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The first problem was actually resolved over a hundred years ago by psychologists Edward Thorndike and Robert Woodworth.The popular view of learning of their day was the idea that human brains contained large, distinct “faculties” such as logic, memory and judgement, and that by practicing them on subjects, regardless of their relevance to the real world, would strengthen these faculties just like lifting weights in the gym improves your muscles.To play good tennis you must be able to run, hit a forehand and a backhand and watch your opponent.
For example, if you know what is meant by affirming the consequent, it will be easier for you to find examples of poor reasoning, because you will be able to pick out the kind of reasoning that fits that particular pattern more quickly.People are naturally inclined to stick to something that is old and trusted.Therefore, it is essential in education for the teacher to be a role model by continually adopting a critical, open and inquiring attitude and stimulating the development of that same attitude within their students.As a consequence, attending a short course is not enough to turn somebody into a critical thinker; critical thinking is something that requires a sustained effort.Take tennis, for example, which is a higher-order skill.Being able to think critically is an essential skill. With that said, what’s the best way to improve your ability to think critically?You need to wade through what everyone is saying and pick out the truth from the nonsense. I’m going to start with what I believe is the wrong way to improve critical thinking, which is sadly the kind most often taught in schools.The problem is that this theory of the mind doesn’t work. Instead of general, abstract faculties that can be improved with non-specific training, improvements to the mind tend to be extremely specific.General improvements, when they happen, tend to result out of the accumulation of many, many specific improvements, rather than unrelated and general ones. The faculty view says that learning Latin will improve your linguistic faculties.The entire curriculum should challenge the student to do so.Knowledge of a coherent conceptual framework makes it possible to spot and define mistakes in reasoning, and it increases the student`s capacity of self-reflection and self-criticism; it will also make it easier for teachers to provide feedback.