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Brookfield asserts that identifying and challenging assumptions and analyzing assumptions for validity are essential to critical thinking skills.He also suggested that because critical thinkers possess curiosity and skepticism, they are more likely to be motivated to provide solutions that resolve contradictions.The Socratic method is still considered a powerful tool for fostering the capacity for critical thinking.
If the learning environment is crucial to the development of critical thinking skills, what instructional strategies can be used to promote critical thinking?
Sternberg asserts that critical thinking involves complex mental operations that cannot be broken into discrete styles of thinking.
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.
It is important to remember that Piaget's stages of cognitive development are also linked to intellectual potential and environmental experiences.
He claims that CT involves students' total intellectual functioning, not a narrowly defined set of skills.
He postulates that there are three mental processes fostering critical thinking: meta-components, performance components, and knowledge-acquisition strategies.
Critical thinking is also regarded as intellectually engaged, skillful, and responsible thinking that facilitates good judgment because it requires the application of assumptions, knowledge, competence, and the ability to challenge one's own thinking.
Critical thinking requires the use of self-correction and monitoring to judge the rationality of thinking as well as reflexivity.
The first area to explore is our own cognitive processes to understand the ways in which we tend to err.
Cognitive biases are tendencies in our thought processes that lead us to make irrational decisions.