Critical Thinking As

Controversies have arisen over the generalizability of critical thinking across domains, over alleged bias in critical thinking theories and instruction, and over the relationship of critical thinking to other types of, 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.Educational jurisdictions around the world now include critical thinking in guidelines for curriculum and assessment.

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: “The other day, when I was down town on 16th Street, a clock caught my eye. This suggested that I had an engagement at 124th Street, at one o'clock. If not, I might lose more than twenty minutes in looking for one.

I reasoned that as it had taken me an hour to come down on a surface car, I should probably be twenty minutes late if I returned the same way. Then I thought of the elevated, and I saw there was such a line within two blocks. If it were several blocks above or below the street I was on, I should lose time instead of gaining it.

Also since 1980, the state university system in California has required all undergraduate students to take a critical thinking course.

Since 1983, the Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking has sponsored sessions in conjunction with the divisional meetings of the American Philosophical Association (APA).

It suggested a flagpole when I first saw it; its color, shape, and gilded ball agreed with this idea, and these reasons seemed to justify me in this belief. The pole was nearly horizontal, an unusual position for a flagpole; in the next place, there was no pulley, ring, or cord by which to attach a flag; finally, there were elsewhere on the boat two vertical staffs from which flags were occasionally flown.

It seemed probable that the pole was not there for flag-flying.Morevoer, the pilot being near the front of the boat, he would need some such guide as to its direction. This hypothesis was so much more probable than the others that I accepted it. It expands by increase of heat, or by decrease of pressure, or both.I formed the conclusion that the pole was set up for the purpose of showing the pilot the direction in which the boat pointed, to enable him to steer correctly.” (Dewey 1910: 69-70; 1933: 92-93) : “In washing tumblers in hot soapsuds and placing them mouth downward on a plate, bubbles appeared on the outside of the mouth of the tumblers and then went inside. The presence of bubbles suggests air, which I note must come from inside the tumbler. Could the air have become heated after the tumbler was taken from the hot suds?(Dewey 1910: 6; 1933: 9) and identified a habit of such consideration with a scientific attitude of mind.His lengthy quotations of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill indicate that he was not the first person to propose development of a scientific attitude of mind as an educational goal.“Critical thinkers” have the dispositions and abilities that lead them to think critically when appropriate.The abilities can be identified directly; the dispositions indirectly, by considering what factors contribute to or impede exercise of the abilities.Bloom’s influential taxonomy of cognitive educational objectives (Bloom et al. Ennis (1962) proposed 12 aspects of critical thinking as a basis for research on the teaching and evaluation of critical thinking ability.Since 1980, an annual international conference in California on critical thinking and educational reform has attracted tens of thousands of educators from all levels of education and from many parts of the world.In 1987, the APA’s Committee on Pre-College Philosophy commissioned a consensus statement on critical thinking for purposes of educational assessment and instruction (Facione 1990a).Researchers have developed standardized tests of critical thinking abilities and dispositions; for details, see the Supplement on Assessment.


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