Examples of elements of critical thinking
In The Community College Experience, Amy Baldwin offers six critical thinking steps to solve any problem:
- Clearly identify the problem.
- Brainstorm possible solutions to the problem.
- Evaluate the viability of each solution.
- Make a list of pros and cons of each solution.
- Choose the solution that potentially works the best.
- Evaluate the solution after it is in place.
In Becoming a Master Student, Dave Ellis provides some suggestions for becoming a critical thinker:
- Be willing to say, “I don’t know.”
- Define your terms.
- Practice tolerance.
- Understand before criticizing.
- Watch for hot spots (topics that provoke strong opinions and feelings).
- Consider the source.
- Seek out alternative views.
- Ask questions.
- Look for at least three answers.
- Lay your ideas on the table for open inquiry.
- Write about it.
- Accept your changing perspective.
- Combine perspectives.
Tips for critical thinking
In Becoming a Master Student, Dave Ellis reveals six common mistakes in logic:
- Jump to conclusions.
- Attack the person.
- Appeal to authority.
- Point to a false cause.
- Think in all-or-nothing terms.
- Base arguments on emotion.
Benjamin Bloom developed a theory of learning called Bloom’s Taxonomy, which identifies six levels of thinking, with Level 6 being high. As we think at the higher levels, we are thinking critically.
|Level 1||Knowledge||Define, list, describe, identify, show, name, quote|
|Level 2||Comprehension||Explain, describe, summarize, differentiate, discuss, interpret|
|Level 3||Application||Illustrate, use the information, apply, demonstrate, show, solve, classify, discover|
|Level 4||Analysis||Breakdown, distinguish, infer, prioritize, order, justify, classify, arrange, divide|
|Level 5||Synthesis||Integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, incorporate,|
|Level 6||Evaluate||Decide, rank, test, measure, recommend, support, conclude, compare, appraise, defend|
Critical Thinking Courses
Below are the courses accepted for the “Critical Thinking English Composition” requirement according to the IGETC agreement with both UC and CSU systems for 2010 – 2011 (note that IGETC agreements may change every year).
- Communication Studies 316
- English Writing 301
- English Writing 302
- English Writing 482
- Philosophy 322
- Sociology 305