ERIC Number: ED284608
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: 0
Improving Student Thinking at the Community College.
Critical thinking encompasses the recognition of significant problems within a particular knowledge domain, the ability to systematically evaluate data through the application of various schema, the ability to suspend personal evaluative biases, and the ability to construct, test, and communicate a final solution. Critical thinking is a skill which most educators expect their students to master, but, unlike reading, writing, or programming, critical thinking is viewed as something which one discovers for oneself. The best students do seem to acquire critical thinking skills without explicit instruction, but many students require more explanation and coaching. Many current attempts to teach critical thinking, including unstructured Piagetian thinking exercises, the Socratic method, and structured courses focusing on either domain-specific skills or general skills to be applied across the curriculum, have not produced the desired result. Various research models, focusing on artificial intelligence; comparisons of expert and novice information processing; logical biases responsible for some systematic errors in logic; and the self-referent effect, offer insight into the complicated process of human thought. Using these insights, a program, course, or technique may be developed for testing. (AYC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.
Note: One of a series of "Essays by Fellows" on "Policy Issues at the Community College."