Core Critical Thinking Skills

Core Critical Thinking Skills-52
What about, conducting a controlled experiment scientifically and applying the proper statistical methods to attempt to confirm or disconfirm an empirical hypothesis?Beyond being able to interpret, analyze, evaluate and infer, good critical thinkers can do two more things.These two skills are called "explanation" and "self-regulation." The experts define explanation as being able to present in a cogent and coherent way the results of one*s reasoning.

What about, conducting a controlled experiment scientifically and applying the proper statistical methods to attempt to confirm or disconfirm an empirical hypothesis?

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In a sense this is critical thinking applied to itself.

Because of that some people want to call this "meta-cognition," meaning it raises thinking to another level.

Again, can you come up with some examples of analysis?

What about identifying the similarities and differences between two approaches to the solution of a given problem?

Are they good at interpretation, analysis, and evaluation? And your examples of poor critical thinkers, are they lacking in these cognitive skills? To the experts inference means "to identify and secure elements needed to draw reasonable conclusions; to form conjectures and hypotheses; to consider relevant information and to educe the consequences flowing from data, statements, principles, evidence, judgments, beliefs, opinions, concepts, descriptions, questions, or other forms of representation." As sub-skills of inference the experts list querying evidence, conjecturing alternatives, and drawing conclusions. You might suggest things like seeing the implications of the position someone is advocating, or drawing out or constructing meaning from the elements in a reading.

You may suggest that predicting what will happen next based what is known about the forces at work in a given situation, or formulating a synthesis of related ideas into a coherent perspective.Maybe the most remarkable cognitive skill of all, however, is this next one.This one is remarkable because it allows good critical thinkers to improve their own thinking.What about picking out the main claim made in a newspaper editorial and tracing back the various reasons the editor offers in support of that claim?Or, what about identifying unstated assumptions; constructing a way to represent a main conclusion and the various reasons given to support or criticize it; sketching the relationship of sentences or paragraphs to each other and to the main purpose of the passage?(We*ll get to the dispositions in just a second.) Did any of these words or ideas come up when you tried to characterize the cognitive skills mental abilities involved in critical thinking?Quoting from the consensus statement of the national panel of experts: interpretation is "to comprehend and express the meaning or significance of a wide variety of experiences, situations, data, events, judgments, conventions, beliefs, rules, procedures, or criteria." Interpretation includes the sub-skills of categorization, decoding significance, and clarifying meaning. How about recognizing a problem and describing it without bias?How about judging an author*s or speakers credibility, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative interpretations, determining the credibility of a source of information, judging if two statements contradict each other, or judging if the evidence at hand supports the conclusion being drawn?Among the examples the experts propose are these: "recognizing the factors which make a person a credible witness regarding a given event or a credible authority with regard to a given topic," "judging if an argument*s conclusion follows either with certainty or with a high level of confidence from its premises," 2 The findings of expert consensus cited or reported in this essay are published in Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction. Facione, principle investigator, The California Academic Press, Millbrae, CA, 1990. In 1993/94 the Center for the Study of Higher Education at The Pennsylvania State University undertook a study of 200 policy- makers, employers, and faculty members from two-year and four- year colleges to determine what this group took to be the core critical thinking skills and habits of mind.How about this: after judging that it would be useful to you to resolve a given uncertainty, developing a workable plan to gather that information?Or, when faced with a problem, developing a set of options for addressing it.


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