Blog: Thoughts on Critical Thinking

Welcome to the interactive blog of distinguished authorities on critical thinking, Dr. Linda Elder and Dr. Gerald Nosich, Senior Fellows of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Join us here often – we will share personal readings we find helpful to our own development, instructional designs and processes we recommend, and strategies for applying critical thinking to everyday life situations.

Through this blog, we will also recommend videos and movies that can help you, your students, your colleagues, and your family internalize and contextualize critical thinking principles, or identify where and how critical thinking is missing. Look for our tips and questions connected with our recommendations.

We will also showcase in our blog articles by our scholars and by community members that are exemplary in advancing critical thinking. If you would like to recommend articles for showcasing here that you believe are exemplary, please forward them to us at communityadmin@criticalthinking.org
Linda Elder
Jun 20, 2021 • 4d ago
An Introduction to Media Bias and Political Propaganda for Students

{"ops":[{"insert":"I was recently interviewed about our new release: "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Fact Over Fake: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Media Bias and Propaganda"},{"insert":". This interview was conducted by instructor Cale Cohen for her students at York University in Canada. Here is a link to the video, which introduces the book to students\n\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"blue","link":"https://www.screencast.com/t/3RjMqhPW"},"insert":"https://www.screencast.com/t/3RjMqhPW"},{"insert":"\n\nYou may find a partial copy of the book at this link in our community: \n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#0066cc"},"insert":"https://community.criticalthinking.org/viewDocument.php?doc=../content/library_for_everyone/55/FactOverFake.pdf&page=1 "},{"insert":"\n\nFor a full copy of the book, by Richard Paul and Linda Eldaer (2020) see: "},{"attributes":{"color":"#0047b2"},"insert":"https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538143940/Fact-over-Fake-A-Critical-Thinker%27s-Guide-to-Media-Bias-and-Political-Propaganda "},{"insert":"\n\n"}]}



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Linda Elder
Jun 13, 2021 • 11d ago
David Attenborough...A Life on Our Planet

{"ops":[{"insert":"If you have not seen this documentary, I urge you to view it: "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"A Life on Our Planet"},{"insert":" by David Attenborough, which you can find here:\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfO-3Oir-qM\n\nIn this video, Attenborough, long-time nature historian (now 95 years old) who has traveled the world over many decades studying animals and their relationship with our planet, briefly details some of the sad and appalling implications resulting from human destruction of the earth over his lifetime. He paints a bleak outlook for our future, and that of our children, if we fail to urgently move to a green lifestyle and green economy; but he also gives us reason to hope, through suggestions for immediate action and by illuminating some few sustainable practices already being successfully implemented in different parts of the world.\n\nTo realize a future without catastrophe for humans and other species living on our planet, we need not just ways and means for sustainable practices. We will also need to recognize intrinsic human barriers to our willingness to implement feasible practices that protect the earth over the long run. These fall under the rough headings of egocentric and sociocentric thought – which refer to selfish thinking, intellectual arrogance, and the problem of group think. To read more on these problems, see a partial copy of my book: "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Liberating the Mind"},{"insert":":\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#0563c1","link":"https://community.criticalthinking.org/viewDocument.php?doc=../content/library_for_everyone/128/LiberatingtheMind-OvercomingSociocentricThoughtandEgocentricTendencies.pdf&page=1"},"insert":"https://community.criticalthinking.org/viewDocument.php?doc=../content/library_for_everyone/128/LiberatingtheMind-OvercomingSociocentricThoughtandEgocentricTendencies.pdf&page=1"},{"insert":"\n\nThe health of the earth without question now requires immediate, concerted efforts among groups of people working toward the common goal of sustainability. This cannot be done through our current lenses of competition, selfishness, vested interest, greed and unbridled power. To understand these problems requires a deep awareness of our own egocentric and sociocentric tendencies – for these are what hold us back from creating a world where sustainable practices prevail.\n---\n"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"To purchase a full copy of Liberating the Mind: Overcoming Sociocentric Thought and Egocentric Tendencies, for yourself or your students, see "},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"color":"#0563c1","link":"https://www.criticalthinking.org/liberating-the-mind-elder"},"insert":"https://www.criticalthinking.org/liberating-the-mind-elder"},{"insert":"\n"}]}



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Linda Elder
Jun 03, 2021 • 21d ago
Critical Societies Entail at Least Six Hallmarks

