Educating critical thought
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Educating critical thought book
This chapter focuses on the education of critical thought, offering developmental perspective to critical thought. We draw on research on critical thought that is developmentally relevant and integrate it with the four-fold model of the mind presented in this book. We show the priorities of education for critical thinking as suggested by the development of the various systems in each developmental cycle. We suggest that critical thought comprises the metacognitive realization that there may always be more information to integrate, alternative meanings to be considered, better solutions to produce, and wiser or more useful decisions to make. Also, becoming critical is a long process that must overcome the weaknesses of successive developmental phases. To be critical in preschool the child must learn to envisage reality from alternative points of view. In primary school, the child must understand that all knowledge is constructed and it may thus be fallible. In adolescence, adolescents must realize that reasoning and rationality are not identical and reasoning may always err if not properly and exhaustively applied. In college, students must embed analysis in historical and epistemological perspective and recognize relativity of approach, based on the frame chosen.