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Abrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Surkes, M. A., Tamim, R., & Zhang, D. (2008). Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: A stage 1 meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 1102-1134. To develop critical skills in students in a course, instructors must have the explicit goal of developing those skills as well as training in ways to do so. Critical thinking does not progress by accident. Bloom, B., & Associates. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: David McKay. Braun, N. M. (2004). Critical thinking in the business curriculum. Journal of Education for Business, 79(4), 232-236. Nora Braun of Augsburg College points out that in the business world, making decisions is a daily occurrence. Discussions, debates, and guided questioning are some of the techniques that should be used in business courses to classify and evaluate the enormous quantity of available information. Bookfield, S. D. (2012). Teaching for critical thinking: Tools and techniques to help students question their assumptions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Brookfield, S. D. (1997). Assessing critical thinking. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, No. 75, Fall, 17-29. Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2014). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (11th ed.). Longman/Pearson. The authors highlight the applicability of critical thinking skills to life experiences extending far beyond the classroom. Critical thinking habits and attitudes are transferrable to consumer, medical, legal, and general ethical choices, to the benefit of the thinker. Burbach, M., Matkin, G., & Fritz, S. (2004). Teaching critical thinking in an introductory leadership course utilizing active learning strategies: A confirmatory study. College Student Journal, 38(3), 482-493. Although educators disagree on the definition of critical thinking, they do concur that critical thinking should be the main goal of a course. This study in an introductory level college leadership course finds that students improve their critical thinking skills through active learning.‖ Facione, P. A.  (2013 update). Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts. Facione, P. A. (2011). Think critically. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Written from a philosophical perspective, this critical thinking textbook emphasizes the application of critical thinking to the real world and offers positive examples of critical thinking. Chapters cover inductive, deductive, comparative, ideological, and empirical reasoning. Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction. Research Findings and Recommendations. Available at Facione, N. C., & Facione, P. A. (2008). Critical thinking and clinical judgment in the health sciences: An international teaching anthology. Millbrae, CA: California Academic Press. Facione, N. C., & Facione, P. A. (2007). Thinking and reasoning in human decision making. Millbrae, CA: California Academic Press. Facione, N. C., & Facione, P. A. (2001). Analyzing explanations for seemingly irrational choices. International Journal of Applied Philosophy, 15(2), 267-86. Facione, P. A., & Facione, N. C. (2007). Talking critical thinking. Change: The Magazine of Higher Education, 39(March-April), 38-44. Facione, P. A., Facione, N. C., & Giancarlo, C. (2000). The disposition toward critical thinking: Its character, measurement, and relationship to critical thinking skills, Journal of Informal Logic, 20(1), 61-84. Fisher, A. (2001). Critical thinking: An introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press. Fisher aims to teach the basic skills or competencies displayed in good critical thinkers:  the ability to interpret, analyze and evaluate ideas and arguments. Halpern, D. F. (2003). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (4th ed.). Mahwah, NJ:   Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Halpern, D. F. (1999). Teaching for critical thinking: Helping college students develop the skills and dispositions of a critical thinker. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No.80, Winter, 69-74. Diane Halpern, a professor of psychology at California State University, proposes a four-part model to teach critical thinking. The model includes strategies to help students recognize when a certain thinking skill is needed and metacognitively monitor their thinking processes. Macpherson, K. (1999). The development of critical thinking skills in undergraduate supervisory management units. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 24(3), 273-284. Nilson, L. B. (1997). Critical thinking as an exercise in courage. The National Teaching and Learning Forum, (6)2, 1-4. This article reviews many of the logical fallacies that interfere with critical thinking and goes beyond in revealing how “psycho-logical” fallacies – that is, psychological defense mechanisms – also obstruct critical thinking. In other words, critical thinking depends upon mental/emotional health. Nosich, G. M. (2009). Learning to think things through: A guide to critical thinking across the curriculum (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Built on Richard Paul's model of critical thinking, this book is written for students to help them learn how to think critically in any subject matter, with an emphasis on the elements of reasoning, standards, and critical thinking processes. It presents instruction and exercises that actively involve students in their own learning, highlight the power and relevance of the discipline of the course, and make connections to other fields. Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2013). Critical thinking: Teaching students how to study and learn, Part III. Journal of Developmental Education, 26(3), 36-37. Available at Richard Paul, director of research and professional development at the Center for Critical Thinking at Sonoma State University, has written extensively in the field of critical thinking. He and Linda Elder have co-authored many articles on critical thinking which “prove” by polls and surveys taken that educators generally do not know what critical thinking is, or how to teach it. Three templates provided in this article are well written and would be beneficial in most classes. They help students analyze the logic of articles, essays, or chapters. Each template consists of eight questions asking the main purpose, the key question, the most important information, the main references or conclusions, the key idea, the main assumptions of the material, the implications, and the main point of view. By using these templates when reading an article or chapter, students will better understand critical thinking as a process that enable s them to identify and evaluate information. Specifically, a critical thinking approach to reading equips students to know: The authors focus on critical thinking as a process and encourage readers to work through the templates so they can help students learn to analyze and assess information in written materials. These techniques transfer quite easily to other topics and disciplines.  They first appeared in: Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2001). The thinker's guide to how to study and learn. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. Many other teaching resources are available free at, and these are especially important: Perry, W. G. (1968). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years: A scheme. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Roth, M. S. (2010, January 3). Beyond critical thinking. Chronicle of Higher Education. Available at Roth observes that the teaching of critical thinking tends to focus on criticism – seeing through or undermining statements ― and cautions against creating a class of self-satisfied debunkers.‖When critical thinking means being a critical unmasker, students may become too good at showing how things do not make sense, which may diminish their capacity to find or create meaning and direction in the books they read and the world in which they live. Roth endorses finding ways to teach students to open themselves to the emotional and cognitive power of history and literature, even though these fields may initially rub them the wrong way or seem foreign. He concludes that we should allow students to see the value-laden practices of a particular culture so they can understand how these values are legitimated.  We should also encourage them to cultivate the willingness and ability to learn from material they might otherwise reject or ignore. Seesholtz, M., & Polk, B. (2009, October 10). Two professors, one valuable lesson: How to respectfully disagree. Chronicle of Higher Education. Available at The authors team-taught a course that demonstrated critical thinking through civil discourse: how to engage in a civil debate with the goal of advancing understanding of another's point of view, how to evaluate the validity of that viewpoint, and how to benefit from the new perspectives it opens. Tremblay, K. R., Jr., & Downey, E. P. (2004). Identifying and evaluating research-based publications: Enhancing undergraduate student critical thinking skills. Education, 124(4), 734-740. Kenneth Tremblay, a faculty member in the Department of Design and Merchandising and School of Social Work at Colorado State University, reports the results of a study conducted on undergraduate students in a research methods course involving critical thinking. In response to a series of questions, students selected and developed an idea, gathered research-based publications, and read and evaluated the literature. In the evaluation process, students developed critical thinking skills as well as inductive and deductive logic reasoning skills. Willingham, D. T. (2007). Critical thinking: Why is it so hard to teach? American Educator, Summer, 8-19. According to Willingham, no specific set of critical thinking skills actually exists. He believes that techniques can be taught, but they work poorly if taught in a stand-alone way. Students must have some content or domain knowledge before they can apply any technique. Otherwise, it is difficult to get beyond the “surface structure” of a problem and to know when to look more deeply. Willingham argues that the assessments of critical thinking programs used in the last 25 years are limited or flawed, but most show that skilled teaching/coaching and plenty of opportunity for students to practice techniques, especially across dissimilar material, can increase critical thinking abilities. Wolcott, S. L., & Lynch, C. K. (2006). Steps for better thinking. Available at

Compiled by Linda Nilson, 2014.