File Name: critical and creative thinking notes .zip
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Critical and creative thinking skills are essential for students who plan to work and excel in the 21st-century workforce. This goal of the project reported in this article was to define critical and creative thinking in a way that would be useful for classroom teachers charged with developing such skills in their students.
To accomplish their goals, the authors conducted an extensive literature review to distill critical and creative thinking skills into teachable components. Based on their findings, the authors developed a model of critical and creative thinking that is accompanied by a table of skills, objectives, and references. Future work will involve developing instructional materials and training teachers in critical and creative thinking skills for use in their classrooms.
In a recent report on skills of the American workforce, the National Center on Education and the Economy NCEE stressed the importance of students gaining skills beyond mere content knowledge.
They state:. NCEE, , pp. Thus, the challenge among schools is to develop within students the ability to engage as 21st century thinkers. To meet this challenge, critical thinking and creative thinking have surfaced as essential skills for all students, regardless of level or ability, to possess in order to position them to address the complex needs of the 21st century. As such, the National Educational Technology Standards for Students emphasize 1 creativity and innovation; 2 communication and collaboration; 3 research and information fluency; 4 critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making; 5 digital citizenship; and 6 technology operations and concepts ISTE, a, inset.
These standards are quite different than those established in , which had an emphasis on 1 basic operations and concepts; 2 social, ethical, and human issues; 3 technology productivity tools; 4 technology communication tools; 5 technology research tools; and 6 technology problem-solving and decision-making tools ISTE, b, paragraph 1.
In comparing the two versions of the technology standards, it is clear that the shift has been made from simply teaching students how to operate technology to using technology to encourage problem-solving, innovation, and collaboration.
But how do we develop students who are critical and creative thinkers, able to. Figure 1. Conceptual model of critical and creative thinking processes. To reach these goals, we began with an extensive review of over research articles and books written on critical thinking and creativity. As we reviewed the literature, we found that critical thinking and creativity were often defined and explained as complicated or vague concepts. For example, we understood that to be creative, one must be clever; but what does it mean to be clever, and how can you teach someone to be clever?
If we simply listed clever as a characteristic of a critical and creative thinker, what could an educator do with that information? Recognizing this issue, the goal of our research is to practically define critical and creative thinking by identifying a set of specific skills that contribute to such thinking and are teachable within any classroom.
Further, we set out to develop a set of instructional guidelines to help teachers transition their classrooms into ones that foster the development of critical and creative thinking skills among all their students. Initially, we sought to review the literature on critical thinking and creativity separately; however, we soon recognized that there was a great deal of overlap in the skills required to be critical and creative thinkers and thus it began to make sense to combine the two skill sets into one comprehensive model.
Whereas creativity is often defined as the generation of numerous original ideas, we recognize that creative thought involves the selection of appropriate ideas to move forward. Further, critical thinking is often thought of as the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of ideas; however, critical thinking also involves the generation of ideas Marzano et al.
So although critical thinking may emphasize the skills of reflective judgment, it involves idea generation as well. And although creative thinking may emphasize the generation of multiple original ideas, it involves reflective judgment as well as idea generation. Through our year-long, team-wide review, analysis, and synthesis of literature, we were able to recognize recurring themes which led to a tentative conceptual model of the critical and creative thinking process.
As we developed our conceptual model, we kept in mind our goals and target audience. With public educators as our focus, we felt strongly that we needed to represent each of these components as teachable skills. Thus, we developed a list of supporting skills and objectives that can be incorporated into any lesson plan or curriculum.
We have come to recognize that critical and creative thinking is an integrated process that involves the generation and refinement of ideas around a core of knowledge. The idea generation and refinement processes are monitored and controlled by self-regulatory behaviors that involve goal-setting as well as monitoring the obtainment of those goals, all while maintaining the necessary attitudes and dispositions. As Figure 1 illustrates, the relationship between these processes is in no way linear.
