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In the 1930s, many of the schools that participated in the Eight-Year Study of the Progressive Education Association (Aikin 1942) adopted critical thinking as an educational goal, for whose achievement the study’s Evaluation Staff developed tests (Smith, Tyler, & Evaluation Staff 1942).Glaser (1941) showed experimentally that it was possible to improve the critical thinking of high school students.
In 1987, the APA’s Committee on Pre-College Philosophy commissioned a consensus statement on critical thinking for purposes of educational assessment and instruction (Facione 1990a).
Researchers have developed standardized tests of critical thinking abilities and dispositions; for details, see the Supplement on Assessment.
“In support of this conclusion, I discovered that the pole was lower than the pilot house, so that the steersman could easily see it.
Moreover, the tip was enough higher than the base, so that, from the pilot's position, it must appear to project far out in front of the boat.
Standardized tests have been developed to assess the degree to which a person possesses such dispositions and abilities.
Educational intervention has been shown experimentally to improve them, particularly when it includes dialogue, anchored instruction, and mentoring.Dewey (1910: 68–71; 1933: 91–94) takes as paradigms of reflective thinking three class papers of students in which they describe their thinking.The examples range from the everyday to the scientific.(Dewey 1910: 6; 1933: 9) and identified a habit of such consideration with a scientific attitude of mind.His lengthy quotations of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill indicate that he was not the first person to propose development of a scientific attitude of mind as an educational goal.For details on this history, see the Supplement on History.Before considering the definition of critical thinking, it will be helpful to have in mind some examples of critical thinking, as well as some examples of kinds of thinking that would apparently not count as critical thinking.: “The other day, when I was down town on 16th Street, a clock caught my eye. This suggested that I had an engagement at 124th Street, at one o'clock. If not, I might lose more than twenty minutes in looking for one.I reasoned that as it had taken me an hour to come down on a surface car, I should probably be twenty minutes late if I returned the same way. Then I thought of the elevated, and I saw there was such a line within two blocks. If it were several blocks above or below the street I was on, I should lose time instead of gaining it.Morevoer, the pilot being near the front of the boat, he would need some such guide as to its direction. This hypothesis was so much more probable than the others that I accepted it. It expands by increase of heat, or by decrease of pressure, or both.I formed the conclusion that the pole was set up for the purpose of showing the pilot the direction in which the boat pointed, to enable him to steer correctly.” (Dewey 1910: 69-70; 1933: 92-93) : “In washing tumblers in hot soapsuds and placing them mouth downward on a plate, bubbles appeared on the outside of the mouth of the tumblers and then went inside. The presence of bubbles suggests air, which I note must come from inside the tumbler. Could the air have become heated after the tumbler was taken from the hot suds?