Weekly Digest #112: Critical Thinking
In Cindy’s department, all general education courses are required to have a student learning objective that is assessed during the course. For their introductory psychology courses, they strive to develop critical and creative thinking skills and assess them at multiple time points during the semester to demonstrate improvement. Several of the lead teachers for this course recently set out to make several curriculum changes in order to better teach and assess critical thinking. Unfortunately, critically thinking about critical thinking is a messy business. Below you will find several resources that discuss what it means to think critically and how you can foster critical thinking in your classroom.
We start with a brief article that discusses the varied definitions of critical thinking, the different components of critical thinking, and provides concrete ideas for classroom exercises that can boost critical thinking. This article has a ton of evidence to support the suggested practices!
In one of our guest posts, Lauren Ballaera reviews some of the literature that supports various approaches to teaching critical thinking. She provides flexible guidelines that can be tailored to your classroom, materials, and needs.
Christopher Dwyer provides suggestions for how to become a better critical thinker in your own life. The suggestions are based on research evidence and many can be flexibly applied to classroom instruction, but perhaps by improving our own critical thinking we can better teach our students!
In this Edutopia piece, Heather Wolpert-Gawron gives a brief overview of critical thinking and several classroom strategies, but note that the article is rife with links to other sources with more activities and information.
All of the above resources provide flexible guidelines for how to improve critical thinking in the classroom. Here, Shannon Baldino gives one idea with considerable detail: develop a classroom blog. The methods provided should help anyone interested in taking on this activity to be successful.
Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Occasionally we publish a guest digest, and If you'd like to propose a guest digest click here. Our 5 most recent digests can be found here: