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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Frank Fair, From the Editor’s Desk
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2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Trudy Govier, Reflections
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This essay discusses some developments in informal logic and argumentation theory since 1980, commenting briefly on positive aspects and areas of disappointment.
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Mark Battersby, Sharon Bailin, Fallacy Identification in a Dialectical Approach to Teaching Critical Thinking
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The dialectical approach to teaching critical thinking is centred on a comparative evaluation of contending arguments, so that generally the strength of an argument for a position can only be assessed in the context of this dialectic. The identification of fallacies, though important, plays only a preliminary role in the evaluation to individual arguments. Our approach to fallacy identification and analysis sees fallacies as argument patterns whose persuasive power is disproportionate to their probative value.
4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Nancy Burkhalter, A Dialectical Approach to Critical Thinking Through Writing
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Students often struggle with writing thesis statements. But without a narrow, focused thesis, the essay is often too general and scattered, resulting in an unconvincing and confusing product. This article offers a formula that not only helps writers devise a sharply focused thesis and controlling idea but also gives them a touchstone to help provide relevant, convincing support, as well as create topic sentences and transitions that anchor readers. The formula fosters students’ critical thinking because it helps them proceed dialectically between thesis formulation and the devel­opment of the essay to write with logic, relevance, depth, precision, and clarity, five of the nine standards for critical thinking outlined by Paul and Elder (2012).
5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Charles E. Galyon, Carolyn A. Blondin, Robert L. Williams, A Historical Analysis of the Relationship between Critical Thinking and Exam Performance
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This study determined the historical relationship between critical thinking and performance on multiple-choice exams in a large entry-level educational psychology course. The correlations be­tween critical thinking as assessed by scores on the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal-S and exam scores ranged from .29 to.44 over a 12-year period (N of 4933). The critical thinking distribution was heavily skewed toward the lower end of the percentile range when compared to normative data for college graduates. The relationship between critical thinking and exam performance approximated a linear relationship, with periodic plateaus in exam scores. Com­parison of exam performance for students scoring at the 1st versus the 99th percentile revealed a letter-grade difference. Additionally, students scoring at the 75th percentile on critical thinking achieved exam scores that did not differ significantly from those of students scoring at the 95th and 99th percentile on critical thinking. Critical thinking predicted exam scores better at higher than lower levels of Grade Point Average.
6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Ilan Goldberg, Justine Kingsbury, Tracy Bowell, Darelle Howard, Measuring Critical Thinking About Deeply Held Beliefs: Can the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory Help?
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The California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI) is a commonly used tool for measuring critical thinking dispositions. However, research on the efficacy of the CCTDI in predicting good thinking about students’ own deeply held beliefs is scant. In this paper we report on our study that was designed to gauge the usefulness of the CCTDI in this context, and take some first steps towards designing a better method for measuring strong sense critical thinking.