The Importance Of Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking Critical thinking is not a new idea. Maybe our early ancestors used their critical faculties to locate food sources or find a good place to live. According to the Center for Critical Thinking (1996), the intellectual roots of critical thinking are as old as its etymology which goes back to the teaching practice and vision of Socrates, 2500 years ago. In the 1980’s there was an outburst of interest in critical thinking. According to Dam and Volman (2004), in various research and policy reports in USA it was stated that students lacked a higher order thinking ability and that society required students to think critically. Since then, much attention has been devoted to practical and theoretical issues involved in critical thinking. Curricula have been developed, conferences held, journals created, and policies implemented. A great deal has been written about critical thinking, yet definitions of it differ. Gibson (1995) cited in Dam and Volman (2004) states that from a philosophical point of view critical thinking is primarily considered as “the norm of good thinking, the rational aspect of human thought, and as the intellectual virtues needed to approach the world in a reasonable, fair-minded way” (p.361). Benesch (1993) points out critical thinking is not simply higher-order thinking. As she explains “it is a search for the social, historical, and political roots of conventional knowledge and an orientation to transform learning and society.” (p.546). Glaser
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