The continuous, reciprocal relationship between Idea Generation and Reflective Judgment shows that there is no specific beginning or end to the thinking process. The movement between generating and refining ideas involves thinkers using analytical and evaluative measures to focus their understanding of the content and developing an outcome that most clearly and comprehensively addresses the identified problem or need.
As the thinker works to generate and refine knowledge, it is vital that he or she remains in control of both behavior and commitment to a task. The Self-Regulation component of the critical and creative thinking process ensures that the thinker remains active in the thinking and learning process, while monitoring progress toward identified goals.
A critical component that encompasses all other processes is the exhibition of appropriate Attitudes and Dispositions. Each of the essential components of Idea Generation, Reflective Judgment, Self-Regulation, and Attitudes and Dispositions, as well as the accompanying instructional guidelines, is elaborated on below. A key process of critical and creative thinking, is that of idea generation. Black refers to this as productive thinking, where the thinker engages in activities encouraging the divergent process of taking previously acquired knowledge, simple ideas, and new information, and transforming those ideas into something that can be applied to a new situation or problem.
The process of idea generation is supported by thinkers exhibiting skills such as fluency of ideas, originality of thought, and flexibility in thinking see Table 1. This skill can be encouraged and strengthened through activities involving brainstorming and conceptualization of ideas. Brainstorming allows students time to define and record as many possible solutions or ideas related to a topic as possible, while conceptualizing involves the use of a variety of methods to verbalize or represent ideas.
Conceptualizing could include 2D and 3D representations, verbal or symbolic conceptualization, movement, or other forms of representation relevant to the context.
In addition to generating a multitude of ideas, thinkers must also generate ideas that are unique and novel. As such, key skills of the idea generation process of critical and creative thinking are producing ideas that are original and flexible. The concept of originality is demonstrated through the generation of ideas that are different, innovative, and unique. In being flexible, thinkers not only consider multiple perspectives, but use those perspectives as they develop their own arguments.
Original and flexible work can be accomplished through activities that encourage thinkers to generate ideas both by considering existing ideas and by establishing relationships among previously and newly acquired concepts.
In order to determine these relationships, critical and creative thinkers engage in exploring, thinking through analogies and metaphors, examining ideas in new ways, observing, elaborating, inferring, extrapolating, and generating remote associations.
Table 1 presents associated learning objectives that expand on each concept and lists the references on which we based our conclusions. In the reflective judgment component of critical and creative thinking, thinkers move through a convergent process of evaluating ideas and selecting a structured plan or solution based on the multitude of previously generated ideas.
By combining such ideas, thinkers will determine the best and most feasible plan to pursue. As shown in Table 2, the primary skills involved in reflective judgment are analysis , synthesis , and evaluation. As thinkers analyze knowledge and information, they work to break down information to determine relationships among elemental parts.
This analytical process helps the thinker to develop the idea or concept, and occurs through activities involving questioning to seek clarity, separating information into relevant and irrelevant components, and relating to determine how ideas are associated. Once relationships are determined, thinkers work to synthesize the information in order to draw conclusions. For thinkers to express themselves at this point, they also engage in a process of composing which involves creating some form of visual or auditory representation of the information.
This practice of composition helps thinkers support and justify their synthesis of information and increases the validity of their thoughts and ideas. Table 1. Key skills and objectives of generating ideas. Finke et al. Table 2. Key skills and objectives of reflective judgment. Lemelson Center, ; Marzano et al.
Summarizing Students will condense multiple ideas into a cohesive comprehensive summary and restate it using personal connections and interpretations. Marzano, ; Nickerson, ; Raths et al. As they refine their ideas, thinkers take evaluative measures to determine the value and plausibility of ideas as related to the problem or context. Evaluation occurs through judging the resources on which conclusions were based, as well as the logic , value , and worth of the ideas generated.
In addition, evaluation involves generalizing by simplifying information and developing principles and rules for applying that information to other situations.
