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Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 23, Issue 1/2, Fall/Winter 2003/2004

Critical Thinking and Adult Literacy

Jean Toner, Michele Rountree
Pages 81-85

Transformative and Educative Power of Critical Thinking

Critical theory and critical thinking emphasize the power of self-reflection and educative analysis where students in higher education become motivated to change their present societal reality by being strategic and action orientated. Central to these theories is the enlistment of strategies that utilize educational vehicles infused with critical thinking to engage students in the process of intensive evaluation of the theory, values, knowledge and skiIls of their respective fields with the often transformative impact upon a student’s worldviews. This article reviews the theoretical and historical tenets of ctitical theory and its interdependence and reinforcing relationship with critical thinking. An illustration is offered that represents the cyclical and often transformative relationship between critical theory and critical thinking. Along with a definition of critical thinking there is a discussion of the difference between critical thinking and other forms of thinking. Last, at the core of the article will be suggestions for designing trans disciplinary teaching methods based upon Freire’s critical consciousness with an emphasis upon an instructor’s self-evaluative, liberating stance towards education. Strategies will be introduced that engage students in the act of intensive critical thinking becomes transformative.

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