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The literature on critical thinking goes all the way back to Socrates, though much contemporary scholarship on critical thinking in education builds on a study by Glaser (1941) in which he identified three aspects of critical thinking: a thoughtful attitude or disposition, a range of reasoning skills, and the ability to apply those skills.Later scholars, such as Paul (1995) and Halpern (2003), added a fourth element: a habit of reflecting upon one's own thinking to continually improve it.
A QEP’s purpose is to designate a strategy to increase students’ learning outcomes in an area deemed central to the university’s mission.
Students were integrally involved in developing our QEP’s name—. reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
The good news is that we do not need to neglect our content and start teaching classes exclusively about how to think critically.
In fact, not only can we teach critical thinking skills in the contexts of our disciplines, but it works best when we do.
Alfred North Whitehead first described inert knowledge in 1929, and it stands in marked contrast to knowledge that is easily retrieved and used to guide one's actions in the moment. Cultivating judgment: A sourcebook for teaching critical thinking.
To learn to do this, Halpern (2003) argues that students require structure training where they learn the important cues in a situation in which a given thinking skill is appropriate.
After consulting with faculty, staff, students and others in the community, and analyzing student learning assessment data, critical thinking emerged as the topic with the greatest potential to support the institution’s mission to prepare its students to be “successful leaders and responsible citizens.” USFSM chose critical thinking as its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) topic for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
For reaffirmation by SACSCOC, USFSM must develop a new QEP every ten years.
Clearly, there is a great deal of overlap between these taxonomies, but to the classroom teacher, teasing out differences at this level can feel like nit-picking.
The point here is to identify precisely the intellectual skills we want our students to acquire in our classrooms and to use our content as the landscape where these skills will be learned and used.