Critical Thinking Models For Students

The web may be completed independently and/or as a tool for discussion.

Recommended use is to have students complete the web independently and then share ideas in a small group, followed by a teacher-facilitated debriefing.

Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them. The Paul-Elder framework has three components: According to Paul and Elder (1997), there are two essential dimensions of thinking that students need to master in order to learn how to upgrade their thinking.

They need to be able to identify the "parts" of their thinking, and they need to be able to assess their use of these parts of thinking.

A concluding sentence or paragraph wraps up the sandwich (the bottom bun).

The Dagwood Model is an extended version of the sandwich metaphor (i.e. This model is designed to help students construct a persuasive essay which also addresses the arguments of the contrasting viewpoint.

Thus, the sandwich contains multiple layers of "patties" or reasons and their contrasting viewpoints, as well as many "fixings" or elaborations.

The Vocabulary Web is a tool for exploring words in depth.

There are a great number and variety of standards that students are expected to meet using critical thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and assessing; this is because critical thinking is essential for students to lead productive lives. However, most people’s skills are not as well developed as they could or should be, and there is a clear link between critical thinking and student success.

Almost 30 years ago, Facione (1990) argued that critical thinking is also necessary for societies to hang together, stating, “Being a free, responsible person means being able to make rational, unconstrained choices. Scholars agree, however, that schools are not the most productive learning environments for critical thinking, and that schools need to take a stronger focus on critical thinking.


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