. in politics. given the "ay "e have traditionally arranged and ordered things% This is illustrated.ood thinking is no" a fundamental human need% And though it "ill take generations to fully evolve from a society in "hich pseudo critical thinking is dominant to one in "hich sound. fairminded. principal designers in tests or assessment instruments in that sub$ect% They can argue for the construction of assessment instruments that assess reasoning in every sub$ect area and so help to integrate emphases across sub$ect areas% Caveat 7oubtless you noticed my emphasis on XinsightfulY in characteri)ing those "ho can make important contributions to reform% It is important to underscore the problem of pseudo reform. they can argue for more appropriate use of e(perts. as "e have seen. every step in that direction "ill reduce the amount of suffering and in$ustice that e(ists and increase. the irresistible dynamic of accelerating change and intensifying comple(ity "ill eventually force it upon us% I hope "e learn our lessons sooner rather than later. administration members. by degrees. creating the illusion of change% 5any persons today are un"illing to think through the implications of accelerating change and intensifying comple(ity% 5any are subconsciously "edded to rigid ideas and a static "ay of thinking% 5any are taken in by their o"n platitudes and high&sounding "ords% These facts guarantee that a long struggle "ill be re#uired to "ork through the superficial and "ork into the substantial% /inal Conclusion +seudo critical thinking is more or less inevitable in the educational bureaucracies. math. "hich emerges "hen "ell&meaning persons use their intelligence inadvertently to re&duplicate an old problem in ne" form. and in everyday social life% The California 7epartment of 4ducation is a model case of American educational bureaucracy at "ork and the ne" California reading and "riting assessment instrument is the typical resultant bad practice% .

ethical. sometimes about inferences being made. there is a lo" level of tolerance for intellectual discussion of any sort in the present atmosphere of <&22 education% As a result. if "e are truly concerned "ith substantive educational change% /or e(ample. many teachers think that the abstract and theoretical is. based on four large&scale studies. and by hapha)ard%Y Bohn Henry Cardinal :e"man. too theoreticalY and hence XimpracticalY% /urther conversation "ith them demonstrates that they think that all teachers need to be effective are techni#ues and tactics that can be directly communicated to them "ith little or no abstract reasoning or theoretical discussion% In other "ords. it is essential to understand basic structures integral to it Pfor e(ample. school vision. "e also see those parts in dynamic interrelationship% . relevant. assumptions. of course. in turn. and sometimes about the point of vie" or points of vie" that are. precise. 2. many teachers complain of its being Xtoo abstract. if "e assign students an intellectually challenging task. 2 >irtually all agree that the teaching and learning of students should enable them to effectively handle not only challenging intellectual content in the classroom but also challenging practical content in everyday life% >irtually all also agree that "e need high intellectual standards&&"ith all the components of education aligned to those standards&&so that everything adds up in both the minds of the students and those of the teachers% 4very dimension of schooling&&curriculum.unless other"ise noted. involved% And "e "ill need to do all of this in such a "ay as to help students appreciate the importance of being clear. by the California 7epartment of 4ducation% ntellectual /oundations= The <ey 5issing +iece in School 1estructuring X?e re#uire intellectual eyes to kno" "ithal. one understands all of this only by becoming intellectually disciplined oneself% This is not. "hat does this "ord RintellectualT really convey to most classroom teachersE Is it a "ord they are comfortable "ithE 7o they think of themselves as being XintellectualYE And "hat "ould it take for the XaverageY teacher to develop a realistic vision of Xintellectual "orkY and of Xintellectual #ualityY in either student "ork or pedagogyE 5ake no mistakeF this is not a matter of giving teachers sample lessons to emulate% It is not a matter of giving teachers some ne" definitions of terms% This is a matter that goes directly to ho" deeply teachers vie" education and to their o"n most deep&seated habits of thought% /or e(ample. as "e probe the parts of reasoning intellectually. teacher Inservice. sometimes about assumptions uncritically presupposed. consider.are from the Samplers for 4nglish 6anguage Arts Assessment. school leadership. in a recent landmark analysis of successful school restructuring. as "ell as being sensitive to the comple(ities inherent in the #uestions they are asking and broad&minded in seeking to think them through% /inally. achieving intellectual #uality. XintellectualityY and its significance to learning and instruction cannot easily or briefly be understood or transmitted% There is a developmental process necessary here% To understand intellectual "ork. disseminated state"ide in the Spring. before psychology became the dominant discipline in the design of instruction&&that education re#uires doing intellectual "ork. 2@@A. sometimes about implications that may or may not follo". and having intellectual standards%These are ideas "e must deeply re&discover. :e"mann and ?ehlage conclude that the key to success is Xthe intellectual #uality of student learning%Y This they say re#uires that teachers have Xa vision of high #uality intellectual "orkY and e(plicit Xteaching standardsY "hich enable them to Xgauge the intellectual #uality of the pedagogyY they use% But. sometimes about concepts implicit in the reasoning. by its very nature.All of the references in this chapter . and "e are engaged in responding to their reasoning intellectually. "e "ill have to aid them in the process of coming to terms "ith the intellectual structures implicit in their thought% Sometimes "e "ill have to raise #uestions about the purpose or goal of the reasoning. developing intellectually. and logical. sometimes about the #uestion or problem at issue. inferences. and intellectual performance. and so that teachers are keenly a"are of ho" best to foster these high level performances% The #uality of student learning is the key variable% :othing else matters if #uality learning is not taking place% And understanding "hat this means re#uires that "e re&discover the importance of the XintellectualY dimension of student performance% ?e must come to recogni)e once again&&as "e did long ago in our dim educational past. sometimes about information or evidence in use. for 4lementary and High School. accurate. and long term planning&&should "ork together so that students have the best possible chance of raising themselves to a high level of personal. as bodily eyes for sight% ?e need both ob$ects and organs intellectualF "e cannot gain them "ithout setting about itF "e cannot gain them in our sleep. it is essential to understand reasoning as an intellectual process% To understand reasoning. impractical% Hence. or should be. it is essential to understand intellectual criteria crucial to the assessment of these structures in action% /inally. and implications% And to understand these structures. a matter of becoming an XintellectualY in some snobbish sense of the "ord% /or e(ample. if a discussion or presentation moves in an XintellectualY direction. there is a significant problem for anyone "ho seeks to move education a"ay from its emphasis on classroom Xtechni#ues and tacticsY and to"ard the Xintellectual reasoning through of important contentY% ?hat is more. pedagogy.

