Critical Thinking In The Classroom

Today’s student must be able to apply content knowledge and conceptual understanding across content areas. According to Grant Wiggins (2013), “Transfer is the bottom-line goal of all learning, not scripted behavior.

Transfer means that a learner can draw upon and apply from all of what was learned, as the situation warrants, not just do one move at a time in response to a prompt.” “Teachers in thinking classrooms understand how to use concepts to integrate student thinking at a deeper level of understanding – a level where knowledge can be transferred to other situations and times” (Erickson, 2007, p. How can teacher teams design curriculum and instruction that create ‘thinking classrooms’?

Students can strengthen their abilities to evaluate information through discussions, questions, and experiments that are relevant to lesson topics.

As educators, we all know that failing to distinguish accurate from misleading information will put our students at a distinct disadvantage throughout their lives.

And while it’s true that we can’t be there to help our students evaluate everything they hear, we can help them establish the skills to critically assess information throughout their lives.

In every core subject, there are opportunities to practice analytical skills.If you want to teach your students critical thinking, give them opportunities to brainstorm and analyze things. An important part of critical thinking is also recognizing good and bad sources of information.Classroom discussions are a great way to encourage open-mindedness and creativity. Critical thinking is not dependent on language, so it might be helpful to have ESL students make critical connections first.According to this framework, well-rounded critical thinking instruction helps students acquire: a critical thinking attitude or habit of intellectual deliberation; individual intellectual skills like analysis and inference; the ability to use these skills in new contexts, and the ability to reflect upon and evaluate one's own thinking (metacognition).Visit the Critical Thinking website for full access to the learning modules and additional materials and resources. Teaching critical thinking means giving students intentional challenges and supportive practice overcoming those challenges using specific intellectual skills.They can do this using their own language and then find similar connections that exist using the English language. I was watching a sitcom the other day and laughed out loud when one of the characters said this: “I know I'm gullible…because people tell me that, and I have no reason not to believe them.” I’d just been thinking about this post, and kept coming back to the simplest of facts: Critical thinking skills are there to help us sort the accurate information from the misleading.And as students navigate a complicated world where a mix of reputable and untrustworthy information is presented to them non-stop, we can probably all agree: Evaluating information is becoming more important every day. Maybe you see an ad in your mailbox, or hear a barrage of ads on the radio, or read an opinion column in the newspaper.You can probably recognize this scenario: You’re sitting somewhere and someone is talking at you. Maybe it’s a realtor, maybe a salesperson, a lawyer, or a politician or talkshow host on TV. The world is throwing information at you so fast you couldn’t possibly fact-check it all, but you have a sense of which sources you should trust, and which sources you should be more skeptical of. Students encounter situations like this constantly. Their generation is at the bottom of an information waterfall, and they haven't necessarily learned how to analyze all the information they're presented with.Teaching critical thinking means giving students intentional challenges and supportive practice overcoming those challenges using specific intellectual skills.Geared towards faculty, this video series was created as part of the Teacher to Teacher website developed by the Center for Teaching and Learning and the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) at the University of Texas at Austin, and funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


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