{"ops":[{"insert":"It is fairly easy, if we look around us, to see many irrational ways of thinking and living in everyday life. What is more difficult is to envision rational, elevated, lucid ways of living - as we lack examples in mainstream media, videography and literature.\n \nIn my book, "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Liberating the Mind"},{"insert":", I detail six hallmarks of a critical society. Critical societies will develop only to the extent that these dimensions are present. Each overlaps with, and illuminates, all the others. As you read through this list, ask yourself: To what degree do I, or do the groups to which I belong, embody these principles? To what degree do our schools, colleges, universities, businesses, government agencies, police forces, military and intelligence organizations, or indeed larger societies embrace and advance these principles?\n \n1.    Critical thinking is highly valued when people in the culture:\n \n•      see critical thinking as essential to living reasonably, rationally, and fruitfully.\n•      come to understand, from an early age, that, generally speaking, the development of their thinking takes precedence over their development in every other skill area, because the quality of every part of their life, and their ability to live peacefully with other people, depends on the quality of their thinking.\n•      continue to develop the skills, abilities, and traits of the disciplined mind throughout life.\n•      understand that the development of critical thinking occurs in stages and in accordance with one’s level of commitment and willingness to practice.\n•      are committed to becoming increasingly more skilled at fairminded critical thinking over time.\n•      recognize the importance of all people in societies learning to think critically, and work together to help one another develop intellectually.\n \n2.    The problematics in thinking are an abiding concern when people in the culture:\n \n•      recognize that everyone falls prey to mistakes in thinking, and therefore are constantly on the lookout for problems in their own thinking and in the thinking of others.\n•      systemically discourage closedmindedness and systematically encourage openmindedness.\n•      recognize egocentric and sociocentric thinking as significant barriers to critical thought.\n•      routinely study and diminish irrational thought.\n•      avoid manipulating, controlling, or using others to serve their selfish interests; avoid being manipulated, controlled, or used by others.\n•      recognize and guard against the natural tendencies of the human mind toward self-deception, rationalization, hypocrisy, conformism, intellectual arrogance, and other related pathologies.\n \n3.    Intellectual virtues are consistently fostered when people in the culture:\n \n•      think for themselves and avoid uncritically accepting the thinking or behavior of others.\n•      regularly and routinely enter the viewpoints of those with whom they disagree, in order to understand those viewpoints and to acknowledge any merit that might be found in them.\n•      encourage and foster multicultural worldviews; consider themselves citizens of the world, just as concerned with the well-being of all people on the planet as they are with the well-being of their own families, neighbors, societies, and countries.\n•      routinely and willingly engage in open, free discussion when reasoning through issues and problems.\n•      do not fear new ideas and ways of looking at things. Rather, they regularly think within ideas that may at first seem “strange” or “dangerous” in order to understand them.\n•      are not trapped in ideological systems.\n•      systematically apply the same standards to themselves as they do to others, expecting as much (or more) from themselves as they do of others.\n•      regularly seek and willingly admit to problems in their reasoning.\n•      regularly distinguish between what they know and don’t know.\n•      believe deeply in the idea that their interests, and those of society, are best served by giving the freest play to reason.\n•      regularly examine their beliefs and are willing to publicly disagree with others on issues they have deeply thought through.\n•      persevere through the difficulties in issues and problems, using their best reasoning abilities; do not give up when faced with complexities in thought.\n•      communicate and relate with others through civility and mutual respect.\n \n4.    Ethical reasoning is systematically fostered when people in the culture:\n \n•      treat the rights and needs of others as equal to their own.\n•      do not use other people to serve their selfish interests.\n•      are routinely encouraged and expected to question the rules, mores, requirements, and taboos of the culture.\n•      are taught the important distinctions between ethics, social rules, laws, and religious belief systems.\n•      do not confuse theological beliefs and social rules with ethics.\n•      do not see their groups as superior to other groups in terms of fundamental human rights.\n•      do not perceive the rights of humans as superior to the rights of other sentient creatures.\n•      use intellectual skills and abilities for the betterment of people and sentient creatures across the world, not to serve power and vested interests.\n•      recognize the intimate connections between how we live today, the health of the planet, and the well-being of future generations.\n \n5.    The analysis and assessment of reasoning are routinely used as primary tools for determining what to believe when people in the culture:\n \n•      recognize the predominant role of reasoning in human thought—the fact that the main activity of the human mind is reasoning.\n•      recognize that all reasoning contains eight elements: it targets purposes, formulates questions, pursues information, makes inferences, begins with assumptions, is shaped by concepts, is guided by a point of view, and leads to implications.\n•      are skilled at analyzing thinking; routinely analyze their own and others’ thinking in order to assess its quality.\n•      continually improve their ability to take thinking apart in order to better understand it and find potential flaws in it.\n•      routinely assess reasoning using universal intellectual standards such as clarity, accuracy, relevance, breadth, depth, logic, precision, and fairness.\n•      are keenly aware of the relationship between uses of language and the mind’s conceptualizations, and routinely study connections between the two.\n•      do not use language to manipulate other people; do not allow other people to manipulate them through their use of language.\n•      recognize the important role of questions in living a rational life; recognize that thinking is driven by questions, that significant questions lead to significant understandings, and that superficial questions lead to superficial understandings.\n•      recognize that their points of view, assumptions, and conceptualizations guide the ways in which they interpret information and influence the conclusions they come to.\n \n6.    Freedom of thought and action are protected when people in the culture:\n \n•      work together to protect the maximum freedoms for all people.\n•      work together to minimize the number of laws in the society.\n•      do not allow irrational power—through systems of justice, the police, or government—to undermine human freedoms.\n \nIt should be apparent that the characteristics laid down in the list above section are merely a beginning place. When deeply understood, they serve as organizers for a much broader and more detailed conceptualization, yet to be developed, of a critical society. These understandings provide the scaffolding. Perhaps as significantly, they illuminate the distance between current thinking (and practices) and those that would exist in critical societies.\n \n----\nThis blog is adapted from pages taken from: "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Liberating the Mind"},{"insert":" by Linda Elder (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).\n"}]}



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Richard Paul Archives
May 27, 2021 • 28d ago
Reflections on the Nature of Critical Thinking, Its History, Politics, and Barriers, and on Its Status across the College/University Curriculum Part I (Parts 1 & 2 of 8)

