Critical Thinking Purpose

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We must give ourselves and our students what could be called artificial cogitation, the intellectual equivalent of artificial respiration to make dead minds come to life again.

“Critical thinking is deciding rationally what to or what not to believe.” Norris, Stephen P. “Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome.

Criteria: To think critically, you must apply criteria.

This means you need to set conditions that must be met for you to judge something as believable.

Find Context: Questions of point of view force us to examine our point of view and to consider other relevant points of view.

Focus: Questions of relevance force us to discriminate what does and what does not bear on a question.

Reasoning: You have the ability to infer a conclusion from one or multiple premises.

To do so requires examining logical relationships among statements or data.

The questions we ask determine where our thinking goes.

When learners are asked to memorize facts, it’s as if they were told to repeatedly step on the brakes in a vehicle that is parked. Go below the surface: Deep questions drive our thoughts below the surface of things and force us to deal with the complexity of what is real.


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