Intellectual Standards In Critical Thinking

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There are two fundamental dimensions of thinking that students need to master in order to learn how to upgrade their thinking. They need to be able to identify the "parts" of their thinking, and they need to be able to assess their use of these parts of thinking (Paul, Elder, & Bartell, 1997). Accordingly, eight elements necessary for any reasoning process were suggested by Paul, Elder, and Bartell (1997): the purpose of the thinking; the question or problem to be solved; information such as data and observations; inferences, interpretations, or solutions; concepts such as theories or definitions; assumptions; implications or consequences; and points of view or frames of reference (Paul & Elder, 2001). According to Paul and Elder (2001), intellectual standards are necessary for evaluating critical thinking and must be applied whenever a student wants to support the quality of his/her reasoning about any problem, issue, or situation. These standards include: • clarity through elaborations, example, illustration; • accuracy through verification or cross-check; • precision though providing more specifics or details; • relevance through tangible linkages with the issue; • significance through determination of relative importance; • breadth through consideration of…show more content…
Quite opposite of the philosophical view, Sternberg (1986) states that cognitive psychologists have a tendency to concentrate on how people actually think instead of focusing on how they could or should think under ideal conditions. Further, Lewis and Smith (1993) maintain that those working in cognitive psychology tend to define critical thinking by the types of actions or behaviors critical thinkers can do rather than defining critical thinking by refering to characteristics of the ideal critical thinker or enumerating criteria or standards of “good”

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