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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Listening and Critical Thinking


 Listening and Critical Thinking
a.     Adults listen 50% or less
b.     Teenagers listen 25% or less
c.      Listening is a voluntary active process, it is psychological
d.     Hearing is physiological
e.     You can learn to listen
f.      Studies show that those who practice listening skills are less likely to develop memory loss in any form
g.     Studies show that those who practice listening skills get better grades, higher pay and achieve their goals more often than those who do not.
h.     Critical thinking requires active listening
i.       Critical thinking involves being able to access the strengths and weaknesses of an argument
j.       Critical thinking involves being able to distinguish between the fact, theory and opinions of an argument
k.     Critical thinking allows for thinking outside of the box
l.       Critical thinking allows for compromise and growth
m.   Critical thinking involves being able to judge the credibility of sources
n.     Critical thinking requires accessing the quality of evidence
o.     Critical thinking involves discerning relationships between ideas
p.     Critical thinking involves priorities on what to remember and in what context
q.     Critical thinking allows for fewer mistakes and reduces trial and error in everyday life
r.      Critical thinking DOES NOT MEAN NEGATIVE THINKING!
s.      Critical thinking is a normal process that requires practice and reinforcement
t.      Critical thinking is an active process
u.  Critical thinking requires and open mind and the ability to consider and
      understand all sides in an issue.
v.  Critical thinking means replacing name calling and slogans with reason,
     compromise and the ability to persuade instead of attack.




Critical Thinking's role in higher education


Professional Development Model - Colleges and Universities that Foster Critical Thinking


by Linda Elder, Fall 2004



Critical thinking, deeply understood, provides a rich set of concepts that enable us to think our way through any subject or discipline, through any problem or issue. With a substantive concept of critical thinking clearly in mind, we begin to see the pressing need for a staff development program that fosters critical thinking within and across the curriculum. In a related article, Richard Paul details a substantive, deep concept of critical thinking. The concept as he presents it, and that is only briefly outlined here, must be built into any high quality educational program, and therefore into any professional development program.
As we come to understand a substantive concept of critical thinking, we are able to follow-out its implications in designing a professional development program. By means of it, we begin to see important implications for every part of the college –redesigning policies, providing administrative support for critical thinking, rethinking the college mission, coordinating and providing faculty workshops in critical thinking, redefining faculty as learners as well as teachers, assessing students, faculty, and the college as a whole in terms of critical thinking abilities and traits. We realize that robust critical thinking should be the guiding force for all of our educational efforts.
Critical thinking is foundational to the effective teaching of any subject. Whenever we think through any subject whatsoever, we can do so only through our own capacity to reason and make sense of things. We can think through any subject well only when we reason our way effectively through problems and issues within the discipline.
Critical thinking, rightly understood then, is not one of many possible “angles” for professional development. Rather it should be the guiding force behind any and all professional development. It reminds us that:
  • Content is a product of thinking and can be learned only through thinking
  • All subjects exist only as modes of thinking
  • There are essential structures in all reasoning within all subjects (that enable us to understand those subjects)
  • There are intellectual standards that must be used to assess reasoning within all subjects
  • There are traits of mind that must be fostered if one is to become a disciplined thinker, able to reason well within multiple, and even conflicting, viewpoints
  • The only way to learn a subject is to construct the ideas in the subject in one’s thinking using one’s thinking.

Critical Thinking Models or Frameworks

Understanding A Critical Thinking Framework
There are several critical thinking frameworks available for you to use, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the scientific model. You will focus on Bloom’s Taxonomy as it is one of the most widely used frameworks for understanding and enhancing human thinking. By understanding major theoretical frameworks such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, you are in a better position to model and facilitate the growth of critical thinking in the classroom. 

