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Critical Thinking Critical Thinking is Unnatural Defining Critical Thinking Educating Critical Thinkers Critical Thinking is Unnatural Defining Critical.

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Presentation on theme: "Critical Thinking Critical Thinking is Unnatural Defining Critical Thinking Educating Critical Thinkers Critical Thinking is Unnatural Defining Critical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Critical Thinking Critical Thinking is Unnatural Defining Critical Thinking Educating Critical Thinkers Critical Thinking is Unnatural Defining Critical Thinking Educating Critical Thinkers

2 Critical Thinking is Unnatural classical conditioning operant conditioning classical conditioning operant conditioning Associative Learning

3 Critical Thinking is Unnatural Cognitive Development

4 Critical Thinking is Unnatural Cognitive Development

5 Critical Thinking is Unnatural Cognitive Development

6 Defining Critical Thinking Critical Thinking refers to the capacity of judging whether: 1) there is meaning in a statement 2) there is ambiguity in a line of reasoning 3) certain statements contradict each other 4) a conclusion follows necessarily 5) a statement is specific enough 6) a statement is actually the application of a certain principle 7) an observation statement is reliable 8) an inductive conclusion is warranted 9) the problem has been identified 10) something is an assumption 11) a definition is adequate 12) a statement made by an alleged authority is acceptable (Ennis, 1962)

7 Defining Critical Thinking Critical Thinkers are predisposed to: 1.Care that their beliefs are true. 2. Care to understand and present a position honestly and clearly. 3. Care about every person (an auxiliary item that reminds us “Don’t be a dick,” as Phil Plait might say).

8 Defining Critical Thinking “Critical thinking is reasonable and reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do” (Ennis, 2011). “Thinking that is clear, accurate, knowledgeable, and fair in deciding what to believe or do” (Carroll, 2007).

9 Educating Critical Thinkers 1980s CSU Chancellor - Executive Order 388: The minimal competence to be expected at the successful conclusion of instruction in critical thinking should be the ability to distinguish fact from judgment, belief from knowledge, and skills in elementary inductive and deductive processes, including an understanding of the formal and informal fallacies of language and thought.

10 Educating Critical Thinkers NYU sociologist Richard Arum (2011): 2,322 students from Fall 2005 to Spring ,322 students from Fall 2005 to Spring U.S. colleges and universities. 24 U.S. colleges and universities. Examined testing data and student surveys. Examined testing data and student surveys.

11 Educating Critical Thinkers NYU sociologist Richard Arum (2011): 45% made no significant improvements in their critical thinking, reasoning, or writing skills in the first 2 years of college 45% made no significant improvements in their critical thinking, reasoning, or writing skills in the first 2 years of college 36% showed no improvement in “higher order” thinking skills after 4 years of college. 36% showed no improvement in “higher order” thinking skills after 4 years of college. The only significant progress was found in the social sciences, humanities, natural science, and mathematics. The only significant progress was found in the social sciences, humanities, natural science, and mathematics. Students majoring in business, education, social work and communications showed the least gains. Students majoring in business, education, social work and communications showed the least gains.

12 Educating Critical Thinkers Ohlone College - Sheldon W. Helms (2013): 25% of courses mentioned or emphasized critical thinking. 25% of courses mentioned or emphasized critical thinking. Of those, more than 25% showed no evidence of teaching and/or measuring critical thinking. Of those, more than 25% showed no evidence of teaching and/or measuring critical thinking. Only 20% showed clear evidence of teaching and measuring two or more critical thinking skills. Only 20% showed clear evidence of teaching and measuring two or more critical thinking skills. The most impressive courses (by far) were found in our Speech and Communications Dept., and in higher-level English courses. The most impressive courses (by far) were found in our Speech and Communications Dept., and in higher-level English courses.

13 Suggestions for Improvements Please visit my website at for a summary of this talk, references, and resources for teachers.


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