Strategies Of Critical Thinking

Ennis also suggests that critical thinkers demonstrate particular attributes.

Critical thinkers tend to: Thus, the instructional strategies selected must be appropriate to the desired outcomes.

He postulates that there are three mental processes fostering critical thinking: meta-components, performance components, and knowledge-acquisition strategies.

Meta-components refer to higher-order mental processes that individuals use to plan, monitor, and evaluate what they do.

He explains that ordinary thinking is simplistic thinking because it does not rely upon the use of standards or criteria.

Examples of ordinary thinking are guessing, believing, and supposing.Ennis asserts that to help students develop critical thinking skills, teachers must understand the cognitive processes that constitute critical thinking and use instructional activities that will develop these processes.He recommends instructors teach students how to define and clarify information, ask appropriate questions to clarify or challenge statements or beliefs, judge the credibility of sources, and solve problems by predicting probable outcomes through logic or deduction.It is important to remember that Piaget's stages of cognitive development are also linked to intellectual potential and environmental experiences.If the learning environment is crucial to the development of critical thinking skills, what instructional strategies can be used to promote critical thinking?When students engage in CTS, they have an opportunity to examine tacitly held knowledge of one another, make knowledge and think explicitly, respond to questions and comments, and clarify their thinking processes.Several researchers stated the types of instructional strategies that may be used to promote students' critical thinking skills.The ability to develop critical thinking skills may be likened to Piaget's concrete and formal operations.If students have not yet reached the formal operations stage, their ability to use critical thinking skills may be limited by an inability to handle abstract ideas.For example, strategies of inquiry are contingent upon the problem being investigated and the targeted concepts, so it is essential that they be integrated with the associated processes of inquiry in order for students to see how new knowledge evolves.If the goal is for students to use critical thinking skills, then the following opportunities should constitute the majority of learning activities: a) Engaging in problem-based learning b) Analyzing case-based scenarios c) Engaging in debates, role-play, argument mapping, thinking aloud, and simulation among others The benefit of engaging students in learning experiences that utilize critical thinking skills is the public nature of their thinking.


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