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and a group of educational psychologists developed a framework for understanding and teaching critical thinking. This framework, which developed into the widely known Bloom’s Taxonomy, provides a method of classification for thinking behaviors that are understood to be pivotal in the learning process. This taxonomy is comprised of three domains, as defined in the following:

  • Cognitive learning is composed of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, creating and evaluating.
  • Affective learning relates to emotion, attitude, appreciation, and value.
  • Psychomotor learning relates to physical skills, including coordination, manual dexterity, strength, and speed (Harrow, 1972).
The critical thinking skills diagram, based on recent revisions to Bloom’s theory, provides a similar, but more updated version of this theoretical framework. 

The Cognitive Domain 
The cognitive learning domain emphasizes intellectual abilities and outcomes. Bloom’s cognitive learning domain describes a hierarchical progression of learning. The levels include the following:

  • Remembering: Can the student recall or remember information from long-term memory?
  • Understanding: Can the student internalize, recall, and connect with other information?
  • Applying: Can the student use the information in a new way?
  • Analyzing: Can the student distinguish between the different parts, meaning the parts and subparts, how components work together?
  • Evaluating: Can the student justify a stand or decision?
  • Creating: Can the student create new product or point of view?
Each level reflects a level of cognitive complexity achieved in the learning progression, with the prior levels being requisite for advancing to the next level. In other words, a student functioning at the analyzing level has also mastered the material at the remembering, understanding, and applying levels.

Additionally, the revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy provides an expanded two-dimensional perspective on learning that also considers the type of knowledge being learned. The types of knowledge are divided into four main categories: factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and metacognitive knowledge. The Critical Thinking Framework matrix can be referenced for a more complex understanding of how the type of knowledge interplays with the stages of Bloom’s learning progression.
The goal for University of Phoenix facilitators is to achieve the most complex level of critical thinking in students. The more deeply a student synthesizes information, the more critically he or she considers a topic. Not understanding a subject deeply enough may be a barrier to critical thinking—in and out of the classroom.
The work of Bloom, originally relating to education, is easily transferable to most fields. The taxonomy emphasizes more of what we do with knowledge than examining the quality or nature of what we know.


The Affective Domain 
Bloom’s taxonomy, focusing on educational objectives, also examines how the affective domain of the learner is critical to the quality of the learning experience. “Cognitive objectives are satisfied when students obtain an appropriate level of knowledge, and affective objectives are satisfied when students obtain an appropriate level of internalization or value for the content” (Bolin, Khramtsova, &; Saarnio, 2005, p. 154). 


The critical thinking process considers the five affective levels and addresses learner emotions toward learning experiences. Similar to the cognitive learning domain, affective levels are progressive, meaning one is learned before moving on to the next category:

  • Receiving is the starting point, which engages a learner’s willingness or ability to listen. The learner acknowledges, listens, and replies.

  • Responding involves actively participating in the learning process. The learner contributes, questions, reacts, and gains satisfaction from active involvement.

  • Valuing is the process in which learners assign worth to specific activities. The learner chooses, joins, shares, and commits to the learning experience.

  • Organizing allows learners to develop an internal value system that organizes values in an order of priority. Learners adapt, modify, explain, and synthesize as they integrate complementary and disparate values; conflict may occur when integrating current values with new and divergent ones.

  • Internalizing values controls behaviors. The learner advocates, encourages, exemplifies, influences, and discloses. Once learners internalize values related to critical thinking, they have a predictable response to situations.
To become a critical thinker, you must understand the barriers that interfere in you students’ ability to think critically about specific issues. At times, they may experience cognitive barriers, such as limited subject knowledge. At other times, they may not have the proper affective disposition to critically consider a topic because of bias or experience. Understanding barriers that limit student skills is the first step toward improving those skills.

Wrap-Up 
Having a critical thinking model helps you understand your students’ current functioning and assist them in improving their critical thinking skills to reach higher levels of cognitive and affective learning. 


References 
Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives (Complete ed.). New York, NY: Longman.
Bolin, A. U., Khramstova, I., &; Saarnio, D. (2005). Using student journals to stimulate authentic learning: Balancing Bloom’s cognitive and affective domains. Teaching of Psychology 32(3), 154–159.
Harrow, A. J. (1972). A taxonomy of the psychomotor domain. New York, NY: David McKay.