Critical Thinking Defined

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It combines developing CT skills with nurturing those dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and which are the basis of a rational and democratic society." A little reformatting helps make this definition more comprehensible: We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in considerations upon which that judgment is based.

Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal.

Short time interval between observation and report c. The next three are auxiliary critical thinking abilities: Having them, though very helpful in various ways, is not constitutive of being a critical thinker.) 14.

Integrate the other abilities and dispositions in making and defending a decision (The first twelve abilities are constitutive abilities.

Satisfaction by observer (and reporter, if a different person) of the credibility criteria in Ability # 4 above. Definitional strategy (1) Acts (a) Report a meaning (b) Stipulate a meaning (c) Express a position on an issue (including "programmatic" and "persuasive" definitions) (2) Identifying and handling equivocation c. Consider and reason from premises, reasons, assumptions, positions, and other propositions with which they disagree or about which they are in doubt -- without letting the disagreement or doubt interfere with their thinking ("suppositional thinking") 12.

Competent employment of technology, if technology is useful i. (e) A legitimate effort should have been made to uncover counter-evidence (f) The proposed conclusion seems plausible a. Some useful forms are: (1) Synonym (2) Classification (3) Range (4) Equivalent expression (5) Operational (6) Example and non-example b.The ability to think clearly and rationally is important whatever we choose to do.If you work in education, research, finance, management or the legal profession, then critical thinking is obviously important.Ennis, Author of The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests "Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe and do." A SUPER-STREAMLINED CONCEPTION OF CRITICAL THINKING Robert H. Can well develop and defend a reasonable position 7. Formulates plausible hypotheses; plans experiments well 9. Ennis, 6/20/02 Assuming that critical thinking is reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do, a critical thinker: 1. Defines terms in a way appropriate for the context 10. Employ appropriate rhetorical strategies in discussion and presentation (orally and in writing), including employing and reacting to "fallacy" labels in an appropriate manner. Report by the observer, rather than someone else (that is, the report is not hearsay) d. Be sensitive to the feelings, level of knowledge, and degree of sophistication of others 15.Although critical thinking skills can be used in exposing fallacies and bad reasoning, critical thinking can also play an important role in cooperative reasoning and constructive tasks.Critical thinking can help us acquire knowledge, improve our theories, and strengthen arguments. Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. It also includes the ability to generate questions, construct, and recognize the structure of arguments, and adequately support arguments; define, analyze, and devise solutions for problems and issues; sort, organize, classify, correlate, and analyze materials and data; integrate information and see relationships; evaluate information, materials, and data by drawing inferences, arriving at reasonable and informed conclusions, applying understanding and knowledge to new and different problems, developing rational and reasonable interpretations, suspending beliefs and remaining open to new information, methods, cultural systems, values and beliefs and by assimilating information." Nickerson, Perkins and Smith (1985) "The ability to judge the plausibility of specific assertions, to weigh evidence, to assess the logical soundness of inferences, to construct counter-arguments and alternative hypotheses." Moore and Parker, Critical Thinking is "the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim, and the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it." Delphi Report "We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one's personal and civic life. Dewey, John Critical thinking is "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 (Dewey 1933: 118)." Glaser (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. Abilities include: "(a) to recognize problems, (b) to find workable means for meeting those problems, (c) to gather and marshal pertinent information, (d) to recognize unstated assumptions and values, (e) to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity and discrimination, (f) to interpret data, (g) to appraise evidence and evaluate statements, (h) to recognize the existence of logical relationships between propositions, (i) to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, (j) to put to test the generalizations and conclusions at which one arrives, (k) to reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience; and (l) to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life." (p.6) MCC General Education Initiatives "Critical thinking includes the ability to respond to material by distinguishing between facts and opinions or personal feelings, judgments and inferences, inductive and deductive arguments, and the objective and subjective.


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