Critical Thinking in Global Issues Harlan Schottenstein and Phyllis Duryee
Agenda A Framework for Critical Thinking in Global Issues Examples of Global Issues That Promote Critical Thinking Discussion and Questions Feedback Techniques That Encourage Students to Use Critical Thinking
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Define Critical Thinking Critical thinking promotes knowing how to distinguish between facts and assertions. Facts Assertions Opinions
Doing Research • Research in Global Issues must reliable and valid. • Reliability of research is based on trust determined by authorship and source.
Critical Appraisal of Information on the Web • Students are poor at determining credibility based on whether purpose of web site is to inform or promote. • Evaluating a web site is more complicated and requires greater processing of information than just a surface appraisal of the source (Hogan, N. and Varnhagen, C.)
Finding and Checking Sources Who is providing the source? What is the source? What is the validity of the source? Resource: library.franklin.edu
What do students learn in Global Issues? • They learn to solve problems systematically. • They learn to detect inconsistencies and common mistakes
We ask students to: • Support their thinking with research • Restrict their claims to those which are supported by research • Search for information that opposes that point of view • Walk in someone else’s shoes • Play Devil’s Advocate
We ask students NOT to: Use polarized thinking: all back and white Overgeneralize Ignore the big picture
Stereotyping We tend to think of the world through the lens of our own experiences. We want to stay in our comfort zone of familiarity. Students do a cultural interview which breaks down the stereotypes.
Some research on student facilitation and critical thinking • Three types of facilitation techniques for asynchronous online discussion (Paulsen, 1995) 1. Organizational: Keeps discussion on track and encourages regular participation. 2. Social: Reinforces good discussion behavior. 3. Intellectual: Questions, challenges ideas, examples, and use of rational reasoning
Effectiveness of techniques for developing critical thinking (Lim, Cheung, Hew, 2011) • Top 30% utilized Intellectual and Social Techniques • Bottom 30% utilized Organizational and Social Techniques Conclusion: Students need to be prepared for technique that can promote higher levels of critical thinking in online discussions.
Story of Stuff Assignment • Requires students to watch a video which is emotionally convincing • Requires students to do research that supports and/or refutes the claims • Make a judgment about the validity of the claims of the author
Feedback for students: • Examples of feedback that may promote deeper critical thinking: • Did the passing of a law fix everything, or did it start to fix the problem? I know it’s an important step, but usually problems don’t go away as soon as a law is passed. What were some of the issues it addressed specifically? How effective has this law been at reaching its goals? • I’d like to see a little more support for what you say about… There is nothing wrong with your claim, but you don’t back it up with examples.
Feedback for students: • What was the impact of x? You need more analysis here. • My concern is that you use only three sources for your paper and one of them is not an appropriate academic source. • When you use the phrase ‘seem to’, it makes you sound less reliable. Use some examples here or specific evidence.
Bibliography Fernandez-Morera, D. (2011) How Do You Know That? A Guide to Critical Thinking About Global Issues. MA : John Wiley & Sons, 2012 Hall, E. T. (1976) Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Books Hogan, N. and Varnhagen, C. (2012) Critical appraisal of information on the web in practice: Undergraduate students’ knowledge, reported use and behavior. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technologies. Vol. 38 (1) Leonard, A. (2008) Story of Stuff . Retrieved from: www.story of stuff.org Lim Sze Chung, R., Cheng, W.S. and Hew, K.F. (2011) Critical thinking in asynchronous online discussion: An investigation of student facilitation techniques. New Horizons in Education. Vol. 59, No. 1