CT 700 – Framework

This framework comes from the Paul & Elder text (pg. 57)

Whenever you are reasoning,
you are trying to accomplish
some purpose,
within a point of view,
using concepts or ideas.

You are focused on some question, issue, or problem,
using information
to come to conclusions,
based on assumptions,(by way of inferences)
all of which have implications.

Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2006) Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of your Learning and your Life. Pearson-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.

A second nugget from the course today (the following is from an online communication from course instructor, Dr. Enoch Hale Week 6 dated 10/04/2011)…

When reduced to its essence, critical thinking involves three conceptual sets:

1) An attitude/disposition to see things fairly and a motivation to figure things out

2) Elements that guide analysis : purpose, point of view, concepts, question (issue or problem), information, conclusions (by way of inferences), assumption, implications (pg. 58)

3) Standards necessary to check the quality of our thinking – clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance, fairness (pg. 87)


One of the most significant aspects of thinking critically is to be conscious and explicit in the intellectual moves one makes when necessary. Our pedagogical goal is to help develop within students the awareness and skill to use intellectual standards with discipline. 

My biggest question in this chapter is how to decide which concepts should get this much scrutiny?  It makes me think of the notion of “threshold concepts” and the importance of identifying these in any content area. Threshold concepts are those “certain concepts…held by [masters in any discipline area] to be central to the mastery of their subject.” http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/~mflanaga/thresholds.html

I wonder, what the threshold concepts would be in each of our content areas? I wonder what they are in mine?

From Nosich (pg. 135) – We conducted a concept analysis that targets implications of the concept

Take a concept.. and try to get clear about it by asking the implications of it

What would a person/thing/idea who is/has this attribute do? I chose “engagement” in learning – So what would an engaged student do?
What would they not do?
Is there anything they would HAVE to do in order to be “engaged”
Give a list of related terms and explain the differences and similarities of the implications of each.

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