if "e put the #uestion this "ay. I have grouped and illustrated #uestions by their basic intellectual functions% Cou "ill note that they are not organi)ed around the categories of BloomTs Ta(onomy% Cou "ill also note that most teachers have not learned to think of #uestions in this "ay% They are therefore unlikely to call attention to these important dimensions in thought% And "ithout these understandings. and "hen they attempt to e(plain them. one implication "ill be%%% But is that implication consistent "ith the results "e obtained "hen "e%%%etc%%%etc%%%etc%%%Y But most teachers are not practiced in such dialogue. they are unlikely to understand ho" to cultivate their studentTs intellectual development in general% They are unlikely to be able to distinguish genuine intellectual #uality from pseudo intellectual #uality% /or e(ample. they "ould have difficulty role&playing a reasoner engaged in scrutini)ing the structure of her o"n . then this and that should follo"%Y Teachers are therefore often uncomfortable in an intellectual discussion% 5ost. for good and illE-% 0ne of the "ays to grasp the shift that occurs in thinking "hen one begins to discipline oneTs thinking intellectually is to look at ho" #uestions might be clustered in accordance "ith the various intellectual $obs they do% In the sidebar belo". assuming that and that% The data I base this on is this.made up by someone else-. they "ill lack the .or someone elseTs. "hich I obtained from this source% If I am on solid ground.intellectual. they must be comfortable "ith the kind of inner dialogue that is typical in the mind of an intellectually oriented thinker= X6etTs see.moves to make in coaching the students through the task% /urthermore. "hen they use XthemesY to organi)e their teaching they are more likely to use superficial connections .reasoning and bringing intellectual standards to bear on it% I am arguing that the general distaste of many teachers for intellectual presentations is a sign of a very serious problem in education today% It means that most teachers are unlikely to assign serious intellectual "ork to their students. or assessing it% >ery often they are una"are of the structure of their o"n reasoning% They even at times appear to simply $ump to conclusions "ith no discernable reasoning at all% They are not as a rule comfortable "ith abstract intellectual distinctions% In their o"n schooling they did not e(perience many XintellectualY e(changes .abstract theoretical. then "e are bound to focus on this% 7oes that make senseE And if "e interpret the information this "ay. inference. are not clear about "hat an assumption. issue-E D ?hat do you think Bohn meant by his remarkE ?hat did you take Bohn to meanE D Back. and "hen to put them% To do this teachers must themselves ac#uire an inner sense of the interrelationships that e(ist bet"een structures in reasoning and a clear sense of ho" to bring intellectual criteria to bear on them% /urthermore. they "ill develop little skill in intellectually based pedagogies such as Socratic #uestioning% Nuestions of Clarification D ?hat do you mean by ZZZZZZE [ Could you give me an e(ampleE D ?hat is your main pointE [ ?ould this be an e(ample= ZZZE D Ho" does ZZZZZ relate to ZZZZE [ Could you e(plain that furtherE D Could you put that another "ayE [ ?ould you say more about thatE D Is your basic point ZZZZZ or ZZZZZE [ ?hy do you say thatE D ?hat do you think is the main issue hereE D 6et me see if I understand youF do you mean ZZZZZZZZ or ZZZZZZZE D Ho" does this relate to our discussion . and that. and this. or. given a significant intellectual task to assign . constructing. for similar reasons. in such disciplined in"ard talking% They have not been trained in taking reasoning apart. they are likely to have difficulty e(plaining intellectual standards appropriate to the doing and assessing of the task% They "ill not grasp the . they are much more likely to say something like XI think this and I think that and I believe this and I believe thatY. an articulate and amusing but poorly reasoned essay on a significant topic is likely to seem better "ork to them than a "ell&reasoned but un&flashy essay% And more.perspective necessary to make . then they are to say X5y main conclusion is this based on these three reasons% I have reasoned to this conclusion from this point of vie". is that "hat you meantE Nuestions that +robe Assumptions .intellectual.Ho" does money affect our lives. ho" to put the #uestions. for e(ample.connections bet"een sub$ects% Hence. their e(planations are often vague andJor highly confused% So they are not likely to use them in discussions or in their teaching or in their personal reflections% The result is that most teachers "ould have difficulty modeling careful reasoning for their students% That is.rather than to focus on an important interdisciplinary issue .problem. "ould you summari)e in your o"n "ords "hat Bill has saidE %%% Bill.a unit on XbunniesY. or implication is. then "e are assuming that% Are "e $ustified in doing soE And if "e use this idea to organi)e the data.such as above-% The moves one makes in such e(changes are not clear to them% /or many of them reasoning is simply a series of assertions about a sub$ect% ?hen asked for their reasoning on a sub$ect or issue.:othing simple here% Sound intellectual $udgment is involved in deciding "hich #uestions to ask.

in Critical Thinking= ?hat 4very +erson :eeds To Survive In A 1apidly Changing ?orld.broad&mindedness-E . then "hat else must also be trueE These are some of the kinds of #uestions that one raises "hen one understands the interrelated structures implicit in human reasoning% ?hen they are appropriately asked . are you implying ZZZZZZZE D But if that happened. deeply intert"ined "ith understanding #uestions based on intellectual standards= ?as that clearE Is that accurateE Are "e being precise enoughE Is that relevant to the #uestionE Is that logicalE Are "e dealing "ith the comple(ities of the #uestion . they enable us to "ork intellectually= to take thinking apart. and assess it% They are.using sound $udgment-. therefore.depth of thinking-E 7o "e need to consider some other points of vie" . "hat else "ould happen as a resultE ?hyE D ?hat effect "ould that haveE D ?ould that necessarily happen or only probably happenE D If this and this are the case. by 1ichard +aul. put it together.D ?hat are you assumingE D ?hat is <aren assumingE D ?hat could "e assume insteadE 2See '?hy Students&&and Teachers&&7onTt 1eason ?ell'. /oundation /or Critical Thinking= 2@@M% D Cou seem to be assuming ZZZZZZ% 7o I understand you correctlyE D All of your reasoning depends on the idea that ZZZZ% ?hy have you based your reasoning on ZZZZZZ rather than ZZZZZZE D Cou seem to be assuming ZZZZ% Ho" "ould you $ustify taking this for grantedE D Is it al"ays the caseE ?hy do you think the assumption holds hereE D ?hy "ould someone make this assumptionE Nuestions that +robe 1easons and 4vidence D Could you give us an e(ample of thatE [ Are these reasons ade#uateE D Ho" do you kno"E [ ?hy did you say thatE D ?hy do you think that is trueE [ ?hat led you to that beliefE D 7o you have any evidence for thatE [ Ho" does that apply to this caseE D ?hat difference does that makeE [ ?hat "ould change your mindE D ?hat are your reasons for saying thatE D ?hat other information do "e needE D Could you e(plain your reasons to usE D But is that good evidence to believe thatE D Is there reason to doubt that evidenceE D ?ho is in a position to kno" if that is soE D ?hat "ould you say to someone "ho said ZZZZE D Can someone else give evidence to support that responseE D By "hat reasoning did you come to that conclusionE D Ho" could "e find out "hether that is trueE Nuestions About >ie"points or +erspectives D Cou seem to be approaching this issue from ZZZZZ perspective% ?hy have you chosen this rather than that perspectiveE D Ho" "ould other groupsJtypes of people respondE ?hyE ?hat "ould influence themE D Ho" could you ans"er the ob$ection that ZZZZZZ "ould makeE D ?hat might someone "ho believed ZZZ thinkE D CanJdid anyone see this another "ayE D ?hat "ould someone "ho disagrees sayE D ?hat is an alternativeE D Ho" are <enTs and 1o(anneTs ideas alikeE 7ifferentE Nuestions that +robe Implications and Conse#uences D ?hat are you implying by thatE D ?hen you say ZZZZZZ.

