We all endorse it and we all want our students to do it. “It” is critical thinking, and very few of us actually teach it or even understand what it is (Paul & Elder, 2013).
Students need to see us showing the courage to question our own opinions and values, the fair-mindedness to represent multiple perspectives accurately, and the open-mindedness to entertain viewpoints opposed to our own. Study of 38 public universities and 28 private universities to determine faculty emphasis on critical thinking in instruction.
When we do this, we should let students know that we are practicing critical thinking.
We have to start by formulating assessable critical thinking learning outcomes and building our courses around them.
It is little wonder we don’t understand what critical thinking is.
All of these learning experiences can arouse students’ curiosity, stimulate their questions, and induce them to explain and justify their arguments.
Finally, we need to remember that instructors are role models. Two professors, one valuable lesson: How to respectfully disagree.
The literature around it is abstract and fragmented among several different scholars or scholarly teams who work in their own silos and don’t build on or even cite each other. While each has a different definition of critical thinking, they all agree that it involves the cognitive operations of interpretation and/or analysis, often followed by evaluation.
They also concur that students have to critically think about , which means students have to learn how to do it in a discipline-based course.
After giving an answer, students must also 1) describe how they arrived at their answer to develop their metacognitive awareness of their reasoning and 2) get feedback on their responses—from you, a teaching assistant, another expert, or their peers—so they can correct or refine their thinking accordingly.
Some teaching methods naturally promote inquiry, analysis, and assessment, and all of them are student-active (Abrami et al., 2008).