Critical Thinking Resources

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The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching
Miami University
A peer-reviewed journal to increase student learning through effective teaching, interest in and enthusiasm for the profession of teaching, and communication among faculty about their classroom experiences.
Current Issue: Teaching So Everyone Learns

MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
A peer-reviewed, open access, online publication addressing the scholarly use of multimedia resources in online education.



Achieving Critical Mass
Linda Elder
This should be the age of reason but we are failing to foster the intellectual skills that could liberate student minds. Linda Elder argues that we should embed critical thinking at the heart of the curriculum and outlines steps to emancipate the minds of a new generation.

Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Peter A. Facione
An essay about the meaning and importance of critical thinking.

Using the Four Questions Technique to Enhance Critical Thinking in Online Discussions
Martha Alexander, Nannette Commander, Daphne Greenberg, and Teresa Ward
This article describes the effect of a four-questions technique used to enhance critical thinking in online discussions.

A Case Study: Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills in an Online Health Care Ethics Course
Nicole Marcisz and Sandra Woien
This case study describes the journey of revising an online health care ethics course in an accelerated nursing program. The primary goal was to incorporate additional opportunities for fostering critical thinking along with updating the course design to reflect the university’s standard of academic rigor.

Critical Thinking: A New Approach to Patient Care
David L. Sullivan and Christopher Chumbley
Critical thinking has evolved and is becoming a standard of care. The ability to think critically has become a highly desirable skill and students desire student-centered activities that will teach them to navigate the real-world situations they will encounter in the workplace.

A Different Kind of [Text] Book: Using Fiction in the Classroom. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Josh Boyd
This essay argues that fiction not only engages students and entices them to read, but also builds critical thinking and writing skills.

A Multimedia-Enhanced Problem-Based Learning Experience in the Malaysian Classroom
Mai Neo and Tse-Kian Neo
In this paper a multimedia project was incorporated into a problem-based learning environment to examine how learning in multimedia could be enhanced through the use of problem-based learning.

Critical Thinking in Political Science: Evidence from the Introductory Comparative Politics Course
Jonathan Olsen
This article, based on a yearlong systematic study of an introductory Comparative Politics course undertaken as part of a university-wide “Critical Thinking Project,” looks at these questions: What exactly does critical thinking mean in our Political Science courses? Can we foster critical thinking in our classes and, if so, how?

Developing Higher-Order Thinking Through and Intercultural Assignment
Anne Harrigan and Virginia Vincenti
The purpose of this scholarship of teaching research is to assess the effectiveness of a cross-cultural problem-solving assignment in two senior-level family and consumer sciences courses.

Experimental Study of Teaching Critical Thinking in Civic Education in Taiwanese Junior High School
Shu Ching Yang and Tung-Yu Chung
To effectively respond to the need for greater critical thinking in the classroom, this study examines the effects of cultivating critical thinking skills within civic education to maximize its potential.

JFK in the Classroom
Michael Sturma and Judy MacCallum
Focuses on the way feature films, such as the motion picture "JFK," was incorporated into a twentieth-century American history course and examines the film's effect on student's learning and critical thinking.

Developing Patterns for Learning in Science Through Reflection
James McDonald and Lynn Dominguez
The article emphasizes the importance of reflection technique in helping students learn and apply concepts in science.

Putting It All Together: Incorporating "SoTL Practices" for Teaching Interpersonal and Critical Thinking Skills in an Online Course
Randall E. Osborne and Paul Kriese
Views of critical thinking were culled from the literature and developed into a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) model that was implemented into the Internet course, "The Politics and Psychology of Hatred."

Developing Higher-Order Thinking Through an Intercultural Assignment: A Scholarship of Teaching Inquiry Project
Harrigan, A., et. al., College Teaching v. 52 no. 3 (Summer 2004) p. 113-20 Available through Wilson Education Full Text

Teaching Critical Thinking in an Introductory Leadership Course Utilizing Active Learning Strategies: A Confirmatory Study
Mark E. Burbach, Gina S. Matkin, and Susan M. Fritz
This study was conducted to determine whether an introductory level college leadership course that encouraged active learning increased critical thinking skills.


Library Online

The SPC libraries subscribe to over 20,000 periodical titles held in 80 research databases. Among the journal databases pertinent to the research of critical thinking skills are:

How to Access Books, Articles, and Journals

  1. Go to Library Online:
  2. Continue your search via "Books," "Articles," or "Journals."
  3. When prompted, your Borrower ID is your employee number and your PIN is the last four digits of your social security number. For login details see:
  4. Contact your campus librarian for assistance:



The SPC Libraries offer over 57,000 electronic books (eBooks) via Library Online. There are several thousand eBook titles that touch on the topic of critical thinking, including:

Critical Thinking: An Introduction to the Basic Skills
Hughes, William. Publication: Peterborough, Ont. Broadview Press, 2000.

Critical Thinking for Students: How to Assess Arguments and Effectively Present Your Own
Brink-Budgen, Roy van den. Publication: Oxford How To Books, Ltd., 1999.

Critical Reading: Making Sense of Research Papers in Life Sciences and Medicine
Routledge Study Guides by Yudkin, Ben. Publication: London, New York Taylor & Francis Routledge, 2006. The paper trail THE DEEP END When you study from a textbook, quite a lot of the book is devoted to explaining the background to each topic and any technical terms. Pick up a research paper, however, and it is likely that the first words you read.

Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction
Thomson, Anne. Publication: London, New York Routledge, 2002.

Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide
Publication: London, New York: Routledge, 2001. Cover Chapter 1 Why should we become critical thinkers? Sections include: Beginning to think critically: recognizing arguments; Identifying conclusions and premises; Intermediate conclusions and Linguistic phenomena.

