Critical and Creative Thinking
- What are critical thinking and creative thinking?
- What’s Bloom’s taxonomy and how is it helpful in project planning?
- How are the domains of learning reflected in technology-rich projects?
Benjamin Bloom (1956) developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior in learning. This taxonomy contained three overlapping domains: the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Within the cognitive domain, he identified six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These domains and levels are still useful today as you develop the critical thinking skills of your students.
Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning including skills such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause/effect, patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hypothesizing, and critiquing.
Creative thinking involves creating something new or original. It involves the skills of flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, brainstorming, modification, imagery, associative thinking, attribute listing, metaphorical thinking, forced relationships. The aim of creative thinking is to stimulate curiosity and promote divergence.
While critical thinking can be thought of as more left-brain and creative thinking more right brain, they both involve “thinking.” When we talk about HOTS “higher-order thinking skills” we’re concentrating on the top three levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Examples: dates, events, places, vocabulary, key ideas, parts of diagram, 5Ws
Examples: find meaning, transfer, interpret facts, infer cause & consequence, examples
Examples: use information in new situations, solve problems
Examples: recognize and explain patterns and meaning, see parts and wholes
Examples: discuss “what if” situations, create new ideas, predict and draw conclusions
Examples: make recommendations, assess value and make choices, critique ideas
Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview from Family Education Network’s TeacherVision
Learning Skills Program: Bloom’s Taxonomy from University of Victoria – This page lists the six levels of the cognitive domain with examples.
Free Brainstorming Training from Infinite Innovations Ltd – Learn basic and advanced techniques for brainstorming.
Mission: Critical from San Jose State University – This website provides an advanced look at critical thinking and specifically analysis of arguments and persuasion.
The Skeptic’s Dictionary – over 400 definitions and essays.
The Fallacy Files by Gary Curtis. Best website on fallacies.
Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts by Peter Facione. Good overview of the nature of critical thinking. (pdf file)
Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion by John Stuart Mill. Classic chapter, densely packed with wisdom about thinking.
Chance – best resource for helping students think critically about issues involving probability and statistics
Examples and Applications of Critical Thinking
Evaluating Primary Sources from Library of Congress’s American Memory – This website does a great job providing an example of using Bloom’s Taxonomy for evaluating primary resource materials.
Creativity Links by C. Osborne – This page links to great resources on creative thinking.
Edward de Bono’s Methods & Concepts of Lateral Thinking – This page provides an overview of deBono’s ideas about creativity.
Introduction to Creative Thinking by R. Harris from VirtualSalt – This page compares critical and creative thinking and discusses the myths of creative thinking.
Tutorial on Creativity, Brainstorming and Innovation from Infinite Innovations Ltd. – This tutorial provides basic information about creativity, brainstorming, and innovation. It also provides ideas and activities.
Creativity Pool – This is a database of creative and original ideas. Submit your own or check to see if someone else has thought of the same thing.