{"ops":[{"insert":"This article was published in the Fall 2011 issue of "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Sonoma State University’s Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines"},{"insert":" (vol. 26, no. 3) and was titled, “Reflections on the Nature of Critical Thinking, Its History, Politics, and Barriers, and on Its Status across the College/University Curriculum Part I.” (Part II was published in the Spring 2012 issue.)\n \nThe piece was divided into eight sections:\n\nAbstract"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Introduction"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"I. My Intellectual Journey"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"II. Barriers to the Cultivation of Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"III. Forms and Manifestations of Critical Thinking, Mapping the Field"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"IV. The Establishment of the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"V. Academic Departments, Faculty and Administrators Generally Fail to Foster Critical Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"VI Conclusion"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\n The first and second of these appear below.\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Abstract"},{"insert":"\nThis paper is a response to "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"INQUIRY "},{"insert":"editor Frank Fair’s invitation to me to write a reflective piece that sheds light on my involvement in the field of Critical Thinking Studies (some 35 years). My response is in two parts. The two parts together might be called “Reflections on the nature of critical thinking and on its status across the college/university curriculum.” The parts together have been written with a long term and large-scale end in view. If successful the two parts will shed light on why the critical thinking movement has not yet contributed significantly to human emancipation or to more just and fair-minded communities (world wide). It will also present some strategies for making such a contribution.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Key words: "},{"insert":"critical thinking, Richard Paul, barriers to critical thinking, critical thinking across the curriculum, critical thinking in everyday life, philosophy of education, critical thinking theorists, critical thinking studies, egocentric thinking, sociocentric thinking, weak-sense critical thinking, selfish critical thinking, strong-sense critical thinking, fair-minded thinkers, money in academia, politics in academia, emancipatory thinkers, Socrates, force and reason, education administration, critical thinking conference, critical thinking professional development, substantive critical thinking, Linda Elder, Gerald Nosich.\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Introduction"},{"insert":"\nMy perspective, as everyone’s, is only partially shaped by research in the tight sense of the word. I believe that the integrity of my views, including those views shaped broadly by experience and not precisely by scientific study, require representation in this paper (if those who read the paper are to grasp truly what has come to embody my personal perspective). The reader should keep in mind that I was invited to write a reflective piece based on my personal experience. This is what I have done. I was not asked to write a traditional research paper, and I have not done so. I have summarized some of the scientific studies that support my views in general; but I have not assembled further “hard data” than what is readily available on the Foundation for Critical Thinking website www.criticalthinking.org. Finally, I will be calling for research in virtually all the major sections of the paper. The field of Critical Thinking Studies is in need of on-going systematic research. My perceptions do not substitute for it.\n \nTo those readers of this paper looking to see the development of my conception of critical thinking “anchored to specific events, people, etc.” let me suggest review of the archives of the international conference for critical thinking and educational reform. Each program of conference proceedings documents the historical events which provide a rich context for the development of my views in relation to the views canvassed in the many sessions of the conference. For example, review of the program of the 15th international conference program documents what I have called the first, second, and third waves of critical thinking research. The development of my own views parallels these three “waves.”\n\nThis paper, then, is the first of two. Its first half is mainly personal and historical in nature. The second, forthcoming in "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"INQUIRY "},{"insert":"Vol. 27 No. 1 (Spring 2012), highlights difficulties one faces in contextualizing critical thinking in multiple domains. It might be called, “Critical Thinking: Foundations Applied Across the Disciplines.” In these reflections I focus on the important pay-offs of critical thinking, the issues we face in advocating it, and the strategies we must adopt if we want to be successful in achieving it as a personal, social, and cultural paradigm.\n \nThe first of the two parts focus on the observation, or claim if you will, that insofar as the critical thinking movement is viewed against the backdrop of a worldwide struggle of “force versus reason,” force has been dominant in the struggle. The opening of the struggle might well begin with Socrates against the government of ancient Athens. Socrates’ struggle was motivated by his personal conviction that human intellectual freedom is, though unrealized, a universal right. The struggle, from Socrates to this day, I argue, has been one-sided. The side of “force” has been manifested in a series of historical decisions and acts in favor, if you will, of the views, vested interest, and dominance of self-aggrandizing politicians, government and tribal representatives, warriors, kings, popes, priests, and many other authority figures.\n \nThe second part of this two-part article focuses on the fundamentals of critical thinking theory. All the ideas in it have been expressed in non-technical terms and expressions, readily intelligible to literate language users. Thus the paper is expressed in “ordinary” language. Going further, the account I provide of critical thinking and its application can be verified or “validated” in a range of academic fields as well as in a set of domains of knowledge not yet officially recognized as fields of knowledge by academia. Thus, if readers of this paper understand the fundamentals of critical thinking as I have expressed them, they should be able to contextualize them in any given domain of knowledge. In these projects there were two principal authors: myself and Linda Elder. The collection of monographs is entitled "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Thinkers’ Guides to Critical Thinking"},{"insert":". Thus far we have constructed these monographs in the following diverse subjects:\n \nClinical Reasoning"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Engineering Reasoning"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Analytic Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Essential Questions"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Scientific Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Critical reading (How to Read a Paragraph)"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Critical writing (How to Write a Paragraph)"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Media literacy (How to Detect Media Bias and Propaganda)"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"How to Study and Learn"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"The Human Mind"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Foundations of Ethical Reasoning"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"How to improve Student Learning"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Socratic Questioning"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Critical Thinking for Children"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Critical and Creative Thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Critical Thinking Competency Standards"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Educational Fads"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Critical Reading and Writing Test"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nOf course, the degree to which the critical thinking constructs we have framed will be intuitive to theoreticians reading them, will depend on whether the contextualizations represent domains of thought with which the theoreticians are independently and intellectually familiar. This point is illuminated in Gerald Nosich’s personal experiment with this model (Nosich, 2011). Unfortunately, many researchers and scholars in higher education have not become sufficiently motivated to test our approach to critical thought in a personal and experiential way. For a range of institutions encouraging their faculty to test our model across the disciplines, visit www.criticalthinking.org/pages/institutions-using-our-approach-to-critical-thinking/865. For research on the model, visit www.criticalthinking.org/pages/research-from-the-center-for-critical-thinking/595.\n\nIn my personal perspective, I see three especially significant domains of problematic work in the field of Critical Thinking Studies: 1) theory developed without adequate regard to practice (for example, philosophers who see philosophical issues in critical thinking as standing alone largely independent of practice ), 2) practice developed largely independent of theory (for example, educators who think that strategies for teaching critical thinking can be developed without theory), and 3) theory and application developed without adequate attention to politics (for example, educators who see economics and politics as a distraction rather than as a reality that must be dealt with intellectually). These fragmented approaches to critical thinking obscure the ethical responsibility academicians owe to the university and the public. My view is that, taken as a whole, higher education has not fulfilled its commitment to critical thinking and hence to the concept of education it generates. Higher education has often fallen prey to lower order politics, inadequate theory, ineffective practice, and, in general, an impoverished sense of history.\n\nHistorically (from Socrates to the present), the overriding problem of a potential field of Critical Thinking Studies has remained the same. Collectively speaking, we face in the field a messy, multilayered, three-fold set of questions whose settlements are so intertwined that no single question in the set can be adequately answered without taking into account how one proposes to answer the other two questions (in the set). In this case, the layers consist in 1) basic theory of critical thinking, 2) pedagogy appropriate to the teaching and learning of that theory, and 3) integration of both into the struggle for power in everyday life. By treating each question in this intertwined set as if each were open to isolated settlement, one renders it likely that little progress will be made on any, and, instead, that inquiry will descend into fruitless argumentation.\n\nUltimately, what we need are people skilled in fairminded critical thinking to work together to construct intellectual structures essential to communities and societies that honor critical thinking as a core value. In other words, critical thinking as a core value implies academics and insightful citizens with special skills and traits, namely, persons so educated that they can think multi-logically, who can move up and back between theory and practice, and who, ultimately, can articulate the interrelations between pedagogic practice and practice that transfers beyond academics into the messy world of everyday human realities.\n \nThe thoughts above are intended to provide a broad scope to this paper and its background logic.\n"}]}



