critical thinking co curriculum

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critical thinking co curriculum

The Critical Thinking Co. Language Smarts Review

critical thinking co curriculum

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the  Homeschool Review Crew .

It’s not often I get the opportunity to review a product for younger kids, so I gladly said yes when asked to write an informational review of Language Smarts Level E , a full language arts curriculum for 4th grade from The Critical Thinking Co. I am familiar with their products, as we have used them for several years in our homeschool.

About the Critical Thinking Co.

“ If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless.”  – Michael Baker, President

I love that quote, and it sums up what the Critical Thinking Co. is all about. They do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests—they empower the mind! From experience, I find this to be true, and why their products have won several awards. When you use their products, you get much more than another workbook. Your child/student learns critical thinking skills! Those skills will be used not only throughout their education, but throughout their whole lives. As a parent and a teacher, that is the goal I have for my own kids – to think!

critical thinking co curriculum

About Language Smarts Level E

Spelling – check. Parts of speech – check. Punctuation – check. Reading and writing – check. Language Smarts Level E covers every one of these things, and then some! The book itself is a hefty 392 page paperback workbook with perforated pages. The activities between the covers are plenty for a 4th grade language arts core curriculum or can be used as a supplemental resource. Language Smarts Level E is an open and go curriculum that is not highly parent-intensive. Your role is to provide clues, not answers when your student needs help (but there is an answer key at the back of the book). There are a variety of activities to challenge and engage the student in all areas of language arts, and also sufficiently covers what you will find on many standardized tests.

The first section deals with word parts and relationships. There really is no “lesson plan”. The “lessons” are very concise and are in a text box at the top of the page. The student will complete a variety of activities such as fill-in-the-blank, crosswords and word searches. The same goes for the spelling section. There are no weekly word lists to memorize. Emphasis is placed on the “rule” such as when to drop the silent e, or when to add -s or -es, and other common spelling rules. Next is a short section on the use of reference materials, then a large section on language mechanics.

The last section of Language Smarts Level E covers reading and writing – and boy does it cover it! Similes, metaphors, idioms, proverbs, quotations, genres of literature, reading comprehension and more. Students will learn to write a summary, a personal narrative, as well as an opinion and an informative style paper. The writing activities are broken into chunks that guide your young writer through the process without being overwhelming.

critical thinking co curriculum

What I thought of Language Smarts Level E

My first thought was, “where was this when my kids were in fourth grade?”. Then I checked the copyright date. We just missed it by a couple of years, darn. There are many things I really like about Language Smarts Level E .

  • It is a complete language arts curriculum. No need for separate spelling, grammar, reading, and writing books.
  • The lessons foster independence in a gentle way at a young age.
  • Instructions are informative, yet concise.
  • The worksheets are not overly lengthy, and the layout is clear and simple.
  • Some of their other products such as Editor in Chief and Writing Detective are woven in nicely.
  • Most of all, it requires thinking.

The Critical Thinking Co. has done it again with a fantastic product! Language Smarts Level E is a good fit for a variety of learners. It has both a mix of fill-in-the-blanks plus what-do-you-think type questions to suit the traditional type learners/teachers and also covers all the bases for those who take more of an eclectic approach. The only thing that would make it any better is if there were a few unit or topic reviews scattered throughout. Check out some of their other products by downloading FREE PDFs of math & critical thinking worksheets at   https://www.CriticalThinking.com/special-offers .

Several products are available to check out from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew . Click the banner below to read what other reviewers used and their thoughts.

critical thinking co curriculum

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Critical thinking definition

critical thinking co curriculum

Critical thinking, as described by Oxford Languages, is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

Active and skillful approach, evaluation, assessment, synthesis, and/or evaluation of information obtained from, or made by, observation, knowledge, reflection, acumen or conversation, as a guide to belief and action, requires the critical thinking process, which is why it's often used in education and academics.

Some even may view it as a backbone of modern thought.

However, it's a skill, and skills must be trained and encouraged to be used at its full potential.

People turn up to various approaches in improving their critical thinking, like:

  • Developing technical and problem-solving skills
  • Engaging in more active listening
  • Actively questioning their assumptions and beliefs
  • Seeking out more diversity of thought
  • Opening up their curiosity in an intellectual way etc.

Is critical thinking useful in writing?

Critical thinking can help in planning your paper and making it more concise, but it's not obvious at first. We carefully pinpointed some the questions you should ask yourself when boosting critical thinking in writing:

  • What information should be included?
  • Which information resources should the author look to?
  • What degree of technical knowledge should the report assume its audience has?
  • What is the most effective way to show information?
  • How should the report be organized?
  • How should it be designed?
  • What tone and level of language difficulty should the document have?

Usage of critical thinking comes down not only to the outline of your paper, it also begs the question: How can we use critical thinking solving problems in our writing's topic?

Let's say, you have a Powerpoint on how critical thinking can reduce poverty in the United States. You'll primarily have to define critical thinking for the viewers, as well as use a lot of critical thinking questions and synonyms to get them to be familiar with your methods and start the thinking process behind it.

Are there any services that can help me use more critical thinking?

We understand that it's difficult to learn how to use critical thinking more effectively in just one article, but our service is here to help.

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critical thinking co curriculum

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  • v.10(8); 2023 Aug
  • PMC10333820

Curriculum framework to facilitate critical thinking skills of undergraduate nursing students: A cooperative inquiry approach

Christian makafui boso.

1 Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town South Africa

2 School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast Ghana

Anita S. van der Merwe

Janet gross.

3 Peace Corps Liberia, Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, Stella Maris Polytechnic, Monrovia Liberia

Associated Data

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Critical thinking (CT) is vital in assisting nurses to function efficiently in the ever‐changing health care environment. A CT‐based curriculum framework provides the impetus necessary to drive the acquisition of CT skills of students. Yet, there is no known CT‐based framework contextualized to developing countries where seniority tradition is a norm. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a CT‐based curriculum framework to facilitate the development of CT skills of nursing students in developing countries.

Cooperative inquiry.

Using purposive sampling, 11 participants comprising students, educators and preceptors developed a CT‐based curriculum framework.

Findings were organized into a framework illustrating interconnected concepts required to foster CT skills of nursing students. These concepts include authentic student–facilitator partnership, a facilitator that makes a difference; a learner that is free to question and encouraged to reflect; a conducive and participatory learning environment; curriculum renewal processes and contextual realities.

1. INTRODUCTION

Nurses in today's volatile and complex health care environment need to be able to critically appraise information when giving care (Dozier et al.,  2021 ; Whiteman et al.,  2021 ). Nursing regulatory bodies worldwide such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana ( 2015 ) and the South African Nursing Council ( 2014 ) recognize critical thinking (CT) as crucial for nurses. These bodies require that nursing curricula promote CT skills of students (Dozier et al.,  2021 ; Gholami et al.,  2016 ). The rationale is that individuals with CT skills are potentially able to make good clinical judgements (Dozier et al.,  2021 ; Gholami et al.,  2016 ) which may lead to good patient outcomes (Ward‐Smith,  2020 ).

