Homeworks academic service


Center for critical thinking and moral critique sonoma state university

Translate this page from English. Print Page Change Text Size: Department of Education, as well as numerous colleges, universities, and school districts to facilitate the implementation of critical thinking instruction focused on intellectual standards.

The following studies demonstrate: To assess students' understanding of critical thinking, we recommend use of the International Critical Thinking Test as well as the Critical Thinking Interview Profile for College Students. To assess faculty understanding of critical thinking and its importance to instruction, we recommend the Critical Thinking Interview Profile For Teachers and Faculty.

Teaching Study conducted by J. Linda Elder, and Dr. On September 29, 1994 Governor Wilson signed legislation authored by Senator Leroy Greene SB1849 directing the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to conduct a study of teacher preparation programs to assess the extent to which these programs prepare candidates for teaching credentials to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills in elementary and secondary schools.

During the spring of 1995, Commission staff began to conceptualize a study design that would yield descriptive information on course content and teaching practices being employed by postsecondary faculty to train teacher candidates.

  • Careful analysis of the interviews indicates that, irrespective of the diversity of language used, the central problem is that most faculty have not carefully thought through any concept of critical thinking, have no sense of intellectual standards they can put into words, and are, therefore, by any reasonable interpretation, in no position to foster critical thinking in their own students or to help them to foster it in their future students-except to inculcate into their students the same vague views that they have;
  • Most widely held works by Sonoma State University 17 editions published between 1986 and 1997 in English and held by 804 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Grade level;
  • The handbook's second section, which also contains seven chapters, compares didactic and critical views on education, outlines the changes in curriculum required by a shift toward education for critical thought, provides practical ideas for facilitating staff development in critical thinking, presents short writings on critical thinking by teachers after a workshop on the subject, and considers the problem of defining critical thinking;
  • Some differences were also observed between Education and Arts and Sciences faculty;
  • The second was to identify exemplary teaching practices that enhance critical thinking;
  • In many of their answers there were internal "tensions" and, in some cases, outright contradictions.

During the study planning process, a decision was made to design respondent selection procedures in such a way as to assure that information collected would be generalizable to all faculty preparing teachers across the state.

To accomplish this objective, two statewide probability samples were designed: There were three major objectives in this study. The first was to assess current teaching practices and knowledge of critical thinking among faculty teaching in teacher preparation programs in California. The second was to identify exemplary teaching practices that enhance critical thinking. The third was to develop policy recommendations based on the results of the study.

The study included 38 public colleges and universities and 28 private ones. This minimalist concept of critical thinking is embedded not only in a core body of research over the last 30 to 50 years but is also derived from roots in ancient Greek.

Etymologically, then, the word implies the development of "discerning judgment based on standards. The tradition of research into critical thinking reflects the common perception that human thinking left to itself often gravitates toward prejudice, over-generalization, common fallacies, self-deception, rigidity, and narrowness.

Current Teaching Practices and Knowledge of Critical Thinking

The critical thinking tradition seeks ways of understanding the mind and then training the intellect so that such "errors", "blunders", and "distortions" of thought are minimized. It assumes that the capacity of humans for good reasoning can be nurtured and developed by an educational process aimed directly at that end.

  1. To accomplish this objective, two statewide probability samples were designed.
  2. To assess students' understanding of critical thinking, we recommend use of the International Critical Thinking Test as well as the Critical Thinking Interview Profile for College Students.
  3. Department of Education, as well as numerous colleges, universities, and school districts to facilitate the implementation of critical thinking instruction focused on intellectual standards.

It assumes that sound critical thinking maximizes our ability to solve problems of importance to us by helping us both to avoid common mistakes and to proceed in the most rational and logical fashion. For example, those who think critically typically engage in intellectual practices of the following sort, monitoring, reviewing, and assessing: In monitoring, reviewing and assessing these intellectual constructs, those who think critically characteristically strive, for such intellectual ends as clarity, precision, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, and logicalness.

Each of these modes of thinking help us to accomplish the ends for which we are thinking and hence to solve the problems inherent in pursuing those ends. Questions were designed to shed light on the extent to which students in teacher preparation programs in California are being taught in ways that facilitate skill in critical thinking and the ability to teach it to others.

There were three goals of this component of the study. The first was to ensure that any faculty who had a developed notion of critical thinking of any kind would have a full opportunity and much encouragement to spell out that notion. We wanted to make sure that everyone interviewed was encouraged to express their actual views and to express them in detail. The second goal was to examine the views expressed to see: In other words, we sought to determine how many faculty had seriously thought through the concept of critical thinking--irrespective of how they defined it, and then, once we had a full expression of any given person's views, we examined what was said, not only for clarity but also for coherence.

  • It assumes that sound critical thinking maximizes our ability to solve problems of importance to us by helping us both to avoid common mistakes and to proceed in the most rational and logical fashion;
  • Minimal inservicing in critical thinking must be provided for faculty in teacher preparation programs;
  • The study included 38 public colleges and universities and 28 private ones.

The third goal was to determine the extent to which the views expressed demonstrated an internalization of traditional "minimalist" elements of critical thinking. We sought to determine, in other words, how much of the common core of meaning now attached to the traditional concept by those working in the field of critical thinking research and reflected in its semantics and history has been internalized by faculty teaching in teacher preparation programs.

Data collection included both closed-ended and open-ended questions. In addition, the coders of responses made judgments about some important global features of the responses made using minimalist components of critical thinking as criteria. The open-ended questions, and the follow-up questions, were designed, as indicated above, to provide maximum opportunity for individuals to articulate virtually any concept of critical thinking that they favored.