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Linda Elder
May 21, 2021 • 34d ago
To Discipline and Improve Your Thinking, Learn to Ask Deep Questions on a Daily Basis

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"color":"#6e6e6e"},"insert":"“‘How do you know so much about everything?’ was asked of a very wise and intelligent man; and the answer was, ‘By never being afraid or ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant.’” —J. Abbott"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nThinking is driven by questions. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your thinking. Superficial questions lead to superficial thinking. Deep questions lead to deep thinking. Insightful. questions lead to insightful thinking. Creative questions lead to creative thinking. Further, questions determine the intellectual tasks required of you—if you are to answer them sufficiently. For example, the question “Are there any apples in the refrigerator?” implies that, to answer the question, you need to look in the refrigerator and count the apples there. The question “What is the best way to parent in this situation?” calls on you to think about the concept of parenting, to think about the specific parenting issues you are facing at the moment, and to think about the options available to you. Thus, questions lay out different, but specific, tasks for the mind to work through.\n \nGood thinkers routinely ask questions to understand and effectively deal with the world around them. They question the status quo. They know that things are often different from how they are presented. Their questions penetrate images, masks, fronts, and propaganda. Their questions bring clarity and precision to the problems they face. Their questions bring discipline to their thinking. Their questions show that they do not necessarily accept the world as it is presented to them. They go beyond superficial or “loaded” questions. Their questions help them solve their problems and make better decisions.\n \nWhen you become a student of questions, you learn to ask powerful questions that lead to a deeper and more fulfilling life. Your questions become more basic, essential, and deep. When you understand the questions other people are asking, you can better understand their thinking and viewpoint.\n \nAs you go through the next week, be on the lookout for questions you and others ask.\n \n·      What types of questions do you tend to ask?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"·      When do you fail to ask important and relevant questions?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"·      Do you tend to ask deep questions or superficial ones?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Listen to how others question, when they question, and when they fail to question. Examine the extent to which you are a questioner, or if you are simply one who accepts definitions of situations given by others. Focus on bringing your mind alive by improving the quality of the questions you ask. Notice the questions that guide your actions. Notice the questions that guide the actions of others.\n \nActively use these strategies for formulating more powerful questions:\n\n• Whenever you don’t understand something, ask a question to clarify precisely what you do not understand. Never answer a question unless you understand what it is asking."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Whenever you are dealing with a complex problem, formulate the question you are trying to answer in several different ways (being as precise as you can) until you hit on the way that best addresses the problem at hand. Then figure out what issues, problems, or ideas you need to think through to answer the question. Figure out what information you need to consider. Do you need to look at the question from multiple viewpoints? If so, detail those viewpoints as clearly and accurately as possible before proceeding to answer the question."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Whenever you plan to discuss an important issue or problem, write down in advance the most significant questions you need to address in the discussion. Be ready to change the main question if necessary. As soon as the question is clear, help those in the discussion stick to the question, making sure that the dialogue builds toward an answer that makes sense."},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \nQuestions you can ask to discipline your thinking:\n "},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What precise question am I trying to answer?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is this the best question to ask in this situation?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is there a more important question I should be addressing?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Does this question capture the real issue I am facing?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is there a question I should answer before I attempt to answer this question?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What information do I need to gather to answer the question?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What conclusions seem justified in light of the facts?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What is my point of view? Do I need to consider another?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• Is there another way to look at the question?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What are some related questions I need to consider?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"• What type of question is this: an economic question, a political question, a legal question, an ethical question, or a complex question with multiple domains?"},{"attributes":{"indent":1},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \n[This blog piece was adapted from "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living"},{"insert":" by Linda Elder and Richard Paul, 2013, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, pp. 77-79].\n"}]}



