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President at Smart Science Education Inc.

Strategies for Critical Thinking

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Critical, skeptical, or scientific thinking are names for similar skills.

As the article suggests, these are not intuitive. So, they must be learned. The article did not explain how such training takes place.

Some teachers do it well in schools, but they are not the majority. Most just provide data to be memorized. You'll find most of the critical thinking taking place in history/social studies and science courses.

A social studies course can examine current events critically and thus train students to think about data that they receive from various media.

A science course can take everyday phenomena and show how perceptions and "obvious" preconceptions are often incorrect and how to apply scientific reasoning to find out which are which.

Great information for Social Justice too!

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I had the good fortune to meet Tim Wise, http://www.timwise.org/, and had the opportunity to ask his suggestion for teachers for teaching on race and white privilege...His advice was to tell the truth about racism and not to sugar coat it. The narrative should not be one of victimization because it can be disempowering. Rather, for kids of color you should use the lens of resistance, empowerment, and agency. For white kids, use the lens of being an ally, those who stood up and did the right thing. To do this, teachers need to know the stories of allies and students need to look at history using critical thinking!

Multimedia professional - teaching through CTE.

This article is full of value

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This article is full of value and insight for all students on the path of learning. Many younger students growing up in the ‘digital age’ environment have the advantage of quickly acquiring the skill sets needed in our current economy; the downside is the tsunami of information surging through multiple channels, which can cause confusion to make informed decisions. The steady deregulation of principled standards and boundaries encourages hyper competition, with sensational news or distorted information, regardless of truth or whether it harms anyone. This trend is invasive as it influences a spectrum of broadcasted messages including: political ads, marketing and news journalism. Critical thinking does not receive the emphasis it deserves in curriculums for most public and private schools. The change of emphasis will not happen until we collectively decide it’s a priority and then voice it to our elected officials. So now it’s up to the individual teacher’s discretion for using their insight on how to best incorporate this thinking strategy into their classrooms.

The subject of critical thinking is important for all of us, regardless of age. Part of the human experience is to continue learning from the moment our life’s story first begins, all the way through to its final chapter. So in a sense we’re all students and this article has some good lesson plans for everyone to benefit from.

Ph.D (all but dissertation), McGill University, Montreal,

Proff (retd)

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This is a terrific, much needed article. Usually, the emphasis in education is not on critical thinking which develops and trains the mind but on stuffing the brain with half digested information.
There is just one problem: A trained mind needs also to be strong emotionally. You've got to have the capacity to take your insights in your stride.To see and understand more is to cope with more at a deeper level.

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