Christopher Dwyer, Michael Hogan and Ian Stewart
analogically, arithmetically, dialectically, scientifically, etc; to determine
which of several possible conclusions is most strongly warranted or
supported by the evidence at hand, or which should be rejected or
regarded as less plausible by the information given.
Adapted from Facione, 1990.
CT courses are taught in a variety of different academic domains and are informed by
varying conceptualisations of CT. Different intervention studies also use different measures
of CT performance that are not directly comparable - the California Critical Thinking Skills
Test (Facione, 1990), the Cornell Critical Thinking Test (Ennis, Millman & Tomko, 1985)
and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment (Watson & Glaser, 1980). The reported
reliability and validity of different measures also varies, which has led Abrami and colleagues
to ask: “How will we know if one intervention is more beneficial than another if we are
uncertain about the validity and reliability of the outcome measures?” (Abrami et al., 2008, p.
1104). Abrami and colleagues add that, even when researchers declare that they are assessing
CT using reliable and valid assessment tools, there still remains the major challenge of
ensuring that measured outcomes are related in some meaningful way to the conceptualisation
and operational definition of CT that informs their teaching practice. Often, the relationship
between the concepts of CT that are taught and those that are assessed is unclear and a large
number of studies in this area specify no theory to help elucidate these relationships.
Nevertheless, researchers have attempted to group intervention studies in an effort to
examine whether or not critical thinking can be improved via explicit instruction. For
example, a recent meta-analysis by Alvarez-Ortiz (2007) examined 52 studies which
investigated a wide range of teaching strategies designed to improve CT. The meta-analysis
was specifically conducted in order to answer the questions as to whether or not participation
in philosophy courses improved CT ability. Results of the meta-analysis revealed that
participation in a philosophy course yielded a mean effect size of .26 SD, CI [.12 - .39], with
little evidence to suggest that participation in a philosophy course had any greater effect on
CT performance than any other academic course (mean effect size = .12 SD, CI [.11, .21]).
However, this meta-analysis also suggested that all courses (regardless of academic content)
that directly taught CT (effect size of .40, CI [.08, .71]) or had CT infused into the curriculum
(effect size of .26, CI [.09, .43]) yielded better CT performance than courses that did not teach
CT in some form (effect size of .12 SD, CI [.08, .17]). These findings lend some support to
Gabbenesch’s (2006) claim that CT is domain-general, as the course content was not the key
factor in improving CT, whereas involvement of some form of explicit CT instruction was
Another meta-analysis, conducted by Abrami and colleagues (2008) included 161 CT
intervention studies and examined the efficacy of different types of CT training course. They
used Ennis’ (1989) typology of four CT course types (i.e. general, infusion, immersion and
mixed) to differentiate CT intervention methods. In the general approach to CT training, CT
skills, dispositions and processes “are learning objectives, without specific subject matter
content” (Abrami et al., 2008, p. 1105). Conversely, the infusion method requires specific
course content upon which CT skills are practiced. In the infusion approach, the objective of
teaching CT alongside course content is made explicit. In the immersion method, like the
infusion method, specific course content is required; however, while CT skills are practiced,
Но когда ТРАНСТЕКСТ расшифровал эти потоки информации, аналитики тут же увидели в них синхронизированный через Интернет отсчет времени. Устройства были обнаружены и удалены за целых три часа до намеченного срока взрыва.
Сьюзан знала, что без ТРАНСТЕКСТА агентство беспомощно перед современным электронным терроризмом. Она взглянула на работающий монитор. Он по-прежнему показывал время, превышающее пятнадцать часов.