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Enoch Hale, Ph.D. Fellow, Foundation for Critical Thinking Critical Thinking: Designing Instructional Strategies To Promote Critical Thought Part II.

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Presentation on theme: "Enoch Hale, Ph.D. Fellow, Foundation for Critical Thinking Critical Thinking: Designing Instructional Strategies To Promote Critical Thought Part II."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Enoch Hale, Ph.D. Fellow, Foundation for Critical Thinking Critical Thinking: Designing Instructional Strategies To Promote Critical Thought Part II

3 Enoch Hale, Ph.D. Fellow, Foundation for Critical Thinking hale@criticalthinking.orghale@criticalthinking.org ; 707-878-9100

4 3 Key Questions Why do we need critical thinking? What is critical thinking? What do we do to think critically?

5 The Three Dimensions of Critical Thinking

6 Reasoning: The process of drawing conclusions or figuring something out Essential Elements for Analyzing Reasoning Traits of the Disciplined Mind Standards for Evaluating Reasoning Reasoning: three aspects

7 The quality of our thinking is largely reflected in the quality of our questions.

8 Circle – Dots

9 Critical thinking is the way you do everything you do

10 LOGIC OF Instruction Content Student Thinking

11 StandardsElementsTraits

12 The educated mind as a questioning mind

13 Reasoning: The process of drawing conclusions or figuring something out Essential Elements for Analyzing Reasoning Traits of the Disciplined Mind Standards for Evaluating Reasoning Reasoning: three aspects

14 What is involved in analyzing reasoning? (Story, argument, point of view, subject) In other words, what elements must you account for in order for the analysis to be substantive?

15 Analyzing a Cartoon Look at the cartoon and analyze it by asking questions. 1. Individually, write a series of questions that attempt to probe the meaning of the cartoon. 2. With a group, compare your questions with others. Add to your list.

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17 Elements of Reasoning Purpose of the Thinking Goal, objective Points of View Frame of Reference Perspective Orientation Questions at Issue Problem Implications & Consequences Information Data, observations, facts, experiences Assumptions Presuppositions, taking for granted Concepts Theories, laws, models,defini- tions, principles Interpretation & Inference Conclusions, solutions A CRITICAL THINKER Considers the Elements of Reasoning Elements wheel

18 Eight Questions Students Can Routinely Ask When They Understand the Elements of Reasoning 1. What is the main purpose of the reasoning? 2. What are the key issues, problems, and questions being addressed? 3. What is the most important information being used? 4. What main inferences are embedded in the reasoning? 5. What are the key concepts guiding the reasoning? 6. What assumptions are being used? 7. What are the positive and negative implications? 8. What point of view is/should be represented?

19 Logic of a Cartoon Now use the elements of reasoning to generate more questions for the same cartoon. ALSO, Examine your original questions and identify which elements they target.

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21 Key Points Individually we can ask a limited number of questions Collectively we can ask even more However, when equipped with a framework, individually and collectively we can ask even more

22 We must routinely take our thinking apart We must routinely Take our thinking apart

23 Questions Targeting the Elements of Reasoning in a writing a paper Purpose: What am I trying to accomplish? What is my central aim or goal? Information: What information am I using in coming to that conclusion? What experience have I had to support this claim? What information do I need to settle the question? Inferences/Conclusions: How did I reach this conclusion? Is there another way to interpret the information? Concepts: What is the main idea here? Could I explain this idea? Assumptions: What am I taking for granted? What assumption has led me to that conclusion? Implications/Consequences: If someone accepted my position, what would implications? What am I implying? Points of View: From what point of view am I looking at this issue? Is there another point of view I should consider? Questions: What question am I raising? What question am I addressing?

24 Activity Two: Beginning to Figure Out the Logic of Education Using your beginning understanding of the elements of reasoning, take turns completing these statements. The purpose of education is… The main problem(s) we face in educating our students is/are… If we truly educate students, some of the important implications are…

25 Elements blank wheel

26 Process What important insights did you gain through doing these activities – insights about the elements of reasoning? How might you better foster use and understanding of the elements of reasoning in your classes?

27 Reasoning: The process of drawing conclusions or figuring something out Essential Elements for Analyzing Reasoning Traits of the Disciplined Mind Standards for Evaluating Reasoning Reasoning: three aspects

28 Standards of Reasoning Clarity: Accuracy: Precision: Relevance: Depth: Breadth: Logic: Significance: Fairness: Understandable, the meaning can be grasped Free from errors or distortions, true Exact to the necessary level of detail Relating to the matter at hand Containing complexities and interrelationships Involving multiple viewpoints The parts make sense together, no contradictions Focusing on the important, not trivial Justifiable, not self-serving (or egocentric)

29 Standards Questions

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32 SEEI STATE in your own words what someone else has said or written or the key concept, problem or question at issue. ELABORATE on your statement. In other words… EXEMPLIFY: give an example of the concept from your life and from the content. ILLUSTRATE: create an analogy, metaphor, simile, graph, chart, cartoon, etc.

33 Intellectual Standards: Make our thinking transparent Invite critique and accountability Provide a common language for evaluation

34 Intellectual Standards In each item below, a reason is given then a conclusion is drawn. In each case explain why the reason is not enough to draw the conclusion. Do not disagree with the reason; focus instead on why it is not sufficient.

35 1. My 80-year-old grandfather smoked a pack of cigarettes a day his whole life. - Cigarettes are not harmful. 2. I’ve studied every night for a week. – I’ll do well on the exam. 3. You have lied to me. – Now I can never trust you. 4. “I cried b/c I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” – I shouldn’t cry about my own suffering. 5. The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill.” – Capital punishment is forbidden by the Bible.

