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Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving

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Title: Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving


1
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • By Tammy LeJune

2
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
What is Critical Thinking? One definition could
be It is the art of thinking about your
thinking while you are thinking about your
thinking while you are thinking in order to make
your thinking better more clear, more accurate,
or more defensible.
3
Where it all began
  • Critical thinking skills training can be traced
    back to Socrates
  • "Socrates established the fact that one cannot
    depend upon those in "authority" to have sound
    knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that
    persons may have power and high position and yet
    be deeply confused and irrational. He established
    the importance of asking deep questions that
    probe profoundly into thinking before we accept
    ideas as worthy of belief. He established the
    importance of seeking evidence, closely examining
    reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic
    concepts, and tracing out implications not only
    of what is said but of what is done as well. His
    method of questioning is now known as Socratic
    questioning and is the best known critical
    thinking teaching strategy."

4
  • Critical Thinking Activity

http//www.freegames.ws/games/computergames/sokoba
n/sokoban.htm
5
Named for Socrates (ca. 470-399 B. C.), the early
Greek philosopher/teacher, a Socratic approach to
teaching is based on the practice of disciplined,
rigorously thoughtful dialogue. The instructor
professes ignorance of the topic under discussion
in order to elicit engaged dialogue with
students. Socrates was convinced that disciplined
practice of thoughtful questioning enables the
scholar/student to examine ideas logically and to
be able to determine the validity of those ideas.
Also known as the dialectical approach, this type
of questioning can correct misconceptions and
lead to reliable knowledge construction.
Although "Socratic questioning" appears simple,
it is in fact intensely rigorous. As described in
the writings of Plato, a student of Socrates, the
teacher feigns ignorance about a given subject in
order to acquire another person's fullest
possible knowledge of the topic. Individuals have
the capacity to recognize contradictions, so
Socrates assumed that incomplete or inaccurate
ideas would be corrected during the process of
disciplined questioning, and hence would lead to
progressively greater truth and accuracy.
What is Socratic Questioning                    
                 Named for Socrates (ca. 470-399
B. C.), the early Greek philosopher/teacher, a
Socratic approach to teaching is based on the
practice of disciplined, rigorously thoughtful
dialogue. The instructor professes ignorance of
the topic under discussion in order to elicit
engaged dialogue with students. Socrates was
convinced that disciplined practice of thoughtful
questioning enables the scholar/student to
examine ideas logically and to be able to
determine the validity of those ideas. Also known
as the dialectical approach, this type of
questioning can correct misconceptions and lead
to reliable knowledge construction. Although
"Socratic questioning" appears simple, it is in
fact intensely rigorous. As described in the
writings of Plato, a student of Socrates, the
teacher feigns ignorance about a given subject in
order to acquire another person's fullest
possible knowledge of the topic. Individuals have
the capacity to recognize contradictions, so
Socrates assumed that incomplete or inaccurate
ideas would be corrected during the process of
disciplined questioning, and hence would lead to
progressively greater truth and accuracy.
What is Socratic Questioning                    
                 Named for Socrates (ca. 470-399
B. C.), the early Greek philosopher/teacher, a
Socratic approach to teaching is based on the
practice of disciplined, rigorously thoughtful
dialogue. The instructor professes ignorance of
the topic under discussion in order to elicit
engaged dialogue with students. Socrates was
convinced that disciplined practice of thoughtful
questioning enables the scholar/student to
examine ideas logically and to be able to
determine the validity of those ideas. Also known
as the dialectical approach, this type of
questioning can correct misconceptions and lead
to reliable knowledge construction. Although
"Socratic questioning" appears simple, it is in
fact intensely rigorous. As described in the
writings of Plato, a student of Socrates, the
teacher feigns ignorance about a given subject in
order to acquire another person's fullest
possible knowledge of the topic. Individuals have
the capacity to recognize contradictions, so
Socrates assumed that incomplete or inaccurate
ideas would be corrected during the process of
disciplined questioning, and hence would lead to
progressively greater truth and accuracy.
What is Socratic Questioning                    
                 Named for Socrates (ca. 470-399
B. C.), the early Greek philosopher/teacher, a
Socratic approach to teaching is based on the
practice of disciplined, rigorously thoughtful
dialogue. The instructor professes ignorance of
the topic under discussion in order to elicit
engaged dialogue with students. Socrates was
convinced that disciplined practice of thoughtful
questioning enables the scholar/student to
examine ideas logically and to be able to
determine the validity of those ideas. Also known
as the dialectical approach, this type of
questioning can correct misconceptions and lead
to reliable knowledge construction. Although
"Socratic questioning" appears simple, it is in
fact intensely rigorous. As described in the
writings of Plato, a student of Socrates, the
teacher feigns ignorance about a given subject in
order to acquire another person's fullest
possible knowledge of the topic. Individuals have
the capacity to recognize contradictions, so
Socrates assumed that incomplete or inaccurate
ideas would be corrected during the process of
disciplined questioning, and hence would lead to
progressively greater truth and accuracy.
What is Socratic Questioning                    
                 Named for Socrates (ca. 470-399
B. C.), the early Greek philosopher/teacher, a
Socratic approach to teaching is based on the
practice of disciplined, rigorously thoughtful
dialogue. The instructor professes ignorance of
the topic under discussion in order to elicit
engaged dialogue with students. Socrates was
convinced that disciplined practice of thoughtful
questioning enables the scholar/student to
examine ideas logically and to be able to
determine the validity of those ideas. Also known
as the dialectical approach, this type of
questioning can correct misconceptions and lead
to reliable knowledge construction. Although
"Socratic questioning" appears simple, it is in
fact intensely rigorous. As described in the
writings of Plato, a student of Socrates, the
teacher feigns ignorance about a given subject in
order to acquire another person's fullest
possible knowledge of the topic. Individuals have
the capacity to recognize contradictions, so
Socrates assumed that incomplete or inaccurate
ideas would be corrected during the process of
disciplined questioning, and hence would lead to
progressively greater truth and accuracy.
6
From Socrates to Benjamin Bloom
7
  • Benjamin Bloom in 1956 headed a group of
    educational psychologists who developed a
    classification of levels of intellectual behavior
    important in learning. Bloom found that over 95
    of the test questions students encounter require
    them to think only at the lowest possible
    level...the recall of information. Bloom
    identified six levels within the cognitive
    domain, from the simple recall or recognition of
    facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly
    more complex and abstract mental levels, to the
    highest order which is classified as evaluation.

