Home > Teaching & Learning > Teaching Critical Thinking: Are We Clear?

Teaching Critical Thinking: Are We Clear?

By Maryellen Weimer

I’ve been thinking about critical thinking. I just finished reading Stephen Brookfield’s new book on the topic, Teaching for Critical Thinking. (Side note: Stephen is a prolific author, writing on a variety of teaching-learning topics and his work has generated a number of classics including The Skillful Teacher, Discussion as a Way of Teaching, co-authored with Stephen Preskill, and Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. If you don’t know his work, by all means add it to your reading list). My recent journal reading contained a couple of interesting articles on critical thinking as well.

Critical thinking seems like such an abstract, even elusive, concept to me. I know, there are all sorts of concrete definitions for it, but the way it influences our pedagogical thinking and classroom practice is not very precise. Part of the problem may be all those different definitions. As the authors of one of the articles note, “critical thinking can include the thinker’s dispositions and orientations; a range of specific analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving skills, contextual influences; use of multiple perspectives; awareness of one’s own assumptions, capacities for metacognition; or a specific set of thinking processes or tasks.” (Stassen, Herrington, and Henderson, p. 127)

Continued at: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/teaching-critical-thinking-are-we-clear/

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