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Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools

Source: Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2009). Critical Thinking: Concepts & Tools. Tomales, CA: Author. www.criticalthinking.org
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Megan Gandy-Guedes

on 12 August 2016

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Transcript of Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools

Concepts & Tools of Critical Thinking
Elements of Thought
Questions to guide you
Conclusion
Why Critical Thinking?
The Problem
A Definition
The Result
Critical thinking is...
Self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.
Requires rigorous standards of excellence (and mindful command of their use).
Entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities.
A committment to overcoming our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
Humility
Courage
Empathy
Autonomy
Integrity
Perseverance
Confidence in reason
Fairmindedness

Source: Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2009). Critical Thinking: Concepts & Tools. Tomales, CA: Author. www.criticalthinking.org
Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.
IMPLICATIONS & CONSEQUENCES
POINT OF VIEW
frames of reference, perspecties, orientations
QUESTION AT ISSUE
problem,
issue
INTERPRETATION & INFERENCE
conclusions,
solutions
CONCEPTS
theories, definitions, laws, principles, models
INFORMATION
data, facts, reasons
observations, experiences, evidence
ASSUMPTIONS
presuppositions, axioms
taking for granted
PURPOSE
goals,
objectives
PURPOSE: What am I trying to accomplish? What is my central aim? My purpose?

QUESTIONS: What question am I raising? What question am I addressing? Am I considering the complexities in the question?

INFORMATION: What information am I using in coming to that conclusion? What experience have I had to support this claim? What information do I need to settle the question?

INFERENCES/CONCLUSIONS: How did I reach this conclusion? Is there another way to interpret the information?

CONCEPTS: What is the main idea here? Can I explain this idea?

ASSUMPTIONS: What am I taking for granted? What assumption has led me to that conclusion?

IMPLICATIONS/CONSEQUENCES: If someone accepted my position (or stance), what would be the implications? What am I implying?

POINTS OF VIEW: From what point of view am I looking at this issue? Is there another point of view I should consider?
Intellectual Standards
Questions to guide you
CLARITY: Could you elaborate further on that point? Could you express that point in another way? Could you give me an example?

ACCURACY: Is that really true? How could we check that?

PRECISION: Could you give me more details? Could you be more specific?

RELEVANCE: How is that connected to the question? How does that bear on the issue?

DEPTH: How does your answer address the complexities in the question? How are you taking into account the problems in the question? Are you dealing with the most significant factors?

BREADTH: Do we need to consider another point of view? Is there another way to look at this question?

LOGIC: Does this really make sense? Does that follow from what you said?

FAIRNESS: Are we considering all relevant viewpoints in good faith? Are we distorting some information to maintain our biased perspective? Are we more concerned about our vested interests than the common good?
ACCURACY
free from errors or distortions,
true
PRECISION
exact to the necessary level of detail
RELEVANCE
relating to the matter at hand
DEPTH
containing complexities, and
multiple inter-relationships
BREADTH
encompassing multiple viewpoints
LOGIC
the parts make sense together,
no contradictions
CLARITY
understandable,
the meaning can be grasped
FAIRNESS
justifiable,
not self-serving or one-sided
MANY MORE...
Completeness, Validity, Rationality, Sufficiency, Necessity, Feasabilty, Consistency, Authenticity, Effectiveness, Efficiency....
Elements of Thought
Intellectual Standards
ESSENTIAL INTELLECTUAL TRAITS
Arrogance
Cowardice
Narrow-mindedness
Conformity
Hypocrisy
Laziness
Distrust reason, evidence
Unfairness

The Intellectual Standards
must be applied to
The Elements of Thought
as we learn to develop
Intellectual Traits
Challenged Thinker
We are faced with significant problems in our thinking
Beginning Thinker
Unreflective Thinker
We are unaware of significant problems in our thinking
We try to improve, but without regular practice
Practicing Thinker
We regularly practice and advance in our thinking accordingly
Advanced Thinker
We are commited to lifelong practice and are beginning to internalize intellectual traits
Accomplished Thinker
Intellectual skills and traits have become second nature in our lives
EGOCENTRIC THINKING
SOCIOCENTRIC THINKING
“What can be done about the education system in America?”
“What can educators do to ensure that students learn the skills and abilities which help them function successfully on the job and in their daily decision-making?”
“most dogs weigh more than 300 pounds.”
“Fluffy is overweight.”
Effort = Learning
/
...only recognizes the insights of one side of the question.

not mutually supporting
contradictory
does not "make sense"
Think from our own perspective, which tends to privilege our position.

Treating all relevant viewpoints alike
without reference to one’s own feelings or interests.
Full transcript