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Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking Skills Jon Haber - Executive Editor SAM and Digital Strategy
Facilitator Background • Executive Editor for SAM and Digital Strategy, Course Technology/Cengage Learning • Founder and CEO of SkillCheck, Inc. (now First Advantage Assessment Solutions) • Creator of the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) • Co-author of National Educational Technology Standards (NETS*S): Resources for Assessment published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Global Consensus • Foundational Knowledge – The fundamental underlying principles of computers, networks and the Internet • Contemporary Skills – The ability to use current hardware and software to perform useful functions • Critical Thinking Ability – A set of higher-order thinking and reasoning skills required for understanding and solving problems as they arise in modern technological systems
Critical Thinking Components • Information literacy • Problem solving • Troubleshooting • Digital citizenship • Personal and data security • Real world interactions between people and technology
Digital Literacy in the Classroom Digital Literacy
Classical Education - Rhetoric Collecting and Evaluating Information Invention or Discovery Organizing Information Arrangement Communicating Information Style, Memory and Delivery National Educational Technology Standards (indicators), 2005 Canons of Rhetoric (600 BCE)
Classical Education - Logic • Formal Logic • Syllogisms • Fallacies • All dogs are animals • All cats are animals • Therefore: All cats are dogs
Modern Logic and Argumentation • Symbolic Logic • Truth Tables • Rogerian Model • Toulmin Model
Critical Thinking Components Standards • Clarity • Accuracy • Precision • Relevance • Depth • Breadth • Logic • Significance • Fairness Elements of Thought • Question at Issue • Information • Interpretation and Inference • Concepts • Assumptions • Implications and Consequences • Point of View • Purpose
Intellectual Traits • Intellectual Humility • Intellectual Courage • Intellectual Integrity • Intellectual Perseverance • Trust in Reason • Fairmindedness
Important Lessons • Critical thinking can be taught • Critical thinking is a skill, not an innate ability • Critical thinking is not necessarily about intelligence • Critical thinking can improve with practice • Anyone can be a critical thinker • Everyone should be a critical thinker
Online Resources www.microsoft.com/education/teachers/guides/critical_thinking.aspx
Online Resources www.informationliteracy.org
Technology Education Teaching critical thinking skills in the context of the technology class will involve: • Information Literacy – Finding, evaluating, organizing and communicating information • Solving real world problems – Evaluation and troubleshooting • Digital Citizenship – Plagiarism, cheating, privacy, personal security, online “rules of the road” • Dealing with controversial issues
Approaching Controversial Subjects • Introduction of the issue • Background • Language • Different sides of the issue • Locating and evaluating information • Search strategies • Primary vs. secondary sources • Reliability of source material (bias, relevance, timeliness, etc.) • Weighing different sides of the issue
Evaluating and Assessing Critical Thinking Skills
“Hands-on” Assessments • Clearly stated problem/question • Multiple steps needed to solve the problem • Reasoning and judgment needed to create final result • Open ended responses • Work products (artifacts) • Reflection (writing/results of research) • Requested result (work product) should be able to be evaluated consistently (preferably via a high-quality, consistent rubric)
Summary • Critical thinking is a vital component of Digital Literacy • Critical thinking skills can and should be taught • In the context of the technology course, critical thinking consists of: • Information literacy • Problem solving • Digital citizenship • Real world interaction between people and technology • Critical thinking can (and should) be assessed using creative and consistent assessment techniques
Questions and Answers Jon Haber - Executive Editor SAM and Digital Strategy firstname.lastname@example.org