8
Blooms Taxonomy
  • We do not teach the brain to think it does that
    automatically. However, we can help students
    learn better by helping them organize information
    in such a way that they can do more with it.
    Unfortunately, studies show that most of the
    focus in schools is on the lower levels of
    thinking. Teachers and students are primarily
    concerned with learning content and parroting it
    back. This is not the way to develop critical
    thinking skills and make life-long learners.
  • One of the best guides in the quest to move
    students from the lower levels of thinking to the
    upper levels, is Bloom's Taxonomy.

9
Blooms Taxonomy
  • Blooms six levels
  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation

10
Blooms Taxonomy
  • Questions
  • What is . . . ? How is . . . ?
  • Where is . . . ? When did _______ happen?
  • How did ______ happen? How would you explain . .
    . ?
  • Why did . . . ? How would you describe . . . ?
  • When did . . . ? Can you recall . . . ?
  • How would you show . . . ? Can you select . . . ?
  • Who were the main . . . ? Can you list three . .
    . ?
  • Which one . . . ? Who was . . . ?

Level 1 Knowledge - exhibits previously learned
material by recalling facts, terms, basic
concepts and answers. Key words who, what, why,
when, omit, where, which, choose, find, how,
define, label, show, spell, list, match, name,
relate, tell, recall, select.
11
Blooms Taxonomy
Level 2 Comprehension - demonstrating
understanding of facts and ideas by organizing,
comparing, translating, interpreting, giving
descriptions and stating main ideas. Key words
compare, contrast, demonstrate, interpret,
explain, extend, illustrate, infer, outline,
relate, rephrase, translate, summarize, show,
classify.
  • Questions
  • How would you classify the type of . . . ?
  • How would you compare . . . ? contrast . . . ?
  • Will you state or interpret in your own words . .
    . ?
  • How would you rephrase the meaning . . . ?
  • What facts or ideas show . . . ?
  • What is the main idea of . . . ?
  • Which statements support . . . ?
  • Can you explain what is happening . . . what is
    meant . . .?
  • What can you say about . . . ?
  • Which is the best answer . . . ?
  • How would you summarize. . . ?

