The art of thinking about thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better. (Paul/Elder pg. xvii)
To be a critical thinker you must be willing to
Question your own thinking.
Identify strengths/weaknesses in your thinking.
Overcome the tendency to be rigid in your thinking.
Overcome the tendency to validate your own thinking rather than improve your thinking.
Creatively reconstruct your thinking to make it better.
4 Lesson 1 What is Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking involves
The desire to actively use the critical question.
The awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions.
The ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times.
5 What is Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking (thinking about thinking) centers on asking the right questions.
If we want the correct information we must learn to ask the right type of questions.
The right type of question
Provides us with direction.
6 What is Critical Thinking
How does Critical Thinking benefit us
Able to react critically to what we read/hear.
No longer spectators who just accept what we are told.
Become involved in what we are learning (active learners).
What is the goal of Critical Thinking
To move the conversation forward.
Not to get puffed up.
7 Panning for Gold
The Sponge Model of Thinking
Absorbing a lot of information (uncritically).
No way of determining what we should or should not accept (it is uncritical).
At the mercy of others.
8 Panning for Gold
Panning for Gold method of thinking (learning).
Questions the claims of the speaker/author.
Interacts with the material.
Goal to critically evaluate the material and formulate personal conclusions based on their evaluation of the material.
9 Panning for Gold
We need to know why someone wants us to think/believe something.
We should evaluate (judge) what is being said.
Only after critically examining an argument should we accept or reject an argument.
10 Panning for Gold
Gun Laws (pages 4-6).
Sponge vs. Panning for Gold method.
Sponge approach what facts might we learn from this paragraph
Panning What weaknesses do we find in the paragraph
11 Myth of the Right Answer
There is not always a right answer.
Therefore you dont have to be an expert on a topic to use the panning for gold method.
We dont have time to learn all there is to learn.
We cant know everything.
Should not cause us to shy away from those topics.
12 Myth of the Right Answer
Avoid Intellectual arrogance.
Thinking we know more than we really do.
Achieve intellectual humility.
Admit we dont have all the answers.
Seek out the answers we dont have.
Through asking the right questions we
Learn as much as we can about a subject.
Can make an educated decision about a subject.
13 Myth of the Right Answer
People will not always agree.
Not using critical thinking.
Using critical thinking.
On some issues reasonable people will disagree.
14 Myth of the Right Answer
Even though you will not be able to give a right answer to every possible question or issue this course is designed to provide you with the tools you will need to develop the best and most reasonable answer.
We must learn to determine whether or not a particular issue is worth thinking about.
We must learn to ask who cares
Under what circumstances do you think youll care enough to devote mental energy to critical thinking
When you have a reason (motivation).
When you have a desire.
16 Weak Sense Vs. Strong Sense
Critical Thinking can be used in two ways.
Weak Sense Thinking
Cares only about defending its own position.
Fails to consider viewpoints that contradict its own viewpoint. It lacks fair mindedness.
Weak Sense Thinking or Sophistry is the art of winning arguments regardless of whether there are problems in the thinking being used and regardless of whether relevant viewpoints are being ignored.
17 Weak Sense Vs. Strong Sense
Sophistic thinkers use lower level reasoning skills by which they attempt to make unreasonable thinking look reasonable.
To sum it up
Weak Sense Thinking (sophistry) is the use of critical thinking skills to defend your current beliefs (positions).
18 Weak Sense Vs. Strong Sense
Strong Sense Critical Thinking
Is consistent in its pursuit of the fair and just (fair mindedness).
Strives to analyze and evaluate information.
Attempts to empathize with others (i.e.strives to be fair).
Willing to listen to arguments (even those that are in disagreement).
Willing to change when better reasoning is presented.
Evaluates all reasonable claims.
Applies critical questions to all reasonable claims.
19 Something to Think About
Do you think that different textbooks on the same topic would always agree on the right answers Why or Why Not
If there are disagreements what does that mean about the way you read your textbooks
20 Lesson Assignment 1
Read chapter 2.
Complete Lesson Assignment 1.
Weak Sense Thinking vs. Strong Sense Thinking.
Evaluate debate program.
If you do not have cable use talk radio the internet or a newspaper article.
Access assignment on the instructors website.
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