In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Teaching Critical Thinking

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Bibliographies and Literature Reviews
  • Hierarchical Understanding of Critical Thinking
  • Defining Critical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking Debate
  • Critical Thinking for Social Justice and Democracy
  • Teacher Dispositions for Critical Thinking
  • Teacher Education and Development
  • Teaching Critical Thinking as a Developmental Process
  • Textbooks for Critical Thinking
  • Discipline-Specific Resources
  • Assessing Critical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking Tests

Education Teaching Critical Thinking
Kathryn Pole
  • LAST REVIEWED: 29 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 May 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0120


This bibliography contains a selection of papers, volumes, and other resources that address the teaching of critical thinking. There is evidence that the skills, strategies, and dispositions inherent in critical thinking can be learned, and debate about whether it is a general skill that transfers across content or if practices are bound to content areas. Teaching critical thinking and critical thinking itself are entwined, and an understanding of teaching it requires an understanding of what it is. Critical thinking can be conceptualized as a process that involves intentional, goal-focused thinking (see the Oxford Bibliographies article Critical Thinking), and as a disposition of flexible, open-minded, persistent people who are willing to engage in disciplined complex problem-solving. Critical thinking plays a role in systematic inquiry in any field. This guide includes the following sections: General Overviews, Bibliographies and Literature Reviews, Hierarchical Understanding of Critical Thinking, Defining Critical Thinking, Critical Thinking Debates, Critical Thinking for Social Justice and Democracy, Teacher Dispositions for Critical Thinking, Teacher Education and Development, Teaching Critical Thinking as a Developmental Process, Textbooks for Critical Thinking, Discipline-Specific Resources, Assessing Critical Thinking, and Critical Thinking Tests.

General Overviews

The works in this section all offer general overviews for those studying the teaching of critical thinking across age spans and contexts. It is an attempt to locate a broad range of perspectives on teaching, and includes the work of some of the most notable researchers on the topic. Some of these resources provide broad and deep overviews. The Critical Thinking Community, for example, has an organized website with links to many resources within the topic of critical thinking. Langer 2012 focuses on research in critical thinking curriculum design. Hooks 2010 is a collection of the author’s essays on the teaching of critical thinking that offers a comprehensive look at teaching for critical thinking through a curriculum that honors contextuality. Weil and Anderson 2000 offers a collection of essays written by teachers. Kuhn 1999 presents critical thinking as a developmental process. Herrick 2014 uses the methods and ideas of Socrates as a model that links the roots and history of critical thinking to its current applications. Kurfiss 1988 provides a thorough review of the research into critical thinking that is foundational to research currently being done. Because critical thinking is not the only kind of thinking, Moseley, et al. 2005 discusses a variety of thinking frameworks that situate critical thinking in its place among other kinds of thinking that are relevant for teaching and learning.

  • The Critical Thinking Community.

    Maintained by the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking. Offers guides, books, videos, and other resources. There are menus offered as starting points for various teaching contexts, including college and university faculty, high school teachers, middle level teachers, elementary teachers, science and engineering instructors, and nursing and health-care education. This website would be invaluable to anyone conducting research on critical thinking.

  • Herrick, Paul. 2014. Think with Socrates: An introduction to critical thinking. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    Sets contemporary critical thinking into a historical context in a way that provides a foundation for current, real-world critical thinking.

  • hooks, bell. 2010. Teaching critical thinking: Practical wisdom. New York: Routledge.

    Contains a set of short, accessible, and enlightening essays that demonstrate the transformative power of critical thinking through the complex balance of democracy, social change, and the lenses of various stereotypes, including race, gender, and status. Describes real teaching issues that arose through the author’s personal experiences and attempts to show how critical thought develops through trusting classroom communities where students discuss controversial and sensitive issues.

  • Kuhn, Deanna. 1999. A developmental model of critical thinking. Educational Researcher 28.2: 16–25, 46.

    DOI: 10.3102/0013189X028002016

    Advocates conceptualizing critical thinking in a developmental framework based on a synthesis of research on the intellectual development of children and adolescents, and identifies metacognitive processes that make critical thinking possible.

  • Kurfiss, Joanne Gainen. 1988. Critical thinking: Theory, research, practice, and possibilities ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 2. Washington, DC: Association for the Study of Higher Education.

    Discusses the development of critical thinking, and advocates for critical thinking as an integral part of higher education curriculum. Includes suggestions for further research—suggestions that remain relevant. Contains about three hundred references to pre-1988 foundational research and other resources.

  • Langer, Judith. 2012. The interplay of creative and critical thinking in instruction. In Design research on learning and thinking in educational settings: Enhancing intellectual growth and functioning. Edited by David Yun Dai. New York: Routledge.

    Situated in a book on design as the foundation for curriculum, this chapter focuses on the role that critical thinking has in the growth of intelligence.

  • Moseley, David, Vivienne Baumfield, Julian Elliot, et al. 2005. Frameworks for thinking: A handbook for teaching and learning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511489914

    Handbook providing descriptions and evaluations of frameworks for thinking, including Bloom’s taxonomy, de Bono’s thinking tools, Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, and Paul’s model of critical thinking. Situates critical thinking within the larger construct of cognition. Of particular value is the chapter on Richard Paul’s model of critical thinking.

  • Paul, Richard W. 1993. Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world. Rev. 3d ed. Edited by Jane Willsen and A. J. A. Binker. Santa Rosa, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

    Author is a director of the Center for Critical Thinking, and has published over two hundred works on the topic. Resource is an anthology of his major papers. Offers a helpful, broad overview for those looking at intellectual traits, standards, and abilities for critical thought.

  • Weil, Danny, and Holly Kathleen Anderson, eds. 2000. Perspectives in critical thinking: Essays by teachers in theory and practice. New York: Peter Lang.

    Presents essays written by teachers that demonstrate teaching practices and theoretical discussions about critical thinking, including strategies, techniques, and examples.

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