Critical Thinking

By Chandler, Patricia | School Librarian, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Critical Thinking


Chandler, Patricia, School Librarian


Whist critical thinking has its origins in ancient times it has emerged as an important tool in modern educational practice. Teaching students 'how to think' or how to develop a means of systematically asking and answering questions is undertaken either implicitly through particular subject matter, for example periods in history, or through a programme of explicit thinking skills which may or may not lead to qualifications.

Encouraging Critical Thinking Online

http://www.intute.ac.uk/criticalthinking.html

Originally supported by MIMAS and JISC, development to the much valued intute site ceased in July 2011. However, the content is still available and has been archived. Encouraging critical thinking online is suitable for A level students and offers a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students' analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. There is a PDF teaching guide and two teaching units. Unit one covers checking facts and gathering opinions and the second unit involves gauging and examining popular opinion. Accompanied by PowerPoint presentations and student worksheets, this is a useful package for teachers and librarians. Some examples of the content in the units include using Shakespeare's birth date as a pretext for checking facts and the issue of abortion for dealing with public opinion. It is possible that more units had been planned initially but not completed; nevertheless what there is here appears to be well conceived and executed. Parts of this resource might also be relevant for PHSE or supporting Information Literacy Skills teaching.

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Critical Thinking Web

http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/

Maintained by Dr Joe Lau in the Philosophy Department at the University of Hong Kong, this site offers open course ware for supporting critical thinking, logic and creativity. The free online learning resources, set up originally with a government grant, are available for use by universities and high schools across the world. …

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