Unit 2, Book II
Text 1 Critical Thinking
Part I: (Paras. 1 – 4) What is critical thinking? (definition) Para. 1: It’s a system for opening every existing system. Para. 2: Or, critical thinking is thinking that analyzes thought, that assesses thought, and that transforms thought for the better. Para. 2: (There is a third way to talk about critical thinking) It’s thinking about thinking while thinking in order to think better. Para. 4: In other words, critical thinking, …, transforms thinking in two directions: more systematically and more comprehensively.
Part II: (Paras. 5 – 6) Critical thinking is important. Para. 5: It’s important because we, as creatures, are deeply determined … by our thinking. Para. 6: Our future as a species is dependent on whether we can develop the wherewithal to raise our collective thinking so as to produce positive changes in societies across the world.
Part III: (Paras. 7 – 10): The task of developing critical societies is a Herculean one. Para. 7: topic sentence and background information. Paras. 8 -- 10: There are many barriers to critical thought. -- Para. 8: human egocentricity, sociocentricity, self-delusion, narrowmindedness -- Para. 9: fear, human insecurity, human habits, bureaucracy
-- Para. 10: Then for us who are teaching, student resistance to critical thinking is an obstacle. ... mistaken notions, ignorance, our limited knowledge, stubbornness, our activated ignorance, (finally) our resistance to doing the intellectual work ...
Part IV (Paras. 11 – 15): How do we cultivate critical thinking? Paras. 11 and 12: This can be done only person-by-person through a process, which we call intellectual work. Think of the “Elements of Thought” ... Are we in the habit of asking questions? Paras. 13 – 15: What standards do you use to assess your thinking and the thinking of others? “I use the standards of clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic and fairness.”
The last two paras.: conclusion Our students should learn to think critically so as to know how to change their thinking in keeping with the changes of the world.
? What is critical thinking? ? Why is it important for us? ? Why is it so difficult? ? How can we cultivate it?
What is “being critical”?
? Critic comes from the Ancient Greek, meaning a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis, and criticism is the activity of judgment or informed interpretation, which can be synonymous with analysis.
'Being critical' in academic terms refers to two broad characteristics of a researcher's way of thinking. A critical researcher is always questioning. asking question / expressing doubts: nothing is taken for granted. Scrutinizing审查 evidence: Where there is a claim made, clarify the evidence that supports. drawing a conclusion: check if the claims in question are credible - or not!
2. A critical researcher is open-minded, respectful of other
s (even while perhaps challenging their work), and constructive. The objective of critical research is to advance knowledge, not to build one's own reputation or damage someone else's.
? So, how do you understand “being critical” in reading?
What do we mean by ‘critical’ in reading?
? read between lines ? be inquisitive ? judge credibility ? comment rationally ? reflect on oneself for improvement
? read between lines: thinking carefully about what you read and why: not just looking for and reading the obvious
? be inquisitive:好问 (1)questioning and testing what you read, e.g. “do the author’s viewpoints and ideas appear justified? Why - or why not?” (2)asking good questions of others and of yourself (3)exploring further what is not adequately discussed in what you read
? judge credibility: 可靠性 (1)judging what is believable and what is not (2)spotting and challenging potential bias偏见, distorted views, prejudice, and self-interest - in the work of others, and in your own thinking (3)challenging ideas - where appropriate, and based on credible evidence
? comment rationally:理性 not just repeating the ideas of others, but looking for connections (or disparities), and constructing your own arguments supported by a range carefully considered viewpoints
? reflect for improvement: (1)looking for gaps, and putting forward new or different solutions; (2)adapting your plan, your goal, your way of reading and learning based on your developing insights
? What is the “critical thinking” ‘stairway’? 楼梯 ? What do people do when they think critically?
When you have a problem, or simply when you want to do sth., or achieve a certain goal, what do you do to arrive at the final destination?
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have never met each other but they are going to share a flat. When they meet for the first time, they must wonder: Who is the guy and what is he like?
How did Holmes get the answers? How did Watson get the answers?
Holmes’ way to get the answer
? – Question ? – observation ? – processing information (analyzing what is seen and recognizing logical relationship between the visible and the invisible) ? – assumption ? – putting the assumption to test ? – reconstructing belief ? – arriving at accurate conclusion
Watson’s way to get the answer
? puzzled ? waiting to be told the answer
Critical Thinking “Stairway” 1. Questions / problems / plan / goal, etc. 2. observation: gathering relevant information 3. processing information: analyzing, comparing, synthesizing, recognizing logical relationship between the visible and the invisible 4. assumption: Recognizing the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between information; drawing warranted担保的 conclusions and generalizations 归纳 5. test: putting the assumption to test, verifying if it is accurate 6. Reconstruction: reco
nstructing your patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience if previous assumption proves to be inaccurate 7. Conclusion / judgment: rendering an accurate judgment
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Critical reading Logical thinking Creative thinking Logic Great thinkers / philosophers and their thought
Here may be where you begin to explore about “critical thinking”: