Teaching Tips for Critical Thinking

In light of current events, I’d like to share a selection of my blogs on critical thinking with K-12 educators some of which could also be used with college freshmen.

  1. Ideas for Teaching Problem-solving, Critical Thinking, and Reasoning: If I were to teach problem solving, critical thinking, and reasoning, I’d embed it into the content already being taught (e.g., math or science class). The selection of instructional strategies would depend upon the nature of the subject matter, as different content requires different ways of thinking. Bruning, Schraw, and Norby (2011) refer to this as thinking frames such as how one would think about scientific inquiry and the use of research methods. Also see the following blog post, Interrelated processes of problem-solving, critical thinking and creative thinking.
  2. Navigating Post-truth Societies: Strategies, Resources and Technologies: While fake news and information bubbles are not new, awareness of their impact on public opinion has increased. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (2016) reported on a study that found secondary and postsecondary students could not distinguish between real and sponsored content in Internet searches. This became apparent when observing my college-bound niece google her bank on the Internet and quickly click the name at the top of the list within the sponsored content and then have the computer freeze from a potential malware attack. If teenagers cannot discern between promoted and regular content, imagine their encounters with fake news.
  3. Webquest for Creating Critical Thinking Job Aids: I created my first academic WebQuest to search for the critical thinking processes particular to a student’s field of study. For example, I give them keywords to use like “thinking frames” + “critical thinking” + “reading” + “medicine”.  Once they find 10 different resources, they’re to place at least six key elements into a job aid to help them read critically. I provided them with information on the various job aid formats from the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).

Additional Readings

A Review of ‘Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online’

Interview with Creators of Hoaxy

The Challenges of Combating Online Fake News: A Review of ‘Dead Reckoning’

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