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Richard Paul Archives
May 17, 2021 • 38d ago
Critical Thinking and the State of Education Today (Part 8 of 8 - “Conclusion”)

{"ops":[{"insert":"This article was published in the Winter 1996 issue of Sonoma State University’s Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines (vol. 16, no. 2) and was titled, “Critical Thinking and the State of Education Today.” The piece was divided into eight sections:\n\n“Understanding Substantive Critical Thinking / Avoiding the Growing List of Counterfeits”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“No One Definition But A Common Core of Meaning”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The State of the Field Today: Three Waves of Research, With Little Sense of History”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The First Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1970-1996 / Formal & Informal Logic Courses”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The Second Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1980-1996 / Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Across the Grades”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The Third Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1985- / Depth & Comprehensiveness in Theory & Practice”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“Conclusion”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe eighth, and last, of these sections appear below.\n\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Conclusion"},{"insert":"\nThough it is now generally recognized that the art of thinking critically is a major missing link in education today, and that effective communication and problem-solving skills, as well as mastery of content require critical thinking; and though it is now generally conceded that the ability to think critically becomes more and more important to success in life as the pace of change continues to accelerate and as complexity and interdependence continue to intensify; and though it is also generally understood that some major changes in instruction will have to take place to shift the overarching emphasis of student learning from rote memorization to effective critical thinking (as the primary tool of learning) – it does not follow that university educators are well informed about the core meaning of critical thinking, nor even (ironically) that all of those working in the field of critical thinking studies have a clear sense of the core concept or of its history.\n \nIn fact, if my analysis and perspective are sound, the last 30 or so years of research into critical thinking is quite \"imperfect\" and reflects a very basic need which has not yet been significantly recognized or taken up by the bulk of those involved in research in critical thinking. The question, \"How can we who work in the field of critical thinking studies develop a keener sense of the history of the concept, a fuller sense of the need to integrate insights from multiple disciplines (without losing coherence or rigor), and a more effective way of communicating advanced work in the field to those concerned with classroom instruction?\" is still a vital, unanswered question. The Center for Critical Thinking, the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, and the Sonoma conference tradition are committed to comprehensiveness and rigor in the field. Future events, however, will judge whether or not critical thinking studies emerge as a vibrant, positive, and unifying influence in education in the near future, or whether it fades into a cacophony of specialist voices and awaits re-discovery by some future generation of broad-minded, interdisciplinary thinkers.\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"References"},{"insert":"\nEnnis, Robert H. (1985) Goals For A Critical Thinking/Reasoning Curriculum,\" Illinois Critical Thinking Project, University of Illinois, Champaign.\n \nEsterle, John, & Cluman, D. (1993) Critical Thinkers Think About Critical Thinking. The Whitman Institute, San Francisco, CA.\n \nLipman, Matthew (March, 1988) “Critical Thinking and the Use of Criteria,\" Inquiry. Institute For Critical Thinking, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, N.).\n \nPaul, Richard W, EIder, L, & BartelI, T. (in press), Teachers of Teachers: Examining Preparation for Critical Thinking. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing,. Sacramento California.\n \nSumner, William C. (1979) Folkways. Ayer Co., Salem, NH.\n"}]}



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Linda Elder
May 12, 2021 • 43d ago
How to Use Critical Thinking to Detect News Bias & Political Propaganda

{"ops":[{"insert":"I was recently interviewed by Alison Morrow about our recently revised book, now titled: "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Fact Over Fake: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Detecting Media Bias and Political Propaganda"},{"insert":". I encourage you to listen to the interview and provide feedback and your thoughts on the interview. Here is the link:\n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMPjaU56tbY&t=44s \n\nYou can read about the book at this link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52548920-fact-over-fake \n"}]}



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Richard Paul Archives
May 03, 2021 • 52d ago
Critical Thinking and the State of Education Today (Part 7 of 8 - “The Third Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice; 1985-: Depth & Comprehensiveness in Theory & Practice”)

