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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
David Wright From the Editor’s Desk
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2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Marcus Gillespie, Steven D. Koether, Michelle L. Lewis Fostering the Disposition to Think Critically and a Positive Attitude toward Science: The Results of a Successful Six-Year Study of an Innovative, General Education Integrated Science Course
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Virtually all faculty members agree that teaching their students the ability and disposition to think critically is fundamentally important, and most believe that their pedagogical approaches enhance both. Unfortunately, recent research has shown that college students often fail to substantively improve their critical thinking skills. Other research regarding the public’s perception of certain science topics reveals that a significant proportion of the American public rejects scientific information, i.e., information that is based on both critical thinking and empiricism. This state of affairs limits the ability of individuals and society to make rational decisions. This article describes the results of a novel general education science course designed specifically to address these issues. The six-year study, involving more than 1,400 students, showed that the pedagogical approaches used in the course were successful in enhancing students’ critical thinking, their disposition to think critically, and their willingness to use scientific information when making decisions
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
John D. Eigenauer Targeted Instruction in Critical Thinking Improves Dispositions
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While much emphasis is placed on the need to improve critical thinking (CT) among college students (Abrami, Bernard, Borokhovski, Wade, Surkes, Tamim, & Zhang, 2008, p. 1102), few studies describe precise methodologies for doing so (Behar-Horenstein & Niu, 2011, p. 36) and even fewer identify improvements in CT dispositions as a desired course outcome (Perkins, Tishman, Ritchhart, Donis, & Andrade, 2000, p. 288). This study attempts to fill a gap in the studies of CT methodologies aimed at improving CT dispositions. In this study, 78 community college students enrolled in a CT course that emphasized targeted CT interventional strategies. The students took the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI) as a pre-test and as a post-test. Results indicate that the targeted instruction significantly influenced overall scores, as well as four of the seven subscale categories.
4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Izaak L Williams Critical Thinking Anxiety: Neurobiology of Pain and Cognitive Avoidance in Ethics
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The goal of this paper is to understand how common aversions to critical thinking, and, in particular, critical thinking related to deliberation about ethics, is arguably akin to math anxiety (MA). However, unlike ethical-critical thinking anxiety (ECTA), MA has a body of literature and neuroscientific findings supporting it and correlating thoughts about math with neurobiology of pain and fear activation. The crux of the paper lies in the answer to the following question: how is ECTA like and unlike MA? Is there a history—educational and otherwise—similar to MA—that leads to ECTA? In this paper, I argue that there are myriad factors contributing to ECTA but that, ultimately, the result is likely the same: a neurobiology of fear/pain response that inhibits ethical thought and judgment, largely given its dependence on critical thinking. My thesis statement, therefore, is that critical thinking engenders the angst engendered by MA and for similar reasons, and I surmise that current models of teaching applied clinical ethics to health care practitioners would benefit from approaches framing the lack of ethical thinking in our field of health and human services as an ego-defense mechanism or neurobiological constraint. This leads to the question of how workshops aimed at teaching ethics take into account the realities of avoidance, promote critical thinking, and avoid the pitfalls of ECTA.
5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Maria Sanders Review of The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education
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This essay reviews five articles from Part VII in The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education (Davies & Barnett, 2015) entitled “Social Perspectives on Critical Thinking.” In this section, the authors explore critical citizenship, critical pedagogy, and knowledge practices of critical thinking. It is a diverse collection of essays ranging from broad discussions on the topics included to specific applications and particular examples demonstrating criticality in higher education classrooms.
6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Frank Fair From the Editor's Desk
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7. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Linda Elder, Gerald Nosich Introductions to the Memorial Issue
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8. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Linda Elder Richard Paul’s Contributions to the Field of Critical Thinking and to the Establishment of First Principles of in Critical thinking
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Beginning in his PhD program, and over a period of years in the 1960s, Richard Paul thoughtfully examined and deliberately critiqued existing theories of logic and reasoning. He took what was a very narrow conception of reasoning and broadened it to more accurately represent human thinking when people reason. He captured the idea of universal intellectual standards by exploring standards typically used by skilled reasoners, and assembled these standards into a constellation of ideas that is easily understandable. Following the tradition of Socrates, Paul continually emphasized the importance of developing conceptual understandings based in foundational ideas and principles of analysis, and tested through life experience. His work laid the groundwork for what may be termed first principles in critical thinking and for a legitimate field of critical thinking studies.
9. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Gerald Nosich Richard Paul’s Approach to Critical Thinking: Comprehensiveness, Systematicity, and Practicality
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Richard Paul changed the face and the practice of critical thinking for hundreds of thousands of educators, professionals, and reflective persons across the world. In this paper I describe Paul’s goals and, briefly, some of his achievements in articulating his robust approach to critical thinking. I focus primarily on its direct orientation to practicality; its comprehensiveness, its applicability in any domain; and its systematicity, its coherent, interlocking way of laying out all the significant dimensions of critical thinking consistent with use in practice. I also describe some implications of Paul’s work: its relation to other models or approaches that are more limited in their comprehensiveness, systematicity, and/or practicality; the contrast between Paul’s maximally flexible account and accounts or teaching practices based on specific directives; and the capacity Paul’s articulation carries with it of being able to enhance any approach to thinking things through.
10. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Amanda Hiner Truth-seeking Versus Confirmation Bias: How Richard Paul’s Conception of Critical Thinking Cultivates Authentic Research and Fairminded Thinking
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This article, written in response to a kind invitation by Linda Elder, Gerald Nosich, and Frank Fair to contribute a reflective piece honoring the life, work, and intellectual contributions of Dr. Richard Paul, focuses on the ways in which his conception of critical thinking fosters fairminded, authentic, ethical reasoning and research. Richard Paul’s framework for critical thinking emphasizes and cultivates Socratic, “strong-sense,” fairminded thinking and intellectual humility, enabling students to understand the implications of fairminded research and providing them with valuable strategies to combat egocentrism and confirmation bias. This article explains not only why the Paul/Elder conception of critical thinking fosters fairmindedness and ethical reasoning in both students and teachers, but it outlines how the application of this framework for critical thinking can transform classroom teaching and research paper assignments in order to encourage and cultivate metacognitive analysis and authentic research in student writers.