Critical thinking‐based curricula adopt learning outcomes, instructional methods and assessment approaches that are grounded on the principles of CT. Such CT‐based curricula create a participatory and democratic learning environment for students. Students will be empowered if they are allowed to take risks, encouraged to make inputs, permitted to share their opinions and if their mistakes are rectified with dignity (Raymond et al.,  2017 ). Thus, as consistent with Billings & Halstead ( 2005 ) view, a curriculum should aim at enhancing active learning and the student–faculty interaction (as cited in Billings & Halstead,  2005 ). Learning environments where divergent views are suppressed (Raymond et al.,  2017 ), and the educator is seen as the authority of information (Boso & Gross,  2015 ) do not promote CT in students.

A considerable number of reforms in higher education have stressed the need to facilitate CT skills of students (Butler,  2012 ). CT courses have been introduced in different academic disciplines such as nursing, law, sociology, psychology and philosophy. Despite the attention CT has received, there remains doubt whether graduates are being prepared to think critically (Butler,  2012 ). At the heart of this challenge is the fact that the concept of CT has not been incorporated into the teaching methods of many educators (Billings & Halstead,  2005 ). For example, educators construct questions that are mostly at the lower level of thinking (Amoako‐Sakyi & Amonoo‐Kuofi,  2015 ). This suggests that educational institutions may be failing in their quest to develop CT skills of students (Dunne,  2015 ).

In many developing countries, nursing schools encounter challenges that may further compound the challenge of assisting students to engage in CT skills. For example, in Ghana, challenges such as limited resources in nursing schools (Talley,  2006 ) have been reported. Specifically, a lack of qualified educators (Bell et al.,  2013 ), infrastructural and logistical constraints (Talley,  2006 ), inappropriate instructional methods and large class sizes (Wilmot et al.,  2013 ) are some of the challenges affecting nursing education. Also, as indicated in the authors' previous articles (Boso et al.,  2020 , 2021c ), sociocultural norms uphold the seniority tradition. Traditionally, seniority is valued in most global societies. The aged are viewed as the source of knowledge, power and authority, thus seniority is a dominant cultural norm (Chen & Chung,  2002 ). For example, an individual is not expected to disagree or question an authority figure in public even if the authority figure appears to be wrong (Donkor & Andrews,  2011 ). The seniority tradition has been noted as a challenge to facilitating the CT skills of students (Chan,  2013 ; Raymond et al.,  2017 ). Meanwhile, the complexity of fostering CT skills of students has often been underestimated leading to diverse conceptualizations of CT (Dwyer et al.,  2014 ). Diverse conceptualizations could impede the development of CT skills of students.

Notwithstanding these challenges, a CT‐based curriculum framework could provide the needed impetus to foster the development of CT skills of students. A curriculum framework could provide ‘a means of conceptualizing and organizing the knowledge, skills, values, and beliefs critical to the delivery of a coherent curriculum that facilitates the achievement of the desired curriculum outcomes’ (Billings & Halstead,  2005 , p. 167). More importantly, a CT‐based framework provides a participatory and effective learning environment for both the learner and the educator (Dozier et al.,  2021 ; Duron et al.,  2006 ) even in societies where the seniority tradition is strongly adhered to. Yet, these authors could not identify a known curriculum framework to drive the facilitation of CT skills in the context of developing countries where the seniority tradition is a norm.

2. AIM OF THE STUDY

The aim of this study was to develop a CT‐based curriculum framework to facilitate the development of CT skills of nursing students in developing countries.

3. BACKGROUND

This study was underpinned by an eclectic model derived from Dwyer et al.'s ( 2014 ) and Duron et al.'s ( 2006 ) frameworks of CT development (see Figure  1 ). This eclectic model addressed four interconnected concepts relating to the exploration of experiences of students and educators towards CT skills facilitation namely CT, memory, comprehension (Dwyer et al.,  2014 ) and instructional activities (Duron et al.,  2006 ). These concepts are further explicated.

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Object name is NOP2-10-5129-g001.jpg

Eclectic model of critical thinking development adopted from Duron et al.'s ( 2006 ) and Dwyer et al.'s ( 2014 ) models of CT. Permission to adapt was obtained.

3.1. Critical thinking

There is no agreement about the definition of CT (Raymond et al.,  2018 ) and its relationship with memory and comprehension (Dwyer et al.,  2014 ). According to Davies and Barnett ( 2015 ), there are three main approaches to CT, namely, ‘skills‐and‐judgement’, ‘skills‐plus‐propensity’ and ‘skills‐plus‐disposition‐actions’ perspectives. The skills‐and‐judgement perspective of CT views CT as the possession of a set of characteristic skills. The skills‐plus‐propensity perspective highlights both skills and dispositions aspects of CT. While the ‘skills‐plus‐disposition‐actions’ view, also known as criticality, sees CT beyond skills and disposition to include actions/activism. The skills‐plus‐propensity view on which this study is based recognizes that activism is an outcome of CT and not necessarily an aspect of CT. Thus, Facione's ( 1990 ) definition accepted for the purposes of this study illustrates skills‐plus‐propensity perspective of CT: ‘…purposeful, self‐regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based…’ (Facione,  1990 , p. 5).

Though Facione's definition has been criticized for being long‐winded and difficult to implement (Davies & Barnett,  2015 ), its use for CT assessment in nursing education is evident (Raymond et al.,  2017 ). Dwyer et al.'s ( 2014 ) model incorporate both reflective judgement (skills) and self‐regulatory functions of metacognition (disposition) as requirements for CT consistent with Facione's ( 1990 ) definition. Self‐regulation refers to the individual's ability, willingness and perceived need to think critically when solving problems.

3.2. Memory

Critical thinking skills are dependent on what information one can remember (Dwyer et al.,  2014 ). Information is either stored in short‐ or long‐term memory. Dwyer et al. ( 2014 ) assert that through deliberate attention or perception processes, information is stored as short‐term memory (working memory). This short‐term memory includes two sub‐systems—phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad; a central executive (attention focussing process that relates to long‐term memory) and episodic buffer (storage centre that integrates new information from working memory with existing memory from long‐term memory) (Baddeley,  2010 ). Through manipulation, information in short‐term memory may be encoded as long‐term memory. Long‐term memory is stored as schemas (categorization of knowledge based on how it will be used).

3.3. Comprehension

Meaningfully organizing information into schemas for future retrieval requires understanding or comprehension (Dwyer et al.,  2014 ). Comprehension encompasses the ability to translate or interpret information based on previous learning (Huitt,  2011 ). Long‐term memory and comprehension are fundamental processes for CT application (Dwyer et al.,  2014 ).