the ethical.1ecogni)ing the relevance of intellectual considerations is. and intellectual development through principle&based teaching and learning and intellectually&based structure and standards% All students "ill be approached as thinkers and persons capable of unlimited development% The thinking and intellectual development of the teacher "ill be systematically nurtured by fostering intellectual community% All sub$ects "ill be taught as modes of thinking= history as historical thinking. and norms% /or systemic reform it involves building ne" conceptions about instruction%%%To put it bluntly. as thinkers. highly dependent on our overall vision of education and "hether or not "e recogni)e the relevance of intellectual discipline% That intellectual discipline is intrinsic to intellectual development is itself not "ell understood by most teachers I have "orked "ith% 1eculturing Schools To be successful in educational reform and restructuring. and talk their "ay through all sub$ects. but if /ullan and I are correct. ho" to broker solutions. each elaborated in a gloss accompanying the mission statement% Here is an e(ample from the pro$ected X:ational Coalition /or +rinciple&based 4ducation :C+4Y= The :ational Coalition for +rinciple&Based 4ducation is conceived as a national net"ork of schools. sociological. and then discussing the application of the ideas that they are reading about to instruction . e(isting school cultures and structures are antithetical to the kinds of activities envisioned by systemic reform%%%?hat is at stake here is a fundamental redefinition of teachers and professionals that includes radical changes in teacher preparation. and civic leaders committed to the integration of personal. the personal. business persons. it is not enough to develop challenging curriculum and instruction on paper% It is not enough to ask teachers to provide more opportunities for critical thinking and in#uiry&based learning% ?e must commit long&term resources to "hat 5ichael . and in teachersT day&to&day role%%%you cannot improve student learning for all or most students "ithout improving teacher learning for all or most teachers%Y The process of school restructuring is not only comple(. or 5ortimer AdlerTs Ho" To 1ead A Book. "rite. of course. beliefs.in intellectually disciplined discussions-&&is not something that "ill emerge overnight% 6ong&range change re#uires long&range planning and many of the steps along the "ay are going to be unpredictable and non&linear in nature% A +o"erful 5ission Statement Is 4ssential 0ne of the most effective tools in long&range reform is a school mission statement "ith teeth% The mission statement should not read like a list of vacuous platitudes. or literary reasoning% In all instruction. and other organi)ations committed to the goals of the coalition% 4ach teacher "rites a personal mission statement% 4ach teacher is asked to "rite a personal mission statement% By the teachers individually and collectively "riting mission statements. or 1obert 1eichTs The ?ork of :ations.% /ullan called XreculturingY schools% As he put it in a recent issue of the +hi 7elta <appan= X1eculturing refers to the process of developing ne" values. math as mathematical thinking%%%% All instruction "ill highlight the modeling of disciplined thinking. not the machinery of education% Students "ill read. The Covey 6eadership Center. in the design and culture of schools. ethical.enuine intellectual community&&"ith teachers reading books that are intellectually significant and relevant to educational reform . and ho" to "ork "ith abstractions and theoretical systems% +sychology "ill be relegated to its proper secondary roleQas the oil. but as a deeply integrated vision of basic principles and insights. must of necessity be long&range and time&consuming% . leading educators. to become literate in both the cognitive and affective dimensions of their minds% The coalition "ill "ork "ith the :C4CT. and the intellectual "ill be deeply integrated% Students "ill be e(pected to monitor their o"n development as persons. and systematic self&assessment% All students "ill be held responsible for their o"n learning% Basic personal and ethical principles "ill be used as the basis for personal and ethical development% Critical thinking principles "ill be used as the basis for intellectual development% Instruction "ill highlight the po"er of #uestions in driving and disciplining thinking% All pedagogy "ill focus on deep understanding% Socratic #uestioning "ill be a ma$or instructional strategy% Students "ill learn ho" to put and pursue #uestions and problems.like Stephen CoveyTs Seven Habits of Highly 4ffective +eople. The Center for Critical Thinking and 5oral Criti#ue. the engagement in intellectual tasks. intellectual community is fostered and deep thinking is encouraged about the nature and purpose of education% Strong Intellectual 6eadership is 1e#uired /or the +rocess To Succeed . learning ho" to internali)e ne" systems of thought% Computer usage "ill be a ma$or tool for intellectual "ork% 4thical reasoning "ill be taught "ith the same intellectual discipline as historical. for e(ample-. and. science as scientific thinking. organi)ations.

' on teachers having Xa vision of high #uality intellectual "orkY. administrator. but it must nevertheless be po"erfully reasoned through% It must make the necessary case for intellectually founded education in a multitude of "ays% It must patiently model disciplined reasoning. I come to seek out and routinely impose re#uirements and limitations on my o"n thinking% 5ost students do not recogni)e this% 5ost teachers do not teach for this recognition% If I am a disciplined thinker. or student% It "ill not be an easy sell in +eoria. on disciplined reasoning. or Tupelo% So "e must ask ourselves= Are . that fosters their intellectual gro"th% /or e(ample. but the kind of discipline that one can carry into every domain of thinking% 5ost teachers do not recogni)e that students need to develop habits of thought that are not restricted to one sub$ect domain.But "hat if this process misfires&&as it easily may% Suppose teachers "rite mission statements that place little or no emphasis on the intellectual. very strong intellectual leadership "ill be re#uired% Such leadership must not be coercive and resort to po"er. e(plicitly or implicitly. but precisely because I recogni)e that I can settle the #uestion in no other "ay% This disciplined process becomes for the conscientious reasoner a matter of intellectual honesty. on their being able to Xgauge the intellectual #uality of the pedagogyY they use% But. then it is good% XIf I believe it. abstract. saying this is not enough. and carpentersPall submit to a discipline in their special field% But most teachers do not recogni)e that to develop intellectually. tennis players. "hile recogni)ing that its value "ill not be immediately recogni)ed% It must. then I am bound to respect moral principles in my reasoning% I must consider morally relevant evidence% I must be accurate in my characteri)ations% I must enter sympathetically into all relevant moral points of vie" inherent in the #uestion I have set myself% As I become intellectually disciplined. scientists. and intellectual realism% Ho" many of our teachers have a clear sense of this discipline and ho" to teach for itE As a leader fostering long& range development I "ould have to facilitate this recognition over time% I "ould have to recogni)e that part of the problem lies in the fact that focusing on the intellectual goes against the grain of our times% ?e do not live at a time in "hich most people are receptive to intellectual discipline% ?e do not live at a time in "hich most people are "illing to accept intellectual standards or use them in their thinking% ?e live. and therefore Xnot usefulY% Suppose they continue to look for basic solutions in some ne" array of psychologically based techni#ues and tactics% In this case.to use% It represents training and discipline for the mind that is rarePfor teacher. it is usually uncritically assumed that teachers are more or less prepared to deal "ith the XintellectualY dimension of learning% :othing could be further from the truth% :e"mann and ?ehlage are. intellectual responsibility. and theoreticalY. or #uality of reasoning% +eople often say and believe $ust "hat they "ant to say and believe. among other things. a very real and deep problem remains% Ho" are "e to develop the leadership to focus on this problem in a serious "ay% +recisely because it is a deep problem entails that it is unlikely that it "ill be significantly dealt "ith% The "ord RintellectualT is not a friendly "ord for most teachers% It doesnTt play much of a role in most of todayTs classrooms% It is not a common "ord for teachers . on%%%% Suppose they do not recogni)e the present atmosphere as problematic% Suppose they see no basic problem in their o"n reasoning abilities% Suppose they consider articles such as this one to be Xtoo intellectual. then it is true for me%Y X7onTt I have a right to my o"n opinionEY XIsnTt my opinion as good as anyone elseTsEY X?hoTs to say "hat is right and "rongEY ?e have our "ork cut out for us% Conclusion The intellectual dimension of school reform is the dimension of reform that has been given the least attention thus far% 5ost reform and restructuring efforts ignore it entirely% ?hen it is touched upon. re#uires a special kind of in"ard intellectual disciplinePnot the discipline that is restricted to one domain of thinking. rather. engineers. you are focusing on a #uestion% Any clearly formulated #uestion imposes demands or re#uirements on the person "ho "ants to settle the #uestion% If I raise a mathematical #uestion then there are mathematical re#uirements that I must meet to ans"er the #uestion appropriately% If I raise a scientific #uestion. in "hich people think they have a natural right to think or believe "hatever they "ant. make the case for Inservice that intellectually challenges teachers and administrators. or is commonly accepted% If it sounds good or looks good. I reali)e that I have no intellectual right to ans"er a #uestion in any "ay that pleases me% By regularly revie"ing in my mind the precise #uestion I am asking and "hat that #uestion re#uires of me. broadly speaking. that they need to learn to think of themselves as sub$ect to intellectual re#uirements inherent in the task they are seeking to accomplish . kno"ledge.or administrators. "hatever feels good. consider the need to develop a community&"ide recognition of the need for intellectual discipline% That intellectual discipline is intrinsic to intellectual development is itself not "ell understood by many teachers I have "orked "ith% I am not referring here to the more or less commonplace recognition that virtually all forms of self&development re#uire discipline of some sort% 5ost teachers recogni)e that skilled dancers. in an age of rampant sub$ectivity.intellectually-% 6et me clarify this% ?henever you use your mind to try to figure something out. Tuscaloosa. un#uestionably right% Student learning is the crucial test of school reform efforts% Student learning does depends on Xintellectual #uality. then there are demands implicit in the concept and process of scientific in#uiry% If I raise a moral #uestion. I regularly impose the discipline of those re#uirements on myself% I "illingly submit to those re#uirements not because I like to constrict myself and make things more difficult. strokes their ego. irrespective of evidence.

