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I may pose them for general class discussion, or for discussion in small groups.Sometimes, I will ask students to write a minute-paper in response to the question.
Ironically, and fortuitously, these results indicate that students are more likely to respond to questions that require deeper-level thought (critical thinking) than rote memory.
I insert open-ended, divergent-thinking questions (such as those included in the linked taxonomy) into my lecture notes as a reminder to pose them at certain points in class.
The classification system or taxonomy appears in the Appendix to this article.
This classification system may be viewed as a compilation of cognitive nouns translated into mental-action verbs, which could be used as a guide by instructors—to develop teaching strategies that intentionally promote the development of critical thinking skills, and by students—to assess whether they are engaging in effective critical thinking when speaking, writing, or studying.
Considerable research evidence indicates that such generic question stems can serve as effective prompts for promoting student use of specific thinking skills in different contexts (King, 1990, 1995).
Research indicates that college instructors spend little class time posing questions to students, and when questions are posed, the vast majority of them are memory-level questions that ask for factual recall rather than critical thinking (Gardiner, 1994).
(Examples: Connecting related ideas discussed in separate sections or units of a course into a single, unified product, such as a concept map.
Integrating ethical concepts learned in a course and philosophy with marketing concepts learned in a business course to produce a set of ethical guidelines for business marketing and advertising practices.)5.
This is an important distinction, not only for the purpose of definitional clarity, but also for the practical purpose of combating the prevalent student misconception that critical thinking means being “being critical.” Because of this common student misconception, I prefer to use the term “Deep Thinking” Skills (DTs) in my classes.
In an attempt to describe more clearly for students (and for myself) what critical thinking actually is, and how it can be identified and demonstrated, I developed a classification system to organize the variety of cognitive skills that would be embraced by an inclusive definition of critical thinking.