Since the interviews lasted 45 minutes on average, the interviewees had ample opportunity to express their views. The same interview protocol was utilized for both education faculty and subject matter faculty. Since the samples were constructed so as to be representative in a statistical sense of all faculty involved in teacher preparation in California, the results can in fact be generalized to teacher preparation faculty in the state as a whole. The results of the analysis were as follows: The remaining respondents had a limited conception or no conception at all of how to do this.

Not a single respondent elaborated on the issue. Some differences were also observed between Education and Arts and Sciences faculty. These differences do not alter the overall findings but do suggest relative strengths and weaknesses for each group.

  • Intellectual traits of mind, such as intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, and intellectual responsibility, are virtually unheard of by the interviewees;
  • There are seven forms of information that need wide dissemination;
  • At present none of these categories of information are widely disseminated in the teaching community;
  • Some differences were also observed between Education and Arts and Sciences faculty;
  • Why teach for them?
  • The same interview protocol was utilized for both education faculty and subject matter faculty.

The comparative results were as follows: Analysis of open-ended responses provided not only confirmation of the quantitative data, but also powerful support for significant qualitative generalizations.

What is more, a close look at individual cases reveals that there is significant contrast between those faculty members who have a developed concept of critical thinking and those who do not.

Sonoma State University Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique

Profiles of individual faculty responses are presented in the full report to illustrate clearly the kind of differences which existed between those who were articulate in explaining how they approach critical thinking and those who were not. Most faculty answered open-ended questions with vague answers, rather than clear and precise answers. In many of their answers there were internal "tensions" and, in some cases, outright contradictions. The most common confusion, perhaps, center for critical thinking and moral critique sonoma state university confusion between what is necessary for critical thinking and what is sufficient for it.

For example, active engagement is necessary to critical thinking, but one can be actively engaged and not think critically. Virtually all of those interviewed identified critical thinking and the learning of intellectual standards as primary objectives in instruction, yet few could give a clear explanation of what their concept of either was.

They also overwhelmingly stated or implied that their students left them with a good level of critical thinking as well as a good level of ability to foster critical center for critical thinking and moral critique sonoma state university in their future students. By direct statement or by implication, most claimed that they permeated their instruction with an emphasis on critical thinking and that the students internalized the concepts in their courses as a result.

Yet, only the rare interviewee mentioned the importance of students thinking clearly, accurately, precisely, relevantly, or logically. Intellectual traits of mind, such as intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, and intellectual responsibility, are virtually unheard of by the interviewees.

Careful analysis of the interviews indicates that, irrespective of the diversity of language used, the central problem is that most faculty have not carefully thought through any concept of critical thinking, have no sense of intellectual standards they can put into words, and are, therefore, by any reasonable interpretation, in no position to foster critical thinking in their own students or to help them to foster it in their future students-except to inculcate into their students the same vague views that they have.

Those who teach prospective teachers must be sufficiently well-informed about critical thinking not only to be able to explain it in a general way to their students, they must also regularly model instruction for critical thinking in their own classroom procedures and policies. On our view, four interventions are requisite for substantive change to occur.

First, we must disseminate the information faculty need to change their perceptions. Second, we must provide for faculty skill-building through appropriate professional development.

Third, we must establish a mandate to systematically teach critical thinking and how to teach for it in all programs of teacher education.

And fourth, we must develop an exit examination in critical thinking for all prospective teachers. Let us look at each of these proposed interventions in turn. Sufficient awareness, grounded in intellectual humility, must be generated in those communities of faculty teaching in teacher preparation programs leading to the recognition a that there is a general lack of knowledge on the part of the teaching faculty of the baseline concept of critical thinking, and b that most students in teacher preparation programs are now graduating without knowledge of critical thinking or how to teach for it.

There are seven forms of information that need wide dissemination. At present none of these categories of information are widely disseminated in the teaching community. The categories are as follows: We need to disseminate information that documents the problem at the k-12 teaching level.

We need to disseminate information on teaching for critical thinking within particular disciplines such as math. We need to disseminate information about exemplary teaching practices of individuals, as they reach high levels of success. Minimal inservicing in critical thinking must be provided for faculty in teacher preparation programs. If faculty is not provided with convenient ways to upgrade their knowledge of critical thinking and how to teach for it, very few will go out of their way to pursue it.

Interpreting Responses to Open-Ended Questions A close look at the open-ended responses obtained in the interviews provides a realistic sense of the empirical foundation for generalizations that go beyond purely quantitative data. Many of the samples from the interviews are vivid and deeply revealing.

Similar Items

A full airing of these samples, with commentary, is contained in Appendix A. The data collected enabled us to present illustrative profiles of faculty who had a vague and or internally incoherent conception of critical thinking in contrast to those who had a developed notion of critical thinking irrespective of their orientation toward it. If we assume that those who had a vague or internally contradictory concept of critical thinking simply haven't thought much on the subject, and those who had a clear, well-elaborated, and internally coherent concept had thought seriously about the subject, then we can infer that comparatively few faculty members have thought seriously about critical thinking.

In other words, we were able to get a strong sense of how many faculty members had seriously thought through the concept of critical thinking--irrespective of how they defined it, and then, we were able to separate out those whose views were not only highly elaborated but coherent.

From delving into the rich details of the open-ended responses, one finds not only confirmation of the quantitative data, but also powerful support for significant qualitative generalizations. The profiles of individual faculty that are summarized below illustrate clearly the kind of differences which existed between those who were articulate in explaining how they approach critical thinking and those who were not.

It also confirmed what the quantitative data showed, namely, that many faculty members, without knowing it, are confused about the basic concepts and skills of critical thinking. Center for critical thinking and moral critique sonoma state university us now look at some illustrative faculty profiles from the study Each profile represents one person from the study.

Each profile is anonymous--in keeping with the commitment made to all of those who agreed to be interviewed.