{"ops":[{"insert":"This article was published in the Winter 1996 issue of Sonoma State University’s "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Discipline"},{"insert":"s (vol. 16, no. 2) and was titled, “Critical Thinking and the State of Education Today.” The piece was divided into eight sections:\n\n“Understanding Substantive Critical Thinking / Avoiding the Growing List of Counterfeits”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“No One Definition But A Common Core of Meaning”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The State of the Field Today: Three Waves of Research, With Little Sense of History”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The First Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1970-1996 / Formal & Informal Logic Courses”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The Second Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1980-1996 / Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Across the Grades”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The Third Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1985- / Depth & Comprehensiveness in Theory & Practice”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“Conclusion”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe seventh of these sections appear below.\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Third Wave Research Concerns:"},{"insert":"\n\nintegrating the insights of first and second wave research"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"developing a theory of critical thinking that is rigorous and comprehensive"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"explicating intellectual standards that have general application both within and beyond academic environments"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"accounting for the appropriate role of emotion and values in thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"understanding the leading role of thinking in the shaping of emotion and behavior"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"integrating the empirical work of cognitive psychology into critical thinking theory"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"establishing common denominator principles and standards within the field of critical thinking research and practice"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"developing effective assessment tools"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"identifying and critiquing pseudo-critical thinking models and programs"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe third wave of critical thinking research and practice is only just now beginning to emerge. As yet there are few who see clearly the enormity of the task which the field faces. The success of the third wave can be achieved only with a growing recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of the first two waves. First wave research needs to bring its rigor and depth into a broader complex of concerns. Second wave research needs to integrate rigor and depth into its comprehensiveness. Theories of teaching and learning (based on theories of thinking, emotion, and action) need to be carefully integrated.\n\nThe field needs a comprehensive theory of thinking and critical thinking. It needs a clear set of intellectual standards. It needs an integrated set of dispositions. It needs a comprehensive concept of logic which accommodates the role of emotion, intuition, imagination and values in thinking. It needs to make clear the leading role of thinking in the shaping of human feelings and behavior. It needs to provide a framework into which can be set integrated theories of teaching and learning in the widest variety of human contexts. It must provide both for the universal elements in reasoning and for those which are domain- and context-specific.\n"}]}



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Linda Elder
Apr 27, 2021 • 58d ago
Critical Thinking and Self-Actualization

