Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum / Edition 3

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Do your students really understand a chapter after they have read it? Can they accurately tell its purpose, the main questions it raises, and the conclusions it draws? For teachers who want their students to learn to think more critically, one question dominates: How can I teach critical thinking within my subject matter? Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum provides the answers to these and many more questions.

The main goal of the text is to show how critical thinking can help students comprehend any subject so they can see the parts in terms of the whole, to become active learners rather than passive recipients of information. Learning to Think Things Through gives students a written guide to critical thinking that is clear, short, inexpensive, accessible, and shows readers how to think through any problem or question.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This text stacks op very well against its competition because it is concise. The difficulty in choosing texts on critical thinking is that they are either too complicated, do not offer enough coverage, or use a particular discipline to explicate critical thinking. What makes this text effective is that it is easy to work with and applicable to any and all disciplines."

- Susan Quarrell, Lehman College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780138132422
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/30/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Gerald Nosich is a Professor at Buffalo State College and Professor Emeritus at the University of New Orleans. He has given more than 250 national and international workshops on all aspects of teaching for critical thinking. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Education on a project for a National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking Skills, served as the Assistant Director at the Center for Critical Thinking at Sonoma State University, and been featured as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia.

On a more personal note, he has at times exercised and not exercised good judgment: he has ridden a motorcycle alone to the ziggurat of Ur in Iraq; has worked as an immigrant ditch-digger in Switzerland; been imprisoned by Communist authorities in Czechoslovakia; stowed away on a Sicilian ship to Algeria; sailed up the Nile with his family in a felucca; lived with Maasai warriors in central Africa; and traveled across the Sahara to Timbuktu. He is a Hurricane Katrina refugee and lives far from future hurricanes in Buffalo, New York.

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Table of Contents

To the Instructor     xi
To the Student     xxi
What Is Critical Thinking?     1
Some Definitions of Critical Thinking     1
Some Prominent Features of Critical Thinking     3
Three Parts of Critical Thinking     5
What Critical Thinking Is Not     13
Impediments to Critical Thinking     18
Deeper, More Pervasive Impediments to Critical Thinking     23
How Deep Is Our Need for Critical Thinking?     28
The Experience of Learning to Think Things Through     31
Getting Started: Clarifying with SEE-I     33
An Overview of the Book That Lies Ahead     38
Some Outcomes     40
Chapter 1 Exercises     42
The Elements of Reasoning     49
The Nuts and Bolts of Critical Thinking     50
The Elements of Reasoning     50
Purpose     52
Question at Issue     53
Assumptions     54
Implications and Consequences     56
Information     57
Concepts     58
Conclusions, Interpretations     60
Point of View     61
Alternatives     64
Context     66
A Visualization     67
Three Additional Elements of Reasoning     68
How to Analyze a Piece of Reasoning Using the Elements     71
Example: Thinking Through the Logic of Getting Married     75
Trusting the Process     79
Some Outcomes     80
Chapter 2 Exercises     81
What Is Critical Thinking Within a Field or Discipline?     89
The Parts of Critical Thinking Within a Field     92
Thinking Biologically, Thinking Sociologically, Thinking Philosophically, Thinking Musically ...     95
The Logic of the Field or Discipline     97
Box: An Analysis of the Logic of Earth Sciences     100
Box: Logic of a Literature Course     101
Learning the Vocabulary of the Discipline     103
Fundamental and Powerful Concepts     105
Box: Identifying Fundamental and Powerful Concepts     108
Box: Short Essay: Using Fundamental and Powerful Concepts to Think Through a Central Question in an Introduction to Sociology Course     115
The Point of View of the Discipline     117
Impediments to Thinking Critically Within a Discipline     119
Trusting the Discipline     124
Box: A Case     126
Some Outcomes      129
Chapter 3 Exercises     131
Standards of Critical Thinking     139
Clearness     140
Accuracy     145
Importance, Relevance     148
Sufficiency     150
Depth and Breadth     154
Precision     157
Understanding and Internalizing Critical-Thinking Standards     159
Additional Critical-Thinking Standards     160
Non-Critical-Thinking Standards     160
Evaluating Around the Circle     162
Critical Reading     163
Box: Standards Check     166
Some Outcomes     168
Chapter 4 Exercises     169
Putting It All Together: Answering Critical-Thinking Questions     175
The Core Process of Critical Thinking     176
How Do You Fit into the Picture? Becoming a Critical Thinker     181
Thinking Through Important Critical-Thinking Questions     183
Box: Thinking Critically About Questions     184
Critical Writing: Using the Core Process to Write a Paper     201
Some Outcomes     206
Chapter 5 Exercises     207
Responses to Starred Exercises     215
Notes     223
Index      227
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