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Reasoning Skills

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Reasoning and critical thinking skills

Reasoning and critical thinking skills

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    • 1. Reasoning Skills Dr. Roz Iasillo Prepared for The College Direct Intelligence Organization Robert Morris University Mother McAuley High School May, 2009
    • 2. DEFINITIONS & DESCRIPTIONS
        • “ All education consists of transmitting to students two different things:
        • the subject matter or discipline content of the course (“what to think”), and
        • (2) the correct way to understand and evaluate this subject matter (“how to think”).
        • We do an excellent job of transmitting the content of our respective disciplines, but we often fail to teach students how to think effectively about this subject matter, that is, how to properly understand and evaluate it. This second ability is termed critical thinking”
        • Steven D. Schafersman, January 1991 www.freeinquiry .com
    • 3. APPROACHES TO TEACHING
        • Teach critical thinking within a discipline, within disciplinary-based courses
        • Include process of critical thinking regularly in classes; in lectures, discussions, assignments
        • Model and coach critical thinking processes for the students
        • Test and assess for critical thinking
    • 4. APPROACHES TO TEACHING
          • To Teach Critical Thinking
          • Model critical thinking skills and dispositions
          • Create a culture of inquiry
          • Diversify contexts of judgment
          • Reward and challenge
          • Guide reflection on the thinking process
          • Engage students in thinking
          •  1999 The California Academic Press. www.calpress.com
    • 5. APPROACHES TO TEACHING
          • There is no secret to teaching for thinking. Students learn from what teachers do as much if not more than from what they say. To teach for thinking one must show the passionate disposition toward thinking and one must explicitly and reflectively use thinking skills to form reasoned judgments. One must express one’s thinking in multiple contexts, including those that are rich in subject matter content and problem complexity. The more the teacher is able to extend students’ thinking into new domains of learning and inquiry, demanding solid content knowledge and the correct application of standards and methods appropriate to the domain, the stronger the students’ thinking will become. . . . Students must know that teachers demand good thinking, test for good thinking, and reward good thinking in their grading practices.
          •  1999 The California Academic Press. www.calpress.com
    • 6. TEACHING IDEA: QUESTIONS FOR CASES
      • Assign an engineering case study to the students to read. In a in-class instructor-led discussion, or small group discussions, or individually as a homework assignment, students will analyze the case and address the following issues, orally or in writing. The instructor may want to model one case analysis before asking the students to do one.
      • Define the issues
      • Identify the stakeholders
      • Identify a range of reasonable options
      • Clarify the applicable principles and criteria for establishing priorities among the options
      • Make specific recommendations
      • And at every stage, give reasons
    • 7. TEACHING IDEA: QUESTIONS FOR ARTICLES
      • Assign an engineering article, or allow students to choose one from a publication in your field. In an in-class instructor-led discussion, or small group discussions, or individually as a homework assignment, students will answer the following questions, orally or in writing. The instructor may want to demonstrate thoughtful reading and discussing of an article before asking the students to do so.
      • Questions About an Event
      • What were they key events that led up to this event?
      • What event did this event cause?
      • What unintended consequences may have been brought about by this event?
      • Will this event change history or our profession for the better? For the worse? How and Why?
      • Earll Murman & Jennifer Craig, MIT
    • 8. TEACHING IDEA: DESIGN DECISIONS
      • In a Design-Build course, or for a Design-Build project, require students keep a log, journal, design notebook, portfolio, etc. in which they are to document:
          • The statement of the problem they are trying to solve
          • A list of the solutions/designs they came up with
          • Reasons or arguments for and against each design
          • The rationale for the chosen design
          • Hypotheses for how the design will perform
          • Data or evidence they will collect
          • Performance results of the design
          • Evaluation of the design
          • Lessons learned
    • 9. ASSESSING CRITICAL THINKING
      • Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (Facione & Facione, 1994)
      • 4 Consistently does all or almost all of the following:
      • Accurately interprets evidence, statements, graphics, questions, etc.
      • Identifies the salient arguments (reasons and claims) pro and con.
      • Thoughtfully analyzes and evaluates major alternative points of view.
      • Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious conclusions.
      • Justifies key results and procedures, explains assumptions and reasons.
      • Fair-mindedly follows where evidence and reasons lead.
      • 1 Consistently does all or almost all of the following:
      • Offers biased interpretations of evidence, statements, graphics, questions, information, or the points of view of others.
      • Fails to identify or hastily dismisses strong, relevant counter-arguments.
      • Ignores or superficially evaluates obvious alternative points of view.
      • Argues using fallacious or irrelevant reasons, and unwarranted claims.
      • Does not justify results or procedures, nor explain reasons.
      • Regardless of the evidence or reasons, maintains or defends views based on self-interest or preconceptions.
      • Exhibits close-mindedness or hostility to reason.
    • 10. ASSESSING CRITICAL THINKING
      • Criteria for Peer Evaluation of Group Presentations (N. Facione, 2002)
      • 4=Definitely present 3=Largely present 2=Largely lacking 1=Definitely lacking
      • 2. In the analysis of arguments or positions
      • ___ a. The relevant positions or arguments were accurately and comprehensively presented.
      • ____b. There was evidence of intellectual honesty in the presentation.
      • ____c. Reasons were given for the stance taken by the group.
      • ____d. There was evidence that the group considered all relevant alternative positions
      • ____e. Reasons and evidence were offered in their analysis and critique of the opposing positions.
    • 11. ASSESSING CRITICAL THINKING Restructuring Multiple Choice Questions Circle the correct answer = 1 point Explain briefly why it is correct = 2 point Circle the correct answer = 1 point Explain briefly why the other choices are incorrect = 2 points
    • 12. RESOURCES Resources for Critical Thinking Print Critical Thinking: Theory, research, Practice, and Possibilities . Joanne G. Kurfiss. 1997. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report Volume 17, Number 2. The George Washington University. Engaging Idea: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom . John C. Bean. 2001. Jossey-Bass. Using Journal Articles to Integrate Critical Thinking with Computer and Writing Skills . Gleichsner, Jean A. NACTA Journal 38.4 (December 1994): 34-35. Gleichsner presents an assignment of writing a critical review of a refereed journal article as a way to develop critical thinking in the classroom. She describes in detail the procedure the students follow in doing the assignment and then considers the assignment's importance for undergraduates, especially in the sciences.
    • 13. RESOURCES Resources for Critical Thinking Online http://www.criticalthinking.org Critical Thinking Consortium, Foundation for Critical Thinking http://www.csuchico.edu/phil/ct/ct_assess.htm Critical Thinking Assessment Project http://www.freeinquiry.com/critical-notes.html Critical Thinking and its Relation to Science and Humanism http://www.insightassessment.com/ Evaluation of reasoning skills http://www.civeng.carleton.ca/ECL/ Case Studies in Engineering

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