SoTL in 10 minutes
Five Habits of a Critical Thinker
thinking skills don't just "happen." Just like brushing your teeth,
those skills need to be practiced on a regular basis before they can become a
more natural part of your learning processes. In her book “FOCUS on College
Success”, Constance Staley offers students five tips for honing their
critical-thinking skills. Encourage your students to reflect on these points,
and they will reap the benefits!
1. If you
don't know something, admit it. Then, endeavor to learn more.
Acknowledge your "hot buttons." It's normal to have strong feelings
about particular issues. When you know which issues those are, you can make a
point to understand why they affect you as they do. In turn, this helps you
better articulate your thoughts to others.
3. Seek to
understand other peoples' points of view. In addition to gaining a well-rounded
perspective on a topic, this will enable you to better respond to others'
"Trust and verify." Don't blindly accept what you hear or read — yet
don't feel the need to maintain a skeptical attitude towards everything.
remember the importance of critical thinking as it relates to your education.
The more value you place on critical thinking, the more likely you'll put its
principles into practice — and the efforts will pay off in all aspects of your
Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature
If you read
the entire article, it will take you longer than 10 minutes. But the
introduction to this review article contains sections and references on: What
is critical thinking?, Instructional strategies used to teach critical
thinking, and Critical thinking test measures. Then it launches into a
review of the critical thinking research. Enjoy!
critical thinking skills in higher education: A review of the literature
College Teaching and Learning 8(2):25-42, February 2011
The impact of faculty teaching practices on the development of students' critical thinking skills
article emphasizes the role of the faculty member and designing assignments to
foster critical thinking in our students.
The impact of faculty
teaching practices on the development of students’ critical thinking skills
Walczak, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
universities recognize that one of the primary goals of higher education is to
promote students’ ability to think critically. Using data from the Wabash
National Study of Liberal Arts Education (WNS), this study examined the
relationship between faculty teaching practices and the development of
students’ critical thinking skills, specifically the differences between
students’ self-report and the direct assessment (i.e., CAAP) of critical
thinking. The results from multinomial logistic regression and OLS regression
analyses showed that asking challenging questions increased both students’
self-reported and the directly measured critical thinking abilities.
Interpreting abstract concepts as well as giving well-organized presentation
increased students’ self-reported gains in critical thinking; however, these
same practices did not significantly impact their CAAP scores.
Inconsistent with previous literature, class presentations as well as group
discussions decreased either students’ self-reported or directly assessed
critical thinking abilities. These findings can guide faculty teaching
practices to foster critical thinking for first-year college students.
Critical Thinking Community
is large. The link above is to the section that walks you through
developing critical thinking in higher education. Once you are there,
feel free to explore!
of how to design instruction using critical thinking concepts
for departmental self evaluation
course – American History 1600-1800
thinking class: grading policies
Mill: On instruction, intellectual development and disciplined learning
thinking and nursing
Critical Thinking portal site
portal site – links to lots of good information on critical thinking can be
found at: http://libraries.wichita.edu/subsplus/subjects/criticalthinking
Assessment and rubrics
Class assignments and activities
Background information and resources