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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Frank Fair From the Editor’s Desk
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2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Richard Paul Reflections on the Nature of Critical Thinking, Its History, Politics, and Barriers and on Its Status across the College/UniversityCurriculum Part I
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This paper is a response to INQUIRY editor Frank Fair’s invitation to me to write a reflective piece that sheds light on my involvement in the field of Critical Thinking Studies (some 35 years). My response is in two parts. The two parts together might be called “Reflections on the nature of critical thinking and on its status across the college/university curriculum.” The parts together have been written with a long term and large-scale end in view. If successful the two parts will shed light on why the critical thinking movement has not yet contributed significantly to human emancipation or to more just and fair-minded communities (world wide). It will also present some strategies for making such a contribution.
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Patricia A. Ralston, Anne E. Larson, Cathy L. Bays An Assessment of Undergraduate Engineering Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Guided by the Paul-Elder Critical Thinking Framework
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Faculty in a large, urban school of engineering designed a longitudinal study to assess the critical thinking skills of undergraduate students as they progressed through the engineering program. The Paul-Elder critical thinking framework was used to design course assignments and develop a holistic assessment rubric. This paper presents the analysis of the freshman course artifacts (baseline and course critical thinking assignments) and associated faculty scoring sessions for all three cohorts. A total of 649 first semester freshman students at least 18 years old agreed to participate in the study. The majority were white males with a mean high school grade point average of 3.73, ACT composite score of 28.33, and final freshman engineering course grade of 3.57. There was a statistically significant positive relationship between the freshman course artifacts and the faculty scores. Data from the study are being used to enhance the critical thinking experiences for undergraduate engineering students.
4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Clyde Freeman Herreid In Case You Didn’t Know: Critical Thinking and The Case Study Approach to Teaching Science
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Case studies are increasingly used in the teaching of science. They are effective in the teaching of critical thinking skills because case studies place the subject matter in the context of a memorable story. Today there are case study repositories such as the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at the University at Buffalo with hundreds of cases and teaching notes and workshops to train faculty in their use. A new book is in press, Science Stories: Using Case Studies to Teach Critical Thinking, which includes 37 cases for introductory science courses. Serious study of the effectiveness of the method is just beginning with several reports newly published or in progress. Future work needs to focus on the efficacy of the different case study approaches; a predictive model is presented that suggests that the most effective learning will come from those methods with the most student interaction.
5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Yoram Harpaz Back to Knowledge: The Ironic Path of Teaching Thinking
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The article follows the conceptual path made by the teaching thinking movement. It emerged as a reaction to the explosion, obsolescence, availability, and relativity of knowledge, as a call to teach thinking instead of knowledge, and returned to knowledge in the form of the third approach to teaching thinking — teaching for understanding. Understanding knowledge is the essential, perhaps even sufficient, condition for good — effective, critical and creative — thinking.
6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Ben Hamby Eating Flowers, Holding Hands: Should Critical Thinking Pedagogy ‘Go Wild’?
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This paper is inspired by Anthony Weston’s “What if Teaching Went Wild?” (2004), in which he proposes a radical approach to environmental education, suggesting among other things a stress on “otherness.” Comparing Weston’s proposal to Richard Paul’s (1992) concept of the “strong sense” critical thinker, and to Trudy Govier’s (2010) rationale for her pedagogy of argument, I suggest that “going wild” in stand-alone critical thinking courses could provide a positive, unsettling push, helping students to reconnect through the otherness of alternative argumentation.
7. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Frank Fair From the Editor’s Desk
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8. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Robert H. Ennis Ideal critical thinkers are disposed to
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9. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Robert Ennis Critical Thinking: Reflection and Perspective Part II
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This is the second part of a two-part reflection by Robert Ennis on his involvement in, and the progress of, the critical thinking movement. It provides a summary of Part I (Ennis 2011), including his definition/conception of critical thinking, the definition being “reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.” It then examines the assessment and the teaching of critical thinking (including incorporation in a curriculum), and makes suggestions regarding the future of critical thinking. He urges that now is the time to make a major effort in promoting critical thinking. Later may be too late. He also suggests a number of things to do. An Appendix, which provides a detailed elaboration of the nature of critical thinking, is at the end of Part I, but summaries are provided here.
10. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Keith Stanovich What Intelligence Test Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought
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11. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Gordon D. Lamb, Cecil R. Reynolds Rationale for Considering Typical Critical Thinking Skills
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This paper’s purpose is to provide a foundation for viewing critical thinking as both a maximal and typical performance construct. While maximal performance measures the best a person can do, typical performance measures what the person is most likely to do. An overview of maximal performance, including its history and limitations, will be given. The role of maximal and typical performance in cognitive development will be demonstrated through an exploration of the relationships between behavior, the environment, personality, crystallized intelligence, and fluid intelligence. Furthermore, these topics will be related to the development and use of critical thinking skills. Discussion will conclude with directions for future research.
12. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Frank Codispoti The Academic College Course is An Argument
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13. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Ann van Heerden Transforming a Content-driven Chemistry Course to One Focused on Critical Thinking Skills Without Sacrificing Any Content
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This article chronicles the process used to transform a content-driven chemistry lab course into a course focused on developing critical-thinking skills. In general, the process described includes the following: 1) determining the needs of the students, 2) understanding the history of the course, 3) identifying some specific critical thinking skills that could be developed in the course, 4) considering how the skills can be taught developmentally, 5) defining criteria for the skills at different levels; 6) revising the lab manual to include explicit critical-thinking definitions, directions and criteria for students, and 7) designing assessments of the students’ critical thinking abilities as defined and practiced in the lab. Six critical thinking skills (testing hypotheses, distinguishing between observationsand inferences, identifying assumptions, drawing conclusions supported by data, evaluating conclusions, and considering alternative explanations of data) were incorporated into the course. The lab manual displaying the results of this transformation is available by request from either the author or the journal editor.
14. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Lori Richter Questions about Critical Thinking: A Survey of Relevant Research
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The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of studies that sought to answer a number of questions about critical thinking First, studies are reviewed that looked at the correlation of scores on two major instruments, the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) and the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST). Then, results are reported that provide information about the relation between critical thinking and academic skills, and the independence of the construct of critical thinking. Finally, findings are reported on the relation between critical thinking and critical thinking dispositions, job related skills, years of education, fields of study, classroom interactions, learning styles, and cultural factors.
15. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Claire Phillips, Susan Green Faculty as Critical Thinkers: Challenging Assumptions
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The research presented in this paper used a case study approach to concentrate on the critical thinking preparation and skill sets of professors who, in turn, were expected to develop those same skills in their students. The authors interviewed community college instructors from both academic and work force disciplines. In general, the results of the study supported the researchers’ hypothesis that the ability to teach critical thinking was not necessarily intrinsic to a teaching professional. The authors of this study would like to suggest the following as a means of strengthening critical thinking expertise in faculty:1. Analyze current levels of critical thinking skills among faculty.2. Plan opportunities to bolster personal critical thinking knowledge within faculty ranks and develop a common critical thinking language among faculty.3. Assist faculty where necessary to develop new instructional models to strengthen critical thinking within their classrooms and critical thinking assessment instruments.
16. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Danielle M. Sitzman, Matthew G. Rhodes 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behaviors
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17. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Frank Fair From the Editor’s Desk
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18. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Robert Ennis Critical Thinking: Reflection and Perspective Part I
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This is Part I of a two-part reflection by Robert Ennis on his involvement in the critical thinking movement. Part I deals with how he got started in the movement and with the development of his influential definition of critical thinking and his conception of what critical thinking involves. Part II of the reflection will appear in the next issue of INQUIRY, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer 2011), and it will cover topics concerned with assessing critical thinking, teaching critical thinking, and what the future may hold.
19. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Michael Gillespie Assessing Critical Thinking about Values: A Quasi-Experimental Study
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Critical thinking and values are fundamental topics of interest in higher education. The current study is an empirical validation of a university’s effort to teach students to apply critical thinking to the recognition and articulation of values contained in focal essays. A Critical Thinking about Values Assessment (CTVA) is provided, which evaluates students’ responses regarding (1) key components of critical thinking, and (2) “critical thinking about values,” in response to the essays. These two criteria were assessed at the beginning and end of the semester as part of a naturally-occurring quasiexperiment. Results provide some support for the reliability and validity of the CTVA and suggest that the program has a tenuous relationship with students’ critical thinking, but a moderate to strongrelationship with students’ ability to recognize and articulate values.
20. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Maria Sanders Embracing Critical Thinking as a Model for Professional Development: Creating Critical Thinking Based – Faculty Learning Communities On Your Campus
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This essay provides a summary of the steps taken to build a critical thinking based faculty learning community (CTB-FLC) on the Lone Star College – CyFair campus across various disciplines. The author shares the motivations driving this project, the challenges and successes of the ten participating members, and the plans for future CTB-FLCs. The primary purpose of this essay is to encourage other colleges to build similar critical thinking based faculty learning communities as professional development opportunities on their campuses. The essay culminates with a set of recommendations which result from the lessons learned during the implementation of a CTB-FLC from 2008 to 2010 at Lone Star College – CyFair.