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ERIC Number: EJ1092143
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
Is Truthiness Enough? Classroom Activities for Encouraging Evidence-Based Critical Thinking
Kraus, Sue; Sears, Sharon R.; Burke, Brian L.
Journal of Effective Teaching, v13 n2 p83-93 2013
Teaching students how to think critically and develop lifelong habits of evidence-based inquiry outside of the classroom is a primary goal for educators today. This paper describes nine activities designed to promote evidence-based critical thinking in college or high school classrooms in any discipline. We have developed a seven step process for critical thinking, with teaching modules designed to build skills in these steps in an engaging, active way. The modules involve a variety of teaching methods, including use of video, discussion, debate, and homework assignments. We begin with fun, engaging, less emotionally-laden topics such as toys that claim to read brain waves or pictures of ghosts and then progress to more serious topics such as use of medical marijuana and racial profiling in airports. The modules were designed to stimulate interest in our students and could easily be modified to encourage students to think more deeply about current issues in the news or local community. There is evidence that these modules can increase motivation to think critically outside the classroom (Burke, Sears & Kraus, 2012) and help students evaluate their own belief systems (Burke, Sears, Kraus, & Roberts-Cady, in press). Further, we report on data suggesting that, when combined with deductive reasoning activities, these modules can boost students' critical thinking skills.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A