Critical Thinking Articles

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Suggests 3 strategies to improve the sociology teacher's capacity to assess critical thinking: a survey of existing instructors, development of analytic tools to assess existing test items, and teacher-developed evaluation materials. "Helping Students Read Difficult Texts." Engaging Ideas: . Reading difficulties may stem from a variety of causes--ten are listed here--and understanding the causes can help instructors devise strategies to help students read more effectively. Claims that teaching writing is teaching critical thinking. Then outlines efforts to define, assess, and teach/strengthen critical thinking at several colleges and universities. A better program would integrate the application of critical thinking skills into the learning of content. Describes how it is determined what stage a person is in, and summarizes research on the model, specifically research relating age and educational level to stage. "A Nudge is Best: Helping Students through the Perry Scheme of Intellectual Development." 42.4 (1994): 151-158.

Then discusses why one should bother with critical thinking, bemoans the lack of it in American students, and discusses how to increase or decrease it in students. "Learning Sociology and Assessing Critical Thinking" . Reviews works of philosophers, educators, and sociologists who have examined critical thinking as central to the learning process. Instructors often note that poor reading and poor writing are interlinked. Discusses several standardized tests to assess critical thinking. As a result, critical thinking programs are often unsuccessful. Relates reflective judgment to Piaget's formal operations.

I-Search emphasizes interpretation over regurgitation of findings.

The article also includes some sample prewriting exercises and journal prompts to use with students. "The Perry Framework and Tactics for Teaching Critical Thinking in Economics." 42 (1993): 128-136.

It covers four modes of thinking ranging from fact recognition to contextual reasoning, with different transitional stages listed. This article describes the collaboration between a high school English teacher and a librarian in doing a process-oriented research project called the I-Search paper.

This process allows students to define their own research topics and reflect on the strategies used to gather and organize information at each step of the process.

Offers strategies for nudging student development within the Perry scheme of intellectual development.

The underlying principles for these strategies rest in Craig Nelson's work on transitioning between different modes of thinking. "Beyond Fixing Today's Paper: Promoting Metacognition and Writing Development in the Tutorial through Self-Questioning." 23.6 (1999): 1-6.

In this era of so called 'alternative facts' it has never been more important to question our sources of information.

Critical thinking involves looking beyond the obvious surface issues, asking questions about motivation and purpose.


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