Critical Thinking Competencies

Critical thinking is a mode/practice/process/habit of thinking that is active, purposeful, and organized. The elements of critical thinking may vary among disciplines but typically involve reasoning based on inquiry, evidence, interpretations and implications. A critical thinker considers context as well as assumptions and biases, personal and other, in making judgments. Building upon the information literacy skills or inquiry and evaluation, a critical thinker:

  • Maintains a disposition that is open to change and to other perspectives
  • Engages in purposeful, organized thinking
  • Evaluates evidence; explores and investigates in a deliberate manner
  • Exercises self- regulatory judgment
  • Makes connections

1. Analysis: Identifies and examines assumptions, premises, arguments, statements, perspectives. Distinguishes belief, opinion and empirical truth.

2. Disposition: Thinks open- mindedly; willing to think critically about beliefs.

3. Assessment: Presents and assesses the quality of supporting data and empirical evidence within the context of an argument or thesis.

4. Meaningful Connections: Draws conclusions based on evidence and considers prior knowledge, context (social, political, economic, etc.) and perspectives in determining conclusions, implications or consequences.

5. Creativity: Creation or generation of ideas, processes, experiences or objects.

Critical Thinking
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/faculty/pedagogies/thinking.shtml
Dartmouth Writing Program explains their process for the development of critical thinking through writing.

http://wsuctproject.wsu.edu/ctr.htm
Washington State University ’s Critical Thinking Project provides a critical thinking rubric which can be used as a diagnostic tool for evaluating teaching practices as well as testing student outcomes.

http://www.criticalthinking.org/resources/TRK12-tactics-encourage-learning.shtml
The Foundation for Critical Thinking provides a list of strategies to encourage active learning and critical thinking