Questions to encourage critical thinking

My brother and I are both within or at least near the cusp of the age groups defined as Millennials, digital natives, net generation, etc.

Questions to encourage critical thinking

Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: T T T Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is essential to effective learning and productive living.

Would you share your definition of critical thinking? First, since critical thinking can be defined in a number of different ways consistent with each other, we should not put a lot of weight on any one definition. Definitions are at best scaffolding for the mind.

With this qualification in mind, here is a bit of scaffolding: Two things are crucial: To put it briefly, it is self-improvement in thinking through standards that assess thinking.

Could you give me an example? Certainly, one of the most important distinctions that teachers need to routinely make, and which takes disciplined thinking to make, is that between reasoning and subjective reaction. Often, teachers are unclear about this basic difference. Many teachers are apt to take student writing or speech which is fluent and witty or glib and amusing as good thinking.

They are often unclear about the constituents of good reasoning. Hence, even though a student may just be asserting things, not reasoning things out at all, if she is doing so with vivacity and flamboyance, teachers are apt to take this to be equivalent to good reasoning.

Questions to foster thinking and creativity

This was made clear in a recent California state-wide writing assessment in which teachers and testers applauded a student essay, which they said illustrated "exceptional achievement" in reasoned evaluation, an essay that contained no reasoning at all, that was nothing more than one subjective reaction after another.

Could this possibly be a rare mistake, not representative of teacher knowledge? Let me suggest a way in which you could begin to test my contention. Namely, "What intellectual standards does the program articulate and teach?

And then when you explain what you mean, I think you will find that the person is not able to articulate any such standards. Thinking skills programs without intellectual standards are tailor-made for mis-instruction. For example, one of the major programs asks teachers to encourage students to make inferences and use analogies, but is silent about how to teach students to assess the inferences they make and the strengths and weaknesses of the analogies they use.

This misses the point. The idea is not to help students to make more inferences but to make sound ones, not to help students to come up with more analogies but with more useful and insightful ones.

What is the solution to this problem?

Questions to encourage critical thinking

How, as a practical matter, can we solve it? Well, not with more gimmicks or quick fixes. Not with more fluff for teachers. Only with quality long-term staff development that helps the teachers, over an extended period of time, over years not months, to work on their own thinking and come to terms with what intellectual standards are, why they are essential, and how to teach for them.

The State Department in Hawaii has just such a long-term, quality, critical thinking program see " mentor program ". In addition, the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking Instruction is focused precisely on the articulation of standards for thinking.

I am hopeful that eventually, through efforts such as these, we can move from the superficial to the substantial in fostering quality student thinking. The present level of instruction for thinking is very low indeed. But there are many areas of concern in instruction, not just one, not just critical thinking, but communication skills, problem solving, creative thinking, collaborative learning, self-esteem, and so forth.

How are districts to deal with the full array of needs? How are they to do all of these rather than simply one, no matter how important that one may be? This is the key.

Everything essential to education supports everything else essential to education. It is only when good things in education are viewed superficially and wrongly that they seem disconnected, a bunch of separate goals, a conglomeration of separate problems, like so many bee-bees in a bag.

In fact, any well-conceived program in critical thinking requires the integration of all of the skills and abilities you mentioned above. Could you explain briefly why this is so?Thinking Questions These are art room examples (others will think of appropriate questions in other areas) Materialization of thought and feeling.

By Ellie Collier My alternate title for this post was “The Internet is awesome. Start acting like it.” It is a call to arms to shift our attitude away from magnifying the perils of online research and towards examining the many types of useful information along with how and when to use them; to shift our primary focus away from teaching how to find information and towards engaging critical.

Dartmouth Writing Program support materials - including development of argument. Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing. Mind Mirror Projects: A Tool for Integrating Critical Thinking into the English Language Classroom (), by Tully, in English Teaching Forum, State Department, Number 1 Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project, Metropolitan Community College.

81 Fresh & Fun Critical-Thinking Activities Engaging Activities and Reproducibles to Develop Kids’ Higher-Level Thinking Skills by Laurie Rozakis.

Oct 11,  · Critical thinking is the ability to apply reasoning and logic to new or unfamiliar ideas, opinions, and situations. Thinking critically involves seeing things in an open-minded way and examining an idea or concept from as many angles as possible.

ChangeThis | iss. | i | U | x | e. gIve tIMe to thInkIng. Indulge yourself in activities that require the use of your brainpower.

Your brain is a muscle and exercising it is key to .

What is Critical Thinking? (with pictures)