Interesting topics for critical thinking

May 22, at 5: May 26, at 1:

Interesting topics for critical thinking

Posted on November 30, by Scott Alexander [epistemic status: My bias is against the current college system doing much good. I have tried not to be bogged down by this bias, but take it into account when reading my interpretations below.

An earlier version of this post claimed that one paper had shown a u-shaped relationship between time spent in college and critical thinking. A commenter pointed out this was true only of a subset in two-year colleges, but not of four-year colleges or college in general — which shows the expected linear relationship.

I am sorry for the error, and correcting it somewhat increases my confidence in college building critical thinking. The evidence sort of supports him, but with the usual caveats and uncertainties.

First of all, what the heck is critical thinking? Luckily, we have a very objective scientific answer: Most studies on this issue are terrible because they lack control groups. That is, they measure students when they enter college, measure them again when they leave college, and find that their critical thinking ability has improved.

But this could be for any number of reasons. Maybe older people generally have better critical thinking than younger people. Maybe life experience builds critical thinking. Maybe college had nothing to do with any of it. The best meta-analysis of such studies, MacMillanfinds exactly this, and concludes: Overall these studies suggest that seniors, in the main, are probably better at critical thinking than freshmen.

However, since the most compelling data were gathered through weak pretest-posttest or longitudinal designs, it is difficult to separate out the effect of college from the maturational effects that occur despite college. But in any case we need a better study design to conclude anything from this.

Join us in Belgium, June 4-7, 2019

There are two studies with moderately good designs, both by a guy named Pascarella. The first compares 30 college students to 17 matched non-college students and follows them up for one year.

The secondlarger study compares students doing college full-time to students doing college part-time, under the theory that if college is causing the effect, then a little college should cause a small effect, but lots of college should cause a big effect.

They find this in the four-year college sample, and a garbled u-shaped mess in the two-year college sample.

Time to Think {The Critical Thinking Company Review} - Homeschool Review Crew

At least the four-year sample, which is what most people are interested in, looks good. On the other hand, some other studies find less impressive effect sizes. Arum and Roska recently wrote a book on this kind of thing, Academically Adriftand they find that two years of college start of freshman to end of sophomore only increases critical thinking by 0.

According to one review: College entrance to end of sophomore ie half of college improves critical thinking by 0. In contrast, during the s students developed their skills at twice the rate: Four years of college need not produce an effect twice as great as two years of college, any more than a space heater that increases the temperature of a room 10 degrees after being left on for one hour will increase the temperature degrees after being left on for a year.

Indeed, some studies suggest that most of the gains happen in freshman year. Studying a lot seems to help. So does reading unassigned books.Dartmouth Writing Program support materials - including development of argument.

Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing. Mind Mirror Projects: A Tool for Integrating Critical Thinking into the English Language Classroom (), by Tully, in English Teaching Forum, State Department, Number 1 Critical Thinking Across the .

Critical thinking is simply reasoning out whether a claim is true, partly true, sometimes true, or false. Logic is applied by the critical thinker to understand character, motivation, point of view and expression.

Interesting topics for critical thinking

The Critical Thinking Co. provides innovative and interesting curriculum for toddlers through 12th grade. Recently they provided the Crew with several exciting products for review. Fun-Time Phonics (Gr.

PreK-2) is a pp. book that teaches students vowel patterns and vocabulary building as a key to comprehension. Through a series of .

Critical thinking is simply reasoning out whether a claim is true, partly true, sometimes true, or false. Logic is applied by the critical thinker to understand character, motivation, point of view and expression.

Critical Thinking is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the essential skills of good reasoning. The authors provide a thorough treatment of such central topics as deductive and inductive reasoning, logical fallacies, how to recognize and avoid ambiguity, and how to distinguish what is relevant from what is not.

Analogical Argument (Argument by analogy) An inductive argument, one premise of which is points out a likeness between two kinds of things. Based on the many similarities which are known to hold between the two, the presence of some additional feature in one thing leads to a conclusion that the other kind of thing shares that additional feature..

Not every analogy is offered as an argument.

Time to Think {The Critical Thinking Company Review} | Homeschool Review Crew