Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking Wiki for Dr. Alfino's students

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Knowledge, Perspective, Inquiry Assignments

This semester we're piloting two new assignments on Knowledge aquisition and Perspective/Bias to prepare students for their research assignment.

Knowledge Aquisition Assignment

Media:Wikipediaassignmentv2.doc the worksheet for the Wikipedia assignment on knowledge aquisition.

Perspective Assignment / 1st Argument Analysis Paper

An indispensible skill for a critical thinker is that ability to understand the range of positions and points of view on an issue and to be familiar with the theoretical and practical points of view of major sources of thought and opinion. This skill helps us understand when we have seen a full range of positions and when we have likely been exposed to evidence and argumentation contrary to our own sympathies.
The goal of this assignment is for you to write an argument reflecting your own view of the relative importance of the growing income inequality reported in the Crook article [| The Height of Inequality]. Of course, you may take issue with the data reported in the article. You should develop your view in light of your survey of thought and opinion about income inequality.

Step 1: Review research skills from John Spencer's presentation on Journals of Thought and Opinion

Use this handout to determine the point of view or position of popular magazines and news magazines. Most of the popular periodicals have an editorial stance which may be liberal, conservative or mainstream, depending upon the publication's writers and editors.

Step 2: Conduct research related to the issues in the Crook article. Find a variety of sources and post findings to the collborative research page for this assignment. For a finding, post the citation, brief abstract or reconstruction and enduring link to the article, if possible. Good findings are those that help you identify a particular perspective along with its rationales on the topic.

Step 3: Follow postings to the collborative research page during the week and formulate your own view as you read various articles.

Step 4: In a 3-4 page paper, present your own rationales for your position on income inequality. Select specific issues to address based on your reflection and reading.

Inquiry Assignment / Research Project

More instructions will be posted soon. Right now, focus on collecting research and posting it to the wiki in an efficient form. We'll use a quick critical look at the Collaborative Research Page to get some ideas on how to post information to the wiki for your semester projects.

  • Questionaire. Use this questionaire to assess the progress of your research.