Critical Thinking Education

Critical Thinking Education-28
Research indicates that training CT through argument mapping significantly enhances CT performance (Alvarez-Ortiz, 2007; Butchart et al., 2009; Dwyer, Hogan & Stewart, 2011; Dwyer, Hogan & Stewart, 2012; van Gelder, 2001; van Gelder, Bissett & Cumming, 2004). I always warn my students in my introductory CT lecture that you can’t always be politically correct if you want to think critically. It is often the case that controversial topics are those that require the most CT! Such examples will clarify the abstract nature of the lesson and the humorous/personal touch may facilitate future recall of the lesson.

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Hake, 1998; Laws, Sokoloff & Thornton, 1999; Redish, Saul & Steinberg, 1997), and more specifically, that intensive practice of CT skills increases CT ability more so than didactic teaching of CT (Burbach, Matkin & Fritz, 2004). The presentation method you use will dictate what can and cannot be done with respect to the other factors discussed, such as active learning.

Be clear on your mode of delivery and tailor training around it. The promotion of critical thinking skills through argument mapping.

If we truly care about what to believe/do, we need to question the controversial topics objectively and play . Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: A stage 1 meta-analysis.

CT is an important learning outcome; but, in all honesty, sometimes it can be excruciatingly boring!

For a more detailed discussion of the nature of CT measure, be sure to read my earlier post on critically thinking about measuring CT. Method of Delivery (Wood, Bruner & Ross, 1976), whereby they are guided didactically by their educator and also actively 'learn by doing'.

Research suggests that people learn more through active learning (e.g. Following the prep and the talk itself, I noticed a pattern emerge—everything I discussed boiled down to one of five categories: instructional typology, conceptualisation, method of assessment, method of delivery and characteristics of the educator. Thinking critically about critical thinking in higher education. The feedback from the talk was positive, with many fellow educators advising that they had learned a lot from the session; and so, I thought an abridged discussion of those five key categories might, likewise, be helpful to those who follow this blog. Instructional Typology According to Ennis’ (1989) typology of CT courses, there are four different CT training methods: general, infusion, immersion and mixed. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 4(2), 1–5. These findings suggest that making CT objectives and requirements clear to students may be a crucial aspect of course design aimed at increasing CT ability and that the enhancement of CT ability is greatly dependent upon how CT is taught (Abrami et al., 2008). Conceptualisation In one of my very first posts for this blog, Faking It, I discussed past issues in conceptualising CT. To teach CT, make sure you know what it is and what you’re teaching! Critical thinking and subject specificity: Clarification and needed research. This may seem like a no-brainer, but past research suggests that educators may not always have a full understanding of what is meant by CT (e.g. It’s important for educators to do their homework and ensure that they have a working understanding of what CT is and how they can operationally define it (e.g. with respect to ensuring that what they are teaching appropriately matches what they are assessing; and what ‘this’ is matches established conceptualisation[s]). Due to the abstract nature of CT, it is easy for novices to get lost or confused and, subsequently, fail to regain focus on the lesson. By integrating humour and real-life examples, maybe even from your own life, you’re giving your students something concrete on which to latch. An argument map is a visual representation of a logically structured network of reasoning, in which the argument is made unambiguous and explicit via a ‘box and arrow’ design, in which the boxes represent propositions (i.e. No one is infallible and as such, you will often be asked questions to which you don’t know the answer. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25, 2, 268-291. the central claim, reasons, objections and rebuttals) and the ‘arrows’ among propositions indicate the inferential relationships linking the propositions together (Dwyer, 2011; van Gelder, 2002). Respond accordingly, "That’s a good question—I don’t know." Set an example for your students by showing them that it is okay to be uncertain. Better yet, when you don’t know, open the question up to the class for discourse. Try to avoid speculating; and when you do, preface the assertion by advising students that you .


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