Critical Hinking Skills

Critical Thinking Skills

    Critical thinking is an important topic in education today. Educators today are very interested in teaching this skill to their students in the classroom. Critical thinking is much more than us applying simple thoughts to a specific topic or issue; it is a disciplined and reflective way of thinking. Critical thinkers like to gather information from all of the senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, experience, reasoning, and observation. As educators today, we ask ourselves, are we not teaching critical thinking on a daily basis when we are teaching subjects such as math and science, these are the two disciplines that embody correct and logical thinking?
The answer, sadly, most of the time is no. Please take great consideration in the following two quotes:
“But if thought is to become the possession of many, not the privilege of the few, we must have done with fear. It is fear that holds men back — fear lest their cherished beliefs should prove delusions; fear lest the institutions by which they live should prove harmful, fear lest they themselves should prove less worthy of respect than they have supposed themselves to be.”
 ~ Bertrand Russell (Principles of Social Reconstruction) retrieved from on March 17, 2009
“We should be teaching students how to think. Instead, we are teaching them what to think.” Clement and Lochhead, 1980, Cognitive Process Instruction.
Maybe now we can see the problem. All education consists of conveying to our students these two different things: (1) subject matter (what do we think) and, (2) the correct way our students to assess the subject matter that is being taught (how to think). We tend to do an excellent job of transferring our academic disciplines, but we frequently fail to teach our students how to think effectively concerning the subject matter, that is, how to appropriately understand and...