Critical Thinking and
Argumentation
What is critical thinking?
“Critical thinking is the formation of logical
inferences.”(Simon&Kaplan)
Critical thinking is “reasonably and
reflectively deciding what to believe or
do.” (Ennis)
Critical thinking is “the examination and
testing of suggested solutions to see
whether they will work.” (Lindsey, Hall,
and Thompson)
Bloom’s Taxonomy
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In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a
group of educational psychologists
who in turn developed a
classification of levels of intellectual
behavior important in learning.
Bloom found that over 95% of the
test questions that students
encounter require them to think at
the lowest level . . . the recall of
information.
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Bloom identified six levels within
the cognitive domain.
From simple recall to more complex
abstract levels.
Knowledge, comprehension, and
application are consider lower
levels.
Analysis, synthesis and evaluation
are considered higher levels.
Bloom’s model:
Evaluation
Synthesis
Analysis
Application
Comprehension
Knowledge
Knowledge:
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Knowledge is defined as the
remembering of previously learned
facts to theories.
Language related to knowledge is:
arrange, define, duplicate, label,
list, memorize, name, order,
recognize, relate, recall, repeat,
reproduce state.
Comprehension:
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Comprehension refers to the ability
to grasp the meaning of material.
Language used to identify
comprehension would be classify,
describe, discuss, explain, express,
identify, indicate, recognize, report,
restate, review, select, and
translate.
Application:
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Application refers to the ability to use
learned material in new and concrete
situations.
Applications of things such as rules,
methods, concepts, principles, laws, and
theories.
Language used: apply, demonstrate,
dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret,
operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve,
use, and write.
Analysis:
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Analysis refers to the ability to breakdown
material into its component parts so that
its organizational structure may be
understood.
Examples include recognizing unstated
assumptions, recognizes logical fallacies,
distinguish between facts and inferences,
evaluate the relevancy of data, analyze
the organizational structure of a work
(art, music, writing, speech)
More:
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Language used in analysis includes
analyze, appraise, calculate,
categorize, compare, contrast,
criticize, differentiate, discriminate,
distinguish, examine, experiment,
question and test.
Synthesis:
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Synthesis refers to the ability to put parts
together to form a new whole.
Examples include putting together a
speech, a research proposal, integrate
learning from different areas into a plan
for solving a problem, etc . . .
Language includes arrange, assemble,
collect, compose, construct, create,
design, develop, formulate, manage,
organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up
and write.
Evaluation:
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Evaluation is concerned with the
ability to judge the value of material
(speech or paper) for a given
purpose.
Evaluation is the highest level
because it contains “all” the other
categories, plus conscious value
judgments based on clearly defined
criteria.
More:
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Examples include judge the logical
consistency of written material,
judge the adequacy with which
conclusions are supported by data,
judge the value of a speech, etc.
Language includes appraise, argue,
assess, attach, choose, compare,
judge, predict, rate, select, support,
value, and evaluate.
The six hats of thinking:
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Edward de Bono’s six thinking hats
is a technique used for problem
solving and gaining new
perspectives.
In wearing a particular thinking hat
people play roles.
The six hats won’t produce better
solutions alone—you still need the
right skills and experience.
Six hats:
White-is neutral and objective, concerned with
objective facts and figures.
Red-relates to anger and rage, is concerned with
emotions.
Black-is gloomy, and covers the negative-why
things can’t be done.
Yellow-is sunny and positive, indicating hope
and positive thinking.
Green-is abundant, fertile growth, indicating
creativity and new ideas.
Blue-is the sky above us, so is concerned with
the control and organization of the thinking
process.
Attributes of a critical thinker:
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Asks pertinent questions.
Assesses statements and arguments.
Is able to admit a lack of understanding
or information.
Has a sense of curiosity.
Is interested in finding new solutions.
Is able to clearly define a set of criteria
for analyzing ideas.
Is willing to examine beliefs,
assumptions, and opinions and weigh
them against the facts.
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Listens carefully to others and is able to give
feedback.
See that critical thinking is a lifelong process of
self-assessment.
Suspends judgment until all facts have been
gathered and considered.
Looks for evidence to support assumption and
beliefs.
Looks for proof.
Is able to adjust opinions when new facts are
found.
Examines problems closely.
Is able to reject information that is incorrect.
Conclusion:
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Critical thinking is important to
argumentation and debate because
it originates from the principles of
problem solving, decision making
and reasoning.
Think about it!
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Critical Thinking and Argumentation