Critical Squares: Games of Critical Thinking and Understanding
Tishman, Shari.; Andrade, Albert. Publication: Englewood, Colo Libraries Unlimited, 1997.

Critical Systems Analysis and Design: A Personal Framework Approach
Patel, Nandish V.Publication: London, New York Taylor & Francis Routledge, 2005. Cover Part I Foundations for critical learning and teaching Part I provides the foundational development for a PCF perspective. It is the pedagogical basis for developing criticality. The contents of a PCF determine how it is used to anticipate

Curriculum Integration: Designing the Core of Democratic Education
Beane, James A. Publication: New York Teachers College Press, 1997. Chapter 1- A Special Kind of Unity Suppose that we are going to work with a group of students on a unit about "Environmental Issues," including major concepts or "big ideas" such as conservation, pollution, politics, and economics.

Critical English for Academic Purposes: Theory, Politics, and Practice
Benesch, Sarah.Publication: Mahwah, N.J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001.

Developing More Curious Minds
Barell, John. Publication: Alexandria, Va. Assoc. for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003. John Barell Teaching is awakening the curiosity of young minds.

Evidence-based Family Medicine
Rosser, Walter.; Shafir, M. Sharon.Publication: Hamilton, Ont. B.C. Decker, Inc., 1998.

Language and Limits: Resisting Reform in English Studies SUNY Series, Literacy, Culture, and Learning
Tuman, Myron C. Publication: Albany State University of New York Press, 1998.

Law in Perspective: Ethics, Society and Critical Thinking
Head, Michael.; Mann, Scott. Publication: Sydney, NSW University of New South Wales, 2005. The principal aim of this book is to encourage critical, responsible and creative thinking about law as a system of ideas and as a social institution. It aims also to encourage exploration of the interrelations between legal methods.

Nursing Health Assessment: A Critical Thinking, Case Studies Approach
Dillon, Patricia M.Publication: Philadelphia F.A. Davis Company, 2003. Getting Started 10 UNIT I GETTING STARTED levels of health care, and assessment skills are needed at all levels. Primary preventive care focuses on health promotion and prevention.

Smart Thinking for Crazy Times: The Art of Solving the Right Problems
Mitroff, Ian I. Publication: San Francisco Berrett Koehler, 1998. PART ONE- THE FOUNDATION FOR SMART THINKING illustrate how all institutions and sectors of society persistently engage in solving the wrong problems precisely. The Four Steps of the Problem-Solving Process is presented.

Students As Researchers: Creating Classrooms That Matter
FALMER L. Publication: London ; Bristol, Pa. Taylor & Francis, 1998.

Teaching Youth Media: A Critical Guide to Literacy, Video Production & Social Change Series On School Reform
Goodman, Steven. Publication: New York Teachers College Press, 2003.

Technology Connections for Grades 3-5: Research Projects and Activities
Heller, Norma. Publication: Englewood, Colo. Libraries Unlimited, 1998.

Thinking From A to Z
Warburton, Nigel. Publication: New York Taylor & Francis, 2003.

The Thinking Game: A Guide to Effective Study
Chatham House Studies in Political Thinking by Meehan, Eugene J. Publication: Chatham, N.J. Chatham House, an imprint of Seven Bridges, 1988.

Thinking It Through: Linking Language Skills, Thinking Skills and Drama
Thompson, Gill.; Evans, Huw. Publication: London David Fulton Publishers, 2005.

25 Days to Better Thinking & Better Living: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life
Elder, Linda.; Paul, Richard. Publication: Upper Saddle River, NJ Pearson Education, Inc., 2006.

501 Challenging Logic and Reasoning Problems Earning Express Skill Builders Series
(New York, N.Y.) Publication: New York Learning Express, 1999. Introduction This book-which can be used alone, along with other logic and reasoning texts of your choice, or in combination with the Learning Express publication.

Transforming Critical Thinking: Thinking Constructively
Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J. Publication: New York Teachers College Press, 2000. The book presents questions on how to define critical thinking, how to teach it, how to encourage others to use it, and finally how to test students to make sure they've learned it.

Writing Science Through Critical Thinking
Jones and Bartlett Series in Logic, Critical Thinking, and Scientific Method by Moriarty, Marilyn F. Publication: Sudbury, Mass. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, Inc., 1997.



Foundation for Critical Thinking


Mental Organizers

Problem Solving Graphic Organizer

Decision Making

Critical Thinking Graphic Organizers

From The Critical Thinking Company, there are more than 100 blank reproducible graphic organizers for you to print or modify for your own use.

To access these, go to OneStop: \\onestop\spjc_pc\appsa-z\Critcal Thinking Infusion (You must be on the SPC Network for this to work.)

Copy the following folders to your computer: "General Graphics," "Language Arts 1-2 Book," "Lesson Plans," and "ReadMe and Instructions." Then, close the "Critical Thinking Infusion" window from OneStop.

Open the folder "Language Arts 1-2 Book" and review the folder topics:

  • Causal Explanation
  • Classification
  • Compare-Contrast
  • Conditional Reasoning
  • Creating Metaphors
  • Decision Making
  • Generalizations
  • Generating Possibilities
  • Parts-Whole
  • Prediction
  • Problem Solving
  • Reasoning by Analogy
  • Reasons and Conclusions
  • Reliable Sources
  • Sequencing
  • Uncovering Assumptions

Inside each folder are 1-4 graphic (.bmp) files. Or, review the graphics in the "General Graphics" folder. You can open these with Paint, Photoshop, or any other graphic program you like. Or, you can add these to a Word document. There are directions in the "ReadMe and Instructions" folder for how to modify the graphic organizers: "Using This Software.wri"

Mind Map Example



Software Information and Trial Download:

Inspiration Software




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