The Institute of Critical Thinking

What is Critical Thinking?

The aim of Critical Thinking is to promote independent thinking, personal autonomy and reasoned judgment in thought and action. This involves two related dimensions:

  1. the ability to reason well and 

  2. the disposition to do so. 

Critical thinking involves logic as well as creativity. It may involve inductive and deductive reasoning, analysis and problem-solving as well as creative, innovative and complex approaches to the resolution of issues and challenges.


Critical Thinking and Education

One of the significant aims of education is to produce learners who are well informed, that is to say, learners should understand ideas that are important, useful, beautiful and powerful. Another is to create learners who have the appetite the appetite to think analytically and critically, to use what they know to enhance their own lives and also to contribute to their society, culture and civilization.


These two aims for education as a vehicle to promote critical thinking are based on certain assumptions.

  1. Brains are biological. Minds are created. Curriculum is thus a mind-altering device. This raises the moral requirement to treat learners as independent centres of consciousness with the fundamental ability to determine the contours of their own minds and lives.

  2. Education should seek to prepare learners for self-direction and not pre-conceived roles. It is, therefore, essential that learners be prepared for thinking their way through the maze of challenges that life will present independently.

  3. Education systems usually induct the neophyte into the forms-of-representation and realms of meaning which humans have created thus far.

  4. Careful analysis, clear thinking, and reasoned deliberation are fundamental to democracy and democratic life.

On the basis of these considerations the capacity for critical assessment and analysis emerges as fundamental for enjoying a good quality of life.

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