Critical thinking could not be taught

  • Diana Halpern in [[Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking]] and Tom Chatfiled in [[Critical thinking]] speculated that it could be taught.
    • But is it so? Could it be packed in lessons and be delivered to children and students?
    • Or is not so? Critical thinking is thinking first and critical later.
    • To think, we have to have something in the brain in the first place.

So what’s the problem with it in the premises of the classroom and auditorium? Why teachers encounter so many obstacles.

  • Daniel Willingham from University of Virginia, thought about that.
    • The process of thinking is tightly intertwined with the content of thought. Or simply put – knowledge.
    • You can’t consider anything in any way if you don’t possess the knowledge about it and some halo of related topics.
  • Critical thinking is not the process of criticizing everything and everyone, but it is checking the validity of arguments, appropriateness of actions and logic.
    • There are certain types of critical thinking, but William touches the issue of how the ability of thinking scientifically can be taught.
  • In certain moments one student is able to think critically, on the other absolutely incapable.
    • Why so?
  • The short answer, in depends on what is being thought.
    • Our memory and whole cognitive apparatus, a naive thinking machine. It literally gambles that incoming information is related to something familiar.
    • It could be tricked, the first relevant thought that pop us in our mind usually is taken into account and registered as a correct one.
      • Which strictly speaking is not true.
      • Kahneman proved it with pen and paper experiment in [[Thinking Fast and Slow]].
        • [[Эффективные рассуждения теория правила и контекст#^8c7d49]]
      • In the end we can be primed to think in certain way.
  • Knowledge that seem relevant related to the surface structure of our memory. ^73c55d
  • In order to reach deeper levels of memory you have to be able to work deep, it all have already been said by Cal Newport in [[Deep Work]].
    • To reach deeper structure of knowledge, you have to maintain the state of focused concentration. Which in information age almost impossible goal to achieve.
  • Metacognitive skill can bring you so far as to be able to see that a problem has deeper layers to work with. But that’s all you get from it
  • We have to be able to think scientifically in order to solve problems and find creative ways out of them.
    • It is specific mental procedures by which the science is conducted.
    • Developing models.
    • Constructing hypothesis from models.
    • Designing experiments to test the hypothesis.
    • Gather data from experiment.
    • Interpret the data in the light of the model.
      ![[Critical thinking#Explanation theory hypothesis]] ^44c967

![[Critical thinking#From data to knowledge via fake news]]

Teach thinking scientifically only when it is appropriate. When is it important to trigger scientific thinking machine? It is a recourse dependent and effortful process. Don’t waste energy on something trivial.

  • The starting point in scientific thinking is examination of cause and effect issues. ^d8a9d8
  • Critical thinking doesn’t have characteristics that one might associate with skills, or in particular, being able to use that skill at any time.
    • When triggered by action or inaction, what is read or heard.
    • Critical thinking is not a skill. It’s vital to understand.
    • It lies in the domain of teaching students that there are other ways of thinking and tackling the problems.
      • The critical thinking is more about showing new ways of thinking.
      • Enabling them to deploy the right type of thinking at the right time.
      • [[Дмитрий Карпов]] in his book speculates on various types of approaches to thinking on a issue of design.
  • We all can learn certain metacognitive strategies that in the right moment can cue us, that the time of thinking scientifically has arrived, but no more.
    • With problem-solving, these strategies only tell what should be done. They don’t provide the knowledge that is needed to actually do it.
  • The idea is simple, scientific thinking or any other form of thinking must be taught hand in hand with the content. ^c8779e
    • That later could be supported by research, and possibilities to design own experiments, opportunity to collect and analyze data and ability to draw a conclusion.
    • [[How to Actually Change Your Mind – Eliezer Yudkowsky#Looking isn’t seeing]]
  • Paul Graham in [[beyond smart by Paul Graham]] speculated that good thinking starts with excellent reading and processing of information.
  • Sebastian Junger reflected on the writer’s block.

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Reference:

  • https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel-Willingham/publication/242479451_Critical_Thinking_Why_Is_It_So_Hard_to_Teach/links/5f00e03a92851c52d61784fd/Critical-Thinking-Why-Is-It-So-Hard-to-Teach.pdf

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