Critical, creative and caring thinking

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Critical, creative and caring thinking

(For Professional Discussion within schools working with Hooked on Thinking to build a Thinking Curriculum)


To be used as a catalyst for discussions that explore the value of unpacking the school's definition of critical/ creative thinking etc to produce a list of constituent competencies.

1. Critical Thinking Skills, Abilities and Processes

(after Hyerle, 2004, Swartz and Parks, 1994, Norris and Ennis, 1989 and Fisher 2001)

Eight Fundamental Thinking Skills 
(Hyerle 2004)

Thinking Skills and Processes 
Swartz and Parks 1994 p6)

CriticalThinking Abilities 
(Norris and Ennis, 1989 appendix)

Fundamental Critical Thinking Skills 
(Fisher 2001 p8.)

[Insert SCHOOL] 

Defining in context.


Compare and contrast.




Cause and effect.

Seeing analogies. 

Thinking Skills: 
Generating Ideas 
1. Generating Possibilities
- Multiplicity of ideas/ Varied ideas/ New ideas/ Detailed ideas
2. Creating Metaphors
- Analogy/metaphor

Clarifying Ideas 
1. Analysing Ideas
- Compare/contrast
2. Analysing Arguments
- Finding reasons/conclusions
- Uncovering assumptions

Assessing the Reasonableness of ideas 
1. Assessing Basic Information
- Accuracy of information
- Reliability of Sources

2. Inference
a.Use of evidence
- Causal explanation
- Prediction
- Generalisation
- Reasoning by Analogy
b. Deduction
- Conditional reasoning (if ...then)

Thinking Processes 
Goal Oriented Processes 
Decision Making
Problem Solving 

Focus on a question

Analyse arguments

Ask and answer questions of challenge

Judge the credibility of sources

Make and judge observations

Make and judge deductions

Make and judge inductions

Make and judge value judgments

Define terms and judge definitions

Identify assumptions

Decide on an action

Interact with others

Identify the elements in a reasoned case;

Identify and evaluate assumptions;

Clarify and interpret expressions and ideas;

Judge the acceptability; especially the credibility of claims;

Evaluate arguments of different kinds;

Analyse, evaluate and produce explanations;

Analyse, evaluate and make decisions;

Draw inferences;

Produce arguments.

2. Creative Thinking Skills, Abilities and Processes

(after Torrance (1962), Gordon, et al. (1996), Root-Bernstein and Root-Bernstein (1999), and Perkins (2000))

Creative Thinking Variables Commonly Used in New Zealand Schools. 
Torrance (1962)

Creative Thinking Gordon, et al., (1966)
Thirteen Creative Thinking Tools 
Root- Bernstein and Root - Berstein (1999)

Breakthrough Thinking Operations for Innovation and Inspiration: 
Perkins (2000)

[Insert SCHOOL] 


metaphorical thinking 

Primary Tools:
Observing; Imaging; Abstracting; Recognising Patterns; Forming Patterns; Analogising; Body thinking; Empathizing; Dimensional thinking 

Secondary Tools: 
Modelling; Playing; Transforming; Synthesising


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3. Thinking Dispositions

(after Traits of the Disciplined Mind (Paul and Elder 2002, p19), Creative Habits (Claxton and Lucas 2004 p24) with Habits of Mind (Costa and Kallick 2000, p.8) and Dimensions of Learning (Marzano 1992, pp.131)

Traits of the Disciplined Mind
(Paul and Elder 2002, p.19)

Creative Habits
(Claxton and Lucas 2004 p24)

Habits of Mind
(Costa and Kallick 2000)

Dimension 5:
Productive Habits of Mind
(Marzano 1992)

[Insert SCHOOL] 

Intellectual integrity

Intellectual humility

Intellectual sense of justice

Intellectual perseverance

Intellectual fair-mindedness

Intellectual confidence in reason

Intellectual courage

Intellectual empathy

Intellectual autonomy

Ability to tolerate uncertainty,

Being open-minded,

Risk taking,


Being patient,

Deferring judgment,

Being resilient

Showing empathy.


Managing impulsivity;

Listening with understanding and empathy;

Thinking flexibly;

Thinking about thinking;

Striving for accuracy;

Questioning and posing problems;

Applying past knowledge to new situations;

thinking and communication with clarity and precision;

Gathering data through all senses;

Creating, imagining, innovating;

Responding with wonderment and awe;

Taking responsible risks;

Finding humour;

thinking interdependently;

Remaining open to continuous learning. 

Self Regulation 
Being aware of your own thinking
Being aware of necessary resources
Being sensitive to feedback

Critical Thinking 
Being accurate and seeking accuracy
Being clear and seeking clarity
Being open minded
Resisting impulsivity
Taking and defending a position
Being sensitive to others

Creative Thinking 
Engaging intensely in tasks even when answers or solutions are not immediately apparent.
Pushing the limits of your knowledge and ability.
Generating, trusting and maintaining your own standards of evaluation.
Generating new ways of viewing situations outside the boundaries of standard convention. 

4. Assessment of Understanding of Thinking through Performance

=== ===
(after Mansilla and Gardener 1998, p184)

Schools develop SOLO coded student self assessment rubrics against selected measures below

Transformed intuitive beliefs 
To what degree do students’ performances show that theories and concepts in thinking (eg SOLO) have transformed students’ intuitive beliefs? 
Healthy Scepticism 
To what degree do students display a healthy skepticism towards their own beliefs about thinking and towards thinking knowledge from other sources? 
Awareness of the purposes of knowledge 
To what degree do students see essential questions, purposes and interests that drive inquiry in thinking? 
Mastery of performance genres 
To what degree do students display mastery of the genres of performance in thinking they engage in? 
Coherent and rich conceptual webs 
To what degree are students able to reason within richly organized conceptual webs of thinking (e.g. SOLO)? 
Building knowledge in the domain 
To what degree do students use strategies, similar to those used by professional thinkers to build reliable knowledge? 
Uses of knowledge 
To what degree do students recognize a variety of possible uses of what they learn about thinking? To what degree do students consider the consequences of using their knowledge about thinking? 
Effective use of symbol systems 
To what degree do students explore different symbol systems to represent their knowledge of thinking in effective and creative ways? 

Validating knowledge in the domain 
Is understanding of thinking dependent upon authoritative assertions, or rather on negotiated meanings through careful dialogue?

Ownership and autonomy 
To what degree do students evidence ownership and the autonomy to use what they know about thinking? 
Consideration of audience and context 
To what extent do students’ performances show an awareness of the audience? To what extent do they show awareness of the context of thinking in the communication?

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