Darla Moore

Bellefontaine, OH

Interests: 21st century learning,...

  • Posted 8 Years ago
  • 3.7k

Critical Thinking

In this day of multi-mass media, Critical Thinking skills are the best skill any teacher can teach.  This reaches across the curriculum and into minds at any age.  It is a desired skill by employers at all levels.  Rarely mentioned in the standards but vital to all. 


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31 Jul 12, 04:36 PM

I do agree with this statement. I believe that we need to be critical thinkers in order to be successful in the classroom. As teachers we need to be critical since it gives us control when teaching. We must also teach students to be critical thinkers so that they would become independent learners.


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07 Jun 12, 10:37 AM

I agree that critical thinking is probably the most important skill an individual can have. I always try to get my students to think outside the box and formulate their own thoughts and opinions through class discussion and debate. I think the way people are fed and consume information without thinking about it critically is one of the most poisonous issues facing our country today.


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15 May 11, 08:46 PM

In the book, On Building Better Students, critical thinking skills are utilized throughout. What was as important were the recently discovered, and then emphasized Critical Success Factors for Learning.

We found that the complete package was necessary, as it delivered a self-directed student in the final analysis.



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26 Feb 11, 02:26 AM

There are many aspects of the entire educational system I feel have gone in the wrong direction. We don't teach respect , morality and ethics. We don't hold students accountable for their actions, and we don't hold our standards very high. Good teachers who believe their jobs are not only to teach content and skills, but to hold students make good decisions, and to become decent adults are becoming rate. Many schools are so political, and so afraid of parents and lawsuits and funding, that teachers who do the right thing are often considered "trouble".  Mediocracy is rewarded.

Best teaching practices are vital to a active, invested and challenged study body. But we don't use them, or we don't use them correctly. How's about a simple example that is not being practiced, yet in not doing so, we are creating kids that don't participate, don't feel confident and find it easy to answer questions with "I don't know". It's the concept of waiting for a student to answer a question for at least 60 seconds in order to give the student a chance to process it and think of an answer. And a step further would be to lead the student towards the right question by asking questions so the student can figure it out.  But 60 seconds seems long to a lot of teachers, so they quickly ask the next student when an immediate answer is not forthcoming. So simple-yet the consequences of NOT doing it produce kids that feel stupid, do not have confidence the teacher thinks he has anything to offer, and it's embarassing. So they stop trying, they don't get invested, and they will immediately answer "I don't know" when called on.

So, where does critical thinking fit in? It's not passe. It's here and now and the future. I run a  tutoring company, and  my curriculum begins with a critical thinking exercise. Using a variety of best teaching strategies, including multi-modalities and technology integration, each lesson is impedded with Blooms questioning, even with my youngest students.  I spiral each lesson to build confidence and build up the next step, and my students have found great success. I know I am doing the very best for them, and they know it too. I hold them accountable, and expect them to be responnsible for their actions. I also incorporate study skills applicab;e tp the course. All and all, I am pleased as a dedicated educator, that I know I am doing the best by my students. I am teaching them lifelong skills. Seeing my kids excited to learn is the ultimate reward.

Thanks for letting me get this out. It just seems like things are getting worse, and we need to get back to being role models for kids-and that means doing the right thing.



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25 Jan 11, 12:53 PM

I am thoroughly enjoying this conversation.  I hear the question being asked, "what do we mean by critical thinking?"  Is it problem-solving, is it constructive in nature, does it involve deep thinking?  There are many quesitons being asked in this discussion.

I have learned a great deal from Susan Brookhart's book, Assessing Higher Order Thinking Skills.  See her book at:


She does a good job of outlining the different higher-order skills needed to think effectively--problem-solving, creative thinking, etc. 

I would recommend the book as a place to begin on pul

She brings together lots of good ideas outlined in this discussion.  Then she goes into how you build assessments in these different areas.

See what you think.

Bob Ryshke

Center for Teaching

The Westminster Schools 


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10 Oct 10, 07:32 PM

I have worked in this field for a while, so it is interesting to see the topic raised as a forum. While the general consensus on the board so far that critical thinking is important, perhaps we need to look to share our experiences in promoting critical thinking in our classrooms and schools. It would be great to hear about some of the challenges, successes and insights people have in their workplaces.

I agree that the topic of critical thinking and standards based curriculums is an interesting one, with many possible tensions. Curriculum frameworks often have a range of thinking skills hidden within their detail - look out for the use of words such as compare, evaluate, classify - as they clearly denote a need to teach thinking skills.

Tony's last post is intriguing,but a little unclear. Tony - it would be helpful to understand more about how and why you see critical thinking as passe...


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07 Aug 10, 05:16 AM

In a way Critical Thinking is passe. The objective might better be  Critical-Constructive Thinking, i.e., problem identification and solving. Ironically we know many ways to teach this and many other such things better. However Best Instructional Practices are treated superficially. I write extensively about this, but I cannot seem to make the simplest point very well. Please help. The point that needs to be made is: Why should we make an effort to identify and promote Best Practices? Ideas? It does not seem t be anyone's interests to seriously answer this question. I think that it advances Professional Education, but few sem to agree.

Grazie Mille,

Tony Manzo


You can see my efforts at:


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29 May 10, 09:19 AM

I am taking a course for English teachers and one of the units is about Reflection. I think every teacher courses should include this important topic because this special way of thinking, in my opinion, is the key to a conscious teaching-learning process. Students become more autonomous as to have more awareness and control over their learning and teachers become more aware about their pratices and its consequences.

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16 Mar 10, 12:15 AM

Yes, it is so very difficult to get my 6th grade students to think in abstract ways.  They still take every word you say so literally!  Critical Thinking is ultimately the most important tool to teach our children because in order for them to be successful they must be able to successfully communicate in the 21st Century world!


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21 Jan 10, 11:09 AM

I agree that CT is one of the important components of a 21st Century curriculum.  My website, http://valetc.com, has several articles that feature the topic and a section of sample activities for various higher oder thinking skills.


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