Critical Thinking and Language: The Challenge of Generic Skills and Disciplinary Discourses
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Atlantic 3. This book explores what it means to be 'critical' in different disciplines in higher education and how students can be taught to be effective critical thinkers.
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This book clarifies the idea of critical thinking by investigating the 'critical' practices of academics across a range of disciplines. Drawing on key theorists - Wittgenstein, Geertz, Williams, Halliday - and using a 'textographic' approach, the book explores how the concept of critical thinking is understood by academics and also how it is constructed discursively in the texts and practices they employ in their teaching.
Critical thinking is one of the most widely discussed concepts in debates on university learning. For many, the idea of teaching students to be critical thinkers characterizes more than anything else the overriding purpose of 'higher education'.
But whilst there is general agreement about its importance as an educational ideal, there is surprisingly little agreement about what the concept means exactly. In Search of Critical Thinking; 4. The Ineffability of Critical Thinking; 5.
Critical Thinking: the disciplinary dimension; 6. Critical Thinking: so what is it?
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Review quote Abeautifully written analysis of the key term "critical thinking" as definingacademic expectations of students, especially international students, and anilluminating exploration of the notion of disciplinarity. This book is a "must-read"for those framing policy in higher education, for researchers on academicliteracy, and for writing and language instructors helping students to face itscomplex demands.
The topic also has considerable intrinsic interest since the precise nature of what is meant by "critical thinking" is both contested and variable; in effect, "criticalness," for many, can stand as a surrogate for one of the defining characteristics of the academic world. Interestingly, the author explores this issue not as might be expected through whether first year undergraduates can indeed be suitably critical in their tutorials or written work, but through the lenses of their instructors, through what they say in interviews, write in their introductory manuals, or ask for in their exercise and essay rubrics.
This book is a "must-read" for those framing policy in higher education, for researchers on academic literacy, and for writing and language instructors helping students to face its complex demands.
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Critical Thinking and Language : The Challenge of Generic Skills and Disciplinary Discourses
Therefore, I have followed with interest the growing body of publications on the topic, especially the debate on the generalist versus specificist perspectives on critical thinking. This book, which presents a discussion on the topic, has been a very welcome addition to the body of work on critical thinking as it further enriches discussion on a vital and often challenging pedagogic task.
It gets many things right. It provides a comprehensive literature review and employs a research design that can be replicated in other disciplines. It is also written in a very accessible style. However, the final conclusion, that critical thinking can be taught only within the context of a specific discipline, is not totally convincing.