Take the Critical Thinking student assessment here.
There has been much debate about how to define critical thinking. Experts offer related but distinct ways to operationalize this important concept. Based on extensive research and the work of the Critical Thinking Pilot Group at CPCC, the following definition is proposed to help focus our work on core competencies:
Thinking critically is using reason, reflection, and emotions as needed to consider questions that may not be answered definitively and for which all the relevant information may not be available. It is thinking that is self-regulated and disciplined. It takes into account the context of the situation and is subject to intellectual standards. Critical thinking challenges assumptions and invites alternative perspectives in order to form defensible judgments. Critical thinkers are motivated and willing to exert the effort needed to make credible judgments about beliefs and actions.
Critical Thinking: the ability to think using analysis, synthesis, evaluation, problem solving, judgment, and the creative process.
- Thinks critically and creatively
- Formulates and re-evaluates position based on available evidence
- Asks appropriate questions that challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom
- Integrates ideas and values from different disciplines and contexts
- Uses reflection as a way to monitor and adjust thinking
- Understands and applies principles of learning and learning styles to own education
- Applies knowledge in practical ways
- Analyzes and evaluates data, ideas, patterns, principles, and perspectives.
- Recognizes own biases and suspends judgmental thinking
- Uses problem solving strategies in a wide variety of professional situations.
- Employs values and standards of judgments from different disciplines
- Verbs for Constructing Outcomes and Assignments, Dupont, A. and Flateby, T. Assessment, Curriculum Mapping, and Student Learning, 2008.
- Critical Thinking: Why is it so hard to teach? by Dr. Dan Willingham, American Educator, Summer 2007
- Helping Students Critically Assess Readings by Elizabeth Bodien, Northampton Community College
- "Questioning: a simple strategy" video presentation
- "Uncovering Assumptions" video presentation
- "Problem Solving Strategies of Distinguished Professors", a chapter in the book Successful College Teaching by DeWaters, Baiocco, and Raggonet (.pdf)
- Writing Multiple-Choice Questions that Demand Critical Thinking (website)
- Critical Thinking Resources from Valencia Community College (website)
- Critical Thinking by Dr. Stephen Brookfield (video presentations)
NOTE: For off-campus viewing of select presentations from the Toolbox, please click here.