ERIC Number: ED332613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Thinking in College. Accent on Improving College Teaching and Learning.
Hart, Kathleen A.
This paper discusses whether critical thinking can be taught in the college classroom. It argues that education in general provides the tools for thinking, and therefore, improves the capability for better thinking. The Alverno College faculty, as an example, has improved student critical-thinking ability because the faculty stresses explicitness, multiple opportunities to practice in differing contexts, and the development of student self-awareness and self-assessment. Teaching students to focus on the elements of a problem or to create a schematic or graphic representation are useful first steps to learning how to think. Also, student participation, teacher encouragement, and student-to-student interaction (active practice, motivation, feedback) are positively related to critical thinking. Courses in logic and laboratory procedures are not very successful in teaching practical reasoning skills, whereas statistics courses have been more useful by helping students to generalize. Three elements of teaching are highlighted as contributing to the improvement of thinking ability: (1) verbalizing methods and strategies to encourage development of learning strategies; (2) student discussion and interaction; and (3) explicit emphasis on problem-solving procedures and methods using varied examples. Contains 13 references and 8 suggested readings. (GLR)
Descriptors: Cognitive Ability, Cognitive Development, College Students, Critical Thinking, Higher Education, Problem Solving, Skill Development, Student Improvement, Teaching Methods, Thinking Skills
NCRIPTAL, 2400 School of Education Building, The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 (free with self-addressed stamped envelope).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, Ann Arbor, MI.