THINK Critically by Peter Facione

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Synopsis

THINK Critically is a cutting-edge self-reflective guide for improving critical thinking skills through careful analysis, reasoned inference and thoughtful evaluation of contemporary culture and ideas. 

 

Taking cues from everyday life -- education, business, health sciences, social work, law, government policy issues and current events -- THINK Critically bridges the principles of critical thinking with real-world application. 

 

With a highly-visual design, accessible narrative, and interactive approach, THINK Critically strengthens students’ skills and motivation to make reasoned judgments.

 

This text introduces critical thinking by showcasing what vital and central positive habits of mind are, revisiting and building upon those skills throughout the text.

 

Jam-packed with engaging examples and masterful exercises, THINK Critically explains how to clarify ideas, analyze arguments, and evaluate inductive, deductive, comparative, ideological and empirical reasoning.

 

About Peter Facione

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In This Section: I. Author Bio II. Author Letter I. Author Bio Peter Facione, PhD, wants to help everyone build up their critical thinking skills, for their own sakes, and for the sake of our freedom and democracy. Facione draws on decades of experience as a teacher, consultant, business entrepreneur, university dean, grandfather, husband, and avid "old school" pickup basketball player. Now he is taking his message about the importance of critical thinking directly to students. For improving reasoning skills for use in one's personal, professional, and civic life, there may never before have been a more practical, enjoyable, important, comprehensive, and engaging text than this. "I've paid very close attention to the way people make decisions since I was 13 years old," says Facione. "Some people were good at solving problems and making decisions; others were not. I have always felt driven to figure out how to tell which were which." He says that this led him as an undergraduate and later as a professor to study psychology, philosophy, logic, statistics, and information systems as he searched for how our beliefs, values, thinking skills, and habits of mind connect with the decisions we make, particularly in contexts of risk and uncertainty. "As a teacher and as a college administrator, I focused on problem-solving and decision-making strategies so that I could be a more effective teacher and a more capable leader. I found it was always valuable when working with groups or individuals to be mindful of how they applied their cognitive skills and habits of mind to solve a problem, make a decision, or troubleshoot a situation. Careful analysis and open-minded truth seeking always worked better than any other way of approaching problems." A native Midwesterner, Facione earned his PhD in philosophy from Michigan State University and his BA in philosophy from Sacred Heart College in Detroit. He says, "Critical thinking has helped me be a better parent, citizen, manager, teacher, writer, and friend. It even helps a little when playing point guard!" In academia, Facione served as provost of Loyola University-Chicago, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University, and dean of the School of Human Development and Community Service at California State University-Fullerton. "As a dean and provost, I could easily see that critical thinking was alive and well in every professional field and academic discipline." "I've focused my research on the teaching and measurement of critical thinking since my earliest years as a faculty member in the 1960s and 1970s. But before you can measure something that crosses into every aspect of life, you have to be sure that you understand what it is. So in the 1980s, I first had to see whether there was a consensus among experts about the term critical thinking. After two years of research, a solid consensus emerged. That plus all the stats and behavioral science research I had studied and taught for years enabled me and my research team, during the 1990s, to design and validate tools to assess critical thinking skills and habits of mind. In the first decade of this century, our team has explored the connections between critical thinking and human decision making in its broadest sense." In fact, Facione spearheaded the international study to define critical thinking, sponsored by the American Philosophical Association. His research formed the basis for numerous government policy studies about critical thinking in the workplace, including research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Today, his tools for assessing reasoning are used around the world in educational, business, legal, military, and health sciences. Today, Peter operates his own business, Measured Reasons. He is a speaker, writer, workshop presenter, and consultant for organizations large and small. His work focuses on strategic planning and leadership decision making, in addition to teaching and assessing critical thinking. With his wife, who is also his closest research colleague and coauthor of many books and assessment tools, he now lives in sunny Los Angeles, which suits him just fine. He welcomes questions from students and instructors-you can reach him at pfacione@measuredreasons.com. II. Author Letter Dear Colleague, Please forgive this intrusion, but I wanted to offer you some personal thoughts about why this book Think Critically , is for me, rather special. Think Critically incorporates lessons learned over a 40+ year career devoted to teaching, measuring, researching and advocating for greater attention to critical thinking. As you may know, in addition to my own work with college students, I've authored critical thinking tests, written widely used essays about critical thinking, and presented hundreds of workshops and presentations to community college, four-year college, and university faculty on teaching for and about critical thinking. Why all this effort and attention devoted to critical thinking? Because in my view there may be no more valuable thing that one can gain through a college education than learning to solve problems effectively and to make well informed and well reasoned decisions. And for this we need strong critical thinking skills and positive critical thinking habits of mind. When Pearson Education invited me to write Think Critically, it was a joy, an honor, and, I soon realized, an awesome responsibility. The book had to be accessible to students from a very wide variety of educational and social backgrounds, and, at the same time it had pass muster with faculty from many different disciplines. The book had to be practical and enjoyable, and yet based on solid conceptual foundations and proven pedagogical principles. The book had to address the topics that faculty from the widest possible spectrum of academic divisions would expect to find and do so in a way that was intellectually in harmony with the other courses those faculty might teach. And, above all, the book had to work! If using Think Critically did not lead to measurable gains in students' critical thinking, then the effort would have been for naught. At this point the reviews are in from faculty around the country. The demands were met. The book works. Students do improve in their critical thinking skills and, equally importantly, in their critical thinking habits of mind. Instructors from a host of different academic departments enjoy teaching with Think Critically. There are extra exercises, sample test questions, and many other learning support materials for students at the free online URL www.TheThinkSpot.com that have been contributed by several faculty from around the country. The Instructor's Manual, written by Dr. Carol Gittens, offers teaching tips for every part of the book, creative alternative exercise ideas for every class session, and it includes a special section for faculty who may never before have offered a critical thinking course. How lucky we are, who teach for thinking, to have such an important part to play in our students' education! There can perhaps be no more valuable gift to our students than that we guide their development of stronger critical thinking skills and deeper positive critical thinking habits of mind. Truth-seeking, open-mindedness, judiciousness, intellectual integrity and inquisitiveness are habits for life, not just for their brief sojourns in college. The core critical thinking skills are the tools these habits impel them to use in order to make well-reasoned, reflective judgments whenever and wherever deciding what to believe or what to do. How could I hope for more than that our mutual efforts, yours as their professor and mentor, mine as the author of the text book, should bring about such wonderful and valuable learning? Please know that even if you decide to use some other textbook, we still share this common purpose - we teach for critical thinking. And if, as I hope, you select Think Critically, then please also know that I am only an email away (pfacione@measuredreasons.com). I would love to hear your comments about how the book is working for your students, suggestions you or they might have for improvements, or simply reactions to any of the over one hundred sets of exercises it contains. Seriously, write me any time about critical thinking - questions, concerns, whatever. This work we do is important. Pete Facione Measured Reasons
 
Published January 13, 2010 by Pearson. 264 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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