What is Critical Thinking? One definition I like is this - "(It is) The art of thinking about your thinking while you are thinking in order to make your thinking better: more clear, more accurate, or more defensible." An Educator's Guide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts: Glossary Which would make it Meta-thinking. It is method of employing the logical, rational, left side of the brain, which when combined with the intuitive, creative, right side of the brain, enables one to empower their brains fully and behave "gifted".
Critical thinking skills training can be traced back to the times of Socrates. "Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief. He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done as well. His method of questioning is now known as Socratic questioning and is the best known critical thinking teaching strategy." from A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking © Foundation for Critical Thinking
What is interesting about this is that in channelings of pre-incarnate Indigos, they express a desire for returning to this method of education. In defining the type of education they would like, they said, "We look at your history and are intrigued with the salons of Plato and Socrates. Many of us would like to try that way of learning." - In Channelings On Indigos Channeled by Carolyn Holtgrewe
This implies a major shift in the current paradign of education back to a model of ancient times. "The dominant didactic theory of knowledge, learning and literacy is to teach students what to think so that they learn what the teachers know. In contrast, the emerging critical theory is to teach students how to think so that they can find their own way through the problems and concerns they meet in life." - from "Coaching Winners: How to Teach Critical Thinking" by Bonnie Weaver Duldt
Knowledge is observation and recall of subject matter which may be demonstrated by listing, defining, identifying, showing, labelling, or naming.
Comprehension means understanding the information or "getting it", and may be demonstrated by summarizing or interpreting the information.
Application is the ability to use the information, use methods, solve problems using required skills/knowledge, and use abstractions of the information.
Analysis is seeing patterns and organization and identifying components. This may be demonstrated by ordering, explaining, classifying, comparing, and contrasting.
Synthesis is the ability to put together parts to form a whole, to use old ideas to create new ones. This is demonstrated by generalizing, drawing conclusions, integrating, and inventing.
Evaluation is making judgment about value of something and making choices based on sound arguments. Typical actions associated with this are assessing, grading, judging, discerning, and discriminating.
The site Logical Arguments explains all of the different types of Informal Fallacies.
Criticial Thinking Org
Center for Critical Thinking Library for K-12 Educators
Tactical and Structural Recommendations for bringing critical thinking into the K-12 classroom - Excellent ideas for teachers!!!
Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project
Mission Critical page San Jose University's Critical Thinking Web Page
A Brief History in the Idea of Critical Thinking
Google.Com Search on "Bloom's Taxonomy"
Google.Com Search on "Critical Thinking"
Links to General info about Critical Thinking on About.com
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