Read these four tutorials on critical thinking. As you read, compare the abilities that a person acquires after becoming a critical thinker with your own goals as a student, as well as with your future career and life goals.
In a survey conducted by the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute, 99.6% of university teachers agreed that critical thinking is an "very important" or "essential" goal for undergraduate education. (HERI (2009) The American College Teacher: National Norms for 2007–2008. Higher Education Research Institute, University of California.)
But how should critical thinking be taught? There are lots of different issues to be investigated, such as:
Research from education psychology and cognitive science are very much relevant when designing an effective pedagogy for teaching critical thinking. Here is a research article on this topic commissioned by our website:
Tim van Gelder (2004) "Teaching Critical Thinking: Lessons from Cognitive Science"
A later version is published as van Gelder, T. J. (2005). Teaching Critical Thinking: Some Lessons from Cognitive Science. College Teaching, 53, 41-6.
Abstract: This article draws six key lessons from cognitive science for teachers of critical thinking. The lessons are: acquiring expertise in critical thinking is hard; practice in critical thinking skills themselves enhances skills; the transfer of
skills must be practiced; some theoretical knowledge is required; diagramming arguments ("argument mapping") promotes skill; and students are prone to belief preservation. The article provides some guidelines for teaching practice in light of