36 Intellectual Standards and Teaching Make a list of the standards that are used in your discipline. Then make a list of ways in which you can better bring the intellectual standards into instruction.

37 What is Your Philosophy of Education? B Questions C A observes C Questions A B observes A Questions B C observes

38 What is the difference/relationship between education and the concepts of socialization, indoctrination, and training? C questions A B observes Focus questions on depth and clarity.

39 Focusing on a key concept in your course Explain in writing the most fundamental concept in one course you teach. State, elaborate, exemplify

40 Focus on a key concept in your course. A Questions B C observes

41 Reasoning: The process of drawing conclusions or figuring something out Essential Elements for Analyzing Reasoning Traits of the Disciplined Mind Standards for Evaluating Reasoning Reasoning: three aspects

42 Intellectual Standards

43 How do these intellectual virtues interrelate? To what extent should we foster the development of these virtues in student thinking? How does the development of these virtues relate to learning – or does it? How can we teach these virtues to students?

44 Uncovering the Traits Write down a vignette illustrating how you personally witnessed the positive contribution of one of the traits to a team on which you served. Write down a vignette exemplifying how a deficit in one trait had adversely affected a team on which you served.

45 Think for Yourself (4-1): Intellectual Humility Name a person that you “know” and are interested in. Now make two lists. In the first list include everything you know for sure about the person. In the second list include everything you know you don’t know about them. For example, I know for sure that my grandmother (father’s side) loved to cook, but I’m also sure that I never really understood what her fears and personal desires were. I knew many superficial things about her, but about her inner self I knew nothing. Be prepared to back up what you claim with an explanation of your thinking.

46 Think for Yourself (4-2): Recognizing Superficial Learning Think of a college course you completed in which you received a high final grade. Take a blank sheet of paper and try to write out and elaborate, without consulting any sources, answers to the following questions: What is ……?(put in the name of subject; history, biology, etc.) What is the main goal of studying this subject? What are people in this field trying to accomplish? What kinds of questions do they ask? What kinds of problems do they solve?

47 What sort of information or data do they gather? How do they go about gathering information in ways that are distinctive to this field? What is the most basic idea, concept, or theory in this field? How did studying this field change your view of the world? If you find it difficult to answer these questions, consider the hypothesis that you might have gotten your high grade by “cramming” for tests or by some other means of superficial learning. Do you think you are able to begin to identify the difference in your own past learning between what you learned superficially and what you learned (or might have learned) deeply?

48 For every problem under the sun There is a solution or there is none. If there be one, seek till you find it If there be none, then never mind it. To me this means… In other words… To exemplify… To illustrate…

49 Think for Yourself: Intellectual Courage Try to think of a circumstance in which either you or someone you knew defended a view that was very unpopular in a group to which you belonged. Describe the circumstances and especially how the group responded. If you can’t think of an example, what is the significance of that?

50 Sample Activity U.S. History Developing Empathy & Recognizing Biases in the Text

51 Directions Read the passage alone. (30 seconds) We will discuss the answers to the questions on the slides following the passage. (2 minutes)

52 “These Native Americans (in the Southeast) believed that nature was filled with spirits. Each form of life, such as plants and animals, had a spirit. Earth and air held spirits too. People were never alone. They shared their lives with the spirits of nature.”

53 What point of view is this statement written from? Do you think that the passage is an accurate representation of Native American religion? Why or why not?

54 How might a Christian react if his/her beliefs were succinctly summarized in the following way?

55 “These Americans believed that one great male god ruled the world. Sometimes they divided him into three parts, which they called father, son and holy ghost. They ate crackers and wine or grape juice, believing that they were eating the son’s body and drinking his blood. If they believed strongly enough, they would live on forever after they died.”

56 Do these quotes reflect the depth and breadth of each religious view? How might one reconstruct these statements to reflect a greater degree of fairmindedness? To what extent do you tend to stereotype and simplify beliefs other than your own?

57 Personal Forms of Formal Writing 1. Thesis-Seeking Essay (as opposed to a thesis-supporting essay)  Students construct a narrative that describes their thinking process as they think through a problem.  Easily adaptable to any discipline.  Often encourages student motivation. Example next slide.

58 Write a first-person, chronologically organized account of your thinking process as you explore possible solutions to a question or problem related to this course. Begin by describing what the question is and how and why you became interested in it. Then, as you contemplate the problem and do research, narrate the evolving process of your thinking. Your exploratory essay should include both external details (what you read, how you found it, who you talked to) and internal mental details (what you were thinking about, how your ideas were evolving).

59 For this essay, it doesn’t matter whether you reach a final position or solve the problem; your reader is interested in your process, not your final product. Show us, for example, your frustration when a promising source turned out to be useless. Show us how new ideas continually led you to reformulate your problem through expansion, narrowing, shifting of focus, or whatever. Make your exploratory essay an interesting intellectual detective story – something your readers will enjoy. Bean, p. 92

60 StandardsElementsTraits

61 Selected Sources Foundation for Critical Thinking; www.criticalthinking.org ; 707-878-9100www.criticalthinking.org Bean, J.C. (1996). Engaging Ideas: A Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. Nosich, G. (2009). Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum. 3 rd Ed.

62 Selected Sources Tishman, S., Perkins, D., & Jay, E. (1995). The Thinking Classroom: Learning and Teaching in a Culture of Thinking. Tovani, C. (2000). I Read It, But I Don’t Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers. Unrau, N. (1997). Thoughtful Teachers, Thoughtful Learners: A Guide to Helping Adolescents Think Critically.


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