2011-05-29 Critical thinking
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2011-05-29 Critical thinking






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2011-05-29 Critical thinking 2011-05-29 Critical thinking Presentation Transcript

  • Critical thinking as an educational ideal David Hitchcock (Li zhe) McMaster University [email_address]
  • 谢 谢
  • Outline
    • Development of the concept
    • Definition
    • An educational ideal
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  • 1. Development: John Dewey
    • ( How We Think , 1910)
    • “ active, persistent, and careful consideration
    • of any belief or supposed form of knowledge
    • in the light of the grounds that support it,
    • and the further conclusions to which it tends…
    • judgment suspended during further inquiry”
  • 1. Development: Edward Glaser
    • ( An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking , 1941)
    • “ The ability to think critically … involves three things:
    • ( 1 ) an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences,
    • (2) knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, and
    • (3) some skill in applying those methods.”
  • 1. Development: Robert Ennis
    • “ the correct assessing of statements” (1962)
    • “ reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do” (1985 on)
  • 1. Development: Alec Fisher and Michael Scriven ( Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment , 1997) “ skilled and active interpretation and evaluation of observations, communications, information and argumentation”
  • 2. Definition: commonalities
    • a type of thinking
    • applies to all subject matters
    • involves looking back, suspending judgment
    • reasonable
    • involves careful consideration of evidence
    • oriented to making a definite judgment
    • ideal of a “critical thinker”
      • someone who thinks critically whenever appropriate
      • involves knowledge, skills, attitudes, dispositions
  • 2. Definition: differences
    • appraisal only or creative also?
    • skills, attitudes or both?
    • general or subject-specific?
  • 2. Definition: component skills
    • clarify meaning
    • analyze arguments
    • evaluate evidence
    • judge whether a conclusion follows
    • draw warranted conclusions
  • 2. Definition: component dispositions
    • open-minded
    • fair-minded
    • searching for evidence
    • trying to be well-informed
    • attentive to others’ views and their reasons
    • proportioning belief to the evidence
    • willing to consider alternatives and revise beliefs
  • Definition: critical thinking process
    • identify and analyze problem
    • clarify meaning
    • gather evidence
    • assess evidence
    • infer conclusions
    • consider other relevant information
    • make overall judgment
  • Definition: relation to logical analysis
  • Educational ideal: basic argument Any system of education should aim to teach the knowledge, develop the skills, and foster the attitudes and dispositions of a “critical thinker”. A disposition to respond to perplexities with skillful critical thinking is helpful to anyone in managing their life. Attention to the knowledge, skills and attitudes of a critical thinker can improve them noticeably. Everybody encounters perplexities about what to believe or what to do. Skillful critical thinking is more likely to lead to a satisfactory resolution of such perplexities. Noticeable gain, more than expected. (Hitchcock 2004) Other studies found greater gains. A student can improve thinking in six different respects. (Swartz & Perkins 1990)
  • Educational ideal: three caveats
    • don’t just say it, do it
    • ideal will be approached, not achieved
    • domain knowledge is needed too
  • Educational ideal: three models Model Advantage Challenge Infusion (in subject courses) ready-made domain knowledge transfer Stand-alone course wide range of subject-matters domain knowledge may be missing Combination domain knowledge plus wide range of subject-matters institutional commitment
  • Educational ideal: design principles
    • Adapt to your situation.
    • Communicate goals clearly.
    • Motivate the students.
    • Use a framework.
    • Foster a critical spirit.
    • Prefer depth to breadth.
    • Use bridging.
    • Use salient current issues.
  • Educational ideal: design principles
    • Use real or realistic examples.
    • Pick your examples with care.
    • Provide guided practice with feedback.
    • Check for understanding.
    • Encourage meta-cognition.
    • Think about context.
    • Watch for empty use of technical terms.
    • Design multiple-choice items carefully.
  • Educational ideal: On the Web
    • Robert Ennis: www.criticalthinking.net
    • AILACT: http://ailact.mcmaster.ca/
    • Tim van Gelder: http://austhink.com/critical/
  • Summary
    • Development: Dewey, Glaser, Ennis, Fisher and Scriven
    • Definition: commonalities, differences, skills, attitudes, process, relation to logical appraisal
    • Educational ideal: basic argument, three models, course design principles