ERIC Number: ED345242
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Writing and Critical Thinking: Points of Convergence, Points of Divergence.
Critical thinking and writing, a marriage originally made in heaven, is only now beginning to recover from a long and sterile period of estrangement. John Dewey described critical thinking as a complex, transactional, context-based web of activity involving the whole person, an activity which writing both demonstrates and promotes. The estrangement between writing and critical thinking began in the 1940s, when educators tried to quantify and assess critical thinking. Today there is a renaissance of Dewey's holistic approach to critical thinking, with theorists like John McPeck, Chet Meyers, and Anthony Petrosky envisioning it as the basic epistemic of every course. Further, these and other theorists are realizing that writing both demonstrates and fosters critical thinking. The link between writing and critical thinking is fundamental to several influential and rival composition theories: the cognitive approach, the social constructionist approach, and the epistemic approach. Writing becomes a form of learning in and of itself through the epistemic approach, as exemplified by the writing assignments for the difficult, often thorny reading selections found in the anthology "Ways of Reading." Finally, composition teachers are borrowing from the specific vocabulary and methodologies of critical thinking, and often are attributing the success of their pedagogy to its foundations in critical thinking concepts, thus emphasizing a solid reconciliation and a future of joint creativity. (Eighteen references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Dewey (John); Holistic Education
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).