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Resources from College Online : Developing Critical Thinking Skills In Argument
Students who can successfully negotiate "Writing and Reading Arguments," from dualism to relativism, should make significant strides as critical thinkers. They should be able to leave their dualism and recognize the possibility of other positions as compelling and plausible as their own. They should be able to collect information, synthesize a variety of positions, and develop criteria for choosing and arguing for a position that contributes to the ongoing public debate. As they learn to argue, students will also learn to:
1. articulate and support their own beliefs as they participate in an ongoing discussion.
2. recognize pluralism, complexity, and uncertainty as legitimate and positive forces in the making of knowledge, rather than subjective and subversive of knowledge.
3. move beyond repeating received knowledge to inquiry and analysis.
4. develop ways of discussing, analyzing, and resolving complex issues that have no single right answer.
Throughout this process, students will be encouraged to engage in effective critical thinking practices. These include:
listening to and investigating all sides of an issue
defining the problem carefully and completely
provisionalism: being willing to change a position when shown reasons and evidence
seeking alternative solutions and divergent views in an attempt to choose the best solution
realizing that the best is not the same for everyone
remaining open to others' values
question and compare conflicting interpretations of data
assessing the strength of reasoning and support
applying values to reach or evaluate conclusions
|Author: Daniel Anderson
© copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Allyn & Bacon