3.4. Instructional activities

Duron et al. ( 2006 ) designed a 5‐step model to provide a practical impetus in the acquisition of CT skills. This model focuses on steps that educators should take to foster the CT skills of students. The 5‐step framework requires that educators first determine learning objectives. The educator should identify the behaviours that the students should exhibit by the time they exit a course. The objectives should correspond to the higher order of Bloom's taxonomy. Secondly, the importance of teaching through questioning is underlined. The educator should design appropriate questions and questioning techniques to encourage discussion. The questions should vary and be concise to generate student participation. Particularly, divergent questions encourage CT. Thirdly, practice before assessing is considered important – inclusive of learning experiences that encourage active and experiential learning. Fourthly, the educator should continuously review, refine and improve instructional activities for CT skills. These include strategies such as evaluating students' participation through teaching, diary and journaling. Lastly, educators need to provide feedback and assessment of learning. Thoughtful, purposeful and timely feedback should be provided to students on their performance.

It is the contention of these authors that a CT‐based curriculum framework should address factors that either impede or enhance the students' abilities to memorize information (attention/perception processing), comprehend, reflectively make judgement (ability to analyse, evaluate and create) and engage in self‐regulation functions (disposition towards CT). Pursuant to this view, these authors observed classroom instructional practices (Boso et al.,  2020 ), explored the experiences of students and educators (Boso et al.,  2021c ) and assessed the CT disposition of students (Boso et al.,  2021b ). These studies revealed a number of issues that informed the development of a CT‐based curriculum framework. For example, challenges such as seniority tradition, large class size; negative attitude, lack of commitment and inappropriate assessment styles/methods of educators; background and culture, learning practices, lack of comprehension of the participant, distractive behaviour of students (Boso et al.,  2020 , 2021c ) were identified. Though students had a confident disposition towards reasoning, they did not have a mindset of truth‐seeking (Boso et al.,  2021b ). Lack of involvement of students in curriculum reviews and continuous professional development programs on CT for faculty were also identified as challenges in developing CT skills of students (Boso et al.,  2021c ). Also, educators' examination questions about a higher order of thinking constituted <6% (Boso et al.,  2021a ).

4.1. Research design

This article is the concluding part of a larger project (see Boso et al.,  2020 , 2021a , 2021b , 2021c ) that sought to develop a CT‐based curriculum framework. The study used participatory action research (PAR), specifically, cooperative inquiry (CI) as an overarching research design to develop a CT‐based curriculum framework. CI is one of the approaches embedded in PAR (Mash,  2014 ; Mash & Meulenberg‐Buskens,  2001 ) and is used interchangeable with PAR in this article. PAR inter alia assists in problem solving (Hart & Bond, 1995 ; Mash,  2014 ), promotes organizational improvement (Hart & Bond, 1995), bridges the theory–practice gap (Mash,  2014 ; Rolfe, 1996 ) and allows users to be involved (Beresford, 2006 ).

4.2. Study setting, population and sampling

The study was conducted in the nursing school of an accredited publicly funded university in Ghana. There were approximately 527 nursing students and 16 full‐time faculty members. Like many educational institutions in developing countries, the school had challenges such as a lack of sufficient qualified faculty, and infrastructural and logistical constraints that may militate against assisting students to acquire CT skills. For example, class sizes could range from 50 to 150 students.

The study participants included students who had been enrolled in the degree nursing program for at least a year, nurse educators with current full‐time appointments with at least a year of teaching experience, preceptors and coordinators of CT‐based medical programs. It is believed that these participants had been associated with the nursing educational system long enough to provide rich data on their experiences and expertise. Furthermore, using diverse stakeholders in the study aided in providing balanced perspectives.

Twelve participants comprised 3 educators (with 1 being a coordinator of a CT‐based medical program), 2 preceptors, 6 students and the researcher himself were part of the cooperative inquiry group (CIG). Pertinent to the tenets of cooperative inquiry, these CIG were to collaboratively engage to develop a CT‐based curriculum framework. To select students for the CIG, presentations on the purpose and nature of the study were made in their respective classrooms. A list of those who agreed to participate in the study was compiled based on the different educational levels. Individuals were randomly selected and contacted through email or telephone. Similarly, a list of preceptors was obtained. In the Ghanaian context, preceptors are clinical nurses who instruct students during clinical placement. They were contacted and those who were willing to participate were ranked based on their educational level and experience. Two preceptors with Master's degrees in nursing were selected to participate in the study as their clinical experience and educational background provided the necessary expertise towards developing the CT‐based curriculum framework. Two educators were randomly selected while the coordinator of the CT‐based medical program (also an educator) was purposively invited through email and/or telephone. The CIG was engaged throughout the entire research process to identify ideas, observe, and reflect on results to develop a framework to foster CT skills of students. Seven steps of the research process evolved till the aim of the study was met. Different data sets—qualitative and quantitative—were gathered and analysed, culminating in the development of the framework.

4.3. Summary of research process

In this study, O'Leary's cycle of action research as described by Koshy et al. ( 2011 ) was adopted. The process alternates from observation, reflection and planning to action. Seven steps from observation to action were followed during the entire research project (see Figure  2 ). The cooperative inquiry group members were engaged throughout the seven steps of the research process. In total, three workshop meetings were held.

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Summary of research process.

4.3.1. Step 1

Data were collected on the instructional practices/activities of the selected school from September 2017 to March 2018. These data sets were to aid the CIG in understanding current practices and to provide the baseline data for the development of the framework. Factors that either inhibited or enhanced perception/attention processing and comprehension of information and reflective judgement (analysing, evaluating and creating) according to Dwyer et al.'s ( 2014 ) were identified. Prior to data collection, the participants were exposed to the research methodology and methods at a training workshop held in September 2017. Nine participants—the first author (initiating researcher), two preceptors, one educator and five students—were able to attend this session. The first author introduced the CIG members to the Nominal Group Technique (NGT). The NGT is considered one of the most frequently used formal consensus building techniques (Harvey & Holmes, 2012 ). The NGT includes five stages, namely: (1) introduction and explanation, (2) silent generation of ideas, (3) sharing ideas—round robin, (4) group discussion/clarifying and (5) voting and ranking. Measures to ensure the rigour of inquiry were discussed and agreed upon. Two educators who were unable to attend the session were met individually and the purpose and methods of the study were discussed with them.

4.3.2. Step 2

The analysed data from step 1 were presented to the CIG members at a second meeting held in March 2018. Nine participants—three educators, two preceptors, three students and the first author—were present at this meeting. The CIG deliberated on the results obtained through group discussions facilitated by the first author. Upon reflection, CIG agreed that the data provided enough basis for a draft framework to be considered. Vital issues about instructional practices had been elicited.

