(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)
6. Critical thinking
Skills in critically reviewing the validity of views, evidence and plans.
«Critical thinking» is a concept that has been given different meanings. It is strongly related to «reflective judgment» or «skills of argument», constructs that have been extensively researched (see in particular King & Kitchener, 1994; and Kuhn, 1991. See also Dawson, 2020-2021, who describes the micro-skills involved i great detail). One way of describing critical thinking skills is to focus on the habits of asking probing questions in relation to statements, validity claims, views and opinions, questions such as:
- Are there robust reasons to believe that the claims made are valid?
- What other facts could be relevant to a balanced interpretation?
- What consequences have to be true if the claims are true?
- What other views or interpretations are possibly valid in relation tothis issue?
- What arguments do people with different views refer to, and what credibility do those arguments have?
- Could there be circumstances that have not so far been considered that could mean that the argument proposed is not fully valid?
A related concept mentioned by survey respondents were variations of the theme «evidence-based practice», i.e. a concern for using practices that have been shown to be effective, rather than just doing what comes to mind. Critical thinking is strongly related to and partially overlapping with Perspective skills.