Critical thinking activities focus on the acquisition of skills that:
- Encourage students to identify relevant information (Mahaffy, 2006), and learn how to “detect and avoid fallacious reasoning and … analyze deductive and inductive arguments” (Kurfiss, 1988, p. iii);
- Encourage students to develop information literacy skills and technological literacy skills (Center for Critical Thinking, 1998);
- Encourage students to research effectively and efficiently (Mahaffy, 2006) by supporting arguments or conclusions with research (Kurfiss, 1988) and
- Encourage students to communicate effectively their conclusions (Mahaffy, 2006) by reading and writing (Kurfiss, 1988), speaking and listening (Center for Critical Thinking, 1998).
Critical thinking, as a curricular element, focuses on assignments, rather than content (Kurfiss, 1988). This is not a discipline specific pedagogical process, but an instructional methodology.
Carr. K. (1988). How can we teach critical thinking? Childhood Education, 65(2), 69-73.
Center for Critical Thinking. (1998). Critical thinking: Basic theory and instructional structures. Wye Mills, MD: Foundation for Critical Thinking.
Kurfiss, J. (1988). Critical thinking: Theory, research, practice, and possibilities. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 2. Washington, DC: Association for the Study of Higher Education.
Mahaffy, M. (2006). Encouraging critical thinking in student library research. College Teaching, 54(4), 324-327.