Promoting Critical Thinking

Promoting Critical Thinking-24
The challenge for you as a teacher is helping your students learn the two higher-level types of knowledge used in critical thinking: procedural (knowing how to reason, inquire, and present knowledge in a discipline) and metacognition (using cognitive control strategies, such as setting goals, critiquing one’s own thinking, determining when additional knowledge is needed, and assessing whether a line of inquiry has been fruitful) (Kurfiss, iv).So how do you help students move through the process of gathering all available information, weighing possible solutions, and coming to a logical hypothesis or conclusion?How do you help students learn how to think like an expert in the field?

The challenge for you as a teacher is helping your students learn the two higher-level types of knowledge used in critical thinking: procedural (knowing how to reason, inquire, and present knowledge in a discipline) and metacognition (using cognitive control strategies, such as setting goals, critiquing one’s own thinking, determining when additional knowledge is needed, and assessing whether a line of inquiry has been fruitful) (Kurfiss, iv).So how do you help students move through the process of gathering all available information, weighing possible solutions, and coming to a logical hypothesis or conclusion?How do you help students learn how to think like an expert in the field?

Students are learning the process of thinking through problems as an expert would approach a problem and practicing higher-order thinking skills.

Engineering Real-world problems make up the backbone of engineering classes and develop critical thinking skills.

Students need a bigger structure, a sort of scaffolding, within which they can organize smaller items of knowledge and establish the relationship between what they know and the new information they acquire.

Presenting “material in a chart, matrix, or hierarchical outline” (39) and making use of familiar examples or analogies that students can relate to helps students situate new information.

As students learn these terms, they also learn what their limits are and how they can be either misused or expanded.

Mathematics Students should move away from trying to plug in numbers to arrive at an answer and instead focus on the metacognitive skills necessary for approaching a problem.

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Group work can be helpful, since students have the opportunity to work through a problem together and discuss difficulties.

The professor does not tell students how to solve the problem, but asks questions that help the students approach and solve the problem on their own.

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