6 levels of critical thinking


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Also featuring interactive learning activities, study groups, and even a social media component, this learning platform will change your conception of intellectual development. Toggle navigation. Page Menu. Translate this page from English With Implications for Instruction Linda Elder with Richard Paul Though most teachers aspire to make critical thinking a primary objective of their instruction, most also do not realize that, to develop as thinkers, students must pass through stages of development in critical thinking.

Critical Thinking

Each stage of intellectual development will be explained in terms of the following variables: Defining Feature Principal Challenge Knowledge of Thinking Skill in Thinking Relevant Intellectual Traits Some Implications for Instruction Due to space limitations, we have made no attempt to be exhaustive with respect to any stage, nor to answer the many questions that might be raised concerning the development, reliability or validity of the stages. The student explains ideas and concepts, discusses and describes a topic in detail, explains what it means, recognizes it and translates the facts in some way.

They can paraphrase a point, or compare and contrast information. Once this level is conquered, students move up the pyramid to the next stage of learning: apply. Critical thinking finally comes into play, as the student distinguishes between fact and opinion, and breaks information down into component parts. But in the revised version, as noted, Create which Bloom originally called Synthesis is at the top of the pyramid.

There, students produce new or original work.

Question Stems for Each Level of Bloom's Taxonomy

Do so by defining learning outcomes, and breaking them down as parts of a lecture. Use three key pillars to achieve this: condition the resource being used , performance what students should accomplish by the end , and criteria the method of measuring success. Educators can use verbs like define, describe, identify, label, list, outline, recall, and reproduce to effectively measure success in this stage.


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A basic way to test learning on this level is simple questions and answer periods, or multiple choice questions. This shows that the student is able to memorize facts and recall them. But it does not yet suggest that students actually understand the material.

For example, they might have to paraphrase a story or definition, explain a concept in their own words, tell a story that relates to it, or provide analogies. To measure this, verbs like defend, explain, generalize, paraphrase, summarize and translate. A student who reaches this level can interpret the materials, and demonstrate comprehension of the material. That could come in the form of collaborative group projects or the composition of a blog.

Here, students can draw connections between ideas, utilize critical thinking, and break down knowledge into the sum of its parts. This can include using logical deduction to figure out how a piece of equipment works, or finding fallacies in the reasoning of an argument. Key verbs for measurement include analyze, break down, compare, contrast, differentiate, deconstruct and infer. They might be able to draw diagrams or deconstruct thought processes.

That could include finding an effective solution to a problem, or justifying a specific decision and being able to back up that justification with knowledge.

Why higher order thinking leads to effective study

Tools like surveys and blogs can help in this particular level. That could include writing a manual or report on a particular topic, designing a piece of machinery, or revising a process to improve the results. Verbs to use include categorize, combine, compile, devise, design, generate, modify and write. Projects can range from detailed essays that put parts of the learning together to form a whole concept or idea, or networking with others to discuss the merits of a study. These are also referred to by the acronym KSA, for Knowledge cognitive , Skills psychomotor , and Attitudes affective.

The goal is that by the end of a learning session, the student will have acquired new knowledge, skills and attitudes towards a subject. They should be able to place more value on something, and have a greater appreciation for it, along with different motivations and attitudes.

In a medical or caregiving setting, students might be able to demonstrate empathy towards patients or children. Students can be assessed in several ways when it comes to the affective domain, such as their ability to listen with respect and provide their unwavering attention, actively participate in class discussions, resolve conflicts and exhibit consistent and pervasive behaviours that reflect their internalized values. There are three versions: physical movement, coordination and the use of motor skills. A student in a medical setting might demonstrate psychomotor development by properly stitching a wound; a student of construction through an understanding of how to operate a backhoe.

Psychomotor skills can represent basic manual tasks, like washing a car or planting a garden, as well as more complex activities, like operating heavy machinery or following choreographed dance steps.

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6 Steps for Effective Critical Thinking

Psychomotor skills are measured in terms of speed, precision, distance, procedures and technique. The key is that the information is selected and structured appropriately. The structured, pyramid like maps provide a guide for students to structure the information in such a way that reveals the connections between the main topic and its various themes or categories. It uses colour conventions to display reasoning — green for reasons, red for objections and orange for rebuttals.


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  8. It also includes indicator or connecting words so that the relationship between statements is clearly understood. The icons provide a visual guide as to the range of research utilised and the strength of the evidence that is provided.

    6 levels of critical thinking 6 levels of critical thinking
    6 levels of critical thinking 6 levels of critical thinking
    6 levels of critical thinking 6 levels of critical thinking
    6 levels of critical thinking 6 levels of critical thinking
    6 levels of critical thinking 6 levels of critical thinking

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