With a bare minimum of staff and resources, The Foundation for Critical Thinking needs volunteer help as it serves countless students and faculty at universities, school districts, trade schools, and private and military academies around the world, as well as businesses, government departments, and individuals from all walks of life.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we run on limited funding. We need help from you to keep our organization alive! Help us conclude our Spring Fund Drive successfully with a charitable contribution in support of substantive critical thinking and the advancement of fairminded rational societies.
Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2500 years. The term "critical thinking" has its roots in the mid-late 20th century. We offer here overlapping definitions, together which form a substantive, transdisciplinary conception of critical thinking.
A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987.
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Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the first stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic. You will:
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. Someone with critical thinking skills is able to do the following :
Critical thinking is not a matter of accumulating information. A person with a good memory and who knows a lot of facts is not necessarily good at critical thinking. A critical thinker is able to deduce consequences from what he knows, and he knows how to make use of information to solve problems, and to seek relevant sources of information to inform himself.
Pause and wait. Offering your child ample time to think, attempt a task, or generate a response is critical, but not necessarily easy to do. Try counting (silently) to 60 while your child is thinking, before intervening or speaking. This gives your child a chance to reflect on her response and perhaps refine, rather than responding with her very first gut reaction.
Don''t intervene immediately. Instead, try counting to 120, or even longer, and observe what your child is doing before stepping in. As challenging as it may be, avoid completing or doing the task for your child. For younger children, patiently readjusting and maneuvering to grasp a toy on their own encourages continued problem solving and develops executive functioning skills. For older children, ask critical thinking questions and provide enough information so they don''t get frustrated, but not so much that you solve the problem for them.
What kind of thinker is your child? Does he believe everything on TV? Does she always figure out how to get what she wants?
Does he ask questions? Does she go along with what her friends suggest? You can help develop your child’s critical thinking skills by learning a few key guidelines!