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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).
In the 1930s, many of the schools that participated in the Eight-Year Study of the Progressive Education Association (Aikin 1942) adopted critical thinking as an educational goal, for whose achievement the study’s Evaluation Staff developed tests (Smith, Tyler, & Evaluation Staff 1942).
Glaser (1941) showed experimentally that it was possible to improve the critical thinking of high school students.
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.Standardized tests have been developed to assess the degree to which a person possesses such dispositions and abilities.Educational intervention has been shown experimentally to improve them, particularly when it includes dialogue, anchored instruction, and mentoring.Bloom’s influential taxonomy of cognitive educational objectives (Bloom et al. Ennis (1962) proposed 12 aspects of critical thinking as a basis for research on the teaching and evaluation of critical thinking ability.Since 1980, an annual international conference in California on critical thinking and educational reform has attracted tens of thousands of educators from all levels of education and from many parts of the world.My mind went back to the subway express as quicker than the elevated; furthermore, I remembered that it went nearer than the elevated to the part of 124th Street I wished to reach, so that time would be saved at the end of the journey.I concluded in favor of the subway, and reached my destination by one o’clock.” (Dewey 1910: 68-69; 1933: 91-92) : “Projecting nearly horizontally from the upper deck of the ferryboat on which I daily cross the river is a long white pole, having a gilded ball at its tip.Controversies have arisen over the generalizability of critical thinking across domains, over alleged bias in critical thinking theories and instruction, and over the relationship of critical thinking to other types of thinking.active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends.“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.