Thank-you for your input.
Here are the sources I have encountered, so far.
1. I found that I gained critical thinking skills when I read and practiced the skills taught in the Cognitive Behavior books by David D. Burns. I read them to increase my self-esteem.
Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy,
Ten Days to Self-Esteem,
The Feeling Good Handbook
Years later, as a substitute teacher, I compared the concepts in the section about the Ten Common forms of Distorted Thinking, to the high school debate class's list of common fallacies. The terms and wordings were different, but the concepts were the same. A pleasant surprise.
2. Then I discovered Mission Critical, San Jose State University
I have not read the entire work, but it seems to teach it well.
3. Currently I am reading Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies, by Martin Cohen, 2015.
Page 16, "...plenty of types of logics: Classical logic, Boolean logic....A fundamental difference exists between all the usual logics and the one that Critical Thinkers include as one of their tools: informal logic. All the other logics are concerned with the form of the argument, but only informal logic, as the name suggests, is also concerned with the content of arguments--with issues and application."
I am looking forward to continuing to read this book.
I love that point about informal logic. Thank you.
"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action."
I didn't learn these skills at home, at elementary or secondary schools, I started to learn them during my undergraduate years and continued through graduate school and my doctoral training.
Critical thinking skills are so easy to learn, even a pre-schooler can learn to think critically and gain the skills as he or she progresses through training. I don't understand why these are not taught from the earliest cognitive period of development. My great-granddaughter celebrates her third birthday today and she is one crackerjack of a critical thinker. She learned from her Mom and Dad, her Grandma, aunts and uncles and cousins and me.
A very simple starter is, "If you do this, then I will do that!" an example of logical consequences. Another is "if you do this, then you are at risk of falling and hurting yourself," an example of natural consequences.
I remember as a small child being told not to touch the wood burning kitchen stove or it might burn me. They were right, I touched the stove and it burned and hurt. I watched as my younger cousins were told the same thing with the same result. After many such natural and logical consequences I learned that my elders were wiser than I. I learned to listen, think, act, and experience the consequences.
During my undergraduate teacher training, we used charts such as these to help us teach primary school age children how to think critically:
In post graduate school I prepared to teach college and this chart even helped them.
Ages 3 & 4 | $32.99 | Complete Curriculum
Critical thinking is not hard, it can be taught to pre-schoolers, and families often learn from their kids.
Just think of families solving problems and resolving conflicts without the use of violence!
I wonder if our POTUS is willing to learn?
Sheri, thank you for starting this discussion. I hope we hear from others about their critical thinking history.