Critical thinking involves developing the key skills of questioning and reasoning and the ability to demonstrate:
- a readiness to reason and create order and meaning from our experience of life
- a willingness to be open minded, to question and to challenge the ideas of others
- an openness to be challenged by others, and to the possibility of being wrong
- a desire to test out ideas and search for ‘truth’.
Children need to be shown how to develop as reasonable, fair-minded critical thinkers. They need to practice the skills of questioning, reasoning, predicting and patterning experience. Learning to think critically means learning to make informed judgements about:
- how to question, when to question and what kind of questions to ask
- how to reason, when to reason and what reasoning methods to use
In terms of the work of Benjamin Bloom et al, critical thinking is the highest of the six thinking skills in his taxonomy, which is classified as evaluation.