Table 2 summarizes the skills, activities, learning objectives, and supporting references associated with reflective judgment. Throughout the processes of generating and refining ideas, thinkers must monitor and maintain control of their thoughts, behaviors, and involvement.
The skills within this self-regulative process are organized by how the learners set personal goals and plan how they will accomplish their goals; monitor attention, focus, and progress; and evaluate the process and results of their activities see Table 3.
Critical and creative thinkers engage in active planning and forethought to set goals, outline strategies, and determine the best methods through which they can achieve their goals. Thinkers also must be skillful in monitoring the attention and focus they devote to a task as well as the results of their decisions.
This occurs through actively focusing on the level and type of attention required to accomplish the task. In addition, they need to be aware of how they are performing and progressing toward meeting their goals. Monitoring also involves identifying consequences of possible actions in relation to the desired goals.
Revising is a critical component of self-regulation; if through monitoring focus, performance, progress, and possible consequences, thinkers find that they are not making adequate progress toward achieving their goals, they must be willing to reconsider their course of action.
As thinkers continually monitor their attention, focus, and results, it may become necessary for them to make changes in beliefs about their level of attention, abilities, and the value of contributions being made. This process of cognitive restructuring occurs as thinkers make affirmative changes in their overall attitudes and seek to make alterations in personal beliefs and perceptions of the beliefs of others. Thinkers can accomplish this restructuring by making positive self-statements to help maintain awareness of such beliefs and make necessary changes.
The third and final skill of self-regulation is the need for thinkers to evaluate the results of their efforts. This occurs as the thinkers review the initial challenge, their goals, and the resulting products. By evaluating results, thinkers can ensure appropriate outcomes as well as value and worth of ideas as they relate to the problem or context.
Through evaluating the process in which they engaged, critical and creative thinkers ensure that appropriate thinking processes were used to generate results.
Through evaluating the product , they ensure that those final results are in line with the initial goal. Table 3 further illustrates the skills within the process of self-regulation with related objectives and associated references. In addition to engaging in idea generation, reflective judgment, and self-regulation, critical and creative thinkers must exhibit certain attitudes and dispositions; specifically this means they must be perceptive and flexible, motivated, and confident see Table 4.
Thinkers maintain a perceptive and flexible attitude through avoiding impulsivity, rejecting stereotypes and prejudices, embracing multiple points-of-view, judging their assumptions, and remaining sensitive to the thoughts and actions of others. In addition, it is vital that thinkers allow many aspects of experiences to penetrate and influence their thinking by remaining open-minded to seeking alternative influences.
Tolerating ambiguity is also essential, as, with any thinking process, vaguely established ideas will often penetrate their thinking. Critical and creative thinkers must be motivated to solve the problem at hand. They must exhibit a general interest in their learning, recognize the value of their participation, and see the applicability of the task to their personal interests.
This motivation is exhibited through demonstrating autonomy, persisting at the task , maintaining intrinsic motivation, and recognizing the relevance of their work to their personal interests. Successful critical and creative thinkers are also confident in their involvement and position within the problem or context.
In this context, confidence involves maintaining a positive perception of self-efficacy, exhibiting a high level of comfort in interacting with the thinking process, and exhibiting a general feeling of self-worth and certainty.
In the Australian Curriculum, students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Critical and creative thinking involves students thinking broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school. Thinking that is productive, purposeful and intentional is at the centre of effective learning. By applying a sequence of thinking skills, students develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the processes they can use whenever they encounter problems, unfamiliar information and new ideas. They become more confident and autonomous problem-solvers and thinkers. Responding to the challenges of the twenty-first century — with its complex environmental, social and economic pressures — requires young people to be creative, innovative, enterprising and adaptable, with the motivation, confidence and skills to use critical and creative thinking purposefully. This capability combines two types of thinking: critical thinking and creative thinking.
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Introduction: understanding why creative and critical thinking skills are important used in creative thinking and those used in critical thinking. However, it is summary in your learning journal (See unit, 'Reflective learning: keeping a.
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