Jan 29, 2016

Critical thinking: a description of the Foundation for Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ... the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself.

Critical thinking is a rich concept, formed in the last 2,500 years. The term "critical thinking" has its origins in the mid-late 20th century. We offer here overlapping descriptions, which together form the subject-matter, transdisciplinary concept of critical thinking.

Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2500 years. The term «critical thinking» has its roots in the mid-late 20th century. We offer here overlapping definitions, together which form a substantive, transdisciplinary conception of critical thinking.

Critical thinking in the description of the National Council for the highest standards in critical thinking, 1987.

Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987

Description Michael Scriven and Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform, summer 1987.

A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987.

Critical thinking - intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillful conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and / or evaluation of information gathered and the produced by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values ​​that transcend divisions between subject disciplines: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency (consistency), relevance, backed by a reasonable, objective grounds, the depth, breadth and impartiality.

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and / or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values ​​that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.

It includes a study of the following structures or elements of the content of thought, covertly present any argument or explanation of: the purpose (intention), the problem or controversial issue; assumptions; concepts; empirical basis; line of reasoning on the initial findings of abstracts;potential and real consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and the coordinate system (worldview). Critical thinking, being open to the consideration of a variety of subjects, themes and objectives, integrated into the family of interwoven modes of thinking, such as: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral and philosophical thinking.

It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue;assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding;reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference. Critical thinking - in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes - is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking.

The critical thinking can be seen as two components:

Critical thinking can be seen as having two components:

1. The set of skills that enable to produce and process the information and beliefs, and2. based on intelligent choice (conscious and declared the readiness of himself something to dedicate) the habit of using these skills for a particular building behavior.1) a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and2) the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior.

It is thus to be contrasted with:

1. just passive reception and retention of information (because CM involves a particular way of action, including the search and processing of information)
2. Only one set of skills proficiency (because CM includes continuous use them); and
3. just using these skills ("as an exercise") without acceptance of the results of their application.
1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated;
2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and
3) the mere use of those skills ("as an exercise") without acceptance of their results.

Critical thinking varies depending on the motives underlying it. Being based on selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas for personal interests or interests of a close person to the group. As such, the CM intellectually flawed, but it can be pragmatically successful. When it is based on impartiality and intellectual integrity, the tops of intelligence, though exposed to the charge of "idealism" by those who are accustomed to the selfish use of KM.

Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one's own, or one's groups', vested interest. As such it is typically intellectually flawed, however pragmatically successful it might be. When grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity, it is typically of a higher order intellectually, though subject to the charge of «idealism» by those habituated to its selfish use.

Critical thinking of any kind is never realized without exception every individual; each person is subject to episodes of undisciplined or irrational reasoning. Therefore, the quality of the CM - usually a matter of degree, and among other things also depends on the quality and depth of experience in the field, or if it comes to a specific class of problems. Nobody is a critical thinker in all respects, but only in one degree or another, with particular insights and blind spots, being exposed to those or other tendencies to self-deception. The development of critical thinking skills, by virtue of this - the subject of life-long effort.

Critical thinking of any kind is never universal in any individual; everyone is subject to episodes of undisciplined or irrational thought. Its quality is therefore typically a matter of degree and dependent on, among other things, the quality and depth of experience in a given domain of thinking or with respect to a particular class of questions.No one is a critical thinker through-and-through, but only to such-and-such a degree, with such-and-such insights and blind spots, subject to such-and-such tendencies towards self-delusion. For this reason, the development of critical thinking skills and dispositions is a life-long endeavor.

Another brief conceptualization of critical thinking


Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way. People who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably, empathically. They are keenly aware of the inherently flawed nature of human thinking when left unchecked. They strive to diminish the power of their egocentric and sociocentric tendencies. They use the intellectual tools that critical thinking offers - concepts and principles that enable them to analyze, assess, and improve thinking. They work diligently to develop the intellectual virtues of intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual civility, intellectual empathy, intellectual sense of justice and confidence in reason. They realize that no matter how skilled they are as thinkers, they can always improve their reasoning abilities and they will at times fall prey to mistakes in reasoning, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest , and vested interest. They strive to improve the world in whatever ways they can and contribute to a more rational, civilized society. At the same time, they recognize the complexities often inherent in doing so. They avoid thinking simplistically about complicated issues and strive to appropriately consider the rights and needs of relevant others. They recognize the complexities in developing as thinkers, and commit themselves to life-long practice toward self-improvement. They embody the Socratic principle: The unexamined life is not worth living, because they realize that many unexamined lives together result in an uncritical, unjust, dangerous world. ~ Linda Elder, September, 2007

Why Critical Thinking?


The Problem

Everybody's thoughts; the capacity for this kind of activity is given to us by nature. But a considerable part of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, perverted, selective, untrained or outright biased.

Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.

Description


A Definition

Critical thinking - is a way of thinking - about any subject, content or issue - in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking, skillfully disposing of thinking inherent structures and applying to them the intellectual standards.

Critical thinking is that mode of thinking - about any subject, content, or problem - in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.

The Result


A well-prepared critical thinker:

It raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;collects and evaluates relevant information, using theoretical concepts to its interpretation;effectively goes to well-founded conclusions and solutions, testing them on relevant criteria and standards;thinks impartially in the spaces of alternative belief systems, recognizing and assessing, as appropriate, their approval, and the likely practical consequences; andcommunicates effectively with others in the development of solutions to complex problems.raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively;comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences;andcommunicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

(Adapted from: Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008)

(Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008)

Critical thinking in the description of Edward Glazer


The seminal study of 1941 on the topic of critical thinking and education Edward Glazer (Edward Glaser) described critical thinking as follows: "

In a seminal study on critical thinking and education in 1941, Edward Glaser defines critical thinking as follows "The ability to think critically, as conceived in this volume, involves three things: (1) an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences, (2) knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, and (3) some skill in applying those methods. Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. It also generally requires ability to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems, to gather and marshal pertinent information, to recognize unstated assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discrimination, to interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments, to recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions, to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, to put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives, to reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience, and to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life.

(Edward M. Glaser, An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking, Teacher's College, Columbia University, 1941)

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Source: Defining Critical Thinking

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