Research On Critical Thinking

But that’s exactly what Generally understood, CUREs have five defining characteristics.

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An evaluation of a student-research project conducted by biologists at Stanford University found that the experience helped shift undergraduates’ conceptions of what it means to “think like a scientist,” from novice to more expert-like.

Photocredit: Getty For decades—for centuries, in fact—students have been listening to lectures, reading books and taking exams.

Meanwhile, students’ performance on course exams demonstrated gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data.

Comments collected from undergraduate participants confirm the researchers’ conclusions: “Before, I would have been more prone to quickly accept the results from science experiments as being always correct,” said one student.

“The discovery-based, unpredictable nature” of the antibiotics research, the authors speculate, “might engage student attention and curiosity more than standard labs, which may have contributed” to the positive result.

What is clear is that, if we want the next generation of young people to be able to think critically, the same old methods are not sufficient.Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas.Critical thinking has been the subject of much debate and thought since the time of early Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and has continued to be a subject of discussion into the modern age, for example the ability to recognise fake news.Second, the experimentation in which they engage involves “iteration”: repeating a process a number of times, altering a single variable to find out what happens.Third, participants experience a significant degree of collaboration, with their peers and with the expert scientists who are their instructors.“But because this course taught us to question our results and look for possible sources of errors, I developed a more critical eye when interpreting experimental results.” Remarked another student: “I am happy that errors occurred in the process, because troubleshooting them really helped me develop greater critical thinking skills, instead of just following the protocol.” conducted at Florida Atlantic University, where undergraduates were challenged to discover new antibiotics produced by soil bacteria that the students isolated from local habitats.Researchers at the university gave participating students a critical-thinking test before and after they worked on identifying novel antibiotics (an undertaking that, not incidentally, addresses a worldwide health threat: the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics).It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value.But this traditional mode of instruction is becoming ever more inadequate as a method of educating our young people.In a complex world overrun with information, there’s one skill above all that the next generation will need: the capacity to engage in critical thinking.


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