Paul And Elder's Framework Of Critical Thinking Essay

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Figure 2.1: Paul and Elder’s (2001) Framework of Critical Thinking
There are two fundamental dimensions of thinking that students need to master in order to learn how to upgrade their thinking. They need to be able to identify the "parts" of their thinking, and they need to be able to assess their use of these parts of thinking (Paul, Elder, & Bartell, 1997). Accordingly, eight elements necessary for any reasoning process were suggested by Paul, Elder, and Bartell (1997): the purpose of the thinking; the question or problem to be solved; information such as data and observations; inferences, interpretations, or solutions; concepts such as theories or definitions; assumptions; implications or consequences; and points of view or frames of reference
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Quite opposite of the philosophical view, Sternberg (1986) states that cognitive psychologists have a tendency to concentrate on how people actually think instead of focusing on how they could or should think under ideal conditions. Further, Lewis and Smith (1993) maintain that those working in cognitive psychology tend to define critical thinking by the types of actions or behaviors critical thinkers can do rather than defining critical thinking by refering to characteristics of the ideal critical thinker or enumerating criteria or standards of “good” thought.
From the psychological point of view, Mayer and Goodchild (1990, p.4) define critical thinking as “an active and systematic attempt to understand and evaluate arguments”. Additionally, Sternberg (1986, p.3) defines critical thinking as “the mental processes, strategies, and representations people use to solve problems, make decisions, and learn new concepts”. Besides, Ericson and Hastie (1994) define critical thinking as “a sequence of internal symbolic activities that leads to novel, productive ideas or conclusions” (p.

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