and apply thought&&&to see ho" thinking can be improved% The basic idea is simple= XStudy thinking for strengths and "eaknesses% Then make improvements by building on its strengths and targeting its "eaknesses%Y A critical thinker does not say= X5y thinking is $ust fine% If everyone thought like me. organi)ed.Y Xtoo abstract. in three interrelated phases% They analy)e thinking% They assess thinking% And they up&grade thinking .:ote that such Inservice is very likely to be labeled by many teachers as Xtoo theoretical. refreshed. and it is the imparting of kno"ledge in proportion to that preparation% ?e re#uire intellectual eyes to kno" "ithal. analy)ed by thought. "hen. of "hat they learn. or strong thinking "ith stronger thinking% Creative thinking is a natural by&product of critical thinking. by its very nature. 2% /rom the pulpit "e hear the clear ringing voice of the great 2@th Century educator. and transformed by thought% <no"ledge e(ists.Y Xintellectual discipline%Y <&22 leadership. and long&suffering% It needs to meet the problem head&on."e ready to bite the bulletE Are "e ready to focus long&term Inservice and staff development on such heady stuff as Socratic #uestioning and the evaluation of reasoningPand face the ultimate dismissal phrase= XThis is all too theoreticalOY 0r shall "e go around the reform merry&go&round a fe" more times looking for some of those elusive short cuts to educational #ualityP the strategies that do not re#uire that "e take seriously such ugly. and by hapha)ard%Y ?hat is Critical Thinking . and reconstruct thinking&&&ever mindful as to ho" "e can improve it%Y +art T"o= A Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking 1eveals Common 7enominators in all Academic ?ork% Substantive Critical Thinking Can be Cultivated in 4very Academic Setting% By focusing on the rational capacities of studentsT minds. "e can make all learning easier for them% Substantive learning multiplies comprehension and insightF lo"er order rote memori)ation multiplies misunderstanding and confusion% Though very little present instruction deliberately aims at lo"er order learning. evaluated. amused. develop. the logicalness.from those most anti&intellectual.Y Xintellectual standards. soothed. to be successful in this important endeavor must be local. most results in it% X. maintained. admonishing us "ith all his characteristic vigor and incisiveness= X7o not say. can be e(pressed in a number of "ays% HereTs one= Critical thinking is the art of thinking about thinking "ith a vie" to improving it% Critical thinkers seek to improve thinking.see :osich?e often talk of kno"ledge as though it could be divorced from thinking. properly speaking. you only mean. and probably take a lot of flack .as a result-% Creative thinking is the "ork of the third phase. assess. stripped to its essentials. depends on thought% <no"ledge is produced by thought.Stripped to its 4ssentials-E The idea of critical thinking. by designing instruction so students e(plicitly grasp the sense. unflappable. put into good spirits and good humour. after all. Bohn Henry Cardinal :e"man. precisely because analy)ing and assessing thinking enables one to raise it to a higher level% :e" and better thinking is the by&product of healthy critical thought%iii A person is a critical thinker to the e(tent that he or she regularly improves thinking by studying and Xcriti#uingY it% Critical thinkers carefully study the "ay humans ground. only in minds that have comprehended it and constructed it through thought% And "hen "e say thought "e mean critical thought% <no"ledge must be . can al"ays be improved% Self&deception and folly e(ist at every level of human life% It is foolish ever to take thinking for granted% To think "ell.Y and XimpracticalY6et me close "ith a poignant thought from the past. Imagine for a moment that you and I are suddenly thrust back in time to a small 7ublin church in 2. "e must regularly analy)e. this "ould be a pretty good "orld%Y A critical thinker says= X5y thinking. as bodily eyes for sight% ?e need both ob$ects and organs intellectualF "e cannot gain them "ithout setting about itF "e cannot gain them in our sleep. that of replacing "eak thinking "ith strong thinking. such occupations of mind.for a long&term staff development plan of a sort very different from the usual= one that routinely challenges teachers intellectually% . or kept from vicious e(cesses% I do not say that such amusements. the people must be educated. comprehended by thought.oodY students have developed techni#ues for short term rote memori)ationF XpoorY students have none% But fe" kno" "hat it is to think analytically through the content of a sub$ectF fe" use critical thinking as a tool for ac#uiring kno"ledge%. as that of everyone else. as though it could be gathered up by one person and given to another in the form of a collection of sentences to remember% ?hen "e talk in this "ay "e forget that kno"ledge. old&fashioned e(pressions such as Xintellectual "ork. are not a great gainF but they are not education%%% 4ducation is a high "ordF it is the preparation for kno"ledge.

