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Considering critical thinking and History 12 : one teacher's story Gibson, Lindsay Smith 2007

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CONSIDERING CRITICAL THINKING AND HISTORY 12: ONETEACHER’S STORYbyLINDSAY SMITH GIBSONB.A., Simon Fraser University, 1999A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSInTHE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Education)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OKANAGANSeptember 2007© Lindsay Gibson, September, 2007iiABSTRACTThis thesis uses analytic philosophical inquiry and autobiographical narrativeinquiry to identify a conception of critical thinking (CT) that is “most adaptable” forteaching History 12, and then discusses the strengths and limitations.The CT literature includes several conflicting conceptions of CT, and I use twospecific types of analytic philosophical inquiry, (conceptual analysis and conceptualstructure assessment), to identify which conception is “most adaptable” for teachingHistory 12.  After considering the degree to which each conception meets the criteriadeveloped for the “most adaptable” conception of CT, I conclude that the CriticalThinking Consortium’s (TC2) conception is the most adaptable.  Of all the conceptionsdeveloped thus far, the TC2 approach is unique because it is designed solely as apedagogical model for embedding CT throughout the curriculum of each subject andgrade level.In the second section of the thesis, I use autobiographical narrative inquiry toreflect on the strengths and limitations of the TC2 model after using the model to teachHistory 12 for a year.  One of the foundational principles of the TC2 conception is thenotion that embedding CT throughout the curriculum is a powerful way of improvingunderstanding.  I determine that this contention is accurate because students improvedtheir knowledge of the curriculum, the epistemology of history, and the adoption of CT intheir everyday lives.  Furthermore, use of the TC2 conception helped improve myplanning and assessment practices, and initiated a positive change of my role in theclassroom.iiiUse of the TC2 method is not without its drawbacks; it requires more planning andinstructional time, and successful implementation assumes that teachers have an in-depthknowledge of the epistemology of the discipline and the curriculum.  At the end of thestudy, I draw upon my experiences and conclusions to offer several recommendationsaimed at making the TC2 model more practicable for classroom teachers.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract…………………………………………………………………………….iiList of Tables……………………………………………………………………….viiList of Figures……………………………………………………………………...viiiList of Abbreviations……………………………………………………….……...ixGlossary…………………………………………………………………………….xAcknowledgements………………………………………………………….……..xvDedication…………………………………………………………………………..xviChapter One: Introduction to the Thesis…………………………………………1Background………………………………………………………………………1Importance of Critical Thinking…………………………………………………3Autobiographical Background…………………………………………………...5Reflections on the Importance of Change……………………………………6Reflections on Teaching Methods and Beliefs……………………………….8My Interest in History………………………………………………………..12Assumptions About Teaching History 12……………………………………….14Overview of History 12………………………………………………………….16Embedding Critical Thinking in History 12……………………………………..18Structure of Thesis……………………………………………………………….19Chapter Two: Literature Review………………………………………………….22Section One: Defining Critical Thinking………………………………………...22Assessing Statements: Ennis’ 1962 Definition………………….……………24Ennis’ “Streamlined” 1991 Definition……………………………………….26McPeck’s “Reflective Scepticism”…………………………………………..28Lipman’s “Skillful Responsible Thinking”…………...……………………..30Siegel: Appropriately Moved By Reasons…………………………………..31The Foundation for Critical Thinking………………………………………..34The TC2 Definition of Critical Thinking……………………………………..37vSection Two: Criteria for an Adaptable Conception of Critical Thinking……….41Ennis’ Conception of Critical Thinking…………….…………………….….46McPeck and Subject-Specific Critical Thinking………………….………….50Siegel’s Conception of Critical Thinking……………….……………………55Lipman’s Conception of Critical Thinking……………….………………….57The Foundation for Critical Thinking Conception…………………………...61Is the FFCT conception adaptable to History 12?…….………………….63The TC2 Conception of Critical Thinking……………………………………68TC2’s tools for critical thinking……………………………………….….70Conclusions…………………………………………………………………….…76Chapter Three: Methodology and Limitations………………….…….………….77Theory of Analytic Philosophical Inquiry……………….……………………….77Chapter Two……………………………………………………….……………..78Chapter Four…………………………………………………………….………..81Limitations of the Study……………………………………………….…………84Chapter Four: Discussion of Findings………………………………..……………89The Adaptability of TC2 and History 12……………………………………….....89Explication of TC2’s Four Fronts Model……………………………………..…..89Front One: Community of Thinkers (COT)………..………………………....91Front Two: Critical Challenges Through the Curriculum…………………….96Front Three: Tools for Critical Thinking………….………………………….99Front Four: Assessing the Tools for Critical Thinking………………...……..102My Methods for Adapting TC2 in History 12………………………………….…105Mini-Critical Challenges……………………………………………………...106Major Unit Critical Challenges…………………………………………….…107Online Critical Challenges…………………………………………………....108Reflections on Adapting TC2 to History 12……………………………………....109Impact of the TC2 Conception on Students…………………………………...109The Impact of TC2 on Teachers………………………………………………116A teacher’s role in the classroom…………………………………………116Instructional planning and organization………………………………….118viContributions, limitations and recommendations …………..…...………120Curriculum knowledge and understanding………………………………124Should TC2 adopt a more prescriptive model of instruction?……………125Successes and Struggles: Building a Community of Thinkers………………128Difficulties building a COT……………………………………………...128Building a successful COT………………………………………………132TC2 and Assessment…………………………………………………………135Benefits of TC2 assessment philosophy…………………………………136Assessment difficulties: TC2 or the curriculum?