Your teachers in high school won’t expect you to remember every little fact about U. My high school teachers gave similar speeches when describing what would be expected of us in college: it’s not about the facts you know, but rather about your ability to evaluate them.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my teacher was giving a concise summary of critical thinking.
In this view critical thinking is specific to an area of expertise and can be developed and applied within a specific range of situations and scenarios. People can therefore be good at critical thinking in one domain, but bad in others.
I suspect that when most people refer to critical thinking, and the need to improve critical thinking within schools, they are referring to the former definition of critical thinking as a general ability.
Or that I can think critically about software or computer programs (outside of turning it off and on again, I’m pretty useless).
Or that I can think critically about any number of things outside of my very specific areas of training and experiences.
Once you get out into the real world, critical thinking matters even more.
This is because: With a proper productivity system, nothing ever slips through the cracks.
Instructors and programs therefore face a lot of pressure to improve this valuable skill.
So what does the research tell us about critical thinking?