Presentation on theme: "Critical thinking From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes."— Presentation transcript:
Critical thinking From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense.mentaldiscernmentevaluationtangibleintangible In contemporary usage "critical" has a certain negative connotation that does not apply in the present case. Though the term "analytical thinking" may seem to convey the idea more accurately, critical thinking involves synthesis, evaluation, and reconstruction of thinking, in addition to analysis.
Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, observation, experience and reasoning. Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions and which include: clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance and fairness.verbal writtenreflectionobservationexperience reasoningintellectual claritycredibilityaccuracyprecisionrelevancebreadth logicsignificance
Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making that judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming that judgment, the applicable theory and constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand. Critical thinking is a form of judgment, specifically purposeful and reflective judgment. Using critical thinking one makes a decision or solves the problem of judging what to believe or what to do, but does so in a reflective way.
These elements also happen to be the key defining characteristics of professional fields and academic disciplines. This is why critical thinking can occur within a given subject field (by reference to its specific set of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria, etc.) and across subject fields in all those spaces where human beings need to interact and make decisions, solve problems, and figure out what to believe and what to do.
Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of critical thinking involves acquiring information and evaluating it to reach a well-justified conclusion or answer. Part of critical thinking comprises informal logic. However, a large part of critical thinking goes beyond informal logic and includes assessment of beliefs and identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, misinformation, etc.scientific skepticismwell-justifiedinformal logicprejudicebias propaganda Reflection Question Look at the list of benefits in figure 2. Which three benefits do you think are the most important? Why? From “Can You Hear Me Now?” Wilderness Benefits Edition
Given research in cognitive psychology, some educators believe that schools should focus more on teaching their students critical thinking skills, intellectual standards, and cultivating intellectual traits (such as intellectual humility, intellectual empathy, intellectual integrity, and fair-mindedness) than on memorizing facts by rote learning.cognitive psychologyeducatorsskillsrote learning Properly written, a Natural Inquirer article provides an opportunity for teachers to encourage critical thinking, knowledge and use of the scientific process, AND new knowledge about the environment.
Critical thinking is based on concepts and principles, not on hard and fast, or step-by-step, procedures. Critical thinking does not assure that one will reach either the truth or correct conclusions. First, one may not have all the relevant information; indeed, important information may remain undiscovered, or the information may not even be knowable. Reflection Question Based on the results of this research, do you think the watershed is becoming more diverse in its tree species? Why or why not? From “Oooh! That’s Growth!” Tropical Forest Edition
Furthermore, one may make unjustified inferences, use inappropriate concepts, fail to notice important implications, or use a narrow or unfair point of view. One may be a victim of self- delusion, egocentricity or sociocentricity, or closed-mindedness. One's thinking may be unclear, inaccurate, imprecise, irrelevant, narrow, shallow, illogical, or trivial. One may be intellectually arrogant, intellectually lazy, or intellectually hypocritical. These are some of the ways that human thinking can be flawed. How might you use a sidebar to encourage students to think about a time when they were close-minded, narrow-minded, or illogical? Write your idea in your notebook.
Critical thinking is useful only in those situations where human beings need to solve problems, make decisions, or decide in a reasonable and reflective way what to believe or what to do. (Robert Ennis) That is, just about everywhere and all the time. Critical thinking is important wherever the quality of human thinking significantly impacts the quality of life (of any sentient creature).Robert Ennis
Success in human life is tied to success in learning. At the same time, every phase in the learning process is tied to critical thinking. Thus, reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically. Critical thinking is crucial to becoming a close reader and a substantive writer. Expressed most generally, critical thinking is “a way of taking up the problems of life.” (William Graham Sumner, Folkways, 1906)William Graham Sumner FACTivity After completing your story, share your story with your classmates. You may post your stories and drawings on a display. As a class, discuss what benefits of oak trees were identified in the stories. How might your lives be different if oak trees did not exist? Basing your response on the class discussion, do you think it is important to guard against the spread of the organism that causes sudden oak death disease? Why or why not? From “Moving Spore-adically,” Invasive Species Edition
Irrespective of the sphere of thought, “a well cultivated critical thinker": Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely Gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively Comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards Thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
When writing a Natural Inquirer article, you can foster critical thinking in all of these ways. Students may critically think about what the scientists did or discovered, or they may critically think about their own or others’ attitudes, beliefs, investigations, activities, etc.: Raise vital questions and problems (or identify them in the research) Gather, assess, and interpret relevant information (their own or information from the article or from other sources) Make well-reasoned conclusions or solutions (or assess the scientists’ conclusions or solutions) Think open-mindedly (about their own beliefs or actions or the actions of the scientists or of other people) Communicate effectively Remember, a critical thinker can:
The key to seeing the significance of critical thinking is in understanding the significance of critical thinking in learning. To learn is to think. To think poorly is to learn poorly. To think well is to learn well. All content, to be learned, must be intellectually constructed.
There are two phases to the learning of content. The first occurs when learners (for the first time) construct in their minds the basic ideas, principles, and theories that are inherent in content. This is a process of internalization. The second occurs when learners effectively use those ideas, principles, and theories as they become relevant in learners’ lives. This is a process of application. Good teachers cultivate critical thinking (intellectually engaged thinking) at every stage of learning, including initial learning.
The key is that the teacher who fosters critical thinking fosters reflectiveness in students by asking questions that stimulate thinking essential to the construction of knowledge. As you write your article, think of ways to help teachers ask questions that stimulate critical thinking. You may do this through Reflection Sections, the FACTivity, sidebars, and in the Lesson Plan. Make notes in your notebook as ideas occur to you.
As emphasized above, each discipline adapts its use of critical thinking concepts and principles. The core concepts are always there, but they are embedded in subject specific content. For students to learn content, intellectual engagement is crucial. All students must do their own thinking, their own construction of knowledge. Good teachers recognize this and therefore focus on the questions, readings, and activities that stimulate the mind to take ownership of key concepts and principles underlying the subject.
The Natural Inquirer provides an opportunity to engage students in a variety of critical thinking exercises. Use the “value added” sections of each article to guide teachers in introducing questions, challenges, activities, and discussion that promote critical thinking.
You have completed Session 6 of the Natural Inquirer Writing Course! In the next session, you will learn to read a published scientific article.