November 28, 2014 1 Comment
Here is the start of a list of themes for critical thinking in an arena of abundant information, namely, the internet:
- Critical thinking depends on inquiry being informed by a strong sense of how things could be otherwise. You understand things better when you have placed established facts, theories, and practices in tension with alternatives (Taylor 2001).
- If you come across an unconventional idea, google the idea along with the terms “criticism,” “debunked,” or “refuted.”
- If you find research that sounds interesting mentioned in a news article or opinion piece, look up the original and then look into responses to it (e.g., via citations in google scholar).
- Remind yourself of the thrust of the topic before searching on the internet lest you locate and get distracted by abundant information that does not speak to that thrust. For example, in relation to a class on the way Darwin used multiple layers of argument to convince his audience of his theory of natural selection, do not search for “Darwin natural selection”—You’ll find hours of interesting reading most of which will not be relevant to his use of multiple layers of argument.
- to be continued (suggestions welcome)
Taylor, P. J. (2001) “We know more than we are, at first, prepared to acknowledge: Journeying to develop critical thinking,” http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/journey.html (viewed 28 Nov. 2014). Published as ____ (2008). “Developing Critical Thinking is Like a Journey.” In Ollington, G. F., Teachers and Teaching Strategies, Problems and Innovations. Hauppauge, NY, Nova Science Publishers.