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Colloquium on Critical Thinking March 13-13

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Robert Ficociello

on 13 March 2013

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Transcript of Colloquium on Critical Thinking March 13-13

*identify central issues and assumptions in an
argument
*recognize important relationships
make correct inferences from data
*deduce conclusions from the information or data
provided
*interpret whether conclusions are warranted on
the basis of the data given
*evaluate evidence or authority Learner's
abilities How do we facilitate students' progression? My take Definitions Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view of improving it.
--Miniature Guide to CT Concepts and Tools: http://louisville.edu/kent/programs/Practicum/documents/supervisors/Miniature%20Guide%20to%20Critical%20Thinking.pdf Stages of
Intellectual
Development
via Perry From Ken Bain's
What the Best College Teachers Do Move 101/102 students from one intellectual stage to another:
Typically Dualism/Received Knowledge: There are right/wrong answers, engraved on Golden Tablets in the sky, known to Authorities.
To:
Multiplicity/Subjective Knowledge:
There are conflicting answers; therefore, students must trust their "inner voices", not external Authority.
To [maybe]:
Relativism/Procedural Knowledge:
Contextual Relativism:
All proposed solutions are supported by reasons; i.e., must be viewed in context & relative to support. Some solutions are better than others, depending on context.
Student's task is to learn to evaluate solutions. Critical Thinking Furedy & Furedy, 1985 Create a natural critical learning environment
-People learn by confronting intriguing, beautiful, or important problems, authentic tasks that will challenge them to grapple with ideas, rethink assumptions, examine mental models of reality
-Learners have a sense of control over their education
-Work collaboratively with others
-Believe that their work will be considered fairly
-Try, fail, receive feedback from expert learners in advance of and separate from any
summative judgment Frustration Promoting a space
for Critical Thinking *Students enter a course without the
background we expect
*Language barriers
*Task oriented, pragmatic
*Gradecentric
*
*
*
* A.Dualism/Received Knowledge:
There are right/wrong answers, engraved on Golden Tablets in the sky, known to Authorities.
1.Basic Duality:
All problems are solvable; Therefore, the student's task is to learn the Right Solutions
2.Full Dualism:
Some Authorities (literature, philosophy) disagree; others (science, math) agree.
Therefore, there are Right Solutions, but some teachers' views of the Tablets are obscured.
Therefore, student's task is to learn the Right Solutions and ignore the others!
B.Multiplicity/Subjective Knowledge:
There are conflicting answers; therefore, students must trust their "inner voices", not external Authority.
3.Early Multiplicity:
There are 2 kinds of problems: those whose solutions we know and those whose solutions we don't know yet (thus, a kind of dualism).
Student's task is to learn how to find the Right Solutions.
4.Late Multiplicity:
Most problems are of the second kind; therefore, everyone has a right to their own opinion; or some problems are unsolvable; therefore, it doesn't matter which (if any) solution you choose.
Student's task is to shoot the bull. (Most freshman are at this position, which is a kind of relativism) C. Relativism/Procedural Knowledge:
There are disciplinary reasoning methods:
Connected knowledge: empathetic (why do you believe X?; what does this poem say to me?) vs. Separated knowledge: "objective analysis" (what techniques can I use to analyze this poem?)
5. Contextual Relativism:
All proposed solutions are supported by reasons; i.e., must be viewed in context & relative to support. Some solutions are better than others, depending on context.
Student's task is to learn to evaluate solutions.
6. "Pre-Commitment":
Student sees the necessity of: making choices and committing to a solution
D. Commitment/Constructed Knowledge:
Integration of knowledge learned from others with personal experience and reflection.
7. Commitment:
Student makes a commitment.
8. Challenges to Commitment:
Student experiences implications of commitment. Student explores issues of responsibility.
9. "Post-Commitment":
Student realizes commitment is an ongoing, unfolding, evolving activity. The journey is sometimes repeated; and one can be at different stages at the same time with respect to different subjects. Unifying principles for conducting effective classes
1. Create a natural critical learning environment
-Use questions.
Skills, attitudes, information is embedded in questions and tasks they find fascinating because they are authentic and arouse curiosity.
-Learn to think critically.
Reason from evidence, standards, environment in lectures, discussions, case studies, role-playing, field work, central project, everyone is working together.
-Use guidance.
Help students understand significance of question, and frame question with clear implications.
-Use an interdisciplinary approach.
Pose an historical struggle, or provocative questions.
-Foster higher order intellectual activity.
Compare, apply, evaluate, analyze, synthesize, make and defend judgments.
-Help students answer questions.
Raise questions that will help them reason through the process, to see the nature of the questions.
-Students develop their own answers- and defend them.
-Leave students with a question.
What is the next question? What can we ask now? What major conclusions did you draw? What questions remain in your mind?
-Pose an answer to a question that no one has raised. 2. Get their attention and keep it.
-Use some provocative act, question, statement.
-Use a stimulating case study of goal-based scenario.
3. Start with students rather than the discipline.
-Attend to what people think they know, and move them to what you want them to know.
4. Seek comments.
-Ask students if they really want to pursue the course learning objectives as stated in the
-Highly effective teachers approach each class as if they expect students to listen, think
respond, as evidenced by eye contact, enthusiasm in voice, willingness to call on
students. 6. Engage students in disciplinary thinking.
-Encourage students to think about information and ideas the way scholars in the
discipline do.
-Encourage students to understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate evidence
and conclusions.
-Offer explanations, analogies, questions to help students understand fundamental
concepts and solve their own problems. 5. Help students to learn outside of class.
-Do in class what you think will best help and encourage students to learn outside of
class.
-Give an explanation in class that helps to clarify and simplify, thereby enabling students
to study more complex material outside of class.
-Start a discussion giving students a chance to confront existing notions and new ones
-Facilitate a debate to allow students to practice critical thinking skills and uncover their
gaps in understanding.
-Facilitate groups work to help students build a sense of community. 7. Create diverse learning experiences.
-Provide visual information- pictures, diagrams, flowchart, times lines, film,
demonstrations.
-Use auditory- speech, visual symbols, written words, math notations.
-Facilitate having students interact to talk things out.
-Allow students to engage in independent reflection.
-Allow students to hear someone else’s explanation.
-Facilitate inductive organization of materials, i.e. fact to data to experiments to general
principles and theories.
-Facilitate deductive organization, i.e. apply principles to specific situations.
-Encourage sequential insights.
-Facilitate repetition and familiar methods. Provide a balance of systematic and messy
learning techniques. What I did with Bain's text?
1. It helped me look critically at my own assignments and teaching because I saw outside standards.
2. Some assignments and practices could be tweaked, some revised, and some scrapped.
3. Small adjustments first instead of a course overhaul. Usually, shorter and earlier assignments to assess changes and desired results.
4. Learning centered vs. coverage of my interests.
5. Perry's intellectual stages helps me take a "modest" approach to where I wanted students to be upon exit--move one intellectual stage up.
6. Merge Aristotle's rhetorical claims and appeals with critical thinking. Question based; problem based; personal offering; Dualism/Received Knowledge and Multiplicity/Subjective Knowledge Stages;
CT skills--evaluate evidence or authority;
interpret whether conclusions are warranted on
the basis of the data given
Substantiation, Evaluation, Policy claims

