About This Course
E40 Critical Thinking, 3 CE hours
Description: In critical thinking, we learn to ask questions to determine the facts, analyze the support for the various claims, evaluate the reliability of the various options, and infer the most reasonable conclusions.
Objective: At the end of this course, you will 1. Ask questions to determine the facts, 2. Analyze the support for the various claims, 3. Evaluate the reliability of the various options, and 4. Infer the most reasonable conclusions.
Meet Your Instructor
Rudolf E. Klimes, PhD, MPH
At the end of this course, if you are taking this course individually for 3 CEUs (rather than as a module of Care Ethics) you will need to take the self-correcting test to complete this course.
Critical thinking is the reasonable and reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.
In critical thinking, we
- Ask questions to determine the facts,
- Analyze the support for the various claims,
- Evaluate the reliability of the various options, and
- Infer the most reasonable conclusions.
Read the following synopsis of a case study on critical thinking, “Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults To Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting” by Stephen D. Brookfield:
A variety of methods are presented for developing skills for critical thinking, which is described as reflecting on assumptions underlying actions and considering new ways of looking at and living in the world. Critical thinking is viewed as not just an academic exercise, but a productive process enabling people to be more effective and innovative in four key areas of adult life: personal relationships, workplaces, political involvements, and responses to the media. The book contains three main parts:
(1) Understanding Critical Thinking in Adult Life, which covers what it means to think critically, recognizing critical thinking and learning to think critically in adult life, and how critical thinking sustains a healthy democracy;
(2) Practical Approaches for Developing Critical Thinkers, including effective strategies for facilitating critical thinking, helping others examine the assumptions underlying their thoughts and actions, and techniques for developing alternative ways of thinking; and
(3) Helping Adults Learn to Think Critically in Different Arenas of Life, including using the workplace as a resource for thinking and learning, analyzing political issues and commitments, developing critical judgments about television reporting, encouraging active learning through personal relationships, and being a skilled facilitator of critical thinking. An epilogue addresses the risks and rewards of helping others learn to think critically. 400 references. (LB)
Source: eric.ed.gov ED294480
1. Scientific Investigation Critical Thinking Indicators
- Challenges assumptions
- Creates analogies or metaphors
- Differentiates between fact and opinion
- Recognizes more than one point of view
- Makes connections with prior learning experiences
- Makes connections between shared ideas
- Respectfully reflects on others’ ideas
- Distinguishes between measurable and nonmeasurable questions
- Constructs/formulates a measurable question or a purpose/problem
- Composes a purpose/problem from the selected measurable question
- Formulates reasonable questions related to the problem
- Locates information from a variety of resources
- Identifies and seeks additional materials
- Reads to find additional information related to an investigation
- Engages in self-directed research investigations
- Expresses interest in replicating the investigations of others
- Summarizes information to demonstrate understanding of facts
- Selects a plausible and measurable solution based on information gathered from research
- Designs a measurable test of the selected hypothesis
- Breaks down test into steps which can be sequenced
- Sequences steps
- Adjusts steps when necessary
- Rewrites steps to clarify
- Compiles a list of all materials necessary to conduct the test
- Verifies and acquires necessary materials
- Modifies list of materials as adjustments are made in procedural steps
- Performs test(s) following the steps of the procedure
- Makes observations carefully, using all senses
- Gathers data in an organized manner
- Records data accurately in a written log
- Makes diagrams or photographs during the test
- Summarizes the data written form
- Chooses an appropriate graphic representation of the data collected
- Analyzes data
- Communicates results accurately to an audience
- Generalizes results to other investigations or applications
- Clarifies results when necessary
- Evaluates the analysis of the data
- Judges data to assess whether it supports the hypothesis or not
- Draws conclusions in written form
- Interprets data when hypothesis is not supported by the conclusion and attempts to explain the reason for the failed hypothesis
- Redesigns procedures based on interpretation of test results
- Applies results to other learning opportunities
- Reflects on investigation and poses other relevant questions to be investigated
- Reflects on investigation and formulates a new purpose/problem that probes more deeply into the topic
- Creates variation(s) on the original problem
Suggestions for Effective Use of Scientific Investigation Critical Thinking Indicators
- Input the indicators into a spreadsheet program and evaluate one investigation process (ex. brainstorming) at a time.
- Input the indicators into a spreadsheet program and evaluate students’ skills throughout the marking period and note the dates each indicator was investigated.
- Enlarge the list of indicators and attach it to a chart. Jot down student’s name and place a sticker next to each critical thinking indicator attained throughout the investigation, grading period, or year.
- Print out the entire list of Scientific Investigation Critical Thinking Indicators and highlight only those deemed appropriate for your classroom use. Generate a page of the selected indicators to be placed in the student’s science log for referencing during investigations. This page sets the standard that will be expected in future investigations and provides easy access to reference when in parent or student conferences.