“Critical thinking is central to both the National Science Standards  and the National Educational Technology Standards . Derek Bok  notes that over ninety percent of faculty in the U.S. feel that critical thinking is the most important goal of an undergraduate education. Increasingly, the importance of critical thinking/problem solving skills in the workplace is also being recognized. For example Halpern  argues, “virtually every business or industry position that involves responsibility and action in the face of uncertainty would benefit if the people filling that position obtained a high level of the ability to think critically”.”
In M. Iskander (ed.), Innovations in E-learning, Instruction Technology, Assessment, and Engineering Education, 79-82. © 2007 Springer. Assessing Critical Thinking in STEM and Beyond by Barry Stein, Ada Haynes, Michael Redding, Theresa Ennis, and Misty Cecil Tennessee Technological University. Available online: http://www.tntech.edu/files/cat/reports/Innovationschapter.pdf
The researchers at Tennessee Tech define critical thinking as having the following domains:
- Separate factual information from inferences that might be used to interpret those facts.
- Identify inappropriate conclusions.
- Understand the limitations of correlational data.
- Identify evidence that might support or contradict a hypothesis.
- Identify new information that is needed to draw conclusions.
- Separate relevant from irrelevant information when solving a problem.
- Learn and understand complex relationships in an unfamiliar domain.
- Interpret numerical relationships in graphs and separate those relationships from inferences.
- Use mathematical skills in the context of solving a larger real world problem.
- Analyze and integrate information from separate sources to solve a complex problem.
- Recognize how new information might change the solution to a problem.
- Communicate critical analyses and problem solutions effectively.