12
Blooms Taxonomy
  • Questions
  • How would you use . . . ?
  • What examples can you find to . . . ?
  • How would you solve _______ using what you have
    learned . . . ?
  • How would you organize _______ to show . . . ?
  • How would you show your understanding of . . . ?
  • What approach would you use to . . . ?
  • How would you apply what you learned to develop .
    . . ?
  • What other way would you plan to . . . ?
  • What would result if . . . ?
  • Can you make use of the facts to . . . ?
  • What elements would you choose to change . . . ?
  • What facts would you select to show . . . ?
  • What questions would you ask in an interview with
    . . . ?

Level 3 Application - solving problems by
applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques
and rules in a different way. Key words apply,
build, choose, construct, develop, interview,
make use of, organize, experiment with, plan,
select, solve, utilize, model, identify
13
Blooms Taxonomy
  • Questions
  • What are the parts or features of . . . ?
  • How is _______ related to . . . ?
  • Why do you think . . . ?
  • What is the theme . . . ?
  • What motive is there . . . ?
  • Can you list the parts . . . ?
  • What inference can you make . . . ?
  • What conclusions can you draw . . . ?
  • How would you classify . . . ?
  • How would you categorize . . . ?
  • Can you identify the difference parts . . . ?
  • What evidence can you find . . . ?
  • What is the relationship between . . . ?
  • Can you make a distinction between . . . ?
  • What is the function of . . . ?
  • What ideas justify . . . ?

Level 4 Analysis - examining and breaking
information into parts by identifying motives or
causes making inferences and finding evidence to
support generalizations. Key words analyze,
categorize, classify, compare, contrast,
discover, dissect, divide, examine, inspect,
simplify, survey, take part in, test for,
distinguish, list, distinction, theme,
relationships, function, motive, inference,
assumption, conclusion
14
Blooms Taxonomy
  • Questions
  • What changes would you make to solve . . . ?
  • How would you improve . . . ?
  • What would happen if . . . ?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason . . . ?
  • Can you propose an alternative . . . ?
  • Can you invent . . . ?
  • How would you adapt ________ to create a
    different . . . ?
  • How could you change (modify) the plot (plan) . .
    . ?
  • What could be done to minimize (maximize) . . . ?
  • What way would you design . . . ?
  • What could be combined to improve (change) . . .
    ?
  • Suppose you could _______ what would you do . . .
    ?
  • How would you test . . . ?
  • Can you formulate a theory for . . . ?
  • Can you predict the outcome if . . . ?
  • How would you estimate the results for . . . ?
  • What facts can you compile . . . ?
  • Can you construct a model that would change . . .
    ?
  • Level 5 Synthesis - compiling information
    together in a different way by combining elements
    in a new pattern or proposing alternative
    solutions. Key Words build, choose, combine,
    compile, compose, construct, create, design,
    develop, estimate, formulate, imagine, invent,
    make up, originate, plan, predict, propose,
    solve, solution, suppose, discuss, modify,
    change, original, improve, adapt, minimize,
    maximize, delete, theorize, elaborate, test,
    improve, happen, change

15
Blooms Taxonomy
  • Questions
  • Do you agree with the actions . . . ? with the
    outcomes . . . ?
  • What is your opinion of . . . ?
  • How would you prove . . . ? disprove . . . ?
  • Can you assess the value or importance of . . . ?
  • Would it be better if . . . ?
  • Why did they (the character) choose . . . ?
  • What would you recommend . . . ?
  • How would you rate the . . . ?
  • What would you cite to defend the actions . . . ?
  • How would you evaluate . . . ?
  • How could you determine . . . ?
  • What choice would you have made . . . ?
  • What would you select . . . ?
  • How would you prioritize . . . ?
  • What judgment would you make about . . . ?
  • Based on what you know, how would you explain . .
    . ?
  • What information would you use to support the
    view . . . ?

