Teaching Critical Thinking

What is Critical Thinking?

A Set of Values

  • Thinking for yourself, as compared to accepting unquestioningly what others want you to believe.
  • Welcoming the opportunity to explore new ideas, points of view and possibilities.
  • Using reason to investigate questions, evaluate ideas, advocate positions, and resolve conflicts.
  • Including the voices and perspectives of diverse parties in the discussion of issues.
  • Weighing ideas based on their merits, not who advocates them.
  • Achieving the best possible resolution of questions, as compared to winning arguments for the sake of winning them.
A Set of Skills
  • Inquiry Skills—the ability to frame questions and gather information.
  • Understanding and Evaluation Skills—the ability to understand others’ ideas and evaluate arguments offered in support of them.
  • Advocacy Skills—the ability to formulate positions and support them in a manner that promotes reasoned discussion.