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ERIC Number: ED429875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Significance of Theoretical Training for Critical Thinking.
Slife, Brent
The ability to think critically is one of the few teaching goals that seems to cut across the various factions of contemporary university culture. Critical thinking provides students with the ability to learn and evaluate the content of each discipline. Evaluation skills offer two benefits: (1) students understand the discipline at a greater depth; and (2) students are more creative. Psychology endorses the importance of critical thinking. Noting that psychology is one of the many disciplines to endorse the importance of critical thinking, this paper considers how well academic psychologists actually facilitate critical thinking in their undergraduate and graduate students. The paper offers a true experience that suggests psychologists have a long way to go before reaching"critical thinking nirvana." It recounts what happened in a "Teaching Psychology" graduate course when various visiting faculty members discoursed on how to teach discipline. The critical thinking issue was completely overlooked by the 17 faculty lecturers. According to the paper, information distribution was emphasized by the majority of the presenters. The only lecturer to mention critical thinking in his presentation felt that the key to critical thinking is the skill to question and evaluate the information itself. In addition, one group of presenters taught scientific method as critical thinking. The paper contends that critical thinking should involve skills in evaluating all the information, including the process being advocated to do the evaluating. The paper suggests that the discipline of psychology, which views science as proceeding without the need of intellectual history, has not laid down the theoretical groundwork necessary to facilitate critical thinking. For this and other reasons, the paper proposes a new subdiscipline of theoretical psychology. (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A