Note: Internet Explorer 9
has trouble rendering the quizzes. I am investigating
the problem, in the meantime I suggest using another
browser. Sorry for the inconvenience.
As the name suggests
this is a site devoted to critical thinking. Individuals
who want to sharpen their critical thinking skills will
find much that is useful. High school, college and
university teachers are welcome to use this site to
assist with their teaching. Those writing the GRE or
LSAT may find material that is useful. And it is all for a very
affordable price: it is absolutely free.
The term 'Critical Thinking'
is used in a number of ways in academia; on this site it
is used in the sense of
evaluating the goodness of arguments. The approach here
is to treat it as a subbranch of philosophy.
The fact that critical
thinking is primarily a skill, as opposed to a body of
knowledge, is often acknowledged; but its implications
are not always well thought out. Swimming is a skill.
Imagine swimming instructors taught novices this way: a
fifteen week introductory swimming course has students
learning the theoretical aspects of swimming in a
classroom for fourteen weeks. Only on the last week do
students even get wet in the pool. If this were how
swimming was taught to the uninitiated, the number of deaths by drowning
would be much higher. Swimming is a skill that is best
learnt by practice. In my view, the same is true of
critical thinking. Students master the skill best by
lots and lots of practice. Many critical thinking
textbooks have chapters that are about 20 pages long,
with one or two pages of practice examples. Students nod
their heads as they read the theory believing they have
mastered the relevant concepts. Often they find as they
attempt the few examples that they haven't mastered the
relevant concepts, but, alas, they have also exhausted
their means to practice. This website hopes (but
probably won't quite succeed) to reverse the
percentages: my aim is to scrunch the theory for each
chapter into a few pages, and offer lots of quizzes to
practice. (Eventually I hope to have more than 1000 quiz
questions on this site). In my experience teaching
thousands of students critical thinking, the best way
for the novice to learn critical thinking is to jump
into the pool and practice with quizzes.
The 'table of contents' tab on the left provides a brief summary
of the learning goals of each chapter. The chapters are
meant to be tackled sequentially, but instructors may
want to explore some other possibilities.
Using this site is very straightforward. Read the few
pages of theory for each chapter and then try the
chapter quizzes. The quizzes are s
et for a "Pass"
of 90%. When you pass two quizzes for any chapter you
should feel confident that you have mastered the
material and move on to the next chapter.