4.3.3. Step 3

Following the reflection on the data, the CIG through the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) facilitated by the first author designed a draft framework. Three questions were formulated for the NGT session, namely, (a) What concept(s) should be included in the framework that will facilitate CT skills of nursing students? (b) How should these elements/components/concepts/variables be related? and (c) What should the structure of the framework be?

At the first stage of introduction and explanation of the NGT, purpose of the study, NGT procedure and the three questions for the NGT procedure were reiterated to provide all members with the same point of reference. At the second stage of the NGT, members were allocated 5 minutes to generate ideas for the framework. Seventy‐six concepts were generated. These concepts were collated at the third stage of the NGT process. The fourth stage saw the concepts discussed, their meanings sought and consolidated. Through consensus, some concepts or synonyms were removed, leaving a total of 45 concepts. For example, the concept learner replaced and/or represented similar concepts such as student and nursing students. Likewise, facilitators replaced educators and/or lecturers. The 45 concepts were further consolidated (categorized) into nine. These included learner (and associated characteristics), educator/facilitator (and associated characteristics), teaching methods/style, learning environment, institutional support, assessment, technology, review system and curriculum. At the final stage, the CIG members voted to rank the concepts in order of importance. Learner, facilitator, teaching methods, learning environment and assessment were the five most ranked concepts. The first author was tasked to develop the draft framework with the concepts and relationships for the CIG members to review individually and for subsequent evaluation by students and educators for its applicability. Accordingly, the draft framework was designed by the first author together with one of the CIG members and subsequently distributed to all CIG members for input.

The draft framework suggested that the teaching‐learning process needed to be a caring professional relationship between the learner and the facilitator. This relationship should be the heart of the curriculum. The draft framework included six concepts/components which included: (a) caring professional relationship; (b) facilitator; (c) learner; (d) learning environment; (e) outcome setting, system review and advocacy and (f) contextual dynamics.

4.3.4. Step 4

The draft framework was made available to six educators and eight students in the selected school to review/comment on its applicability. The following questions accompanied the draft framework: How applicable is this framework in facilitating CT skills of students? What do you believe are the strength(s)/weakness(es) of this framework? What concept(s) do you believe should be removed and/or added to the framework to make it more applicable? Three educators and six students evaluated the draft framework. Given that these groups of participants are part of the nursing school, their views about the applicability of the framework were important to consider when implementing the framework in a real‐life situation.

4.3.5. Step 5

The students' and educators' comments and critiques about the draft framework were carefully analysed thematically by the first author. The draft framework was evaluated as applicable by all participants (3 applicable, 6 very applicable). The reasons for their choices included that the framework was simple, realistic, comprehensive (essential factors included), improved relationships for easier communication, made the facilitator a role model, made the learner an active participant and the learner's view was encouraged. Considering the strengths of the framework, the evaluators thought the framework was well structured, bridged gaps in the learner–facilitator relationship, comprehensively covered most factors of education, and covered current trends, and legal/regulatory issues.

The following were seen as the weaknesses of the draft framework by the evaluators: (a) difficulty to elicit commitment from all; (b) challenges associated with the hard environment; (c) possibility of being misused by students; (d) possible failure of the authentic student–facilitator partnership; (e) perceived difficulty to explain complex concepts/processes such as outcome setting, advocacy, system review and (f) possible lack of CT skills of learners and facilitators. They also thought concepts like culture, time, students' involvement, external motivation and career counselling should be included in the framework.

4.3.6. Step 6

The results of the evaluation of the draft framework were presented to the CIG at a workshop facilitated by the first author in May 2018. The comments and critiques of the framework were reflected on by the CIG for possible revision. Eight participants—two preceptors, five students and the first author were present at this 5‐h workshop. The CIG members considered the weaknesses identified during the evaluation as rather systemic challenges in the selected school and not of the framework. In their view, a framework should represent the ideal. Also, the CIG members thought culture, time and students' involvement were already captured.

4.3.7. Step 7

A revised framework was designed to reflect the views of the evaluators of the draft framework. Some concepts/processes were fine‐tuned, and others were further explicated by the members (see Results section for more details). For example, the caring professional relationship was altered to authentic student–facilitator partnership. Likewise, more extended phrases were used to provide further explication to the facilitator, learner and learning environment. Through NGT, ownership was suggested and added to the definition of authentic student–facilitator partnership. The CIG held the assertion that ownership will enhance responsible learner and educator behaviour. The final framework is presented in the Results section.

The results from the cooperative inquiry were organized into a framework illustrating interconnected concepts required to foster CT skills of nursing students in developing countries. The framework proposes six key interconnected thematic priorities (see Figure  3 ) to drive the development of CT of students. The concepts/themes included in the final framework were (a) authentic student–facilitator partnership, (b) a facilitator that makes a difference, (c) a learner that is free to question and encouraged to reflect, (d) a conducive and participatory learning environment, (e) curriculum renewal processes and (f) contextual realities. These six concepts are important components that should drive a curriculum based on CT principles. The concepts which emanated from the CIG discussions are described below.

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Critical thinking‐based curriculum for undergraduate nursing program.

5.1. Authentic student–facilitator partnership

The authors of this study suggest that the central focus of the teaching–learning process should be authentic partnership between the learner and the facilitator (Raymond et al.,  2018 ). This view is motivated by the evidence of dysfunctional learner–facilitator relationships coupled with heightened students' perceptions of mistrust, lack of support, lack of emotional connectedness and lack of democratic practices informed by cultural realities identified (Boso et al.,  2020 , 2021c ). These authors define authentic student–facilitator partnership as a supportive, empathetic, learner‐directed, mutually respectful, accountable and democratic learning relationship which focuses on assisting a learner to engage in meaningful learning experiences toward the development of CT skills.

It is suggested that the educator takes responsibility for the optimum functioning of this partnership (Billings & Halstead,  2005 ; Mangena & Chabeli,  2005 ; Raymond et al.,  2017 ). However, both the student and the facilitator (Raymond et al.,  2018 ) should feel a sense of ownership of the teaching and learning process. The findings of this study suggest that factors relating to both students and facilitators could either facilitate or inhibit the fostering of CT skills acquisition. Consequently, both the student and the facilitator should be committed to setting up appropriate boundaries to govern this partnership. These boundaries should include adherence to educational justice—creating equal opportunities, fair evaluation, fair criticism and non‐discrimination on the basis of gender, race or religious status (Boozaripour et al.,  2018 ). Adherence to boundaries is likely to enhance the perception of trust and ownership.

