Critical Thinking Evaluation

For details on this history, see the Supplement on History.

Before considering the definition of critical thinking, it will be helpful to have in mind some examples of critical thinking, as well as some examples of kinds of thinking that would apparently not count as critical thinking.

Educational jurisdictions around the world now include critical thinking in guidelines for curriculum and assessment.

Political and business leaders endorse its importance.

Also since 1980, the state university system in California has required all undergraduate students to take a critical thinking course.

Since 1983, the Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking has sponsored sessions in conjunction with the divisional meetings of the American Philosophical Association (APA).(Dewey 1910: 6; 1933: 9) and identified a habit of such consideration with a scientific attitude of mind.His lengthy quotations of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill indicate that he was not the first person to propose development of a scientific attitude of mind as an educational goal.“I then tried to imagine all possible purposes of the pole, and to consider for which of these it was best suited: (a) Possibly it was an ornament.But as all the ferryboats and even the tugboats carried poles, this hypothesis was rejected.It suggested a flagpole when I first saw it; its color, shape, and gilded ball agreed with this idea, and these reasons seemed to justify me in this belief. The pole was nearly horizontal, an unusual position for a flagpole; in the next place, there was no pulley, ring, or cord by which to attach a flag; finally, there were elsewhere on the boat two vertical staffs from which flags were occasionally flown.It seemed probable that the pole was not there for flag-flying.Bloom’s influential taxonomy of cognitive educational objectives (Bloom et al. Ennis (1962) proposed 12 aspects of critical thinking as a basis for research on the teaching and evaluation of critical thinking ability.Since 1980, an annual international conference in California on critical thinking and educational reform has attracted tens of thousands of educators from all levels of education and from many parts of the world.(b) Possibly it was the terminal of a wireless telegraph. Besides, the more natural place for such a terminal would be the highest part of the boat, on top of the pilot house.(c) Its purpose might be to point out the direction in which the boat is moving.


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