A Few Remarks on Critical Thinking – Part 1

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Anatomy of Teaching

Women become persons under Canadian law.

Critical Thinking is an educational motherhood issue. Who could possibly be opposed to critical thinking? Surely students should learn to think critically so that they can be informed, critical citizens in a modern democratic society.

I’m not about to dispute the general value of critical thinking. Rather, I’d like to delve into the issue over a few posts to see if I can clarify what critical thinking is and isn’t, and what teachers can and should do about it.

In 1990, the American Philosophical Association published a Delphi Report on Critical Thinking, with Peter Facione as the primary author. The result was the culmination of a process by which scholars from science, humanities, social sciences and education worked (via mail!) to develop a consensus on the nature of critical thinking. The report did not prescribe teaching methods for critical thinking (see my Bad…

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