5.2. A facilitator that makes a difference

We see the facilitator as the leader, role model, mentor and guardian of the student for a purposeful learning experience towards CT skills acquisition. It was evident in this study that the facilitator's approach to classroom management and general attitude towards students and cultural realities influenced how students engaged in the teaching and learning process (Boso et al.,  2020 , 2021c ). Cultural competence in healthcare is a global standard; thus, the facilitator should be aware of the influence of cultural tendencies (Chan,  2013 ; Donkor & Andrews,  2011 ) on the student–facilitator partnership. The facilitator should become a role model in terms of how he/she collaborates and communicates (Raymond et al.,  2018 ) as well as his/her punctuality to class. These general effective teaching tenets are required to set the tone for the reflective engagement of students towards the acquisition of CT skills. For example, a lack of punctuality will limit the amount of instructional time required for students to think critically. Also, the facilitator should demonstrate CT tenets in his/her teaching.

Furthermore, the facilitator needs to demonstrate scholarly attributes and experience in teaching, clinical skills, and theoretical nursing knowledge; be student‐centred, empathetic, supportive; and enthusiastic about the nursing profession and teaching (Billings & Halstead,  2005 ; Mangena & Chabeli,  2005 ; Raymond et al.,  2018 ). The facilitator needs to connect with the learner on an emotional level (Raymond et al.,  2018 ). It is proposed that the facilitator should use tools such as CT‐oriented learning outcomes/objectives, appropriate assessment for CT and active learning teaching approaches/methods. In addition, teaching and assessment methods should vary and should be driven by appropriate questioning techniques (Duron et al.,  2006 ; Raymond et al.,  2018 ). These questioning techniques should predominantly target higher‐order of thinking to help students to engage in appropriate thinking moments (Duron et al.,  2006 ).

5.3. A learner that is free to question and encouraged to reflect

The learner is the inquirer/discoverer of knowledge guided by the facilitator in an educational program. It was noted in this study that students were influenced by the Ghanaian cultural realities (Boso et al.,  2020 , 2021c ) that did not allow them to question authority (Donkor & Andrews,  2011 ) and the type of assessment/teaching methods to which they are exposed. These authors posit that to assist in fostering CT skills of learners, the students should not see themselves as a receptacle in which content/information is dumped, but rather as rational individuals who can decide for themselves regarding truth. Therefore, students should adopt CT‐oriented learning practices that ensure a reflective view of content/information for self‐determination and lifelong learning. This encourages facilitators to share their CT with students (Raymond et al.,  2018 ). In addition, they should be encouraged to be self‐motivated and self‐directed.

Strategies needed to promote CT skills in students should include the use of CT‐oriented learning outcomes/objectives, appropriate assessment for CT and active learning teaching methods. Additionally, teaching and assessment methods should vary and should be driven by appropriate questioning techniques (Duron et al.,  2006 ; Raymond et al.,  2018 ) which should target higher order of thinking to help students to engage in appropriate thinking moments (Duron et al.,  2006 ).

5.4. Conducive and participatory learning environment

The authentic student–facilitator partnership between the learner and the facilitator occurs in a conducive learning environment that promotes CT (Mangena & Chabeli,  2005 ; Raymond et al.,  2018 ). This environment has two components: hard and soft. The hard environment involves a library, learning space and technology. Appropriate use of technology should be employed in the teaching–learning process. This study showed that students were engaged in distractive use of social media and technology in the classroom (Boso et al.,  2020 ). Guidelines for the use of technology/social media should be available to help learners and facilitators derive maximum benefits from these tools. Also, institutional support is required for the provision of appropriate technology, learning space, appropriate class size and library resources for a meaningful learning experience (Raymond et al.,  2017 , 2018 ).

The soft environment involves the intangible safe, empathetic and democratic atmosphere created to encourage the learner to share his/her views freely. This conducive atmosphere should permeate the entire school environment. This helps to establish emotional connectedness between the students and other role players in the educational environment (Raymond & Profetto‐McGrath, 2005 ; Raymond et al.,  2017 , 2018 ). It was noted in this study that students did not feel adequately supported, and were not regularly engaged in curriculum reviews and other matters that directly affect their learning (Boso et al.,  2021c ). Consequently, we propose the establishment of a system of support (including financial aid) for students and practical avenues for students' engagements based on a consultative process involving students and other role players. Additionally, school managers should provide support to facilitators through staff development programs on CT. Assisting faculty development in the area of CT instructional methods will help educators to infuse CT tenets in their own courses (Mangena & Chabeli,  2005 ; Raymond et al.,  2017 , 2018 ). Measures such as assigning facilitators with teaching assistants should be adopted to give facilitators more time to engage in CT instructional practices (Shell,  2001 ). Facilitators in this study expressed the concern of inadequate time to engage students, partially due to the absence of teaching assistants.

5.5. Curriculum renewal processes

We propose that renewal processes should be adopted for a CT‐oriented curriculum as a whole and of parts as deemed necessary and considering local, national and international trends. The aim of these processes should be to encourage continuous feedback and review that will lead to curriculum improvement (Duron et al.,  2006 ). Students and other role players should be engaged in the curriculum renewal processes. In reviewing the curriculum, contemporary CT assessment theory and practices should be used. Furthermore, the renewal process should adhere to the standards of curriculum review processes. Also, the relevance of courses should be continuously examined to ensure that they attract students' engagement towards CT skills. Consistent with CT activism tenets (Davies & Barnett,  2015 ), advocacy should be encouraged to effect changes that may be occasioned by observations from the curriculum review. Particularly, educators should be encouraged to engage in advocacy to effect changes that may be necessary to assist students to acquire CT skills.

5.6. Contextual realities

A curriculum does not exist in a vacuum. It should be designed and operated in a specific context (Billings & Halstead,  2005 ). The learning process and the extent to which one can address CT skills are influenced by contextual realities. These contextual realities include the program of study, the global/national trends and policies and legal/regulatory framework. For example, as an undergraduate nursing program, CT is highly recommended as a competency (World Health Organization,  2009 ). It is therefore suggested that CT should be taught as a course and teaching methods that support CT be infused into all courses of the program. Global and national trends and policies need to be considered. For example, international development goals, disease patterns and burdens, employer expectations and needs, international best practices and standards, and availability of health facilities and clinical staff for clinicaleducation should guide the curriculum. Additionally, legal/regulatory bodies' requirements need to be adhered to. In the Ghanaian under graduate nursing context, the requirements of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (formerly of the National Accreditation Board), the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana and the university in which the program is undertaken would be essential to consider.

6. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Research Ethics Committee approveal was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee of Stellenbosch University (Ref. No. FS17/05/106) and the university in which the study was conducted (name withheld to ensure the anonymity of participants). Written permission was sought from the dean of the selected school. All participants including students, nurse educators and preceptors provided informed consent. Given that this was a PAR, the owner of the authorship and the findings were made explicitly clear to the participants as suggested by Mash ( 2014 ). The names and the contributions of participants were kept confidential and the group was supported by the researcher throughout the study.

7. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The quality of a PAR is dependent on how the initiating researcher can unmask and diffuse power differentials. The power relational challenges inherent in many studies may be perpetuated (Scotland, 2012). Given that a hierarchical situation and power inequalities could arise because of the involvement of students, the students' representation was increased to form half of the cooperative inquiry group. Also, training of the cooperative inquiry group was carried out to address coercion, collaboration and partnership. The Nominal Group Technique was adopted for decision‐making to ensure that no one's view was disproportionately rated above others. In addition, the absence of one or two members at different times may have influenced the flow and consistency of ideas generated.

8. CONCLUSION

Conducting a study with the purpose of developing a framework of CT development is appropriate for different reasons. Consistent with the context of this study where the seniority tradition exists which may negatively influence the student–faculty relationship, this curriculum framework emphasized the importance of authentic interaction between students and the faculty in facilitating the CT skills of students. The recommended framework derived may suggest a wider implication for nursing schools and universities to provide CT‐based continuous professional development programs for their nurse faculty. Additionally, the study findings may have implications for monitoring and evaluation activities with the view of improving standard setting and teaching–learning experiences of students.

Based on this study, it is envisaged that nurse educators, who play a pivotal role in nursing education, will find reasons to refine their instructional practices. Also, further research focussing on different contexts of CT in Ghana may be useful. Most importantly, this framework may provide direction for how a curriculum can be predicated on CT, thereby removing arbitrariness.

AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS

All the authors made substantial contributions to the manuscript. CMB, ASVDM and JG conceived and designed the study. CMB collected data, analysed and drafted the manuscript. ASVDM and JG supervised the study and made critical revisions to the paper.

FUNDING INFORMATION

No external funding.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

We do not have any conflict of interest to report.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We wish to acknowledge Victor Angbah for assisting in data collection. We also express our gratitude to the study participants. Furthermore, we express our profound gratitude to the authority and staff of the educational institution used for this study.

Boso, C. M. , van der Merwe, A. S. , & Gross, J. (2023). Curriculum framework to facilitate critical thinking skills of undergraduate nursing students: A cooperative inquiry approach . Nursing Open , 10 , 5129–5138. 10.1002/nop2.1748 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ CrossRef ] [ Google Scholar ]

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At co-op this year, I have the privilege of teaching two logic and critical thinking classes – one for high school and one for middle school .  We’re having a great time together!  I promised a little look inside that class, so here goes.

Logic and Critical Thinking Co-op Class | Our Journey Westward

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The Main Content

I’m doing similar things for both classes – expecting more depth, harder activities, a little homework and a few tests for the high school class.  We’re:

  • completing logic matrix puzzles,
  • learning about logical fallacies,
  • playing critical thinking games, and
  • solving mysteries.

This stuff is for Christians?

Both classes began with a Biblical understanding about why it’s so important for Christians to learn to think critically and how the Bible proves that fact to us.  We discussed and memorized Bible verses based on this important article by Nathaniel Bluedorn.

Resource Books

Each week finds us doing something different and exciting.  I’m using activities and ideas from various resource books, most of which are below.  You’ll notice some of the books are meant for upper elementary students.  I’ve found these are a good place to start with my middle school class which consists of 5th-8th graders, most having never enjoyed logic & critical thinking before.

critical thinking co curriculum

I’ve used this mini-unit from ABC Teach (with some additions) in my high school class, too.

At least once a month, I simply bring games that reinforce logic & critical thinking.  The kids love learning new games and you can’t beat the super-fun method for learning!

critical thinking co curriculum

Once I take more pictures, I’ll share another look-see into the class!

You might also be interested in reading my reviews of logic materials posted over at The Curriculum Choice.

  • Foxmind Games
  • Lollipop Logic
  • The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox
  • Logic Games
  • Prufrock Press Logic Resources

Don’t forget, you can learn more about HOW to add living math (including logic) to your homeschool in Loving Living Math !

critical thinking co curriculum

You may also like!

Lady with glasses and dark hair in overalls holding a pile of books and notebooks. Used as the cover of a masterclass about tweaking curriculum to meet your needs,

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Co-op Class Ideas Link-Up

11 Comments

  • Pingback: 2011-12 Curriculum and Schedule | Our Journey Westward

Hi there… looking forward to following your blog. Just found it through a link to Loving Living Math. Can you tell me what that geography game is in the picture above. Thank you, Suzanne Pace

Glad to “meet” you! The game is 10 Days in Europe by Out of the Box games. They have the same title for other continents as well. 🙂

  • Pingback: 2012-13 Curriculum and Schedule | Our Journey Westward
  • Pingback: Charlotte Mason Carnival: The Way of Reason | Our Journey Westward
  • Pingback: Choosing Middle School Homeschool Curriculum – The Curriculum Choice

Your important article link is broken… did you mean this article? http://www.fallacydetective.com/articles/read/worrying-about-worldview

Yes, thank you! Things change around so often on the internet, it’s hard to keep up. 🙂 I’ve corrected the link and appreciate you letting me know!

  • Pingback: 100 Resources and Curriculum Options for Homeschool Groups + Co-ops

Hi there, I’m super excited to find these materials and your ideas for our coop. Do you have a syllabus you would be willing to share?

Hi, Jeanee. Unfortunately, I don’t have a syllabus for this class. Have fun with your co-op class!

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A Critical Thinking Framework for Elementary Students

Guiding young students to engage in critical thinking fosters their ability to create and engage with knowledge.

Photo of elementary students working together

Critical thinking is using analysis and evaluation to make a judgment. Analysis, evaluation, and judgment are not discrete skills; rather, they emerge from the accumulation of knowledge. The accumulation of knowledge does not mean students sit at desks mindlessly reciting memorized information, like in 19th century grammar schools. Our goal is not for learners to regurgitate facts by rote without demonstrating their understanding of the connections, structures, and deeper ideas embedded in the content they are learning. To foster critical thinking in school, especially for our youngest learners, we need a pedagogy that centers knowledge and also honors the ability of children to engage with knowledge.

This chapter outlines the Critical Thinking Framework: five instructional approaches educators can incorporate into their instruction to nurture deeper thinking. These approaches can also guide intellectual preparation protocols and unit unpackings to prepare rigorous, engaging instruction for elementary students. Some of these approaches, such as reason with evidence, will seem similar to other “contentless” programs professing to teach critical thinking skills. But others, such as say it in your own words or look for structure, are targeted at ensuring learners soundly understand content so that they can engage in complex thinking. You will likely notice that every single one of these approaches requires students to talk—to themselves, to a partner, or to the whole class. Dialogue, specifically in the context of teacher-led discussions, is essential for students to analyze, evaluate, and judge (i.e., do critical thinking ). 

