Teaching : Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

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Running Head: TEACHING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM 1 Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Classroom Patty J. Watson Lindenwood University TEACHING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM 2 Abstract This paper discusses the planning and execution of the concept-attainment strategy of teaching. The strategy has been found to be useful at all age levels and across all subject areas. The use of this strategy is not only to teach content, but also teach critical-thinking skills. The concept attainment strategy has been shown to increase interest and curiosity in lessons and provide some variety in presentation of lesson. It also lends itself well to…show more content…
The concept-attainment strategy asks students to draw on prior knowledge to make hypotheses about given sets of data (Eggers, Kauchak, 1996, p. 160). “The teacher tries to get students to learn how to label, categorize, interpret data, explore relationships, identify critical relationships, make inferences, apply concepts, predict outcomes and explain reasoning.” (PBWorks ) The teacher will present the students with examples and non-examples of a concept and the students will make hypotheses as to what the concept is. As students make hypotheses, the teacher should write or display them somewhere visible so that students won’t forget what has already been said. The choice of examples and non-examples is vitally important, because these will either lead the students to clarification or confusion. Once the students have examined all the evidence, they must do a final analysis and come up with a final hypothesis. The teacher will then state whether they are correct. During the presentation of hypotheses, it is crucial that students voice their thinking aloud, not only to clarify, but also to help other students that may be struggling. The students who are making the hypotheses will be forced to examine their thinking processes (Eggers, Kauchak, 1996, p. 159 – 170). The concept attainment goal is to get students to become more independent and analytical thinkers, have students make connections
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