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Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. Embodying such a focus, textbooks and curricular programmes that profess to teach critical thinking typically proceed via a taxonomic study of the formal structure of arguments, notions of validity, soundness, evidential strength, and an associated list of fallacies in reasoning and language such as begging the question, basing a generalization on too small a sample, attacking a strawman, etc.

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As this approach would have it, teaching critical thinking consists precisely in the inculcation of these skills. Citation: Lim, Leonel.

Education Review, Beyond logic and argument analysis then, we need forms of reasoning that encourage the important processes of negotiation and translation between various social, racial and gendered positions. Teaching Critical Thinking represents the first comprehensive attempt at sketching out what such a curriculum would involve.


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Through a collection of thirty- two commentary chapters each documenting how the concrete issues and concerns that arise from real teaching practices actually constitute invaluable opportunities for critical thinking, hooks puts forth an understanding of the subject that radically departs from its traditional assumptions. To her, critical thinking represents a discerning approach to knowledge that aims to move beyond the surface and the most obviously visible to an understanding of core, underlying truths, and subsequently being able to utilize that knowledge in a manner that allows one to determine what matters most.

In discussing the importance of conversation and dialogue, for example, she intimates that these allow individuals to consider and reconsider their own positions and values. In the chapter that deals with stories, hooks points out that the sharing of narratives engages students in critical thinking by exposing them to the think descriptions of personal realities, preparing them to hear points of view previously inconceivable.

The multidimensional character of stories she claims, requires for its full comprehension a nuanced understanding of a host of personal information that pertains to the story-teller. Critical thinking, on this account, serves to engender a continual process of negotiation and translation between a series of individual and cultural positions.


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Central to the ability to see things from perspectives other than our own is the role imagination plays in critical thinking. Imagination, in its final moment, is pregnant with the currents of counter- hegemony. Clearly, then, Teaching Critical Thinking is in many ways a reaction to the dominant ideas and ideals of the field. None of the other chapters — touching on such diverse concerns as love, hate, feminism, self-esteem, purpose, integrity, sex, spirituality, and touch — deal even remotely with the teaching of syllogisms, truth tables, conditionals, argument analysis, etc.

At a conceptual level at least, it necessitates a reassessment of the relationship between the roles that both the former and the latter play in the rationality apparatus. That this is not a problem unique to our present predicament allows us to benefit from the insights of Aristotle, who in the Nichomachean Ethics was thoroughly engaged in a similar project, and to whom any discussion of the notion of practical wisdom has become heavily indebted. For Aristotle — as for us — what seems to be required instead is a clarification of the really complementary functions logical and desiderative thinking perform in the creation of the rational person.

Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom

Unfortunately, there is little between the covers that suggests how hooks might respond here — but fairly so, if her focus in it is to address the concrete realities of the classroom. Yet, the lack of any systematic analysis in this area inevitably renders remiss the obscurity of logic and argumentation in her proposed conception of critical thinking, especially since she explicitly connects it to Aristotelian ideals. Taking these criticisms seriously, however, hardly takes away any of the innumerable insights Teaching Critical Thinking affords.

References Lovlie, L. The uses of example in moral education. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 31 1 , Nussbaum, M. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.