The Critical Thinking Framework

book cover, Critical Thinking in the Elementary Classroom

Say it in your own words : Students articulate ideas in their own words. They use unique phrasing and do not parrot the explanations of others. When learning new material, students who pause to explain concepts in their own words (to themselves or others) demonstrate an overall better understanding than students who do not (Nokes-Malach et al., 2013). However, it’s not enough for us to pause frequently and ask students to explain, especially if they are only being asked to repeat procedures. Explanations should be effortful and require students to make connections to prior knowledge and concepts as well as to revise misconceptions (Richey & Nokes-Malach, 2015).

Break it down : Students break down the components, steps, or smaller ideas within a bigger idea or procedure. In addition to expressing concepts in their own words, students should look at new concepts in terms of parts and wholes. For instance, when learning a new type of problem or task, students can explain the steps another student took to arrive at their answer, which promotes an understanding that transfers to other tasks with a similar underlying structure. Asking students to explain the components and rationale behind procedural steps can also lead to more flexible problem solving overall (Rittle-Johnson, 2006). By breaking down ideas into component parts, students are also better equipped to monitor the soundness of their own understanding as well as to see similar patterns (i.e., regularity) among differing tasks. For example, in writing, lessons can help students see how varying subordinating conjunction phrases at the start of sentences can support the flow and readability of a paragraph. In math, a solution can be broken down into smaller steps.

Look for structure : Students look beyond shallow surface characteristics to see deep structures and underlying principles. Learners struggle to see regularity in similar problems that have small differences (Reed et al., 1985). Even when students are taught how to complete one kind of task, they struggle to transfer their understanding to a new task where some of the superficial characteristics have been changed. This is because students, especially students who are novices in a domain, tend to emphasize the surface structure of a task rather than deep structure (Chi & Van Lehn, 2012).

By prompting students to notice deep structures—such as the characteristics of a genre or the needs of animals—rather than surface structures, teachers foster the development of comprehensive schemata in students’ long-term memories, which they are more likely to then apply to novel situations. Teachers should monitor for student understanding of deep structures across several tasks and examples.

Notice gaps or inconsistencies in ideas : Students ask questions about gaps and inconsistencies in material, arguments, and their own thinking . When students engage in explanations of material, they are more likely to notice when they misunderstand material or to detect a conflict with their prior knowledge (Richey & Nokes-Malach, 2015). In a classroom, analyzing conflicting ideas and interpretations allows students to revise misconceptions and refine mental models. Noticing gaps and inconsistencies in information also helps students to evaluate the persuasiveness of arguments and to ask relevant questions.

Reason with evidence : Students construct arguments with evidence and evaluate the evidence in others’ reasoning. Reasoning with evidence matters in every subject, but what counts for evidence in a mathematical proof differs from what is required in an English essay. Students should learn the rules and conventions for evidence across a wide range of disciplines in school. The habits of looking for and weighing evidence also intersect with some of the other critical thinking approaches discussed above. Noticing regularity in reasoning and structure helps learners find evidence efficiently, while attending to gaps and inconsistencies in information encourages caution before reaching hasty conclusions.

Countering Two Critiques

Some readers may be wondering how the Critical Thinking Framework differs from other general skills curricula. The framework differs in that it demands application in the context of students’ content knowledge, rather than in isolation. It is a pedagogical tool to help students make sense of the content they are learning. Students should never sit through a lesson where they are told to “say things in their own words” when there is nothing to say anything about. While a contentless lesson could help on the margins, it will not be as relevant or transferable. Specific content matters. A checklist of “critical thinking skills” cannot replace deep subject knowledge. The framework should not be blindly applied to all subjects without context because results will look quite different in an ELA or science class.

Other readers may be thinking about high-stakes tests: how does the Critical Thinking Framework fit in with an overwhelming emphasis on assessments aligned to national or state standards? This is a valid concern and an important point to address. For teachers, schools, and districts locked into an accountability system that values performance on state tests but does not communicate content expectations beyond general standards, the arguments I make may seem beside the point. Sure, knowledge matters, but the curriculum demands that students know how to quickly identify the main idea of a paragraph, even if they don’t have any background knowledge about the topic of the paragraph.

It is crucial that elementary practitioners be connected to both evolving research on learning and the limiting realities we teach within. Unfortunately, I can provide no easy answers beyond saying that teaching is a balancing act. The tension, while real and relevant to teachers’ daily lives, should not cloud our vision for what children need from their school experiences.

I also argue it is easier to incorporate the demands of our current standardized testing environment into a curriculum rich with history, science, art, geography, languages, and novels than the reverse. The Critical Thinking Framework presents ways to approach all kinds of knowledge in a way that presses students toward deeper processing of the content they are learning. If we can raise the bar for student work and thinking in our classrooms, the question of how students perform on standardized tests will become secondary to helping them achieve much loftier and important goals. The choice of whether to emphasize excellent curriculum or high-stakes tests, insofar as it is a choice at all, should never be existential or a zero-sum game.

From Critical Thinking in the Elementary Classroom: Engaging Young Minds with Meaningful Content (pp. 25–29) by Erin Shadowens, Arlington, VA: ASCD. Copyright © 2023 by ASCD. All rights reserved.

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critical thinking co curriculum

Mathematical Reasoning™

Bridging the gap between computation and math reasoning.

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Forget boring math lessons and dreaded drill sheets.  These fun, colorful books use engaging lessons with easy-to-follow explanations, examples, and charts to make mathematical concepts easy to understand.  They can be used as textbooks or comprehensive workbooks with your textbooks to teach the math skills and concepts that students are expected to know in each grade—and several concepts normally taught in the next grade. Every lesson is followed with a variety of fun, colorful activities to ensure concept mastery.  The lessons and activities spiral slowly, allowing students to become comfortable with concepts, but also challenging them to continue building their problem-solving skills.  These books teach more than mathematical concepts; they teach mathematical reasoning, so students learn to devise different strategies to solve a wide variety of math problems.  All books are written to the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Beginning 1 , Beginning 2 , and Level A Contents

Mathematical Reasoning Content Chart

Understanding Pre-Algebra This book teaches and develops the math concepts and critical thinking skills necessary for success in Algebra I and future mathematics courses at the high school level.  It was written with the premise that students cannot problem solve or take leaps of reasoning without understanding the concepts and elements that lead to discovery.  The author—with 35 years of experience teaching mathematics—is a firm believer that understanding leads to confidence and confidence gives students the resolve to succeed in higher level mathematics rather than fear it.   It is standards-based, but what makes it different from other pre-algebra books is that it organizes concepts in a logical fashion, stressing practice and critical thinking. It avoids the mistakes—found in many other math books—of trying to teach new concepts before students receive the prerequisite skills and practice necessary for success. The concepts are presented clearly and in connection to other concepts. Math vocabulary is very important to success in higher mathematics, so this book includes easy-to-follow explanations and a user-friendly glossary.

