This was done to help students become more proficient writers within a short period of time. The promise of writing to learn. Some disciplines prefer a probleta-solution structure; in others, a position on an issue is supported with evidence Bean and Ramage A multifaceted assessment strategy based on writing, standardized tests, and student interviews was used to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate student content knowledge and thinking skill. How well society handles them in a large part will be determined by its ability to reason and think critically. The Art of Reasoning offers a conceptual approach Kelly Stu- dents often hold intuitive conceptions or misconceptions that persist even after college-level instruction Carey ; Clem- ent ; diSessa

Students’ initial attempts are recognized as the work of novices, to be developed and refined as their base of declarative and strategic knowledge grows. The historical baseline provided a way to determine what student performance had been before experiencing the writing treatment, whereas the concurrent nonwriting groups allowed for a direct comparison of critical thinking performance during the writing treatment. Accept procedures at face value, and don’t try to under- stand why they work” Schoenfeld b, p. Students who analyze extended definitions and write short defi- nitions standard instructional practice in many composition classrooms show no significant gains in the overall quality of their definitions or in the use of criteria and examples. Therefore, although courses in critical thinking may not demand extended argu- ments or employ sophisticated criteria for evaluating argu- ments, they offer practice at a level that is compatible with students’ initial entry into the field of argument. They support their interpretations with visual evidence from the painting Schmidt, McLaughlin, and Leighten n. Also see, Alec Fisher , op.

Theory, Research, Practice, and Possibilities, Texas: In each case, relationships between levels of the hier- archy were clearly explained in the text.

Because conclusions cannot be tested as they can be in problem solvingthe arguer must demonstrate their plausibility by offering supporting reasons Voss, Tyler, and Yengo Novices averaged fewer than three levels of backing and used very short chains of argument Voss, Greene, Post, and Penner.

kurfiss 1988 critical thinking

Students actively resist re- quests to present arguments for an opposing view Alvermann, Dillon, and O’Brien ; Bernstein ; Roby Teachers who use inquiry methods encourage students to analyze a situation in search of causal factors. Although critical thinking gains were influenced by writing, they did not appear to be affected by gender, ethnicity, class standing, or age. These studies frequently employ a method first used by Dunckerin which the problem solver is asked to report all thoughts while completing a task.


How does writing specifically produce gains in critical thinking performance? Although the order in which specific labs were taught differed among sections, a common laboratory manual containing prescriptive exercises covering the main themes of biology scientific method, cellular biology and genetics, natural selection and evolution, kingdoms of life, and a mammalian dissection was used across all writing and nonwriting lab sections.

After a brief summary of assumptions, this section reviews research on reasoning pro- cesses in several disciplines.

kurfiss 1988 critical thinking

Three texts kuffiss approaches that integrate reasoning and writing. Comparison of writing and nonwriting group performance based on critical thinking component skill raw scores CCTST subscales. Each of the studies described above peripherally supports a relationship between writing and critical thinking.

For example, this report does not address instruction based on Freire’s concepts of education for critical conscious- nessalthough advocates claim powerful tninking on stu- dents’ thinking sec, e. Phi delta kappan, 87 9 The covariance analysis that was conducted provided a partial means to separate out the effects of writing, prior critical thinking skill, instructor, and multiple covariables from total and component critical thinking gains.

Kurfiss, Joanne Gainen

It was also unclear whether the development of critical thinking skills was a function of chronological time or whether it was related to instructional time. It was since then that research on critical thinking developed and it was in a very broad sense and of various concepts to the extent that researchers found it is hard to reach at a solid consensus on how critical thinking would be best defined. A variety of national stakeholders, including business and educational critcal, politicians, parents, and thinkkng agencies, have thinkung for long-term transformation of the K—20 educational system to produce graduates who are well trained in science, can engage intelligently in global issues that require local action, and in general are better able to solve problems and think critically.

This would be an effort to contribute to the process of de-westernization of knowledge as well as to re-introduce critical thinking within the Islamic worldview. Do critical thinking skills learned in one domain transfer to other subjects?


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Con- sequently, new premises can be brought in to challenge pre- vious statements, often causing a change in the reasoner’s idea or “model” of the situation. Mc Peck goes one step farther, questioning the assumption that these courses even teach “critical thinking. Ennis Another early and influential view of critical thinking is that of Ennis, coauthor of the Cornell Tests of Critical Thinking Abil- ity Ennis, ; Ennis and Millman Expert physicists integrate principles when solving problems, but instruction in physics typically teaches principles individually in succession, without showing students how to integrate them to solve prob- lems and with a premature emphasis on mathematical represen- tation.

Students extend their understand- ing in readings, homework assignments, or more advanced classroom activities the “application” phase. Inquiry teachers also have priorities for modifying the agenda in response to the dialogue.

Critical Thinking

The section concludes with a discussion of how the study of critical thinking relates to rea- soning in courses in the disciplines. The classroom agenda of inquiry teachers is characterized ‘y high-level goals that enable them to respond flexibly to stu- dents’ changing understanding.

On the other hand, the aim of critical thinking is to reach to a reasonable decision about what to believe or to do. He advocated education based on the scientific method, capitalizing on stu- dents’ interests and integrating experience and reflection thinkin learning content Dewey Notes from the research of the physicist Michael Faraday reveal that his re- search strategy was similar to that of social scientists address- ing ill-structured problems.

Missing premises or “enthymemes” must be inferred for the argument to make sense Boylan ; Kelly Huba and Freed describe the underlying principles and offer examples of techniques to assess critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

These courses are grounded in informal logic, a branch of philosophy.