misleading% 4very Area or 7omain of Thought 5ust Be Thought&through to Be 6earned% The mind that thinks critically is a mind prepared to take o"nership of ne" ideas and modes of thinking% Critical thinking is a system&opening system% It "orks its "ay into a system of thought by thinking&through= D the purpose or goal of the system. accuracy.based on this information-E D If I come to these conclusions. history. students begin to identify and assess points of vie" leading to various historical interpretations% They recogni)e.theory."here applicablefairness% There is no system no sub$ect it cannot open% I:S41T /I. but also an interpretation of events selected by and "ritten from someoneTs point of vie"% In recogni)ing that each historian "rites from a point of vie". but "hen "e can think scientifically% ?e understand sociology only "hen "e can think sociologically. D the underlying assumptions it rests upon. biased. and .814 2= TH4 STA:7A17S There is a :ecessary Connection Bet"een Critical Thinking and 6earning The skills in up&grading thinking are the same skills as those re#uired in up&grading learning% The art of thinking "ell illuminates the art of learning "ell% The art of learning "ell illuminates the art of thinking "ell% Both re#uire intellectually skilled metacognition% /or e(ample. a(iom. principle. and so on P is a mode of thinking% 4very discipline can be understood only through thinking% ?e kno" mathematics. and D the point of vie" or "ay of seeing things it makes possible% It assesses the system for clarity. students are often asked to remember facts about the past% They therefore come to think of history class as a place "here you hear names and dates and placesF "here you try to memori)e and state them on tests% They think that "hen they can successfully do this. narro". chemistry. through this analytic process. to be a skilled thinker in the learning process re#uires that "e regularly note the elements of our thinkingJlearning= D ?hat is my purposeE D ?hat #uestion am I trying to ans"erE D ?hat data or information do I needE D ?hat conclusions or inferences can I make . they then Xkno" history%Y Alternatively. physics. biology. D the manner in "hich it collects data and information. philosophy. logic. depth. history only "hen "e can think historically. "hat "ill the implications and conse#uences beE D ?hat is the key concept . not "hen "e can recall sentences from our science te(tbooks. "e sacrifice kno"ledge at the same time% In the typical history class. relevance. only because minds can thoughtfully read it and. and philosophy only "hen "e can think philosophically% ?hen "e teach so that students are not thinking their "ay through sub$ects and disciplines. for e(ample. D the implications embedded in it.I am "orking "ithE . gain kno"ledge% ?e forget this "hen "e design instruction as though recall "ere e#uivalent to kno"ledge% 4very discipline P mathematics. students leave our courses "ith no more kno"ledge than they had "hen they entered them% ?hen "e sacrifice thought to gain coverage. significance. anthropology.distinguished from the memori)ation of true statements% Students can easily blindly memori)e "hat they do not understand% A book contains kno"ledge only in a derivative sense. "hat it is to interpret the American 1evolution from a British as "ell as a colonial perspective% They role&play different historical perspectives and master content through in&depth historical thought% They relate the present to the past% They discuss ho" their o"n stored&up interpretations of their o"n livesT events shaped their responses to the present and their plans for the future% They come to understand the daily ne"s as a form of historical thought shaped by the profit&making motivations of ne"s collecting agencies% They learn that historical accounts may be distorted. D the key concepts it generates.or problems it solves-. D the kinds of #uestions it ans"ers . precision. not "hen "e can recite mathematical formulas. blindly memori)ed content ceases to be the focal point% 6earning to think historically becomes the order of the day% Students learn historical content by thinking historically about historical #uestions and problems% They learn through their o"n thinking and classroom discussion that history is not a simple recounting of past events. breadth. consider history taught as a mode of thought% >ie"ed from the paradigm of a critical education. for e(ample. geography. but "hen "e can think mathematically% ?e kno" science. D the kinds of inferences it enables. sociology.

Schoenfeld. I intentionally slo" do"n% I put the meaning of each passage that I read into my o"n "ords% <no"ing that one can understand ideas best "hen they are e(emplified. or in their lives% They complete their studies "ith the impression that they kno" some very sophisticated and high&po"ered mathematics% They can find the ma(ima of complicated functions. then loops back upon itself to check its o"n operations% It checks its inferences% It makes good its ground% It rises above itself and e(ercises oversight on itself% 0ne of the most important abilities that a thinker can have is the ability to monitor and assess his or her o"n thinking "hile processing the thinking of others% In reading. students often learn something very different from "hat is Xtaught%Y 6et us consider ho" this problem manifests itself in math instruction% Alan Schoenfeld. to believe that they XunderstandY the mathematics is deceptive and fraudulent% . typically soon forgotten% ?hat is missing is the coherence. determine e(ponential decay.if at allin their studies. and so on% But the fact is these students kno" barely anything at all% The only reason they can perform "ith any degree of competency on their final e(ams is that the problems on the e(ams are nearly carbon copies of problems they have seen beforeF the students are not being asked to think.et Beyond :on&substantive Concepts of Critical Thinking 0nly If ?e /ace Their Implications% /ragmentation and Short&Term 5emori)ation Are +redictable 0utcomes 0f A :on&substantive Concept of Critical Thinking Students in colleges today are achieving little connection and depth. either "ithin or across sub$ects% Atomi)ed lists dominate te(tbooks. it improves its reading by reflectively thinking about ho" it is reading% It improves its "riting by analy)ing and assessing each draft it creates% It moves back and forth bet"een thinking and thinking about thinking% It moves for"ard a bit. says that math instruction is on the "hole Xdeceptive and fraudulent%Y He uses strong "ords to underscore a "ide gulf bet"een "hat math teachers think their students are learning and "hat they are actually learning% . and ourselves.&foot fence is located A feet from a building% 4(press the length 6 of the ladder "hich may be leaned against the building and $ust touch the top of the fence as a function of the distance \ bet"een the foot of the ladder and the base of the building% . 2@. atomi)ed teaching dominates instruction. at the tertiary as "ell as at the primary and secondary levels= At the 8niversity of 1ochester . and many go on% 1oughly half of our students see calculus as their last mathematics course% 5ost of these students "ill never apply calculus in any meaningful "ay . then. "hen "riting. I give my readers e(amples of "hat I am saying% As a reader. "e and they congratulate each other on the fact that they have learned some po"erful mathematical techni#ues% In fact. and depth of understanding that accompanies systematic critical thinking% ?ithout the concepts and tools of substantive critical thinking.2. they may be able to use such techni#ues mechanically "hile lacking some rudimentary thinking skills% To allo" them. 2@. the distinguished math educator. compute the volumes of surfaces of revolution.He elaborates as follo"s= All too often "e focus on a narro" collection of "ell&defined tasks and train students to e(ecute those tasks in a routine. I am able to say something "orth saying about something "orth saying something about% 5any students today cannot% +art III= ?e Can .2. I can take o"nership of important ideas in a te(t% ?hen I can "rite substantively. I look for e(amples to better understand "hat a te(t is saying% 6earning ho" to read closely and "rite substantively are comple( critical thinking abilities% ?hen I can read closely.p% 2@Schoenfeld cites a number of studies to $ustify this characteri)ation of math instruction and its lo"er order conse#uences% He also gives a number of striking e(amples. the reflective mind monitors ho" it is reading "hile it is reading% The foundation for this ability is kno"ledge of ho" the mind functions "hen reading "ell% /or e(ample. if not algorithmic fashion% Then "e test the students on tasks that are very close to the ones they have been taught% If they succeed on those problems.studied studentsT abilities to deal "ith pre&calculus versions of elementary "ord problems such as the follo"ing= As . and atomi)ed recall dominates learning% ?hat is learned are superficial fragments. connection.D ?hat assumptions am I makingE D ?hat is my point of vie"E There is a :ecessary Connection Bet"een Critical Thinking and Skilled 1eading and ?riting%iv The reflective mind improves its thinking by reflectively thinking about it% 6ike"ise.Schoenfeld. but merely to apply "ell&rehearsed schemata for specific kinds of tasks% Tim <eifer and Schoenfeld . if I kno" that "hat I am reading is difficult for me to understand. percent of the freshman class takes calculus.

