Helpful Web Sites for Critical Thinking
The three strategies Sul Ross chose for increasing student engagement are faculty support, innovation, and outdoor learning. Critical thinking became the obvious learning goal. Most of the ideas for piloting changes for student engagement concentrate on critical thinking.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has supported the creation of four online professional development modules for educators. This is available 24/7 for fulltime and adjunct faculty members to use on demand. The areas are: Critical Thinking, Foreign Language Teaching Methods, Reading Comprehension, and Online Teaching. If you visit the Critical Thinking module, please list it on your FE-3 as training.
Bonnie Potts (1994. Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking. ERIC/AE Digest. ED385606) lists the following skills and situations important for overall ability in critical thinking:
- Generating multiple (or creative) solutions to a problem
- Finding analogies and other kinds of relationships between pieces of information
- Determining the relevance and validity of information that could be used for structuring and solving problems
- Finding and evaluating solutions or alternative ways of treating problems
- Promoting interaction among students as they learn
- Learning in a group setting
- Asking open-ended questions that do not assume the "one right answer."
- Encouraging students to think and respond creatively, without fear of giving the "wrong" answer
- Allowing sufficient time for students to reflect on questions asked or problems posed
- Discovering 'rules" rather than memorizing rules
- Testing their own discoveries through transfer to other situations
- Finding solutions to complex problems rather than being given a simple problem with only one variable
- Transferring newly acquired knowledge or skills to new or different situations
- Applying newly acquired knowledge or skills to students' own experience
- Critical thinking is fostered by outdoor learning which provides a rich potential for use by all disciplines.
RECOMMENDED CRITICAL THINKING WEBSITES WITH BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THEIR CONTENTS:
Foundation for Critical Thinking Conferences, research, assessment and testing, bookstore, library/articles, professional development, online learning
Critical Thinking on the Web: a directory of quality online resources
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation: teaching critical thinking through environmental education
University of Tennessee Teaching Resource Center: What is critical thinking?
- Characteristics of critical thinking
- Why teach critical thinking?
- Teaching strategies to help promote critical thinking skills
- 100 free online tutorials on critical thinking
- Free download of critical thinking mini-guide
- Free download of class exercises for teaching critical thinking
Magazine article, "Critical Thinking: What Is It Good for?"
Book: Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life
Column, Thinking out of the box
Teaching tips index, including critical thinking and assessment
Power Point, "Exercise on Critical Thinking"
Power Point, "Critical and Creative Thinking, Reasoning, and Solution Seeking"