Core Critical Thinking Skills

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In a sense this is critical thinking applied to itself.

Because of that some people want to call this "meta-cognition," meaning it raises thinking to another level.

How about this: after judging that it would be useful to you to resolve a given uncertainty, developing a workable plan to gather that information?

Or, when faced with a problem, developing a set of options for addressing it.

What about, conducting a controlled experiment scientifically and applying the proper statistical methods to attempt to confirm or disconfirm an empirical hypothesis?

Critical Thinking Analysis Example - Core Critical Thinking Skills

Beyond being able to interpret, analyze, evaluate and infer, good critical thinkers can do two more things.(We*ll get to the dispositions in just a second.) Did any of these words or ideas come up when you tried to characterize the cognitive skills mental abilities involved in critical thinking?Quoting from the consensus statement of the national panel of experts: interpretation is "to comprehend and express the meaning or significance of a wide variety of experiences, situations, data, events, judgments, conventions, beliefs, rules, procedures, or criteria." Interpretation includes the sub-skills of categorization, decoding significance, and clarifying meaning. How about recognizing a problem and describing it without bias?Maybe the most remarkable cognitive skill of all, however, is this next one.This one is remarkable because it allows good critical thinkers to improve their own thinking.These two skills are called "explanation" and "self-regulation." The experts define explanation as being able to present in a cogent and coherent way the results of one*s reasoning.This means to be able to give someone a full look at the big picture: both "to state and to justify that reasoning in terms of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, and contextual considerations upon which one*s results were based; and to present one*s reasoning in the form of cogent arguments." Thesub-skills under explanation are describing methods and results, justifying procedures, proposing and defending with good reasons ones causal and conceptual explanations of events or points of view, and presenting full and well-reasoned, arguments in the context of seeking the best understandings possible. Here are some more: to construct a chart which organizes one*s findings, to write down for future reference your current thinking on some important and complex matter, to cite the standards and contextual factors used to judge the quality of an interpretation of a text, to state research results and describe the methods and criteria used to achieve those results, to appeal to established criteria as a way of showing the reasonableness of a given judgment, to design a graphic display which accurately represents the subordinate and super-ordinate relationship among concepts or ideas, to site the evidence that led you to accept or reject an author*s position on an issue, to list the factors that were considered in assigning a final course grade.Again, can you come up with some examples of analysis?What about identifying the similarities and differences between two approaches to the solution of a given problem?What about picking out the main claim made in a newspaper editorial and tracing back the various reasons the editor offers in support of that claim?Or, what about identifying unstated assumptions; constructing a way to represent a main conclusion and the various reasons given to support or criticize it; sketching the relationship of sentences or paragraphs to each other and to the main purpose of the passage?


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