In-class discussion of the relationship between hypertextual composition and various ideas of critical thinking


Do any of the descriptions of "critical thinking" described below apply to your experience of composing hypertext? If so, which ones? Why? Specifically, which aspects of the composing process are most relevant to which parts of the "critical thinking" process? Does your engagement in these elements differ in some ways from your writing habits before you took this class or composed hypertextually?

Definitions of Critical Thinking (compiled by Barbara Fowler)

Critical thinking is deciding rationally what to or what not to believe."
Norris, Stephen P. "Synthesis of Research on Critical Thinking. Educational Leadership, v 42 n 8 May 1985. 40-45.

"Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion we've arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome."
Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 1996.

Critical thinking is the formation of logical inferences.
Simon and Kapplan, 1989.

Critical thinking is the development of cohesive and logical reasoning patterns. Stahl and Stahl, 1991.

Critical thinking is careful and deliberate determination of whether to accept, reject, or suspend judgment.
Moore and Parker, 1994.

"The purpose of critical thinking is, therefore, to achieve understanding, evaluate view points, and solve problems. Since all three areas involve the asking of questions, we can say that critical thinking is the questioning or inquiry we engage in when we seek to understand, evaluate, or resolve."
Maiorana, Victor P. Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum: Building the Analytical Classroom. 1992.

Critical thinking skills: understanding the meaning of a statement, judging ambiguity, judging whether an inductive conclusion is warranted, and judging whether statements made by authorities are acceptable.
Smith, 1990.

Critical thinking is "the examination and testing of suggested solutions to see whether they will work."
Lindzey, Hall, and Thompson, 1978.

"Broadly speaking, critical thinking is concerned with reason, intellectual honesty, and open-mindedness, as opposed too emotionalism, intellectual laziness, and closed-mindedness. Thus, critical thinking involves: following evidence where it leads; considering all possibilities; relying on reason rather than emotion; being precise; considering a variety of possible viewpoints and explanations; weighing the effects of motives and biases; being concerned more with finding the truth than with being right; not rejecting unpopular views out of hand; being aware of one's own prejudices and biases, and not allowing them to sway one's judgment."
Kurland, Daniel J. I Know What It Says . . . What does it Mean? 1995.

Critical thinking is "reasonably and reflectively deciding what to believe or do."
Ennis (1985)

Critical thinking is "the art of thinking about your thinking while you are thinking in order to make your thinking better: more clear, more accurate, or more defensible."
Paul, Binker, Adamson, and Martin (1989)

Critical thinking is "a process which stresses an attitude of suspended judgment, incorporates logical inquiry and problem solving, and leads to an evaluative decision or action."
NCTE Committee on Critical Thinking and the Language Arts.

"Critical thinking includes the ability to respond to material by distinguishing between facts and opinions or personal feelings, judgments and inferences, inductive and deductive arguments, and the objective and subjective. It also includes the ability to generate questions, construct, and recognize the structure of arguments, and adequately support arguments; define, analyze, and devise solutions for problems and issues; sort, organize, classify, correlate, and analyze materials and data; integrate information and see relationships; evaluate information, materials, and data by drawing inferences, arriving at reasonable and informed conclusions, applying understanding and knowledge to new and different problems, developing rational and reasonable interpretations, suspending beliefs and remaining open to new information, methods, cultural systems, values and beliefs and by assimilating information."
MCC General Education Initiatives