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Learning to Think Things Through : A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum,9780130304865

Learning to Think Things Through : A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum

by
ISBN13:

9780130304865

ISBN10:
0130304867
Media:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2001
Publisher(s):
Prentice Hall
List Price: $26.67
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Summary

A supplementary text for use in any subject-matter course at any educational level. This short, inexpensive guide is designed to help students learn to think critically in any subject-matter course. A combination of instruction and exercises shows them how to use critical thinking to more fully to appreciate the power of the discipline they are studying, to see its connections to other fields and to their day-to-day lives, to maintain an overview of the field so they can see the parts in terms of the whole, and to become active learners rather than passive recipients of information.

Table of Contents

To the Instructor vi
To the Student xii
What is Critical Thinking?
1(44)
Some Definitions of Critical Thinking
2(1)
Some Prominent Features of Critical Thinking
3(2)
Three Parts of Critical Thinking
5(8)
An Example of Critical Thinking in Action
13(2)
What Critical Thinking is Not
15(6)
Impediments to Critical Thinking
21(5)
Deeper, More Pervasive Impediments to Critical Thinking
26(6)
How Deep is Our Need for Critical Thinking?
32(3)
The Experience of Learning to Think Things Through
35(3)
An Overview of the Book that Lies Ahead
38(7)
Exercises
40(5)
What is Critical Thinking Within a Field for Discipline?
45(40)
The Parts of Critical Thinking Within a Field
46(4)
Thinking Biologically, Thinking Sociologically, Thinking Philosophically, Thinking Musically...
50(3)
The Logic of the Field or Discipline
53(3)
A Student Analysis of the Logic of Physics
56(2)
Learning the Vocabulary of the Discipline
58(1)
Fundamental and Powerful Concepts
59(3)
Identifying F&P Concepts
62(3)
The Central Question of the Course as a Whole
65(3)
Impediments to Thinking Critically Within a Discipline
68(6)
Trusting the Discipline
74(2)
A Case
76(2)
Common Sense
78(7)
Exercises
79(6)
The Elements of Reasoning
85(32)
The Nuts and Bolts of Critical Thinking
86(1)
The Elements of Reasoning
87(15)
Purpose
88(1)
Question at issue
89(1)
Assumptions
89(2)
Implications and consequences
91(1)
Information
92(1)
Concepts
92(1)
Conclusions, interpretations
93(1)
Point of view
94(2)
Alternatives
96(2)
Context
98(1)
Three Additional elements of reasoning
99(3)
How to Analyze a Piece of Reasoning Using the Elements
102(3)
Example: Thinking Through the Logic of Getting Married
105(4)
Trusting the Process
109(8)
Exercises
110(7)
Standard of Critical Thinking
117(32)
Clearness
118(4)
Accuracy
122(3)
Importance, Relevance
125(2)
Sufficiency
127(4)
Depth and Breadth
131(4)
Precision
135(2)
Understanding and Internalizing Critical-Thinking Standards
137(3)
Evaluating Around the Circle
140(1)
A Note on Reading as a Critical-Thinking Process
141(3)
Standards Check
144(5)
Exercises
146(3)
Putting It All Together: Answering Critical-Thinking Questions
149(30)
The Core Process of Critical Thinking
150(5)
Thinking Through Important Critical-Thinking Questions
155(2)
Thinking Critically About Questions
157(22)
Exercises
174(5)
Responses to Starred Exercises 179(8)
Notes 187(4)
Index 191

Excerpts

To the Instructor This book is intended as a guidebook for learning to think critically in a discipline, a subject matter, an area, or a field of study. I use these terms more or less interchangeably throughout the book. It applies to disciplines taught at any level of generality, at any educational level. This includes courses in humanities, social and natural sciences, business, arts, nursing, international studies, and so on. It includes multidisciplinary courses, but it is in no way confined to them. I specifically mean to include courses that emphasizedoingas well asunderstanding:composition courses stand out in particular. (There are exercises suitable for student writing, and the text promotes full integration of the composition course with other courses students are taking, across the curriculum.) But the book applies to any discipline that emphasizes mindfuldoing:physical education, nursing, business, math, veterinary science, agriculture, foreign languages. (In fact, in the purest sense,allcourses emphasize doing: learning physics is learning todophysics. Learning physics is learning how toactivelythink one's way through the physical world.) Although this book was not written to be the main text in a course specifically in critical thinking, I have used it that way in my own courses, and many teachers of critical thinking have used Richard Paul's model in their courses. In my critical-thinking courses, I have asked my students to use the model to analyze and evaluate newspaper editorials; to apply it to problems in their personal lives; to analyze their relationships with other people; to analyze, compare, and evaluate news sources and advertising; to evaluate their own study skills; to think through art works and a wide variety of other topics. Several times I have taught my critical-thinking course where the only other texts required were the .texts fromothercourses the student was taking. There, the goal was to help the students learn to think through the disciplines or subject matter they were studying in those other courses. What permits this diversity is the great flexibility of Paul's model of critical thinking. This book is a guide to critical thinking across the curriculum and is intended to be inexpensive, so that it can be used economically as an adjunct text in a course. I have tried to keep it short enough so that students can be required to read it all the way through near the beginning of the semester. That way they can refer back to it again and again, applying specific critical-thinking concepts to different parts of the subject matter as the course moves along, gradually coming to integrate those parts.Learning to Think Things Throughworks best, I believe, when used in a course that hasanothertext. In most cases, that will be the main required book for the course, but it needn't be. The "text" can consist of readings brought in by the teacher or by the students. It can be video or audio material of any sort. It can include chapters, specific problems, case studies, primary sources, journal articles, virtually any outside material. Many questions in this book direct students to apply critical-thinking concepts to the texts in the course. Many teachers in a field or discipline want their students to learn to think critically about the subject matter they are studying, and to learn to think about the world in terms of that subject matter. They want their students not to be passive recipients of information absorbed from the teacher or the text. Rather, teachers want their students to become active learners who pay attention to crucial elements of reasoning, such as assumptions, purposes, implications and consequences, and who do this in a way that meets high intellectual standards. This book is intended to help accomplish those goals. Using Learning to Think Things Through in a Course


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