Level 6 Evaluation - presenting and defending
opinions by making judgments about information,
validity of ideas or quality of work based on a
set of criteria. Key Words award, choose,
conclude, criticize, decide, defend, determine,
dispute, evaluate, judge, justify, measure,
compare, mark, rate, recommend, rule on, select,
agree, interpret, explain, appraise, prioritize,
opinion, ,support, importance, criteria, prove,
disprove, assess, influence, perceive, value,
estimate, influence, deduct
16
How to Incorporate Critical Thinking Skills in
the Classroom
In the Middle School Language Arts Classroom
Lower Level Journal Writing The standard
approach that teachers use to incorporate
journals in the language arts classroom is to
have prompts displayed and the student uses these
prompts to make daily entrees into their
journals. Examples I would like to
change What you wish
17
How to Change Personal Journal Writing to
Critical Journal Writing In order to shift to
critical journal writing, teachers rewrite
existing prompts to include specific questions
which will enable students to respond
thoughtfully, or teachers rewrite journal prompts
which explore concepts in a critical way.
Examples What you wish If the student is
given the above prompt, they will write down
specific, material things such as a new i-pod,
cell phone, clothes, or Mark/Marys love.
However, if the prompt is expanded to include
What areas in people's lives are within their
control? What areas in their lives are they
powerless to control? How do decisions made when
people are young affect their lives later on?
When should you set future goals? What different
types of goals do you have for yourself? Which
are most important to you? How would you go about
attaining them? Which depend on you alone, and
which on others? How many of the goals that you
set are material goals? Do you think young people
of other countries have different goals? How do
they differ? Why do they differ? The above prompt
is intentionally long, but will produce journal
entries which are a significant improvement on
the laundry wish list.
18
How to Incorporate Critical Thinking Skills in
the Classroom
In the Middle School Social Studies Classroom
  • Title Pearl Harbor
  • Materials DVD, glue stick, poster, map pencils,
    pictures
  • Objectives
  • The student will summarize reasons for the U.S.
    entrance into WWII
  • The student will evaluate the pros/cons of these
    reasons

19
The Middle School Social Studies Classroom
Setting the Stage Show Pictures of the Pearl
Harbor bombing Discuss Background from reading
assignment Construct Timeline of WWII
events Groups Discuss reasons for a country to
go to war. Refer to textbook and previous class
notes. Show Anti-Japan and Anti-German
posters and news clips Journal What role did
emotions play in the U.S. entrance into WWII?
Defend or critique the reasons for going to war.
Level 1 Knowledge
Level 2 Comprehension
Level 3 Application
Level 4 Analysis
Level 5 Synthesis
Level 6 Evaluation
20
  • A good teacher makes you thinkeven when you
    dont want to.
  • Robert Fisher, 1998

21
Mind Maps
  • The Dorms
  • Three women--named Dana, Alex, and Jean, all
    Business majors--signed up for a critical
    thinking class at San Jose State at the same time
    as three men--also named Dana, Alex, and
    Jean--did. The three men are majoring in English,
    Engineering, and Nursing, though not necessarily
    in that order. Given the following information,
    can you assign the correct name to each of those
    majors?
  • 1. Jean lives in San Francisco with her mother.
  • 2. The Engineering major lives on the peninsula,
    exactly halfway between San Jose and San
    Francisco.
  • 3. Alex is joined in studying at San Jose State
    by both of her brothers.
  • 4. The woman who lives nearest the Engineering
    major has three times as many brothers as he
    does.
  • 5. The women with the same name as the
    Engineering major lives in San Jose.
  • 6. Dana says he is smarter than the English
    major.

22
  • Bibliography
  • www.criticalthinking.net by Robert H. Ennis

23
Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving (default.htm)
Teacher Resources teacher.htm
Student Resources student.htm
References references.htm
World Religions worldrel.htm
History of Religions histrel.htm
Lesson Plans lessonpla.htm
Pros/Cons procon.htm
How to get Involved getinvolved.htm
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