The Importance Of Critical Thinking

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"In the face of too much incoming information and too many people trying to convince us in today's world, the ability to think critically gains an ever greater saliency as a prime goal of student and teacher education"(Birjandi & Bagherkazemi, 2010, p.1). A major influence in critical thinking traces back to the work of the American educational philosopher John Dewey. To John Dewey, schools are laboratories of human development in arranged environments. Dewey held that the goal of education could only be development (or what he called "growth"); Education "means supplying the conditions which foster growth" (Dewey, 1916, as cited in Kuhn, 1999), not toward a predetermined end but rather in the direction of "an increase in the range and complexity of situations to which the child is capable of applying reasoned inquiry" (Cahan, 1994, as cited in Kuhn, 1999). In fact, the educator's task is seen as a process of connecting with the young child's interests and purposes, but that one could not stop there. Dewey said, "The real problem of intellectual education is the transformation of more or less casual curiosity and sporadic suggestion into attitudes of alert, cautious, and thorough inquiry" (Dewey, 1933, as cited in Kuhn, 1999). Reviewing the many definitions of critical thinking, Richard Paul (1990) defined it as: Critical thinking is disciplined, self-directed thinking which exemplifies the
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