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Critical Thinking

Advanced
Professional
Skills
2007 Update Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Peter A. Facione

EXPERT CONSENSUS STATEMENT REGARDING CRITICAL


THINKING AND THE IDEAL CRITICAL THINKER

“We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-


regulatory judgment which results in interpretation,
analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation
of the evidential, conceptual, methodological,
criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which
that judgment is based. CT is essential as a tool of inquiry.
As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a
powerful resource in one’s personal and civic life. While
not synonymous with good thinking, CT is a pervasive and
self-rectifying human phenomenon.

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2007 Update Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Peter A. Facione

The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-


informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-
minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases,
prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear
about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in
seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of
criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking
results which are as precise as the subject and the
circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good
critical thinkers means working toward this ideal. It
combines developing CT skills with nurturing those
dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and
which are the basis of a rational and democratic society.”

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Critical Thinking: Common Ideas

 Judgement
 Interpretation
 Tool of enquiry
 Good thinking
 Self regulation
 Evaluation
 Relevant information

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Critical Thinking: Images
2007 Update Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Peter A. Facione

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Critical Thinking: Images
2007 Update Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Peter A. Facione

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Six Steps to Effective Thinking and Problem-Solving
2007 Update Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Peter A. Facione

 “IDEALS”

 Identify the problem. — “What’s the real question we’re facing


here?”
 Define the context. — “What are the facts and circumstances that
frame this problem?”
 Enumerate choices. — “What are our most plausible three or four
options?”
 Analyze options. — “What is our best course of action, all things
considered?”
 List reasons explicitly. — “Let’s be clear: Why we are making this
particular choice?”
 Self-correct. — “Okay, let’s look at it again. What did we miss?”

 5 What’s and a Why

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Critical Thinking: More Words
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

 Process of reflection
 Judgement / reflective judgement
 Analytical thinking
 Acquiring information
 Evaluation
 Well-justified conclusion

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Critical Thinking: aspects
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

One can regard critical thinking as involving


two aspects:
1. a set of cognitive skills, intellectual
standards, and traits of mind
2. the disposition or intellectual commitment
to use those structures to improve thinking
and guide behavior.

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Critical Thinking: BIAS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

"I thought I knew,


but I merely believed"

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

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Critical Thinking: Learning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

 What do you mean by_______________?


 How did you come to that conclusion?
 What was said in the text?
 What is the source of your information?
 What is the source of information in the
report?
 What assumption has led you to that
conclusion?
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Critical Thinking: Learning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

 Suppose you are wrong. What are the


implications?
 Why did you make that inference? Is another one
more consistent with the data?
 Why is this issue significant?
 How do I know that what you are saying is true?
 What is an alternate explanation for this
phenomenon?

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Critical Thinking: Fallacies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

A fallacy is a component of an argument that is


demonstrably flawed in its logic or form, thus
rendering the argument invalid in whole.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

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Arguments: Examples
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

1. Cheese is food.
2. Food is delicious. 
meaning?
3. Therefore, cheese is delicious.

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Arguments: Examples
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

1. Andre is a good tennis player.


2. Therefore, Andre is 'good', that is to say a
morally good person.

 What does “good” mean?

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Critical Thinking: Dialog ?
Thinking as a Dialog

All reading is an active,


reflective, problem-solving
process. We do not simply
read words; we read ideas,
thoughts that spring from the
relationships of various
assertions.
So is critical thinking!

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Critical Thinking: aspects
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

Irrespective of the sphere of thought, “a well cultivated critical


thinker":

1. raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly


and precisely;
2. gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas
to interpret it effectively
3. comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them
against relevant criteria and standards;
4. thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought,
recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions,
implications, and practical consequences; and
5. communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to
complex problems.
(Paul, R. and Elder, 2006)

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Critical Thinking: Tools
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_mapping

A mind map is a diagram used to represent


words, ideas, tasks or other items linked
to and arranged radially around a central
key word or idea. It is used to generate,
visualize, structure and classify ideas,
and as an aid in study, organization,
problem solving, decision making, and
writing.

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Critical Thinking: Tools
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorming

 Brainstorming is a group creativity technique


designed to generate a large number of ideas for the
solution to a problem.
 Although traditional brainstorming may not increase
the productivity of groups, it has other potential
benefits, such as enhancing the enjoyment of group
work and improving morale. It may also serve as a
useful exercise for team building.
 Perhaps better as “pair thinking”

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Critical Thinking: Summary

3 key words Tools

1. Judgement 1. Dialog
2. Interpretation 2. Mind-maps
3. Evaluation 3. Communication

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