Critical Thinking: What Is Critical Thinking?

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What Is Critical Thinking? There are a number of definitions of critical thinking. Some depict critical thinking as a broad construct (Davidson & Dunham, 1997) which centers primarily on reasonable and reflective thinking which is focused on what to believe or do, while others view it more narrowly, specific to a certain content area (McPeck, 1981). Halvorsen (2005) believes that critical thinking is not an easy concept to define, as it can mean quite different things to different people in different contexts and cultures. Nevertheless, instructors can incorporate some of its key elements in their classrooms. He defines critical thinking as: "to think critically about an issue is to consider that issue from various perspectives, to look at…show more content…
A new definition of critical thinking stated by Epas is "critical thinking is self-directed thinking and a self-monitored process that requires effective problem solving abilities" (p. 4, as cited in Colby, 2009). Critical thinking includes the ability to analyze and evaluate one's own thinking processes. Huff (2000) emphasized that good critical thinking is not an innate or natural ability for most students but that they can be taught through effective pedagogical methods to learn to think critically. In the present research it will be tried to find out if critical thinking can enhance the reading ability of EFL learners through affecting their motivation or not. Students need the ability to question, reason, and consider alternative perspectives but also to evaluate their own biases, values, claims, and belief systems (Huff, 2000, cited in Anderson,…show more content…
Ideal critical thinkers are informed, open minded, fair, realistic about bias, and careful in making judgments (Abrami, et.al, 2008). Critical thinking consists of specific skills as opposed to psychological attributes. Critical thinking skills can be transferable across contexts although there is debate on how to teach skills (generalist or specifist perspective) (Abrami, et.al, 2008, cited in Anderson, 2011). There is much controversy about whether it is possible to include critical thinking strategies in education or not and whether critical thinking can be taught or not. However, in spite of all these controversial ideas and beliefs on teaching critical thinking skills, everyone agrees that thinking critically is the major goal of education (Reed, 1998). It seems that critical thinking can affect other factors involved in the process of teaching and learning. One of these factors is the learners' performance in language tests. In the following section a brief introduction is presented on two format of reading comprehension tests, namely multiple choice test and close
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