Prompt: I have only been in Kearney and the plains region for a full year, but with this new job, I just have not had time to explore the plains region all that much. I am getting settled into a new house, job, and location. In addition, I am getting married this October. I need your expert assistance. Provide an answer to this question: What would you suggest I visit, attend, experience, or avoid in Kearney or the plains region this summer? I only have short chunks of time, so limit your suggestion to a 24 hour block. Incorporate one source via quotation. Problem based; Outside the class; Dualism/Received Knowledge and Multiplicity/Subjective Knowledge Stages;
CT skills--evaluate evidence or authority;
deduce conclusions from the information or data
provided
Substantiation, Evaluation, Policy claims

Prompt: Write a three-paragraph letter to a company or individual. The impetus of this letter should be based on a recent personal experience with either a product or service. You can address some inconsistency, discrepancy, or injustice about your expectations. Incorporate one or two sources via quotation. Your take? Furedy & Furedy, 1985 [ammended]
*identify central issues and assumptions in an argument:
ethos, logos, pathos appeals
*recognize important relationships
make correct inferences from data: substantiation, evaluation, policy claims
*deduce conclusions from the information or data provided:
appeals and claims
*interpret whether conclusions are warranted on the basis of the data given:
appeals and claims
*evaluate evidence or authority:
appeals
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