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Unformatted text preview: Lesson 2: Critical Thinking Skills How To Teach Students Critical Thinking Skills By Susie McGee Education is more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. In order for students to compete in the workforce of the future, they must be taught essential critical thinking skills. 1 Independent Thinking Independent Thinking Educators and parents can help their children become independent thinkers by not always giving the answers immediately. Instead, let the students work on the problem and try to solve it themselves before they are given assistance 3 2. Organized In order for students to become critical thinkers, they must be organized. Organization Educators and parents can help students become more organized by modeling these skills and providing organizational materials and space to students. 4 3 Inference Inference Students must learn how to infer meanings, instead of always looking for the obvious answer. Reading passages from various periodicals and print sources and analyzing the meanings of these passages are good practice skills for inference 5 4 Anticipating Anticipating Consequences Students must learn to think beyond the expected. Openended questions that relate to various subjects can help students learn to anticipate consequences. 6 5 Valid and Invalid Arguments Valid and Invalid Arguments Students need to understand the difference between valid and invalid arguments. They need to learn how to recognize facts that substantiate the argument, making it valid. They also need to recognize an invalid argument by its lack of evidence and supporting statements
7 6 ProblemSolving Techniques ProblemSolving Techniques Educators can teach students to work their way towards an answer by giving them various problems to solve. These practice problems should be given in all of the core academic areas. Allow the students enough time to work on the problems unassisted before stepping in to help. 8 7 Reasoning Skills Reasoning Skills Students must learn how to work out problems by reasoning out the answers. Practice can be given in a variety of forms, including historical assignments, mathematical problems, and literary selections 9 8. Relating Insights Relating Insights Students also need to learn how to Organization take new material, analyze it, and apply their own insights as to the themes and motifs of each piece that is assigned 10 A Framework for Thinking
Questions to guide the thought process 1. What is the goal? A clearly articulated goal will provide direction to the thinking process and allow you to make better decisions about the skills you will need to use. 2. What Is Known?
This step will also include recognizing gaps in what's known and the need for further information gathering. Once you have some idea of where you are (the knowns or givens) and where you're going (the goal or purpose), you're better able to plan goaldirected thinking processes. 3. Which Thinking Skill or Skills Will Get You to Your Goal? A concern with accuracy is probably the biggest predictor of success. 4. Have You Reached Your Goal?
15 Traits of a Critical Thinker
ssionate drive for clarity, precision, accuracy and other intellectual standards assionate drive for clarity, precision, accuracy and other intellectual standards 2. Love of truth 3. Intellectual perseverance 4.Intellectual courage 5. Honesty 6. Intellectual humility Intellectualhumility Benefits of Critical Thinking
1. 2. 3. Improves students’ ability to understand, construct and criticize arguments Help people succeed by improving their ability to solve problems, think creatively and communicate their ideas clearly and effectively Reduce probability of making mistakes in personal decisions . If you can choose one tool for helping your child, it should be critical thinking. Would you like to stay home forever? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Egocentrism Sociocentrism Unwarranted assumptions Relativistic thinking Wishful thinking Major Barriers to Critical Thinking Identifying Critical Thinking Hindrances In a 1989 international study of 13yearolds, Koreans finished first in mathematics and Americans finished last. Yet when asked whether they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans. Based on what you have learned in this chapter, which critical thinking hindrance do the American youngsters in this study demonstrate? In a 1989 international study of 13yearolds, Koreans finished first in mathematics and Americans finished last. Yet when asked whether they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans. Egocentrism.
Egocentrism is self-centered thinking. There are two major forms of egocentrism: self-interested thinking and self-serving bias. Which form of egocentrism do the American students exhibit: self-interested thinking or self-serving bias? In a 1989 international test of 13yearolds, Koreans finished first in mathematics and Americans finished last. Yet when asked whether they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans. Self-serving bias
Self-serving bias is the tendency to overrate oneself--to be overly confident of one's knowledge, abilities, or good fortune. The American students in this study certainly don't lack "self-esteem." What they do lack is a proper sense of how little they know about mathematics. Sexually active bisexual: “I’ll never get AIDS. I’m a very intuitive person. I would sense it if someone had something as degenerative as the AIDS virus.” Wishful thinking Wishful thinking occurs when a person believes that something is true, not because they have good reasons for the belief, but because they wish it were true. Persons who engage in risky sexual activity often kid themselves in thinking, “It won’t happen to me.” Notice that this is also a case of self-serving bias. This person is overly confident of his or her ability to know “intuitively” when a potential sexual partner has the AIDS virus. Muhammad Ali [speaking in Zaire, Africa]: "There's no country as great as the smallest city in America. I mean [here in Zaire] you can't watch television. The water won't even run right. The toilets won't flush. The roads, the carsthere's nothing as great as America." Based on your reading of this chapter, what critical thinking hindrance does this person exhibit? Muhammad Ali [speaking in Zaire, Africa]: "There's no country as great as the smallest city in America. I mean [here in Zaire] you can't watch television. The water won't even run right. The toilets won't flush. The roads, the carsthere's nothing as great as America." Group bias
Group bias is the tendency to think more highly of one's nation, race, school, family, or other social group than is warranted by the evidence. In saying, for example, that "there's no country as great as the smallest city in America," Ali is clearly overstating the comparative virtues of his own country, and thus is guilty of group bias. Ed: My friend Dirk is a college sophomore at a state university in upstate New York. He is blonde, loves surfing, and has a very laidback personality. Mary: I bet he’s from California. What critical thinking hindrance does Mary exhibit? Ed: My friend Dirk is a college sophomore at a state university in upstate New York. He is blonde, loves surfing, and has a very laidback personality. Mary: I bet he’s from California. Stereotyping Having blonde hair, enjoying surfing, and having a laidback personality are qualities people stereotypically associate with Californians--and this despite the fact that a majority of Californians are not Caucasians. But of course many people who are not from California also have these three qualities. And given that Dirk attends a state university in upstate New York, it is unlikely, in fact, that he comes from California. Liz: I can't believe I got a B on this marketing paper. My friend Jill turned in this same paper in a different marketing class last semester, and she got an A. Bob: Don't you realize it's wrong to plagiarize someone else's work? Liz: That's your opinion. What's wrong for one person isn't necessarily wrong for another, and I say there's nothing wrong with plagiarismas long as you don't get caught. Based on your reading of this chapter, which critical thinking hindrance does Liz exhibit? Relativistic thinking Relativistic thinking is thinking that assumes that truth is just a matter of opinion. Chapter 1 discusses two major forms of relativistic thinking: subjectivism and cultural relativism. Which type of relativism does Liz apparently accept? Subjectivism Subjectivism is the idea that truth is just a matter of individual opinion. In other words, what is truth for an individual is whatever that individual believes is true. Cultural relativism is the idea that truth is a matter of societal opinion. In other words, what is true for an individual is whatever his or her society believes is true. Notice that both forms of relativism make it pretty much impossible to engage in any serious critical thinking. According to subjectivism, there is no point in trying to develop thoughtful, wellsubstantiated beliefs, because no matter what beliefs you hold, those beliefs will be true for you. Likewise, if cultural relativism were true, there would be no point in trying to base your beliefs on evidence and good reasoningin fact, it would be wrong to do so, because that might lead you to question society's prevailing beliefs. And according to cultural relativism, it is always wrong for a person to question his or her society's beliefs, because those beliefs are always TRUE! X ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2010 for the course BA BA12345 taught by Professor Harry during the Spring '10 term at University of Economics and Technology.
- Spring '10