{"ops":[{"insert":"The concept of self-actualization is rarely used today, but it is a concept worth considering if you are to take command of your mind and achieve the highest level of self-fulfillment. In the 1940s, Abraham Maslow conducted his own private study of individuals (personal acquaintances and friends, public and historical figures) as well one college student who fit his criteria. In 1956 (Moustakas Ed.),"},{"attributes":{"link":"#_edn1"},"insert":"[i]"},{"insert":" in a chapter entitled "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Self-Actualizing People: A Study of Psychological Health"},{"insert":", Maslow, who is at that time attempting to develop a rich conception of people who are self-actualized, says “for the purposes of this discussion, it [self-actualization] may be loosely described as the full use and the exploitation of talents, capacities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing… all subjects felt safe and unanxious, accepted, loved and loving, respectworthy and respected… (pp. 161-162).” From his studies, Maslow suggests that self-actualizing people embody the following characteristics:\n\n·     “an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, and the dishonest in personality and, in general, to judge people correctly and efficiently (p. 165).”\n·     “In art and music, in things of the intellect, in scientific matters, in politics and public affairs, they seemed as a group to be able to see concealed or confused realities more swiftly and more correctly then others (p. 165).”\n·     “A superior ability to reason, to perceive the truth, to come to logical conclusions and to be cognitively efficient, in general (p. 166).”\n·     “distinguish far more easily than most the fresh, concrete, and idiosyncratic from the generic, abstract, and ‘rubricized.’ The consequence is that they live more in the real world of nature than in the man–made set of concepts, expectations, beliefs, and stereotypes which most people confuse with the real world. They are therefore more apt to perceive what is ‘there’ rather than their own wishes, hopes, fears, anxieties, their own theories and beliefs, or those of their culture or group (p. 166).”\n·     “are uniformly unthreatened and unfrightened by the unknown, being therein quite different from average men. They accept it, are comfortable with it, and, often are even more attracted by it than by the known… they can tolerate the ambiguous (p. 167).”\n·     “Since for healthy people the unknown is not frightening, they do not have to spend any time laying the ghost, whistling past the cemetery, or otherwise protecting themselves against imagined dangers (p. 167).”\n·     “They do not neglect the unknown, or deny it, or run away from it, or try to make believe it is really known… they do not cling to the familiar, nor is their quest for truth a catastrophic need for certainty, safety, definiteness, and order… they can be, when the objective total situation calls for it, comfortably disorderly, anarchic, chaotic, vague, doubtful, uncertain, ambiguous, indefinite, proximate, inexact, or inaccurate (all, at certain moments in science, art, or life in general, quite desirable) (p. 167).”\n·     “…find it possible to accept themselves and their own nature (p. 168).”\n·     “tend to be good and lusty animals, hearty in their appetites and enjoying themselves mightily without regret or shame or apology (p. 169).”\n·     “Closely related to self-acceptance and to acceptance of others is (a) their lack of defensiveness, protective coloration, or pose (b) and their distaste for such artificiality in others. Cant, guile, hypocrisy, ‘front,’ ‘face,’ playing a game, trying to impress in conventional ways: these are all absent in themselves to an unusual degree (p. 169).”\n·     “what healthy people do feel guilty about (or ashamed, anxious, sad, or defensive) are (a) improvable shortcomings, e.g., laziness, thoughtlessness, loss of temper, hurting others; (b) stubborn remnants of psychological ill health, e.g., prejudice, jealousy, envy; (c) habit, which though relatively independent of character structure, made yet be very strong, or (d) shortcomings of the species or of the culture or of the group with which they have identified. The general formula seems to be that healthy people will feel bad about discrepancies between what is and what might very well be or ought to be (p. 170).”\n·     “his unconventionality is not superficial but essential or internal. It is his impulses, thought, consciousness that are so unusually unconventional, spontaneous, and natural. Apparently recognizing that the world of people in which he lives could not understand or accept this, and since he has no wish to hurt them or to fight with them over every triviality, he will go through the ceremonies and rituals of convention with a good-humored shrug and with the best possible grace (p. 170).”\n·     “The self-actualizing person practically never allows convention to hamper him or inhibit  him from doing anything that he considers very important or basic (p. 171).”\n·     “these people have codes of ethics which are relatively autonomous and individual rather than conventional. The unthinking observer might sometimes believe them to be ‘unethical’ since they can break not only conventions but laws when the situation seems to demand it. But the very opposite is the case. They are the most ethical of people even though their ethics are not necessarily the same as those of the people around them (p. 171).”\n·     “Their ease of penetration to reality, their closer approach to an animallike or childlike acceptance and spontaneity imply a superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general. Clinical study of this capacity confirms beyond a doubt the opinion, e.g., of Fromm, that the average ‘normal,’ ‘well-adjusted,” person often hasn’t even the slightest idea what he is, what he wants, what is own opinions are (p. 172).”\n·     “are in general strongly focused on problems outside themselves. In current terminology they are problem-centered rather than ego-centered. They generally are not problems for themselves and are not generally much concerned about themselves; i.e. as contrasted with the ordinary introspectiveness that one finds in insecure people. These individuals customarily have some vision in life, some task to fulfill, some problem outside of themselves which enlists much of their energies… these tasks are nonpersonal or ‘unselfish,’ concerned rather with the good of mankind in general, or of a nation in general, or of a few individuals in the subject’s family (pp. 173-174).”\n·     “Our subjects are ordinarily concerned with basic issues and eternal questions of the type that we have learned to call by the names philosophical or ethical. Such people live customarily in the widest possible frame of reference. They work within a framework of values which are broad and not petty, universal and not local, and in terms of the century rather than the moment…[They are] above small things, [They have] a larger horizon, a wider breadth of vision (p. 174).”\n·     “They seem to be able to retain their dignity even in undignified surroundings and situations. Perhaps this comes in part from their tendency to stick by their own interpretation of the situation rather than to rely upon what other people feel or think about the matter (p. 175).”\n·     “Self-actualizing people have deeper and more profound interpersonal relations than any other adults… Their circle of friends is rather small… Partly this is for the reason that being very close to someone in the self-actualizing style seems to require a good deal of time (p. 180).”\n·     “[Their] ‘love’ does not imply lack of discrimination. The fact is that they can speak realistically and harshly of those who deserve it, and especially of the hypocritical, pretentious, the pompous, or the self-inflated. But the face-to-face relationship even with these people does not show signs of realistically low evaluations (p. 181).”\n·     “…they find it possible to learn from anybody who has something to teach them– No matter what other characteristics he may have (p. 182).”\n·     “these individuals are strongly ethical, they have definite moral standards, they do right and they do not do wrong. Needless to say, their notions of right and wrong are often not the conventional ones (p. 183).”\n\nIn interpreting the overall data from his study, Maslow says, “The neurotic is not only emotionally sick, he is cognitively wrong (p. 166).” What is clear from this list of characteristics of the self-actualized person is its relationship with characteristics of the fairminded critical thinker. This relationship will be explored in my upcoming webinar entitled Critical Thinking therapy for Mental Health and Self-Actualization to be held Thursday, May 20, 2021. You can read about this webinar at the following link:\nhttps://community.criticalthinking.org/webinarsAndAnnouncements.php \n\n\nQuotes taken from "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"The Self: Explorations in Personal Growth"},{"insert":", Clark E. Moustakas, editor, 1956. NY: Harper and Row Publishers.\n\n\n"}]}



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Richard Paul Archives
Apr 19, 2021 • 66d ago
Critical Thinking and the State of Education Today (Part 6 of 8: “The Second Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice; 1980-1996 - Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Across the Grades”)

