Critical Thinking


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These are the slides for the first of the three OMD sessions on thinking

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  • Not everything is black and white our students want to make it black and white, they often say But what is the answer / what do you think. New exam will demand more flexibility of thinking So we need our students to think outside the box. Hence today’s sessions on critical thinking because even in something like grammar there are grey areas and students need to bring a critical mind to the subject.
  • Ask participants to do the questionaires, give them a few moments and then get them to compare with a partner. Then get them to add up the score and look at the results. We know scoring highly makes you a good critical thinker. So from the questions can you come up with a definition of cricitcalo thinking. Get some feedback before bringing in next slide.
  • Display quote – ask ppts to discuss it for a sec, do they agree?
  • If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless. Our ability to succeed in life is directly proportional to our ability to solve the problems we encounter along life’s journey. Tragically, elementary and secondary education is mostly memorization. The biggest problem facing educators today is the inability of most students to think analytically. Educators and parents commonly see the following list of academic problems, which are directly related to a child’s ability to think. Critical thinking requires deeper analysis of the lesson. Deeper analysis produces deeper understanding, resulting in better grades and higher test scores. Critical thinking empowers students to be independent, innovative, and helps them succeed in school and in life. 
  • Cultural or personal barriers. We may accept a claim solely because it advances our interests or just because it helps us save face. To overcome these pressures, we must be aware of strong emotions that can warp our thinking, (2) be alert to ways that critical thinking can be undermined, and (3) ensure that we take into account all relevant factors when we evaluate a claim. Misunderstanding the word criticism. Assume criticism means being negative, cricitcal analysis means being both positive and negative comments, If you only look at the positives you avoid looking at areas that can be improved and so thus miss opportuniites to make improvements. Similarly if you only look at the negatives you miss the opportunity to assess what is working and what should be kept. There is the danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Reluctance to criticise people with more expertise. In some cultures it is seen as respect to merely copy to recite the teacher in order to show knowledge, but this does not show understanding it merely shows knowledge. Mistaking information for understanding Knowing something is not the same as understanding something, and understanding something is not the same as knowing it. You might not ‘know’ the word for fire in japanese, but if you are in Japan and you can see flames and hear someone yelling you understand that you have to leave the building. Could do the ‘doors closing’ anecdote. Lack of methods and strategies. If people have not been encouraged to think for themselves how do they know if they are doing it. Methods and strategies include focus and attention to detail, not being too general, looking for and identifying clues to help analyse arguments. Asking questions about information to ascertain the truth. Noticing and ignoring tangents. Lack of practice or encouragement. Students are not often encouraged to think critically, it is easy for teachers to stand, lecture leave, but is that better for students? So ow do we practice.
  • Numbers 1 and 2 and 4
  • Activities 3 5 and 6
  • Critical Thinking

    1. 1. Critical Thinking –an introduction Gareth Davies Shaun Wilden
    2. 2. True or False <ul><li>Cows are grass eating animals. </li></ul><ul><li>Hradec Kralove is the capital of the Czech Republic. </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary is more important than grammar. </li></ul><ul><li>The new maturita is a great exam. </li></ul><ul><li>Gareth’s grandfather married Gareth’s mother </li></ul>
    3. 3. What is Critical Thinking? <ul><li>Let’s start by seeing how you think. </li></ul><ul><li>Do the questionnaire on your own. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare your answer with a partner. </li></ul>Score over 30 – good critical thinking Score between 18 and 30 – not bad Score under 18 – poor critical thinking skills
    4. 4. What is Critical Thinking? <ul><li>The ability to critically analyse information rather than accept information unconditionally. </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to understand the structure of someone’s argument </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to put together a clear rational argument. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why is it important? <ul><li>`“Education is what is left after you forget all the things you memorized in school.” </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Einstein </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why is it important? <ul><li>Teaching children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless. </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary and secondary education is mostly memorization. </li></ul><ul><li>It empowers students to be independent, innovative and successful.  </li></ul>
    7. 7. Why does it matter? <ul><li>It can help students </li></ul><ul><li>construct a line of reasoning and help them guide an audience to a conclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>locate and find evidence for an argument </li></ul><ul><li>So it is </li></ul><ul><li>important for taking exams. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Barriers to Critical Thinking. <ul><li>Cultural or personal barriers. </li></ul><ul><li>Misunderstanding the word criticism. </li></ul><ul><li>Reluctance to criticise people with more expertise. </li></ul><ul><li>Mistaking information for understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of methods and strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of practice or encouragement. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Practice activities. <ul><li>Look at the activities again and decide. </li></ul><ul><li>Which help student making connections? </li></ul><ul><li>1 2 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Which help students focus attention? </li></ul><ul><li>3 4 6 </li></ul>
    10. 10. Making connections <ul><li>sorting information </li></ul><ul><li>judging what information is relevant </li></ul><ul><li>make comparisons </li></ul><ul><li>finding similarities and differences </li></ul><ul><li>establish and verbalise criteria to make judgements </li></ul><ul><li>develops pattern finding skills </li></ul>
    11. 11. Focussing attention <ul><li>warns of dangers of no attention to detail. </li></ul><ul><li>develops skills in looking for detail </li></ul><ul><li>raise awareness of tricks and illusions </li></ul>
    12. 12. Summary <ul><li>Critical thinking can be integrated into everyday classroom activities. </li></ul><ul><li>It helps our students think for themselves and grow as individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps turns information into knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>A skill needed for the new exam and life. </li></ul>
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