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Critical and Creative Thinking: A Brief Guide for Teachers

ISBN: 978-1-118-95537-6
264 pages
September 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Critical and Creative Thinking: A Brief Guide for Teachers (1118955374) cover image


Critical and Creative Thinking: A Guide for Teachers reveals ways to develop a capacity to think both critically and creatively in practical and productive ways.

  • Explains why critical and creative thinking complement each other with clear examples
  • Provides a practical toolkit of cognitive techniques for generating and evaluating ideas using both creative and critical thinking
  • Enriches the discussion of creative and critical intersections with brief “inter-chapters” based on the thinking habits of Leonardo da Vinci
  • Offers an overview of current trends in critical and creative thinking, with applications across a spectrum of disciplines
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Website xv

Part One Introducing Critical and Creative Thinking

1 Essential Critical Thinking Concepts 3

What Is Critical Thinking? 4

Habits of Mind 5

Why Intellectual Habits and Character Matter 7

Overcoming Obstacles to Thinking 8

A Model for Critical Thinking 13

How You KnowWhat You Know 14

Perception and Knowledge 15

Being Wrong 23

Why Errors Persist 25

Applications 27

References 30

Interchapter 1 Facts and Knowledge 32

2 Essential Creative Thinking Concepts 36

What Is Creative Thinking? 37

Seeking Alternatives and Possibilities 38

Reversing Relationships 41

Cross-fertilizing 42

Shifting Attention 42

Denying the Negative 43

The Creative Habit 46

Creative Confidence 48

Creative Theft 49

Creative Crime 51

Creative Questions 52

Applications 56

References 58

Interchapter 2 Sustaining Curiosity 60

Part Two Practicing Critical and Creative Thinking

3 Becoming a Critical and Creative Thinker 65

Becoming a Critical Thinker 66

Intellectual Standards as Guidelines for Critical Thinking 67

Language and Thought 67

Reports, Inferences, and Judgments 69

The Prevalence and Power of Metaphor 74

Innovating through Analogy 78

Becoming a Creative Thinker 79

Developing the Creative Habit 80

Focus 83

Solo and Group Creativity 85

Concepts as Cognitive Tools 87

Applications 90

References 95

Interchapter 3 Embodying Experience 96

4 Critical Thinking Strategies and Applications 101

The Nature of Argument 102

Claims, Evidence, and Assumptions 102

Evidence: Claims and Warrants 105

Inductive and Deductive Reasoning 106

Sherlock Holmes as a Logical Thinker 109

Syllogisms, Enthymemes, and Argument 112

Argument and Authority 113

Argument and Analogy 114

Argument and Causality 116

Causality, Coincidence, and Correlation 120

Further Causal Consequences 122

Applications 123

References 129

Interchapter 4 Blending Art and Science 130

5 Creative Thinking Strategies and Applications 133

Imagination First 134

Imagination, Creativity, and Innovation 135

The Limits of Imagination 136

Capacities for Imaginative Thinking 137

Why Ideas Are Important 139

How to Get Ideas 140

Creative Whacks 147

Being Practical/What Iffing 153

Combining Things 156

Using Paradox 157

Thinking the Unthinkable 160

Applications 161

References 164

Interchapter 5 Combining Connections 166

Part Three Applying Critical and Creative Thinking

6 Decision Thinking: Making Critical Decisions 173

Making Decisions 174

Affective Forecasting 180

Achieving Insights that Affect Decisions 184

Institutional Decisions 186

Incentives and Decisions 188

Decisiveness 189

Making Tough Decisions 192

Making Group Decisions 194

Applications 195

References 198

Interchapter 6 Embracing Ambiguity 200

7 Ethical Thinking: Making Ethical Decisions 205

Basic Ethical Concepts 206

Ethics, Values, and Virtues 209

Ethical Imagination 213

Cosmopolitanism and Global Ethics 218

Technology and Ethics 220

The Ethics of Information 222

Ethical Decisions 224

Ethical Provocations 225

Applications 227

References 231

Index 233

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Author Information

Robert DiYanni is Adjunct Professor of Humanities at New York University. He has authored or edited a variety of books, including Literature: An Introduction, The Scribner Handbook for Writers, Occasions for Writing, Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities, and Modern American Poets: Their Voices and Visions.
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“An inventive and useful guide to higher order thinking—essential reading for every educator and for those with inquiring minds.”
Joan Weber, Scarsdale School District

"An essential guide for anyone interested in expanding their toolkit of creative and critical thinking strategies and skills.  DiYanni's book delivers thoughtful, organized, and practical information and advice that should be required reading for all educators, future young leaders, and students alike."
Theresa Jen, University of Pennsylvania

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