{"ops":[{"insert":"This article was published in the Winter 1996 issue of Sonoma State University’s Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines (vol. 16, no. 2) and was titled, “Critical Thinking and the State of Education Today.” The piece was divided into eight sections:\n\n“Understanding Substantive Critical Thinking / Avoiding the Growing List of Counterfeits”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“No One Definition But A Common Core of Meaning”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The State of the Field Today: Three Waves of Research, With Little Sense of History”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The First Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1970-1996 / Formal & Informal Logic Courses”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The Second Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1980-1996 / Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Across the Grades”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“The Third Wave of Critical Thinking Research & Practice / 1985- / Depth & Comprehensiveness in Theory & Practice”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"“Conclusion”"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe sixth of these sections appears below.\n\n \n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Second Wave Research Concerns:"},{"insert":"\n\nThe development of a model for teaching critical thinking at some educational level or within some particular subject"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"The development of a theory of critical thinking within a given domain or subject"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of the relation of critical thinking to emotion"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of the relation of critical thinking to the media"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of the relation of critical thinking to problem-solving"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of the relation of critical thinking to creative thinking"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of .the relation of critical thinking to sound business organization and management"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of the relation of critical thinking to parenting"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Exploration of the relation of critical thinking to political and ideological agendas"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"Research in cognitive psychology"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":"\nThe second wave of critical thinking research and practice began when increasing numbers of educators and administrators began to recognize that one course in critical thinking at the college level does not a critical thinker make. The problem for these reformers was transformed from "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"“"},{"insert":"How"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"should one design an isolated critical thinking course for college students?\" to “How"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"can critical thinking be integrated into instruction across all subjects and all grade levels?\"; from “What"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"is informal logic, reasoning, and argumentation?\" to “What"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"is the role of emotion – or intuition or culture or gender or problem – solving or creative thinking or political and ideological positioning-in thinking?\" \n \nUnfortunately, many second wave reformers were not at all clear on how to integrate critical thinking into instruction across the curriculum or across grade levels. The concept of informal logic which had been developed in and for critical thinking and informal logic courses did not translate readily into the “logic”"},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"of the disciplines, let alone into the \"logic\" of everyday life. For, though informal logicians were often clear and rigorous in the development of theory, the theory they developed was narrowly conceived. In other words, most informal logicians have never seriously considered the challenge of developing a theory of critical thinking adequate for the teaching of all subjects across all grade levels. Informal logic was not conceived as applicable to virtually all human contexts. The theory of the informal logician remained the theory of a specialist thinking and writing for other specialists (about a subject of relatively narrow scope). It was not the thinking of a comprehensive educational thinker writing for educational reformers. It was not the thinking of a comprehensive mind considering broad and comprehensive problems.\n \nFrom a third wave perspective, an adequate account of informal logic and critical thinking must shed significant light on the logic of everyday thinking as well as on the logic of the disciplines (if it is to attract the attention of educational reformers and those concerned with the application of critical thinking to everyday life). Problems in business, parenting, everyday relationships, politics, civics, and such, cannot easily be addressed within the framework of current theories of logic. And since critical thinking makes sense whenever and wherever thinking might go awry, the logic of critical thinking must be broad and encompassing, not narrow and specialized.\n \nUnfortunately, second wave reformers did not set out to broaden the basis of informal logic and reasoning. Rather, some second wave reformers mistakenly rejected \"logic\" rather than worked to expand it. To some logic constrained thinking, limited creativity, discounted intuition. Others seemed simply to ignore logic and focused instead on any of the various \"discoveries\" and popular theories of thinking. In fact, the field of \"thinking\" became, and still is, a veritable hodge-podge, some work bordering on charlatanism. Quick-fixes for teaching and understanding thinking became commonplace. Quick-fixes ruled, and still rule, reform efforts at all educational levels.\n \nOtherwise respectable educational organizations sponsored approaches to thinking that were simplistic and glitzy. Big money began to move into the field, since there was much money to be made by quick-fix programs that implied that thinking could be quickly and painlessly upgraded by educators, even by those who had never themselves studied thinking and thought poorly themselves. Instant success was promised. The phenomena of pseudo-critical thinking became common.\n \nStates set up new testing strategies that were claimed to be higher order. California mounted a very expensive new testing system in reading and writing which was touted to be focused on critical thinking-when it in fact was simply subjective and poorly designed. The result was a political battle between the \"liberals\" who liked the test and \"conservatives\" who thought it advanced a liberal agenda. Eventually the governor vetoed the test.\n \nOther second wave researchers – most principally cognitive psychologists – have focused concern on the manner in which experts and novices think. They have developed various theories of \"thinking\" and \"intelligence,\" however this research and these theories often lack a philosophical foundation, regularly ignore the problem of the intellectual assessment of thinking, and, like first wave informal logic research, lack a clear connection to the comprehensive problem of teaching subject matter in a variety of fields. The \"practical\" suggestions developed were more often like a bag of tricks than a coherent pedagogy. The problem of long-term infusion was significantly addressed.\n\nThough second wave did not explicitly call for an abandonment of \"logic\" and additional attention was directed at explicating various subject areas in the light of some theory of critical thinking, there was little effort to marry the insights of the first wave with the needs of the second. Little was done, for example, to explicate the logic of history, the logic of math, bio-logic, socio-Iogic, psycho-Iogic, the logic implicit in disciplined ways of thinking. After all, what does it mean to think historically, to think geographically, to think mathematically, to think philosophically, to think aesthetically, etc. These are pressing second wave questions. However, since most subject matter specialists have not studied informal or formal logic, they are not well-positioned to integrate insights from logic into their concept of their field.\n\nIn short, the variety of attempts to reconstruct (with little background in informal logic or theory of critical thinking) the role of critical thinking within a domain, has tended to result in disjointed and sometimes superficial results. The upshot is often a hodge-podge of ideas, often superficial, usually incomplete, and in some cases, arbitrary. The phenomenon of instant-expert in critical thinking becomes commonplace. Those who decide to write an article on critical thinking become, in their minds, an expert overnight. Programs are rushed into press to capitalize on the emerging market for critical thinking.\n"}]}



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