Friday, July 8, 2011

Reviewing Paul and Elder's The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking-Concepts and Tools

This 20 page mini-book was assigned reading for a grad class I recently took at Columbia International University. The booklet serves as an introductory guide to the concepts and tools of critical thinking and is by no means an in depth study of critical thinking. The mini-guide should be used to supplement other books related to the topic. Written by two critical thinking experts, this book can be used by professors and teachers to develop instructional activities, enhance teaching techniques, design creative classwork, and simply improve overall learning. The contents of the book briefly include the importance of critical thinking, the elements of thought, a checklist and criteria for evaluating reasoning, the problem with egocentric thinking, universal intellectual standards, a template for analyzing the logic of articles and textbooks and for problem-solving, essential intellectual traits, analyzing and assessing research, and the stages of critical thinking development. Several charts and diagrams are provided to help us better understand abstract ideas. Although the font is tiny, the content is well organized and easy to read. Bold numbers and letters are regularly used to highlight key information. This review pertains to the fourth edition which came out in 2006.