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What Are Critical Thinking Skills?

Very often, we think of critical thinking as the skills identified in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Developed by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom, Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification system of intellectual behaviors that are important in learning.

The following definition by Victor Maiorana describes the purpose of critical thinking skills as assessed by the GED Tests.

The purpose[s] of critical thinking [are] ... to achieve understanding, evaluate viewpoints, 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

Barbara Fowler of Longview Community College has rounded up several other definitions on her page from the Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project.