Teaching Critical Thinking for Transfer Across Domains: Dispositions, Skills, Structure Training, and Metacognitive Monitoring

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Abstract

Advances in technology and changes in necessary workplace skills have made the ability to think critically more important than ever before, yet there is ample evidence that many adults consistently engage in flawed thinking. Numerous studies have shown that critical thinking, defined as the deliberate use of skills and strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome, can be learned in ways that promote transfer to novel contexts. A 4-part empirically based model is proposed to guide teaching and learning for critical thinking: (a) a dispositional component to prepare learners for effortful cognitive work, (b) instruction in the skills of critical thinking, (c) training in the structural aspects of problems and arguments to promote transcontextual transfer of critical-thinking skills, and (d) a metacognitive component that includes checking for accuracy and monitoring progress toward the goal.

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