Critical Thinking Question Examples

Critical Thinking Question Examples-88
(Examples: Connecting related ideas discussed in separate sections or units of a course into a single, unified product, such as a concept map.

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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.

When students think critically, they think deeply; they not only know the facts, but they take the additional step of going beyond the facts to do something with them.

Critical thinking involves reflecting on the information received, moving away from “surface” memorization and toward deeper levels of learning.

Classroom-based research conducted by Alison King (1990, 1995) demonstrates that students can also learn to generate their own higher-level thinking questions.

Using a technique she calls “guided peer questioning,” students are first provided with a series of generic question stems that serve as cognitive prompts to trigger or stimulate different forms of critical thinking, such as: After students have communicated their ideas, either orally via group discussions or in writing via minute papers, I periodically ask them to reflect on what type of critical thinking my question was designed to promote and whether they think they demonstrated that critical thinking in their response.Furthermore, questions calling for factual recall are the type of questions that are least likely to promote student involvement.In contrast, studies show that “open-ended” questions calling for divergent thinking (i.e., questions that allow for a variety of possible answers and encourage students to think at a deeper level than rote memory) are more effective in eliciting student responses than “closed” questions calling for convergent thinking (i.e., questions that require students to narrow-in or converge on one, and only one, correct answer) (Andrews, 1980; Bligh, 2000).I typically ask them to record their personal reflections in writing, either working individually or in pairs; in the latter case, their task is to listen and record the reflections shared by their partner.Research has shown that one distinguishing characteristic of high-achieving college students is that they tend to reflect on their thought processes during learning and are aware of the cognitive strategies they use (Weinstein & Underwood, 1985).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.It also involves a shift away from viewing learning as the reception of information from teacher or text (in pre-packaged and final form) to viewing learning as an elaboration and transformation of received information into a different form by the learner.This broad definition of critical thinking does not equate critical thinking with the cognitive process of evaluation or critique; instead, it incorporates evaluation as one specific form or type of critical thinking.For instance, following a 25-year review of the critical thinking literature, Mc Millan concluded that, “What is lacking in the research is a common definition of critical thinking and a clear definition of the nature of an experience that should enhance critical thinking” (1987, p. Scholarly definitions of critical thinking have ranged from the very narrow—a well-reasoned evaluative judgment (King & Kitchener, 1994), to the very broad—all thinking that involves more than the mere acquisition and recall of factual information (Greeno, 1989).In this article, I adopt a more inclusive definition of critical thinking that embraces all thought processes that are “deeper” than memorization and recall of factual information.


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