Why study fractions?

I googled the question “Why study fractions?” (for reasons I describe later) and found a study (reported in Swanbrow 2012) that invites critical thinking at two levels: 1) the assumptions, evidence, and reasoning warrant scrutiny; and 2) what is it that allows researchers and policy makers to proceed as if there are no alternative interpretations to be drawn from the study?
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What’s missing in the field of critical thinking?

During my Tuesday class on critical thinking I found myself saying that critical thinking should make a person happy – or happier. In the field of creative thinking we’re not at all surprised when someone who has created a new product – a story, a poem, a painting, a gadget, a company – feels fulfilled. What, then, is the equivalent in the field of critical thinking?
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Food for thought (if you don’t insist on pure foods)

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Flexible engagement

In this post I expand to education the scope of the principle of “flexible engagement”—“an ideal in which researchers in any knowledge-making situation are able to connect quickly with others who are almost ready—either formally or otherwise—to foster participatory processes and, through the experience such processes provide their participants, contribute to enhancing the capacity of others to do likewise.” (Taylor 2005, p. 225). Read more of this post

If your argument keeps shifting from one time to the next, can I trust that you are really open to argument (i.e., to examining evidence, reasoning, and assumptions)?

What follows is one of my own contributions in an activity for the first few weeks of a course in critical thinking, in which students are asked to “tease out a range of arguments people—including yourself—are not happy with, find patterns in them (including across other students’ contributions, not only your own), and try to find ways to be constructive, not denunciatory, of what you disagree with or are perplexed by.”
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Why does no-one do 24/7 critical thinking: a thought-piece

Critical thinking, as philosophers traditionally define it, requires scrutiny of assumptions, evidence, and reasoning involved in any proposition. Of course, none of us do that scrutiny all the time. I don’t, for example, question whether the appendage coming out of my left shoulder—my arm—is part of my own body.
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“I feel some abstractions coming on…”

Van Gogh, at the end of a 1888 letter on display at the Guggenheim in New York, writes:

“I feel some abstractions coming on and if I do not quickly fill up my paper I would again get to drawing and you would not have your letter.”

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