About this site | Flash site
A critical thinking attitude is a habitual willingness or commitment to engage in effortful
deliberation. It is the foundation of critical thinking behavior (Halpern, 2003; Nelson,
2005; Paul, 1995).
According to Halpern (1998, p.452), this attitude consists of:
Inquiry - Learning by questioning, exploration and discovery
as opposed to memorization and drill.
Inquiry gives the student a sense of ownership of what they learn, thereby increasing engagement and self-regulation (McKeachie & Svinicki, 2006).
Challenging Assumptions - Examining unstated premises upon
which a conclusion depends.
Not only must we teach our students to challenge assumptions in the world around them, but we must challenge our own assumptions about what first-year students arrive on campus actually able to do.
Discussion - Using the in-class exchange of ideas and opinions
to stimulate critical thinking.
Many teachers already include discussion of some kind in their courses, but this module equips the user with tools and insights to increase the amount of critical thinking that occurs in discussion.
Halpern, D.F. (2003). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to
critical thinking (4th Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Halpern, D.F. (1998). Teaching critical thinking for transfer across domains: Dispositions, skills, structure training, and metacognitive monitoring. American Psychologist, 53(4): 449-455.
McKeachie, W.J., & Svinicki, M. (2006). McKeachies' teaching tips:
Strategies, research, and theory for college and university
teachers. New York, NY: Houghton-Mifflin.
Nelson, J. (2005). Cultivating judgment: A sourcebook for teaching
critical thinking. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.
Paul, R.W. (1995). Critical thinking: How to prepare students for
a rapidly changing world. Santa Rosa, CA: Foundation for Critical