Teaching higher order thinking skills is not a recent need. It is apparent that students, at all levels of education, are lagging in problem-solving and thinking skills. Fragmentation of thinking skills, however, may be the result of critical thinking courses and texts. Every course, especially in content subjects, students should be taught to think logically, analyze and compare, question and evaluate.
Implications for Teaching
Thinking must be practiced in each content field at each educational level. For the teacher, this means hard work. To teach students to memorize facts and then assess them with multiple-choice tests is a much easier choice to make. In a course that emphasizes thinking, objectives must include application and analysis, different thinking, and opportunities to organize ideas and support judgments. (Carr, 1990)
Critical thinking across the disciplines share common features.
1. Critical thinking is a learnable skill with teachers and peers serving as resources.
2. Problems, questions, and issues serve as the source of motivation for the learner.
3. Courses are assignment centered rather than text or lecture oriented.
4. Goals, methods, and evaluation emphasize using content rather than simply acquiring it.
5. Students need to formulate and justify their ideas in writing.
6. Students collaborate to learn and enhance their thinking. (Jones, 1996)
These ideas are easily relevant to the online setting. Teachers must refocus their thinking away from individual mastery of the resources. The focus should be instead on teaching the process of information unearthing within the learner's own related meaning. There has been developed a self-paced "laboratory" course for ...
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...cience, are readily apparent. (Carr, 1990)
Thinking skills are an urgent need to be taught at all levels of education. Special courses and texts should not be relied upon to do the job. Instead, an atmosphere should be created by the teacher where students are encouraged to read intensely, inquire, engage in conflicting thinking, look for interaction among ideas, and come to grips with with real life issues.
Carr, K. (1990). How Can We Teach Critical Thinking? ERIC Digest. Retrieved June 22, 2007, from http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-9218/critical.htm
Ess, C. (n.d.). Approaches to Critical Thinking. Drury University. Retrieved June 22, 2007, from http://www.drury.edu/ess/critthink.html
Jones, D. (1996). Critical Thinking in an Online World. Cabrillo College. Retrieved June 22, 2007, from http://www.library.ucsb.edu/untangle/jones.html
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