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Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions

ISBN: 978-1-118-14671-2
304 pages
October 2011, Jossey-Bass
Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions (1118146719) cover image
According to AAC&U’s 2013 employer survey, 93% of employers agree that a candidate’s “demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems” is more important than their undergraduate major. Likewise, more than three in four employers say they want colleges to place more emphasis on helping students develop critical thinking skills.

In Teaching for Critical Thinking, Stephen Brookfield builds on his last three decades of experience running workshops and teaching courses on critical thinking to explore how student learn to think this way, and what teachers can do to help students develop this capacity.  He outlines a basic protocol of critical thinking as a learning process that focuses on uncovering and checking assumptions, exploring alternative perspectives, and taking informed actions as a result. Written to address the broad range of disciplines, this book fosters a shared understanding of critical thinking and helps to various constituencies adapt general principles to specific disciplinary contexts.
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Preface vii

About the Author xvii

1 What Is Critical Thinking? 1

2 Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 27

3 How Critical Thinking Is Learned 53

4 Introducing Basic Protocols of Critical Thinking 77

5 Developing Critical Complexity: Intermediate and Advanced Protocols 105

6 Reading and Writing Critically 129

7 Integrating Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum 155

8 Making Discussions Critical 179

9 Misunderstandings, Challenges, and Risks 205

10 Modeling Critical Thinking 233

References 261

Index 269

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Stephen D. Brookfield is Distinguished University Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For forty years he has taught in the United States and abroad. A four-time winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education, he is the author of numerous books on teaching, including The Skillful Teacher and Developing Critical Thinkers.

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