of itself. multiplying. a system. and increasingly come to terms "ith the contradictions and inconsistencies of their o"n thought and e(perience% It engages students in the thinking re#uired to deeply master content% . XThere are 23 sheep and 2! goats on a ship% Ho" old is the captainEY Seventy& si( of the @9 students XsolvedY the problem by adding. at present.<eifer and Schoenfeld "ere not surprised to discover that only 2@ of 22! attempts at such problems . "hen students are faced "ith problems like XBohn had eight apples% He gave three to 5ary% Ho" many does Bohn have leftE. events. subtracting. defend positions on difficult issues. and depth of understanding that accompanies systematic critical thinking% A Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking 6eads to 7eep 6earning I to the Ac#uisition of Substantive <no"ledge% Substantive kno"ledge is kno"ledge that leads to #uestions that lead to further kno"ledge . often "ith the students clearer about "hat is really being learned than the teachers% 5any students. solve problems. of itself. of course.four each for A! studentsyielded correct ans"ers. peculiar to math% It is the common mode of learning in every sub$ect area% The result is a kind of global self&deception that surrounds teaching and learning. or that only 3 attempts produced ans"ers of any kind .Y they typically look for "ords like RleftT to tell them "hat operation to perform% As Schoenfeld puts it. e(amine assumptions. therefore. the course "ill probably focus on persuasive "riting and rhetoric% Though good in themselves. for e(ample. the greater "as the tendency% Schoenfeld cites many similar cases.See 6earning to Think Things Through-% Conclusion= Take the 6ong >ie" . you have the substantive kno"ledge to ask vital #uestions about all living things% Cou begin to think biologically% Teaching focused on a substantive concept of critical thinking appeals to reason and evidence% It encourages students to discover as "ell as to process information% It provides occasions in "hich students think their "ay to conclusions. the course "ill typically focus on either formal or informal logic% If the 4nglish 7epartment teaches sections. clarify issues and conclusions. and on and on-% Ac#uiring substantive kno"ledge is e#uivalent to ac#uiring effective organi)ers for the mind that enable us to "eave everything "e are learning into a tapestry. transfer ideas to ne" conte(ts.eneral 4ducation Courses in Critical Thinking ?ill :ot Solve the +roblem There are a number of reasons "hy establishing general education courses in critical thinking "ill not. none of these focuses comes close to capturing a substantive concept of critical thinking% The result is that instructors in other departments "ill not see the relevance of the Xcritical thinkingY course to their discipline. assess alleged facts. an integrated "hole% Substantive kno"ledge is found in that set of fundamental and po"erful concepts and principles that lie at the heart of understanding everything else in a discipline or sub$ect% /or e(ample. in turn. nor ho" to assess their o"n "ork% ?hat is missing is the coherence.p% 2. and e(planations. e(plore implications and conse#uences. typically teach only those aspects of critical thinking traditionally highlighted by the discipline% /or e(ample. if these courses are taught "ithin +hilosophy 7epartments.eneral 4ducation Courses in Study Skills ?ill :ot Solve the +roblem There are a number of reasons "hy establishing courses in study skills "ill not.-% Schoenfeld documents similar problems at the level of elementary math instruction% He reports on an e(periment in "hich elementary students "ere asked #uestions like. and therefore the course "ill be ignored% It "ill do little to help students become skilled learners% 4stablishing . XU the situation "as so e(treme that many students chose to subtract in a problem that began R5r% 6eftT%Y This tendency to approach math problems and assignments "ith robotic lo"er order responses becomes permanent in most students. students are not learning to think "ithin the disciplines they Xstudy%Y 4stablishing . theories. consider a "ide variety of points of vie".that. or dividing 23 and 2!% And that is not all. solve the problem% The first is that most such courses are based in a particular discipline and. tend to be approached by students mindlessly "ith key "ord algorithms% That is. most lack any unifying theory or organi)ing concept% They do not teach students ho" to begin to think "ithin a discipline% They do not typically teach students ho" to analy)e thinking using the elements of thought% They do not typically teach students intellectual standards. reali)e that in their history courses they merely learn to mouth names. analy)e concepts. leads to further kno"ledge and further vital #uestions. the more math they had.Y "hich are supposed to re#uire thought. including a study demonstrating that X"ord problems. connection. dates. and outcomes "hose significance they do not really understand and "hose content they forget shortly after the test% ?hatever our stated goals. solve the problem% The first is that most such courses are not based on a substantive concept of critical thinking% Indeed. killing any chance they had to think mathematically% Habitual robotic learning is not. if you understand deeply "hat a biological cell is and the essential characteristics of all living systems.

bet"een understanding content and thinking it through. precisely because analy)ing and assessing thinking enables one to raise it to a higher level% :e" and better thinking is the by&product of healthy critical thought%iii A person is a critical thinker to the e(tent that he or she regularly improves thinking by studying and Xcriti#uingY it% Critical thinkers carefully study the "ay humans ground. superficial. stripped to its essentials. develop. and apply thought&&&to see ho" thinking can be improved% The basic idea is simple= XStudy thinking for strengths and "eaknesses% Then make improvements by building on its strengths and targeting its "eaknesses%Y A critical thinker does not say= X5y thinking is $ust fine% If everyone thought like me.Stripped to its 4ssentials-E The idea of critical thinking. can be e(pressed in a number of "ays% HereTs one= Critical thinking is the art of thinking about thinking "ith a vie" to improving it% Critical thinkers seek to improve thinking. perseverance. assess. that of replacing "eak thinking "ith strong thinking. or strong thinking "ith stronger thinking% Creative thinking is a natural by&product of critical thinking. leads from itE Ho" am I vie"ing itE Should I vie" it differentlyE Short&term reform can do no more than foster surface change% 7eep change takes time. of "hat they learn. organi)ed.as a result-% Creative thinking is the "ork of the third phase. depends on thought% <no"ledge is produced by thought. can al"ays be improved% Self&deception and folly e(ist at every level of human life% It is foolish ever to take thinking for granted% To think "ell. by designing instruction so students e(plicitly grasp the sense. patience. bet"een intellectual discipline and education% 0nly then "ill the Xlearning collegeY become "hat it aims.see :osich?e often talk of kno"ledge as though it could be divorced from thinking. maintained. a "orld plagued by a short attention span% :evertheless it is possible to create a long&term professional development program that focuses on the progressive improvement of instruction and learning% . in three interrelated phases% They analy)e thinking% They assess thinking% And they up&grade thinking . #uick&fi(es.Critical thinking is not to be devoured in a single sitting nor yet at t"o or three "orkshops% It is a po"erful concept to be savored and reflected upon% It is an idea to live and gro" "ith% It focuses upon that part of our minds that enables us to think things through. the logicalness. and transformed by thought% <no"ledge e(ists. only in minds that have . most results in it% X. enabling us to take o"nership of the instruments that drive our learning% :ot only to think. evaluated. "e must regularly analy)e.oodY students have developed techni#ues for short term rote memori)ationF XpoorY students have none% But fe" kno" "hat it is to think analytically through the content of a sub$ectF fe" use critical thinking as a tool for ac#uiring kno"ledge%. all along. is the key to our development as learners and kno"ers% Ho" do I kno" thisE ?hat is this based uponE ?hat does this imply and presupposeE ?hat e(plains this. and reconstruct thinking&&&ever mindful as to ho" "e can improve it%Y +art T"o= A Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking 1eveals Common 7enominators in all Academic ?ork% Substantive Critical Thinking Can be Cultivated in 4very Academic Setting% By focusing on the rational capacities of studentsT minds. to ac#uire and retain kno"ledge% It is like a mirror to the mind. this "ould be a pretty good "orld%Y A critical thinker says= X5y thinking. to learn from e(perience. and commitment% This is not easy in a "orld saturated "ith glossy. by its very nature. analy)ed by thought. to be% ?hat is Critical Thinking . as that of everyone else. but to think about ho" "e are thinking. comprehended by thought. "e can make all learning easier for them% Substantive learning multiplies comprehension and insightF lo"er order rote memori)ation multiplies misunderstanding and confusion% Though very little present instruction deliberately aims at lo"er order learning. connects to it. as though it could be gathered up by one person and given to another in the form of a collection of sentences to remember% ?hen "e talk in this "ay "e forget that kno"ledge. properly speaking.See 4lderBut this can only happen "hen those designing professional development have a substantive concept of critical thinking% 0nly then "ill they be able to guide faculty to"ard a long&term approach% 0nly then "ill they be able to provide convincing e(amples in each of the disciplines% 0nly then "ill they see the connection bet"een thinking and learning. understanding.

D the kinds of #uestions it ans"ers .or problems it solves-. biased. but "hen "e can think scientifically% ?e understand sociology only "hen "e can think sociologically. D the kinds of inferences it enables. and so on P is a mode of thinking% 4very discipline can be understood only through thinking% ?e kno" mathematics. students begin to identify and assess points of vie" leading to various historical interpretations% They recogni)e. logic. significance. anthropology.based on this information-E D If I come to these conclusions. D the implications embedded in it. students are often asked to remember facts about the past% They therefore come to think of history class as a place "here you hear names and dates and placesF "here you try to memori)e and state them on tests% They think that "hen they can successfully do this.814 2= TH4 STA:7A17S There is a :ecessary Connection Bet"een Critical Thinking and 6earning The skills in up&grading thinking are the same skills as those re#uired in up&grading learning% The art of thinking "ell illuminates the art of learning "ell% The art of learning "ell illuminates the art of thinking "ell% Both re#uire intellectually skilled metacognition% /or e(ample. narro". precision. for e(ample. physics. and philosophy only "hen "e can think philosophically% ?hen "e teach so that students are not thinking their "ay through sub$ects and disciplines. sociology. D the underlying assumptions it rests upon. only because minds can thoughtfully read it and. history. geography. D the manner in "hich it collects data and information. breadth. gain kno"ledge% ?e forget this "hen "e design instruction as though recall "ere e#uivalent to kno"ledge% 4very discipline P mathematics. not "hen "e can recite mathematical formulas. biology. chemistry. but also an interpretation of events selected by and "ritten from someoneTs point of vie"% In recogni)ing that each historian "rites from a point of vie". philosophy. through this analytic process. and . to be a skilled thinker in the learning process re#uires that "e regularly note the elements of our thinkingJlearning= D ?hat is my purposeE D ?hat #uestion am I trying to ans"erE D ?hat data or information do I needE D ?hat conclusions or inferences can I make . "e sacrifice kno"ledge at the same time% In the typical history class. depth. they then Xkno" history%Y Alternatively. "hat "ill the implications and conse#uences beE . and D the point of vie" or "ay of seeing things it makes possible% It assesses the system for clarity. not "hen "e can recall sentences from our science te(tbooks. students leave our courses "ith no more kno"ledge than they had "hen they entered them% ?hen "e sacrifice thought to gain coverage.comprehended it and constructed it through thought% And "hen "e say thought "e mean critical thought% <no"ledge must be distinguished from the memori)ation of true statements% Students can easily blindly memori)e "hat they do not understand% A book contains kno"ledge only in a derivative sense. D the key concepts it generates."here applicablefairness% There is no system no sub$ect it cannot open% I:S41T /I. but "hen "e can think mathematically% ?e kno" science. misleading% 4very Area or 7omain of Thought 5ust Be Thought&through to Be 6earned% The mind that thinks critically is a mind prepared to take o"nership of ne" ideas and modes of thinking% Critical thinking is a system&opening system% It "orks its "ay into a system of thought by thinking&through= D the purpose or goal of the system. accuracy. for e(ample. relevance. history only "hen "e can think historically. consider history taught as a mode of thought% >ie"ed from the paradigm of a critical education. "hat it is to interpret the American 1evolution from a British as "ell as a colonial perspective% They role&play different historical perspectives and master content through in&depth historical thought% They relate the present to the past% They discuss ho" their o"n stored&up interpretations of their o"n livesT events shaped their responses to the present and their plans for the future% They come to understand the daily ne"s as a form of historical thought shaped by the profit&making motivations of ne"s collecting agencies% They learn that historical accounts may be distorted. blindly memori)ed content ceases to be the focal point% 6earning to think historically becomes the order of the day% Students learn historical content by thinking historically about historical #uestions and problems% They learn through their o"n thinking and classroom discussion that history is not a simple recounting of past events.

I am "orking "ithE D ?hat assumptions am I makingE D ?hat is my point of vie"E There is a :ecessary Connection Bet"een Critical Thinking and Skilled 1eading and ?riting%iv The reflective mind improves its thinking by reflectively thinking about it% 6ike"ise. at the tertiary as "ell as at the primary and secondary levels= At the 8niversity of 1ochester . "hen "riting. or in their lives% They complete their studies "ith the impression that they kno" some very sophisticated and high&po"ered mathematics% They can find the ma(ima of complicated functions. principle. I give my readers e(amples of "hat I am saying% As a reader. atomi)ed teaching dominates instruction.studied studentsT abilities to deal "ith pre&calculus versions of elementary "ord problems such as the follo"ing= As . and many go on% 1oughly half of our students see calculus as their last mathematics course% 5ost of these students "ill never apply calculus in any meaningful "ay .He elaborates as follo"s= All too often "e focus on a narro" collection of "ell&defined tasks and train students to e(ecute those tasks in a routine. if I kno" that "hat I am reading is difficult for me to understand. students often learn something very different from "hat is Xtaught%Y 6et us consider ho" this problem manifests itself in math instruction% Alan Schoenfeld. and atomi)ed recall dominates learning% ?hat is learned are superficial fragments. and depth of understanding that accompanies systematic critical thinking% ?ithout the concepts and tools of substantive critical thinking. percent of the freshman class takes calculus.D ?hat is the key concept .theory. determine e(ponential decay.2.2.Schoenfeld.if at allin their studies.Schoenfeld. to believe that they XunderstandY the mathematics is deceptive and fraudulent% .et Beyond :on&substantive Concepts of Critical Thinking 0nly If ?e /ace Their Implications% /ragmentation and Short&Term 5emori)ation Are +redictable 0utcomes 0f A :on&substantive Concept of Critical Thinking Students in colleges today are achieving little connection and depth. it improves its reading by reflectively thinking about ho" it is reading% It improves its "riting by analy)ing and assessing each draft it creates% It moves back and forth bet"een thinking and thinking about thinking% It moves for"ard a bit. but merely to apply "ell&rehearsed schemata for specific kinds of tasks% Tim <eifer and Schoenfeld .p% 2@Schoenfeld cites a number of studies to $ustify this characteri)ation of math instruction and its lo"er order conse#uences% He also gives a number of striking e(amples. I am able to say something "orth saying about something "orth saying something about% 5any students today cannot% +art III= ?e Can . the distinguished math educator. compute the volumes of surfaces of revolution. I can take o"nership of important ideas in a te(t% ?hen I can "rite substantively. then. says that math instruction is on the "hole Xdeceptive and fraudulent%Y He uses strong "ords to underscore a "ide gulf bet"een "hat math teachers think their students are learning and "hat they are actually learning% . I look for e(amples to better understand "hat a te(t is saying% 6earning ho" to read closely and "rite substantively are comple( critical thinking abilities% ?hen I can read closely. 2@. and ourselves. and so on% But the fact is these students kno" barely anything at all% The only reason they can perform "ith any degree of competency on their final e(ams is that the problems on the e(ams are nearly carbon copies of problems they have seen beforeF the students are not being asked to think. typically soon forgotten% ?hat is missing is the coherence. either "ithin or across sub$ects% Atomi)ed lists dominate te(tbooks. I intentionally slo" do"n% I put the meaning of each passage that I read into my o"n "ords% <no"ing that one can understand ideas best "hen they are e(emplified. they may be able to use such techni#ues mechanically "hile lacking some rudimentary thinking skills% To allo" them. if not algorithmic fashion% Then "e test the students on tasks that are very close to the ones they have been taught% If they succeed on those problems. connection. the reflective mind monitors ho" it is reading "hile it is reading% The foundation for this ability is kno"ledge of ho" the mind functions "hen reading "ell% /or e(ample. 2@. "e and they congratulate each other on the fact that they have learned some po"erful mathematical techni#ues% In fact.&foot fence is located A feet from a building% 4(press the length 6 of the ladder "hich may be leaned against the building and $ust touch the top of the fence as a function of the distance \ bet"een the foot of the ladder and the base of the building% . then loops back upon itself to check its o"n operations% It checks its inferences% It makes good its ground% It rises above itself and e(ercises oversight on itself% 0ne of the most important abilities that a thinker can have is the ability to monitor and assess his or her o"n thinking "hile processing the thinking of others% In reading. a(iom.