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Understanding Pre-Algebra Contents

Understanding Geometry The successful completion of this colorful 272-page book will prepare middle schoolers for high school geometry. It covers more than 50% of the concepts taught in high school geometry using a step-by-step approach and teaches the reasoning behind the properties taught in geometry–instead of merely asking them to memorize them. Students are also taught the basics of geometric proofs and coordinate geometry in a way middle school students can understand. Students who struggle with high school geometry usually have lower standardized test scores because it is a fundamental subject in high school standardized testing. A glossary of terms that every student should master is included. This book can be used as a classroom textbook in Grades 7, 8, or 9 (usually over a two-year period) or as a reference for high school students. This book covers more than the National Math Standards for middle school mathematics.

Understanding Geometry Contents

NOTE:  It is our recommendation that students complete Understanding Pre-Algebra (see description above) before attempting Understanding Geometry .

Understanding Algebra I This is a one-year Algebra I course for Grades 7-9. Students who have a solid algebra background will have no trouble with the algebra problems from SAT and even the GRE.  This 384-page book highlights vocabulary and notation, and has examples from the history of math. What makes this book unique and different from other algebra textbooks is that it is built from the experiences of an award-winning algebra teacher with more than 30 years of teaching experience. Many textbooks are written by a committee of authors, and many of those authors have little experience teaching beginning algebra students in middle school or high school. Understanding Algebra I presents the most essential concepts and skills needed to fully understand and gain confidence in algebra in a step-by-step fashion, teaching students that algebra is generalized arithmetic. It helps students see the connection between mathematics that they already know and algebra, so that learning algebra becomes easier and less abstract. This book provides students with real strategies to succeed in solving word problems by using charts and translating strategies that guarantee success.

Understanding Algebra I Contents

Essential Algebra for Advanced High School and SAT

Discover Essential Algebra for Advanced High School and SAT , a 241-page math book in the esteemed Mathematical Reasoning series written by award-winning author and teacher with 30 years of expertise in secondary mathematics. This powerful resource teaches the ‘essential’ connection of arithmetic and geometric concepts with algebraic concepts. Without this understanding, students tend to memorize Algebra I problem-solving steps—which is sufficient to pass Algebra I—but leaves them unprepared for math courses beyond Algebra I and the SATs. Algebra, the essential language of all advanced mathematics, lies at the core of this book's teachings. By delving into the generalized arithmetic that underpins algebra, students develop a solid foundation in the rules governing number and fraction operations, including factors and multiples. This vital knowledge empowers students to move beyond mere memorization of Algebra I problem-solving steps and confidently tackle the complexities of math courses beyond Algebra I. Without the knowledge and skills taught in this book, students often struggle or even fail in advanced mathematics courses and on the SATs. Imagine a good high school student who sees a problem like 3•x•y•4 and hesitates to write 12xy due to uncertainty about the rules governing multiplication. Or not understanding how to add 2x to 1/4y to combine it into a single fraction. Or why –6 2 is different than (–6) 2 . It is easy to see that not having a strong understanding of the foundational rules of algebra can stop even the smartest students from succeeding in advanced high school math courses. Essential Algebra for Advanced High School and SAT serves as a companion to an Algebra I course or aids in post-Algebra I readiness. To ensure students’ long-term success in advanced math beyond Algebra I, this book teaches the following 'essential' mathematics skills and concepts:

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Mathematical Reasoning™ Supplements These supplemental books reinforce grade math concepts and skills by asking students to apply these skills and concepts to non-routine problems. Applying mathematical knowledge to new problems is the ultimate test of concept mastery and mathematical reasoning. These user-friendly, engaging books are made up of 50 theme-based collections of problems, conveniently grouped in self-contained, double-sided activity sheets that provide space for student work. Each collection contains relevant math facts at the end of the worksheet in case students need hints to solve the problems. Calculators are allowed on activity sets that have a calculator icon at the top of the front side of the set. Each activity set is accompanied by a single-sided answer sheet containing strategy tips and detailed solutions. Teachers and parents will appreciate the easy-to-understand, comprehensive solutions. These books are a wonderful enrichment tool, but also can be used to assess how well students have learned their grade level's math concepts.

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COMMENTS

  1. Full Curriculum Solutions

    The Critical Thinking Co. materials have provided a constant challenge for my students. The Mind Benders were one of their favorite activities. I have continued to use your curriculum materials for more than 30 years. I have made it a point of sharing your critical thinking books with other teachers. Thank you for enhancing the minds of ...

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  3. Homeschool Curriculum

    Call our Product Specialists at 800-458-4849. We design critical thinking into ALL of our homeschool curriculum and supplemental educational products. This not only helps students transfer critical thinking skills to other areas of their lives, it improves the effectiveness of the lessons. Critical thinking requires deeper analysis of the lesson.

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  5. Critical Thinking Co: Our favorite work-book based complete curriculum

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    related to co-curricular influences on critical thinking. The categories used to guide this preliminary analysis included time commitment/engagement; critical thinking (problem solving, accounting for context, considering other perspectives); other positive impacts; and areas for institutional improvement in supporting co-curricular programs.

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    Get the Critical Thinking Company from Amazon. For parents who prefer workbooks to virtual resources and are sensitive to meeting state standards for learning, no all-in-one mastery-based curriculum we've tried since 2015 is as well designed to cultivate critical thinking skills, help students achieve higher test scores and engage students in ...

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    In summary, here are 10 of our most popular critical thinking courses. Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success: Imperial College London. Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking: Duke University. Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age: University of Michigan. Critical Thinking Skills for the Professional: University ...

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  19. Co-op Logic and Critical Thinking Class

    At least once a month, I simply bring games that reinforce logic & critical thinking. The kids love learning new games and you can't beat the super-fun method for learning! Once I take more pictures, I'll share another look-see into the class! You might also be interested in reading my reviews of logic materials posted over at The ...

  20. A Critical Thinking Framework for Elementary School

    Maskot Images / Shutterstock. Critical thinking is using analysis and evaluation to make a judgment. Analysis, evaluation, and judgment are not discrete skills; rather, they emerge from the accumulation of knowledge. The accumulation of knowledge does not mean students sit at desks mindlessly reciting memorized information, like in 19th century ...

  21. Critical Thinking Company Word Roots Curriculum

    Grades 3-4. Word Roots, Level 1. Cherie A. Plant. $26.99. Add To Cart. Learn the building blocks of words-prefixes, suffixes, and roots-in order to unlock new vocabulary! By learning the etymology of words with Word Roots, students will enhance their vocabulary and improve their understanding of unfamiliar words.

  22. Mathematical Reasoning™ Series

    It covers more than 50% of the concepts taught in high school geometry using a step-by-step approach and teaches the reasoning behind the properties taught in geometry-instead of merely asking them to memorize them. Students are also taught the basics of geometric proofs and coordinate geometry in a way middle school students can understand.