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Critical Thinking. Ann Smith Sioux Falls Public Schools. What it is not — Examples of people who don’t think critically. What it is- Examples of critical thinkers. What does it mean to be educated?. Activated Knowledge. Accurate information that can be used to gain more knowledge

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critical thinking

Critical Thinking

Ann Smith

Sioux Falls Public Schools

slide2

What it is not—

Examples of people who don’t think critically

What it is-

Examples of critical thinkers

activated knowledge
Activated Knowledge
  • Accurate information that can be used to gain more knowledge
    • Mathematical principles
    • Scientific method
    • Principles of critical thinking

Paul. 2002.

am i a critical thinker
Am I a critical thinker?
  • Stage 1 - Unreflective Thinker
    • Egocentric—and unaware
    • Dismiss ideas we don’t agree with
    • Don’t know what we don’t know
  • Stage 2 – Challenged Thinker
    • Strives to analyze thinking
    • Understands how concepts, assumptions, inferences, implications, and points of view form thinking

Paul. 2002.

slide6
Recognizes the qualities of sound thinking: clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, logicalness
    • May engage in self-deception: “If everyone would think clearly like me, this would be a fine world.”
  • The Beginning Thinker
    • Checks information for accuracy and relevance
    • Recognizes assumptions guiding inferences
    • Identifies prejudicial and biased beliefs, unjustifiable conclusions, misused words, and missed implications
    • Analyzes the logic of situations and problems
    • Expresses clear and precise questions

Paul. 2002.

slide7
Stage 4 – The Practicing Thinker
  • Stage 5 – The Advanced Thinker
  • Stage 6 – The Master Thinker

Paul. 2002.

habits of mind
Habits of Mind
  • Persisting
  • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
  • Managing impulsivity
  • Gathering data through all the senses
  • Listening with understanding and empathy
  • Creating, imagining, innovating
  • Thinking flexibly
  • Responding with wonderment and awe
habits of mind cont
Habits of Mind (cont)
  • Thinking about thinking
  • Taking responsible risks
  • Striving for accuracy
  • Finding humor
  • Questioning and posing problems
  • Thinking interdependently
  • Applying past knowledge to new situations
  • Remaining open to continuous learning
strategies for developing critical thinkers
Strategies for developing critical thinkers
  • Engage students in reading, writing, speaking
  • Empower students to evaluate their own reading, writing, speaking
  • Think out loud to model skilled thinking for students
  • Compare and contrast different points of view
  • Encourage students to question
  • Assign a daily notetaker or notetaker team
  • Assign a daily researcher or researcher team
concepts
Concepts
  • “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Shakespeare)
  • Using precise language
    • Clever – Cunning
    • Selfish – Self-motivated
    • Power – Control
    • Believe – Know
    • Love – Romance
    • Socialize – Educate
    • Friend -- Colleague

Paul. 2002.

concepts1
Concepts
  • Recognizing socially conditioned meanings
    • Capitalism
    • Socialism
    • Communism

Paul. 2002.

testing information
Testing Information
  • To what extent could I test the truth of this claim by direct experience?
  • How does the person who advances this claim support it?
  • Is there a definite system or procedure for assessing claims of this sort?
  • Does the acceptance of this information advance the vested interest of the person or group asserting it?

Paul. 2002.

clarity
Clarity
  • Say what you mean, mean what you say.
  • "What can be done about the education system in America?“
  • Could you give me an example

Paul. 2002.

accuracy
Accuracy
  • How could we find out if that is true?
    • Can it be verified by other sources?
    • On the Web, look for hints in the URL
    • www.register.com/ (whois lookup)
    • On a long URL, delete to the first slash
      • Bigredhair.com/robots/index.htm
    • Snopes.com

November. 2008.

precision
Precision
  • Can you give more details.
    • “My daughter has a fever.”
    • “My computer doesn’t work.”
    • “Do you know anyone who writes grants for education?”
    • “Do you have any books in this library?”

Paul. 2002.

relevance
Relevance
  • A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise…but irrelevant.
    • “I spent 14.6 hours preparing my elementary library budget, so I should be funded at the full level.”
  • Public figures answering questions at a press conference.
  • How does this help us with the issue at hand?

Paul. 2002.

depth
Depth
  • Does the answer address the complexities of the question?
    • “Just say no”
    • “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.”
  • Is it dealing with the most significant factors?

Paul. 2002.

breadth
Breadth
  • Is there another way to look at this question?
  • Do we need to consider another point of view?

Paul. 2002.

logic
Logic
  • How does that follow?
  • Are these statements contradictory?
  • Don’t confuse correlation with causation
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation#Examples

Paul. 2002.

get real
Get “REAL”
  • Read the URL
  • Examine the Content
  • Ask about the author and owner
  • Look at the Links
    • www.altavista.com
      • Link:http://www.yoursite.com/whatever/copy

November. 2008.

smith thanks lee
SMITH (thanks Lee!)
  • Source
  • Message
  • Intent
  • Techniques
  • How do they want me to respond
questions that stimulate thinking
Questions that stimulate thinking
  • Open-ended questions:
    • What are your reactions to this morning’s Keynote speaker?
    • What aspects of this unit are of interest to you?
    • What are your reactions to what you just heard?

Paul. 2002.

slide25
Diagnostic Questions
    • What is really rewarded in this classroom?
    • What conclusions did you draw from this data?
  • Information-seeking Questions
    • What are the factors that influence student engagement?

Paul. 2002.

slide26
Challenge (testing) Questions
    • Why do you believe that?
    • What evidence supports your conclusion?
    • What arguments might be developed to counter that point of view?

Paul. 2002.

slide27
Action Questions
    • What needs to be done to address this problem?
      • Be specific
      • Ask someone who has the ability to help

Paul. 2002.

slide28
Questions on priority and sequence
    • Given limited resources, what is the first step to be taken?
    • The second?
    • The third?

Paul. 2002.

slide29
Prediction Questions
    • If your conclusions are correct, what will be our situation tomorrow? In 5 years? In 20 years?
  • Hypothetical Questions
    • What if Henry Ford’s gasoline engine hadn’t become the standard automobile engine?
    • What if FDR had not initiated the New Deal?

Paul. 2002.

slide30
Questions of extension
    • For your grandchildren, what are the implications of your conclusions about the issue of climate change?
  • Questions of generalization
    • Based on our exploration of critical thinking, what do you believe are the major barriers to teaching critical thinking in your classroom?

Paul. 2002.

slide31

“For to say, that a blind custom of obedience should be a surer obligation than duty taught and understood; it is to affirm, that a blind man may tread surer by a guide than a seeing man can by a light.” Sir Francis Bacon. The Advancement of Learning.

suggested resources
Suggested Resources
  • Costa, Arthur and Bena Kallick. Leading and Learning with Habits of Mind. ASCD. 2009.
    • www.habits-of-mind.com
  • Foundation for Critical Thinking
    • www.criticalthinking.org
  • SIRS Researcher (subscription database)
    • http://sks.sirs.com
  • The Question Mark
    • http://www.questioning.org
resources cont d
Resources (cont’d)
  • November, Alan. Web Literacy for Educators. Corwin Press, 2008.
  • Paul, Richard. Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Personal and Professional Life. FT Press, 2002.
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