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Also since 1980, the state university system in California has required all undergraduate students to take a critical thinking course.
Educational jurisdictions around the world now include critical thinking in guidelines for curriculum and assessment.
Political and business leaders endorse its importance.
In 1987, the APA’s Committee on Pre-College Philosophy commissioned a consensus statement on critical thinking for purposes of educational assessment and instruction (Facione 1990a).
Researchers have developed standardized tests of critical thinking abilities and dispositions; for details, see the Supplement on Assessment.
Critical thinking is a widely accepted educational goal.
Its definition is contested, but the competing definitions can be understood as differing conceptions of the same basic concept: careful thinking directed to a goal.(Dewey 1910: 6; 1933: 9) and identified a habit of such consideration with a scientific attitude of mind.His lengthy quotations of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill indicate that he was not the first person to propose development of a scientific attitude of mind as an educational goal.For details on this history, see the Supplement on History.Before considering the definition of critical thinking, it will be helpful to have in mind some examples of critical thinking, as well as some examples of kinds of thinking that would apparently not count as critical thinking.(b) Possibly it was the terminal of a wireless telegraph. Besides, the more natural place for such a terminal would be the highest part of the boat, on top of the pilot house.(c) Its purpose might be to point out the direction in which the boat is moving.Morevoer, the pilot being near the front of the boat, he would need some such guide as to its direction. This hypothesis was so much more probable than the others that I accepted it. It expands by increase of heat, or by decrease of pressure, or both.I formed the conclusion that the pole was set up for the purpose of showing the pilot the direction in which the boat pointed, to enable him to steer correctly.” (Dewey 1910: 69-70; 1933: 92-93) : “In washing tumblers in hot soapsuds and placing them mouth downward on a plate, bubbles appeared on the outside of the mouth of the tumblers and then went inside. The presence of bubbles suggests air, which I note must come from inside the tumbler. Could the air have become heated after the tumbler was taken from the hot suds?“Critical thinkers” have the dispositions and abilities that lead them to think critically when appropriate.The abilities can be identified directly; the dispositions indirectly, by considering what factors contribute to or impede exercise of the abilities.