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Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning including skills such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause/effect, patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hypothesizing, and critiquing.

While critical thinking can be thought of as more left-brain and creative thinking more right brain, they both involve "thinking." When we talk about HOTS "higher-order thinking skills" we're concentrating on the top three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

try itExplore Teacher Tap: Creative and Critical Thinking.

studentCritical Thinking Defined

Critical thinking involves identifying evidence, reasoning, and implications. John Dewey (1909) referred to critical thinking as reflective thinking. He defined it as "active, persistent, and careful consideration of a belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds which support it and the further conclusions to which it tends."

Edward Glaser (1941) added that critical thinking is "an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experience and a skill in applying those methods." He identified a range of abilities including recognize problems, gather information, recognize assumptions, use clear language, interpret data, appraise evidence, recognize relationships, draw conclusions, test conclusions, reconstruct patterns, and render judgements.

In 1989, Robert Ennis stated that critical thinking is "reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do."

More recently, Michael Scriven (1997) stated that critical thinking is "skilled and active interpretation and evaluation of observations and communications, information and argumentation."

video clipExplore videos on Critical Thinking from YouTube.

eye means readRead Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally by Andrew Churches (April 1, 2008).

eye means readRead Key Word: Critical Thinking in THE BLUE BOOK by Callison and Preddy, 363-368.

Key Words

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Critical Thinking Consortium. Organization promoting critical thinking

How to Teach Critical Thinking Skills. An overview from eHow

Integrating Critical Thinking Skills Into the Classroom by A. Buchanan - This article defines critical thinking and provides steps for integrating the ideas into the classroom.

Jones, Jami (August 2003). Saving Kids from Despair (From EBSCOhost, requires IUPUI login) School Library Journal. 49(8), 46-50. Presents an article on how to provide the critical skills young people need to overcome adversity. Discussion on the concept of resiliency; Significance of mentoring and making connections with kids; Reading and information skills.

Kinetic Connections from Learn NC

Layered Curriculum by K.F. Nunley - The Layered Curriculum approach focuses on increasing levels of complexity. Explore some of the many examples.

Lett, James (Winter 1990). A Field Guide to Critical Thinking. Skeptical Inquirer

Mancall, Jacqueline C., Aaron, Shirley L. & Walker, Susan A. (1986). Educating Students to Think: The Role of the School Library Media Program. SLMQ, 5(1).

Media Literacy Starting Points: Tips for Fostering Critical Thinking by Sara Armstrong.

Mission: Critical tutorial on critical thinking.

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