Jamie Hale

Jamie Hale

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Critical Thinking Defined

 Critical thinking includes scientific thinking and overriding fast thinking in some contexts. That is, overriding fast thinking when fast thinking leads to undesired outcomes. 

Why Critical Thinking is Important for Everyone 

Critical thinking is an important subject in education, and educators stress the importance of teaching critical thinking beginning at an early age. College professors often dedicate a fair amount of time and effort to developing and implementing lesson plans to make students better critical thinkers. But what does it mean to be a critical thinker? 

When educators are asked to define critical thinking, their answers are often ambiguous. Common responses include: “teaching them how to think,” “teaching them formal logic,” “teaching them to be thinkers,” “teaching them how to think for themselves,” or “teaching them how to solve problems.” These explanations are problematic. Logic is only a portion of what is needed to increase critical thinking; independent thinking doesn’t necessarily imply critical thinking; and teaching people how to solve problems does not bring us any closer to a consistent conceptualization of critical thinking (Stanovich and Stanovich 2010). I have done informal surveys asking people to define critical thinking in bookstores, libraries, and public parks. The answers were similar to those given by educators with little consensus. full article 

Rethinking Science Education

The general public has expressed strong confidence and trust in science (Sloss & Hale, Working Paper). Opinion polls indicate science careers are rated among the most admired and trusted occupations, despite their limitations.

If you ask most people, they will probably agree that science education is important. American kids don’t perform well on some international science tests, and performance gets even worse as they grow into teenagers. full article 

Most people will agree critical thinking is important. It is important that a clear conceptualization occurs with such an important concept. Critical thinking is good thinking. It is thinking that enhances chances of acquiring goals and it is thinking that is evidence based.   

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