Using Critical Thinking

Using Critical Thinking-33
: “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.

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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 thinking.

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.

“I then tried to imagine all possible purposes of the pole, and to consider for which of these it was best suited: (a) Possibly it was an ornament.

But as all the ferryboats and even the tugboats carried poles, this hypothesis was rejected.

(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.My mind went back to the subway express as quicker than the elevated; furthermore, I remembered that it went nearer than the elevated to the part of 124th Street I wished to reach, so that time would be saved at the end of the journey.I concluded in favor of the subway, and reached my destination by one o’clock.” (Dewey 1910: 68-69; 1933: 91-92) : “Projecting nearly horizontally from the upper deck of the ferryboat on which I daily cross the river is a long white pole, having a gilded ball at its tip.Dewey (1910: 68–71; 1933: 91–94) takes as paradigms of reflective thinking three class papers of students in which they describe their thinking.The examples range from the everyday to the scientific.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.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.Standardized tests have been developed to assess the degree to which a person possesses such dispositions and abilities.Educational intervention has been shown experimentally to improve them, particularly when it includes dialogue, anchored instruction, and mentoring.


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