Volume 29, Issue 1, Spring 2014
Critical Thinking: Teaching and Assessing It
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.