The Seven Tools of Critical Thinking
The seven tools of critical thinking are the thematic before and after test, the thematic journal, the thematic matrix, the thematic capstone, the thematic conversation, the thematic calendar, and the thematic checklist.
Each tool has a long pedigree. What is new is the idea of their integrated application.
The Critical Thinking Toolkit – A Matrix
“Reading without writing is eating without digesting.”
Table Grid Graphic
|“No grid, no understand.”
“No diagram, no analysis.”
Before and After
|Photographs, Mirrors, Videos
Core question sets
|“No before test, no baseline.
No after test, no accountability.”
|“If it’s not on the schedule, it will not happen.”
“If it is worth remembering, it is worth repeating”
And Peer Group
|“Observe, ask, guess, test, tell, record, iterate.”
“Confident, calm, patient, one step at a time”
|Thematic Capstones||POU: performance of understanding||Scientific poster-boards||Theses
The ten attributes of critical thinking and how they relate to the seven tools are laid out in this table:
The Ten Attributes of Critical Thinking – A Matrix
|Elements of Thinking||Principle||Practical Tool|
|Sustained||Continuity is the key to depth of thought||Thematic Journal
|Analytical||To understand x
Must break it down into parts
|If you don’t see the big picture, it’s impossible to prioritize and make an informed decision.||Thematic Matrix
Half of what you think is wrong. Only research will help you shrink the percentage.
|Collaborative||Solo thinking can be creative but runs risk of sterility as well as retreat into a private universe
and private language.
|Skeptical||All premises must be identified and turned into hypotheses If truth is to be found.||Thematic Checklist:
How can I be wrong?
What am I missing?
What questions should I be asking?
|Life is a tissue of decisions with respect to what matters in daily life and civic life.||Thematic Journal
|Accountable||No test, no accountability||Before and After Test
|Multi-disciplinary||Most important issues cross disciplinary lines.||Seven literacies
Of world citizenship
|Quantitative if possible||If something can be quantified, it should be.||Thematic Data Packet|