Great presentation. And, I hope, helpful in re-framing the "critical thinking" agenda for K-8 students. At that level, I think that critical thinking is limited to some very basic skills -- recognizing truly ridiculous statements, making comparisons based on very basic knowledge, and (I'm not a fan of this) learning to support opinions with facts, no matter how limited.
The presentation's conclusion reminds me of work done by Alan Schoenfeld in the 1980s, trying to get his undergraduate mathematics students to apply George Polya's heuristics for mathematical problem-solving. He found that simply reviewing these heuristics, getting the students to 'know' them, made little difference in their problem-solving abilities. But they could be taught. A summary of his conclusions : "Successful solution of mathematics problems depends up on a combination of resource knowledge, heuristics, control processes and belief, all of which must be learned and taught."
Critical thinking is something that seems to be lost on our current generation. With the ease of access to information, people are too easily finding answers to problems without actually having to think about it themselves. Great presentation!
Interesting to see the parallels between what is needed in higher ed and in K-12 to develop critical thinking skills: a curriculum that sequentially builds domain-specific knowledge.
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The goal of this blog is to provide pointers to scientific findings that are applicable to education that I think ought to receive more attention.
21st Century Skills