We live closely intertwined with our fellow humans in a world in which we must learn to think critically about important social issues. As we move into the future, the issues before us will become more and more complex, making increased demands on our thinking skills. The most important challenge facing educators is an intellectual one-developing the minds of our students to promote skilled reasoning and intellectual self-discipline. Acquiring critical thinking skills will enable students to make critical distinctions between the real and unreal, the true and the false, the deep and the superficial. It also enables students to take the high ground, to systematically foster fair-mindedness, and to develop ethical reasoning. In this brief article, we will focus on two important critical thinking conceptual sets–the analysis and assessment of thought. Our objective is to identify ways in which teachers can develop thinking skills among their students in classroom interaction and through their responses to students’ written work. We present the kinds of questions teachers can ask to advance student thinking skills. With enough practice, these questions will eventually come naturally to students, moving them further along the road to thinking clearly and reasonably about major issues.
Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, thinkers ++
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