Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

Some universities in the United States are good at teaching critical thinking skills.

They emphasize the importance of these skills.

Unfortunately, many universities do not. This is evident because too many students attending are not learning the thinking skills they need to be successful.

The American Institute for Research published a new study in January of 2006. It reports that:

More than 75% of students at two year colleges.


And, more than 50% of students at four year colleges can’t read or write well.

As examples of this, the report states that these students can’t effectively:

• Compare credit card offers with different interest rates
• Summarize the arguments of newspaper editorials

It also states that at least 20% of college graduates completing four year degrees, and 30% of students earning two year degrees, have only basic quantitative and literacy skills. These individuals:

• Are unable to estimate if their car will make it to the next gas station
• Calculate the total cost of ordering office supplies 1

Yet, they are still able to do these things better than the general adult population.


Where Do We Go From Here?

To stay strong we need more people teaching critical thinking skills.

People can learn critical thinking skills on their own through trial and error. However, trial & error takes much longer than if properly taught and coached.

It is painfully clear that most people aren’t taught critical thinking skills in a formal manner, or for that matter, in any manner.

Critical thinking skills can be learned at any age though good books and from informed teachers, coaches, mentors and parents who care. The younger the students, the better, however, we all need these skills. To help fill the void, this website has been created.

1. From the American Institute for Research “New study of college students finds some are graduating with only basic skills”. January 19, 2006.

Return from Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Problem Solving Techniques