Volume 28, Issue 2, Summer 2013
Donald L. Hatcher
Reflections on Critical Thinking
Theory, Practice, and Assessment
This autobiographical piece is in response to Frank Fair’s kind invitation to write a reflective piece on my involvement over the last 30 years in the critical thinking movement, with special attention given to 18 years of assessment data as I assessed students’ critical thinking (CT) outcomes at Baker University. The first section of the paper deals with my intellectual history and how I came to a specific understanding of CT. The second deals with the Baker Experiment (1988 to 2009) in combining instruction in CT with written composition, with a special focus on Deductive Reconstruction. The third section goes over our attempts at assessment and what we discovered by using three separate tests. The final section of the paper presents my conclusions about the challenges of teaching CT based on the Baker Experiment.