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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Frank Fair, From the Editor’s Desk
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2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Alec Fisher, Critical Thinking: Teaching and Assessing It
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I have long been fascinated by the process of argument, so it seemed natural to study philosophy and logic at university, then, as a University teacher, to teach them. Since I gradually realised these subjects didn’t help students to reason and argue well, I tried to devise materials which would. This led first to my writing The Logic of Real Arguments and later, Critical Thinking: An Introduction. If you wish to teach thinking skills it is important to assess whether your methods work, and I have developed several tests of critical thinking for different contexts, including a new UK Critical Thinking examination, now taken by thousands of school students. I worked with Richard Paul, Michael Scriven (writing with him Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment), Robert Swartz, Robert Ennis and many others. The emergence of the Informal Logic and Critical Thinking movement was an exciting time and I feel fortunate to have been part of it.
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Donald Hatcher, Should Religious Beliefs Be Exempt from the Duty to Think Critically?
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Recently, there have been at least five best sellers critical of religion and religious belief. It seems, at least among readers in the U.S., that there is great interest in questions about the rationality of religious belief. Ironically, critical thinking texts seldom examine the topic. After reviewing a series of previous arguments that people have an ethical duty to think critically, this paper will evaluate a number of arguments intended to exempt religious belief from the sorts of rational critique covered in critical thinking classes. After critiquing each argument, I conclude that the proper scope of critical thinking should include religious beliefs. In summary, if people have an ethical duty to think critically about important beliefs and religious beliefs are indeed important, then people have an obligation to think critically about religious beliefs. Nothing in the paper addresses the question of whether it is or is not rational to endorse a religion.
4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Marcos Y. Lopez, Maricris V. Asilo, Development and Validation of The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test
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This study describes the methodology used by Marcos Y. Lopez of the Centro Escolar University in developing and validating The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test. The test is a multi-aspect general-knowledge critical thinking test designed for Filipino students in tertiary level. It uses Ennis’s conception of critical thinking (Ennis 1987, 1996, 2002, 2011a) in the development of test items. The use of verbal reports of thinking to establish validity and fairness of multiple-choice critical thinking test is based on the study by Norris (1992) in validating his co-authored Test on Appraising Observations. Verbal reports of thinking are useful in establishing validity and fairness of multiple-choice critical thinking tests for they provide evidence to judge whether good thinking is in general associated with choosing answers credited by the key as correct and poor thinking is associated with choosing unkeyed answers (Norris, 1988,1990,1992). The eight processes employed in developing and validating this multiple-choice critical thinking test are as follows: (1) test conceptualization, (2) development of a test plan, (3) development of test items, (4) face and content validation of the test, (5) revision of the test items, (6) pre try-out of the test, (7) actual try-out of the test, and (8) construct validation of the test using verbal reports of thinking. The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test consists of 87 items that focus on five aspects of critical thinking: deduction, credibility judgment, assumption identification, induction, and meaning.
5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jennifer J. Didier, Using Critical Thinking to Change Distracted Driving Behaviors
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In an attempt to reduce dangerous driving behavior of those students enrolled in an upper level course at Sam Houston State University, students performed a series of critical thinking assignments and completed a survey to record their behavior and habits related to driving and the project. The project included a lab experiment, lecture, class discussion, video, and a culminating paper to synthesize the scientific information with real world and classroom experiences. Inspired by the approach to critical thinking put forward by Duron, Limbach, and Waugh, critical thinking for each assignment was implemented through instructions and feedback. Results showed that the critical thinking led to behavior changes in the students’ driving during the semester. It was also determined that the students chose to reduce their distracted driving behaviors based on what they learned and experienced through the project. Within this small sample, using critical thinking to apply conceptual knowledge to real world behaviors led to behavioral changes and real learning.
6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Phillip Crenshaw, Ph.D., Review of Critical Thinking: An Introduction
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