Critical Thinking Competency Standards

Much lip service is given to the notion that students are learning to think critically. A cursory examination of critical thinking competency standards (enumerated and elaborated in this guide) should persuade any reasonable person familiar with schooling today that they are not. On the other hand, a reasonable person might also conclude that no teacher in any single subject could teach all of these standards. We agree. The critical thinking competency standards articulated in this guide serve as a resource for teachers, curriculum designers, administrators and accrediting bodies. The use of these competencies across the curriculum will ensure that critical thinking is fostered in the teaching of any subject to all students at every grade level. We can expect large groups of students to achieve these competencies only when most teachers within a particular institution are fostering critical thinking standards in their subject(s) at their grade level. We cannot expect students to learn critical thinking at any substantive level through one or a few semesters of instruction. Viewed as a process covering

Authors: Dr. Richard Paul & Dr. Linda Elder

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