Critical ThinkingWhat does it mean to be a critical thinker?
AGENDA•Understand the complexity of thinkingcritically•Improve critical thinking skills•Learn to apply critical thinking ineveryday life•Questions? (Stop me and ask throughout)
A THINKING METAPHORThe performance of a car does not depend on the horsepower of the car, but upon the skill with which the car is driven by the driver. So, if intelligence is the horsepower of the car, then “thinking” is the skill with which that horsepower is used.Intelligence is a potential. Thinking is an operating skill.Thinking is the operating skill through which intelligence acts upon experience - Edward DeBono Thinking Course, p. 2
Characteristics of Strong Critical Thinkers (from Vincent Ruggiero, Beyond Feelings, A Guide to Critical Thinking):• Critical Thinkers... "Are honest with • Critical Thinkers... "Are interested in themselves, acknowledging what they other peoples ideas, so are willing to dont know, recognizing their limitations, read and listen attentively, even when and being watchful of their own errors." they tend to disagree with the other• Critical Thinkers... "Regard problems and person." controversial issues as exciting • Critical Thinkers... "Recognize that challenges." extreme views (whether conservative or• Critical Thinkers... "Strive for liberal) are seldom correct, so they avoid understanding, keep curiosity alive, them, practice fair-mindedness, and seek remain patient with complexity and ready a balanced view." to invest time to overcome confusion." • Critical Thinkers... "Practice restraint,• Critical Thinkers... "Set aside personal controlling their feelings rather than preferences and base judgments on being controlled by them, and thinking evidence, deferring judgment whenever before acting." evidence is insufficient. They revise judgments when new evidence reveals error."
Critical thinking is about understanding, analyzing and evaluating “texts” in order to comprehend, judge accuracy, & relevancy. UNDERSTANDING ANALYZING EVALUATING
How Old Is this Woman?
Processing INFORMATION - Ink Blot Picture
Pablo Picassos black on white drawing of Don QuixoteDON QUIXOTE
ARCHIPELAGO - ISLANDS The Dahlak Archipelago is an island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea. The Archipelago of Albion
Bloom’s TaxonomyEVALUATION - Student appraises, assesses, or critiques on a basis of specific standards and criteria. SYNTHESIS - Student originates, integrates, and combinesideas into a product, plan or proposal that is new to him or her.ANALYSIS - Student distinguishes, classifies, and relatesthe assumptions, hypotheses, evidence, or structure of a statement or question. APPLICATION - Student selects, transfers, and usesdata and principles to complete a problem or task with a minimum of direction.COMPREHENSION - Student translates, comprehends, or interprets information based on prior learning. KNOWLEDGE - Student recalls or recognizes information,ideas, and principles in the approximate form in which they were learned.
Real Life Example – A Drum• Knowledge – What is it?• Comprehension – Classification• Application – What does it do?• Analysis – How does it work?• Synthesis – What happens when you…• Evaluation – What was the quality?
INPUT The Text• “The Assignment”• “The Reading”• “The Lecture”• “The Movie” The actual “text”• “The Conversation” and purpose for “reading” Personal Characteristics &• Your Learning Style What you bring to the• Your Experience• Your Attitude critical thinking process• Your Filter• Your Schema/Prior Knowledge
UNDERSTANDING What is “understanding”?• Knowing what needs to be knownand why/what will be done with theinformation• Activated Schema• “Thinking”• Comprehending – Key Issues/ The meaning you gain/make Main Points as you “read” the “text”• Summarizing in your own words Strategies for how to get it Your comprehension Activating Schema SQ3R -of the “text” Says/Does Summarizing Note Taking Graphic Organizing
ANALYSIS What is “analysis”• Identify the Elements, Relationships andOrganization of the “text”• Know the Parts of the “text”• Look for the relationships between ideas• Interpretation Strategies for how to do it How you piece together the Context Clues significance and organization Association with Schema of the parts of the text Says/Does Outlining Graphic Organizing/Mindmapping PTR2 Interpretation of Intent/Facts
EVALUATION What it is• Assess merits of the argument• EFFECTIVENESS• Draw conclusions• Critique the structure, content,or implications• Generate possible solutions• Look for logical fallacies How you judge the quality Strategies for how to do it and make decisions based Outlining Graphic Organizing on the evidence, structure, PTR2 and logic of the reading Interpretation of Intent/Facts
EXAMPLES of Ways to Read and Discuss Text From: www.criticalreading.com/ways_to_read.htmConsider the following nursery rhyme... Mary had a little lamb, Its fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went The lamb was sure to go.What A Text Says talks about the topic of the original text, Mary and the lamb. Mary had a lamb that followed her everywhere.What A Text Does talks about the story. The nursery rhyme describes a pet that followed its mistress everywhere.What a Text Means talks about meaning within the story, here the idea of innocent devotion. An image of innocent devotion is conveyed by the story of a lambs close connection to its mistress. The devotion is emphasized by repetition that emphasizes the constancy of the lambs actions ("everywhere"…"sure to go.") The notion of innocence is conveyed by the image of a young lamb, "white as snow." By making it seem that this connection between pet and mistress is natural and good, the nursery rhyme asserts innocent devotion as a positive relationship.
Using Critical Thinking Skills in Your Writing• Approach the assignment with an “open mind”• Be prepared to ask many questions/seek answers during your prewriting exercises• Tap into your prior learning (your schema)• Relate theory to practice• Attempt to draw your own conclusions and theories• Make a claim and support it
Summary of Critical Thinking• It’s a process• You can improve it Input• Embrace the challenge Evalutation Understanding Analysis Evaluation Synthesis Analysis 1. Consider the problem 2. Evaluate your options Application 3. Gather more information Comprehension 4. Determine your answer Knowledge
Fun Websites to Boost your Brain Power• http://queendom.com/• http://www.braingle.com/• http://www.brainbashers.com/• http://www.khanacademy.org brain teasers