Monday, February 23, 2009

Lecture 7: Critical Thinking and Essay Preparation


What is critical thinking?


“Reasonable reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do”
-- Robert Ennis

“Active, presistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends”
-- JohnDewey


What is reflective thinking?

“Judgment suspended during further inquiry”
-- Dewey


Think of the scientific method as a way of organising your argument in your essay:

  • Definition of the problem
  • Proposal of the hypothesis/hypotheses
  • Observation
  • Measurement
  • Qualitative/Quantitative Analysis
  • Testing
  • Interpretation

An "ideal" critical thinker should employ these attributes:

  • Inquisitive
  • Open-minded
  • Orderly
  • Focused
  • Persistent
  • Devise testing strategies
  • Formulates alternative solutions/hypotheses
  • Judges acceptability of premises and inferences
  • Draws conclusions


Classic way *not* to structure your essay:





Syllogisms:

All X are Y. Z is X.
Therefore, Z is Y.

--or—

All X are Y. No Z is Y.
Therefore, no Z is X.

For next week: critically evaluate three websites/online resources that fit with feminist theory and digital cultures. Title your blog post: Lecture 7, Critical Thinking, Name.



Coursework Essay DUE DATE: 7th May, 4:00pm





12 comments:

char said...

this is a great and useful post~ I am sharing it via my e-mail newsletter now :-)

Jess said...

Glad the post was of use Char.

Thanks for commenting.

Emily said...

Thanks Jess. Another super pedagogical post. I'll be using this in my critical literacy grad course.

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