2011-05-29 Critical thinking

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2011-05-29 Critical thinking

  1. 1. Critical thinking as an educational ideal David Hitchcock (Li zhe) McMaster University [email_address]
  2. 2. 谢 谢
  3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Development of the concept </li></ul><ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><li>An educational ideal </li></ul>
  4. 5. 1. Development: John Dewey <ul><li>( How We Think , 1910) </li></ul><ul><li>“ active, persistent, and careful consideration </li></ul><ul><li>of any belief or supposed form of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>in the light of the grounds that support it, </li></ul><ul><li>and the further conclusions to which it tends… </li></ul><ul><li>judgment suspended during further inquiry” </li></ul>
  5. 6. 1. Development: Edward Glaser <ul><li>( An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking , 1941) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The ability to think critically … involves three things: </li></ul><ul><li>( 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, </li></ul><ul><li>(2) knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, and </li></ul><ul><li>(3) some skill in applying those methods.” </li></ul>
  6. 7. 1. Development: Robert Ennis <ul><li>“ the correct assessing of statements” (1962) </li></ul><ul><li>“ reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do” (1985 on) </li></ul>
  7. 8. 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”
  8. 9. 2. Definition: commonalities <ul><li>a type of thinking </li></ul><ul><li>applies to all subject matters </li></ul><ul><li>involves looking back, suspending judgment </li></ul><ul><li>reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>involves careful consideration of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>oriented to making a definite judgment </li></ul><ul><li>ideal of a “critical thinker” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>someone who thinks critically whenever appropriate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>involves knowledge, skills, attitudes, dispositions </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. 2. Definition: differences <ul><li>appraisal only or creative also? </li></ul><ul><li>skills, attitudes or both? </li></ul><ul><li>general or subject-specific? </li></ul>
  10. 11. 2. Definition: component skills <ul><li>clarify meaning </li></ul><ul><li>analyze arguments </li></ul><ul><li>evaluate evidence </li></ul><ul><li>judge whether a conclusion follows </li></ul><ul><li>draw warranted conclusions </li></ul>
  11. 12. 2. Definition: component dispositions <ul><li>open-minded </li></ul><ul><li>fair-minded </li></ul><ul><li>searching for evidence </li></ul><ul><li>trying to be well-informed </li></ul><ul><li>attentive to others’ views and their reasons </li></ul><ul><li>proportioning belief to the evidence </li></ul><ul><li>willing to consider alternatives and revise beliefs </li></ul>
  12. 13. Definition: critical thinking process <ul><li>identify and analyze problem </li></ul><ul><li>clarify meaning </li></ul><ul><li>gather evidence </li></ul><ul><li>assess evidence </li></ul><ul><li>infer conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>consider other relevant information </li></ul><ul><li>make overall judgment </li></ul>
  13. 14. Definition: relation to logical analysis
  14. 15. 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)
  15. 16. Educational ideal: three caveats <ul><li>don’t just say it, do it </li></ul><ul><li>ideal will be approached, not achieved </li></ul><ul><li>domain knowledge is needed too </li></ul>
  16. 17. 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
  17. 18. Educational ideal: design principles <ul><li>Adapt to your situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate goals clearly. </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate the students. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a framework. </li></ul><ul><li>Foster a critical spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer depth to breadth. </li></ul><ul><li>Use bridging. </li></ul><ul><li>Use salient current issues. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Educational ideal: design principles <ul><li>Use real or realistic examples. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick your examples with care. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide guided practice with feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Check for understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage meta-cognition. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about context. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for empty use of technical terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Design multiple-choice items carefully. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Educational ideal: On the Web <ul><li>Robert Ennis: www.criticalthinking.net </li></ul><ul><li>AILACT: http://ailact.mcmaster.ca/ </li></ul><ul><li>Tim van Gelder: http://austhink.com/critical/ </li></ul>
  20. 21. Summary <ul><li>Development: Dewey, Glaser, Ennis, Fisher and Scriven </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: commonalities, differences, skills, attitudes, process, relation to logical appraisal </li></ul><ul><li>Educational ideal: basic argument, three models, course design principles </li></ul>
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