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Methods for Critical Thinking Essay

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Critical thinking is not a new concept just emerging from the think-tanks and universities that bring us innovative educational concepts. Critical thinking has existed since the days of Plato, Socrates, and other great ancient philosophers. Ancient Greeks believed that critical thinking “not only involved an examination of eloquent words and actions of other people,” as Plato had believed, “but also an examination of one’s own thoughts and actions” (Sriraman & Adrian, 2004, p. 97). Another outspoken advocate of critical thinking was Francis Bacon, a controversial scientist from the early seventeenth century. A non-conformist, Bacon proffered that critical thinking was the “desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and hatred for every kind of imposture” (Lloyd & Bahr, 2010, p. 1). The concept of critical thinking has played a prominent role in intellectual circles throughout history. An exact definition to be agreed upon by educators and intellectuals alike, has eluded these great thinkers since historical records revealed the idea of critical thinking.
The literature doesn’t seem to offer one consistent definition for critical thinking. Plato, the ancient Greeks, Francis Bacon, and countless other great “thinkers” have contributed their own definition. The various interpretations of critical thinking can help teachers create lesson plans and select the necessary materials for those lessons (Maiorana, 1992, p. 14). Some of those interpretations include: “questioning the assumptions that underlie our habitual ways of thinking”, “reflective digestion”, “reflective inquiry” and “the ability to produce generalizatio...


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...n Teaching English, 1986. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Pescatore, C. (2008). Current events as empowering literacy: For English and social studies teachers. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 51(4), 326-339. doi:10.1598/JAAL.51.4.4
Pithers, R. T., & Soden, R. (2000). Critical thinking in education: a review. Educational Research, 42(3), 237-249. doi:10.1080/001318800440579
Shermis, S.S. (1999). Reflective thought, critical thinking. EricDigest, 143. Retrieved from http://www.indiana.edu/~reading/ieo/digests/d143.html
Sriraman, B., & Adrian, H. (2004). The use of fiction as a didactic tool to examine existential problems. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 15(3), 96-106. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Willingham, D.T. (2008). Critical thinking: Why is it so hard to teach? Arts Education Policy Review, 109(4), 21-26. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.


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