the more math they had. for e(ample. "hen students are faced "ith problems like XBohn had eight apples% He gave three to 5ary% Ho" many does Bohn have leftE. XU the situation "as so e(treme that many students chose to subtract in a problem that began R5r% 6eftT%Y This tendency to approach math problems and assignments "ith robotic lo"er order responses becomes permanent in most students. an integrated "hole% Substantive kno"ledge is found in that set of fundamental and po"erful concepts and principles that lie at the heart of understanding everything else in a discipline or sub$ect% /or e(ample. and increasingly come to terms "ith the contradictions and inconsistencies of their o"n thought and e(perience% It engages students in the thinking re#uired to deeply master content% . e(amine assumptions. clarify issues and conclusions. or that only 3 attempts produced ans"ers of any kind . and on and on-% Ac#uiring substantive kno"ledge is e#uivalent to ac#uiring effective organi)ers for the mind that enable us to "eave everything "e are learning into a tapestry. and depth of understanding that accompanies systematic critical thinking% A Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking 6eads to 7eep 6earning I to the Ac#uisition of Substantive <no"ledge% Substantive kno"ledge is kno"ledge that leads to #uestions that lead to further kno"ledge . typically teach only those aspects of critical thinking traditionally highlighted by the discipline% /or e(ample.that. the course "ill typically focus on either formal or informal logic% If the 4nglish 7epartment teaches sections. solve the problem% The first is that most such courses are not based on a substantive concept of critical thinking% Indeed. of course. transfer ideas to ne" conte(ts. often "ith the students clearer about "hat is really being learned than the teachers% 5any students. connection. e(plore implications and conse#uences.-% Schoenfeld documents similar problems at the level of elementary math instruction% He reports on an e(periment in "hich elementary students "ere asked #uestions like. reali)e that in their history courses they merely learn to mouth names. XThere are 23 sheep and 2! goats on a ship% Ho" old is the captainEY Seventy& si( of the @9 students XsolvedY the problem by adding. consider a "ide variety of points of vie". subtracting. theories. analy)e concepts. dates.See 6earning to Think Things Through-% Conclusion= Take the 6ong >ie" . students are not learning to think "ithin the disciplines they Xstudy%Y 4stablishing . events. the course "ill probably focus on persuasive "riting and rhetoric% Though good in themselves. killing any chance they had to think mathematically% Habitual robotic learning is not. of itself. including a study demonstrating that X"ord problems. and therefore the course "ill be ignored% It "ill do little to help students become skilled learners% 4stablishing . nor ho" to assess their o"n "ork% ?hat is missing is the coherence. tend to be approached by students mindlessly "ith key "ord algorithms% That is.eneral 4ducation Courses in Critical Thinking ?ill :ot Solve the +roblem There are a number of reasons "hy establishing general education courses in critical thinking "ill not. or dividing 23 and 2!% And that is not all. none of these focuses comes close to capturing a substantive concept of critical thinking% The result is that instructors in other departments "ill not see the relevance of the Xcritical thinkingY course to their discipline. peculiar to math% It is the common mode of learning in every sub$ect area% The result is a kind of global self&deception that surrounds teaching and learning. at present.four each for A! studentsyielded correct ans"ers. if you understand deeply "hat a biological cell is and the essential characteristics of all living systems. and e(planations. solve problems. assess alleged facts. you have the substantive kno"ledge to ask vital #uestions about all living things% Cou begin to think biologically% Teaching focused on a substantive concept of critical thinking appeals to reason and evidence% It encourages students to discover as "ell as to process information% It provides occasions in "hich students think their "ay to conclusions. most lack any unifying theory or organi)ing concept% They do not teach students ho" to begin to think "ithin a discipline% They do not typically teach students ho" to analy)e thinking using the elements of thought% They do not typically teach students intellectual standards. leads to further kno"ledge and further vital #uestions. multiplying.Y they typically look for "ords like RleftT to tell them "hat operation to perform% As Schoenfeld puts it. a system. if these courses are taught "ithin +hilosophy 7epartments.eneral 4ducation Courses in Study Skills ?ill :ot Solve the +roblem There are a number of reasons "hy establishing courses in study skills "ill not.Y "hich are supposed to re#uire thought.p% 2.<eifer and Schoenfeld "ere not surprised to discover that only 2@ of 22! attempts at such problems . of itself. therefore. the greater "as the tendency% Schoenfeld cites many similar cases. defend positions on difficult issues. in turn. solve the problem% The first is that most such courses are based in a particular discipline and. and outcomes "hose significance they do not really understand and "hose content they forget shortly after the test% ?hatever our stated goals.

a "orld plagued by a short attention span% :evertheless it is possible to create a long&term professional development program that focuses on the progressive improvement of instruction and learning% . bet"een intellectual discipline and education% 0nly then "ill the Xlearning collegeY become "hat it aims. all along. superficial. is the key to our development as learners and kno"ers% Ho" do I kno" thisE ?hat is this based uponE ?hat does this imply and presupposeE ?hat e(plains this. bet"een understanding content and thinking it through. connects to it. to ac#uire and retain kno"ledge% It is like a mirror to the mind. but to think about ho" "e are thinking. perseverance. to be% .See 4lderBut this can only happen "hen those designing professional development have a substantive concept of critical thinking% 0nly then "ill they be able to guide faculty to"ard a long&term approach% 0nly then "ill they be able to provide convincing e(amples in each of the disciplines% 0nly then "ill they see the connection bet"een thinking and learning. #uick&fi(es. enabling us to take o"nership of the instruments that drive our learning% :ot only to think. and commitment% This is not easy in a "orld saturated "ith glossy.Critical thinking is not to be devoured in a single sitting nor yet at t"o or three "orkshops% It is a po"erful concept to be savored and reflected upon% It is an idea to live and gro" "ith% It focuses upon that part of our minds that enables us to think things through. patience. leads from itE Ho" am I vie"ing itE Should I vie" it differentlyE Short&term reform can do no more than foster surface change% 7eep change takes time. understanding. to learn from e(perience.