Critical Thinking Skills: Can They Really Be Taught? - Steve Kaufmann

Speaking skills in a language rely on massive input, listening and reading. Critical thinking skills rely on knowledge of the subject matter, acquired through massive input, reading and listening. I don’t think these skills can be taught without massive input.


Yes. Definitely, possible. Thanks to my German professor of English. Her catch phrase “go beneath the surface of everything.” She spoke it like thousand times.
For example, polyglots are mushrooming on youtube like there is no tomorrow. Everyone thinks he or she knows what they are talking about. Instead of believing them blindly - I test their hypotheses sure costs me time but I am able to apply critical thinking skills and verify the veracity of their claims. In the end I will come to know about the real truth.


I think you need to follow your own advice and read more about Critical Thinking before opining on the internet. I didn’t hear you give any reasons as to why you think it can’t be taught, only that people don’t use it.


I do teach English as a Second Language and my students have some of the highest scores in my state. They ready everyday and write daily after a few years they exit out of my class. Their reading and comprehension is higher than the my regular 8th grade students. Some of my current and former ELL students volunteer to tutor the native speaking students. We just keep on reading and we read within the same theme normally 3 books written by the same author.


Just a quick question what are some example themes and after how many themes is one basically proficient?

I think you hit the nail on the head. Critical thinking is about wading through the rhetoric to find the truth. I thought I was a critical thinker until I took a class in critical thinking and discovered how much I didn’t know. And yes, it can be learned. It was an amazing experience. I believe, when one is learning something new — including language, one should never rely on one source from which to learn.