This supplement elaborates on the history of the articulation, promotion and adoption of critical thinking as an educational goal. He describes his book as written for two purposes. He notes that the ideas in the book obtained concreteness in the Laboratory School in Chicago. For this study, colleges agreed to consider for admission graduates of 30 selected secondary schools or school systems from around the country who experimented with the content and methods of teaching, even if the graduates had not completed the then-prescribed secondary school curriculum. One purpose of the study was to discover through exploration and experimentation how secondary schools in the United States could serve youth more effectively Aikin
Much of this course will be devoted to identifying, developing, and evaluating arguments. We will study valid and invalid forms of arguments, strong and weak arguments, causal arguments, analogical arguments, and arguments based on generalizations. The significance of arguments to critical thinking makes it important for all of us to understand the term, and its relationship to some of the basic language of the critical thinking course. The word "argument" is often used in everyday language to refer to a heated dispute, a quarrel, a shouting match. Please take note that we will not be using argument in this sense throughout this course. Instead, "argument," as we will be using the term refers to "a set of propositions, or statements, which are designed to convince a reader or listener of a claim, or conclusion, and which include at least one reason premise for accepting the conclusion.
Critical thinking is a widely accepted educational goal. Its definition is contested, but the competing definitions can be understood as differing conceptions of the same basic concept: careful thinking directed to a goal. Conceptions differ with respect to the scope of such thinking, the type of goal, the criteria and norms for thinking carefully, and the thinking components on which they focus. The abilities can be identified directly; the dispositions indirectly, by considering what factors contribute to or impede exercise of the abilities.
Republished with permission. It is hard to imagine a teacher or school leader who is not aware of the importance of teaching higher-order thinking skills to prepare young men and women to live in the 21st Century. Brookhart identifies definitions of higher-order thinking as falling into three categories: 1 those that define higher-order thinking in terms of transfer , 2 those that define it in terms of critical thinking , and 3 those that define it in terms of problem solving.