………………………...139Final Analysis of the TC2 Model………………………………………………...143Chapter Five: General Conclusions and Implications for Future Research…...146General Conclusions…………………………………………………………….146Contributions to Knowledge…………………………………………………….148Implications for Future Research………………………………………………..151Bibliography………………………………………………………………………..157viiLIST OF TABLESTable 1: Summary of the Analysis of Critical Thinking Definitions…………40Table 2: Comparison of Various Critical Thinking Conceptions…………….75Table 3: The Different Categories of Questions………………………………97Table 4: Example of Critical Challenge and Assessment Rubric……………..104viiiLIST OF FIGURESFigure 1: The Four Fronts (Used with permission from TC2)………………...91ixLIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMSCT: Critical ThinkingCOT: Community of ThinkersFFCT: The Foundation for Critical ThinkingTC2: The Critical Thinking ConsortiumxGLOSSARYAlgorithm: One of the thinking strategies identified by TC2.  Describes a step-by-stepprocedure for reaching a decision or making a conclusion.Background Knowledge: One of the five categories of CT tools identified by TC2.Students cannot think deeply about a topic if they know little about it.Background knowledge is essentially the required information one needsto know about a subject before thoughtfully thinking about it (Case &Daniels, 2002).Conception: Something originated in the mind; a design, plan; an original idea (as of awork of art, etc.); a mental product of the inventive faculty.  The formingof a concept or general notion; the faculty of forming such.  (The OxfordEnglish Dictionary, 1989).Community of Inquiry: The “community of inquiry” is a term that Matthew Lipman(2003) claims Charles Sanders Peirce invented.  It describes the belief thateducation is best served if it advocates a mode of instruction in whichgroups use inquiry to investigate a topic or problem within a specificsubject area.  This method improves the understanding of the content andepistemology of a subject by facilitating groups working together tomonitor their own logic and reasoning.Criteria for Judgment: One of the five categories of CT tools identified by TC2.CT is essentially a matter of judging which alternative is sensible orreasonable.  Criteria for judgment are the standards, considerations orgrounds for deciding which of the alternatives is the most sensible orappropriate.xiCritical Challenges: A term used by TC2 to describe problematic situations oractivities that invite students to think critically.  The question or task mustmeet several criteria to be considered a critical challenge.  The question ortask requires judgment, is meaningful to students, addresses key aspects ofthe curriculum, and can be reasonably performed by the students with thetools they have, or can learn (Case & Daniels, 2002).Critical Thinking Abilities: also referred to as competencies.  Describes the variousabilities a critical thinker possesses or performs.  Inclusion of abilitiesdiffers from theorist to theorist, but frequently includes the ability to infer,detect bias, use deductive and inductive reasoning among others.Critical Thinking Vocabulary: TC2 terminology used to describe the knowledge of theconcepts and vocabulary needed by students to make importantdistinctions among the various issues and thinking tasks facing them(Case, 2005).  TC2 includes 33 different terms or concepts in their list ofcritical thinking vocabulary.Didactic Instruction: In education it refers to the method of teaching where an instructorattempts to transfer knowledge to the students via lecture or directinstruction.  Having the character or manner of a teacher or instructor;characterized by giving instruction; having the giving of instruction as itsaim or object; instructive, perceptive (The Oxford English Dictionary,1989).Discipline (Subject): A branch of instruction or education; a department of learning orknowledge; a science or art in its educational aspect (The Oxford EnglishDictionary, 1989).xiiDisposition:  The state or quality of being disposed, inclined, or ‘in the mind’ (tosomething, or to do something); inclination (sometimes = desire, intention,purpose).  Aptness or capacity for doing something; aptitude, skill (TheOxford English Dictionary, 1989).  In CT a disposition refers to a varietyof affects including attitudes, inclinations and sensitivities that make itlikely that a person will act in a certain way.  At the core of criticalthinking dispositions are commitments or convictions to principles ofrationality.  Dispositions do not refer to individual competencies of acritical thinker; rather CT dispositions are tendencies that help foster CT.In order to arrive at a reasonable solution it is important that an individualis open-minded about all of the possible solutions, otherwise helpfulsolutions may be ignored or dismissed.Embedded Approach: Refers to the belief that CT is the method for teaching thecurriculum, and should be “embedded” in the curriculum.  Proponents ofembedding CT in the curriculum believe that content and thinking are notseparate processes, and CT is not a set of generic skills that can betransferred to any subject area.  Advocates also believe that embedding CTin the curriculum will promote improved understanding of content andmastery of the skills  (Bailin, Case, Daniels & Coombs, 1999; Case,2005).Epistemology: The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge (TheOxford English Dictionary, 1989).General Skills or Mixed Approach: The belief held by Ennis, Sternberg andNickerson that CT is a set of generic skills, abilities and dispositions thatshould be taught in a separate CT course, or in a separate course andwithin a subject specific curriculum (Ennis, 1989).xiiiHabits of Mind: Term used by TC2 to describe 20 intellectual virtues or ideals thatorient and motivate thinkers in habitual ways that are conducive to carefuland conscientious thinking (Case, 2005).  Different from a disposition inthat a habit of mind is intentional and habitual, while being disposed to anideal does not guarantee that the ideal or virtue is consciously followed.An individual can be disposed to being fair-minded without making theconscious decision (Case, 2007).Heuristic: A method, set of rules, guide, or technique that may be useful in makingprogress toward the solution of a problem.   For example, a set of steps orquestions that help students analyze historical political cartoons.Inquiry: The action of seeking, esp. (now always) for truth, knowledge, orinformation concerning something; search, research, investigation,examination (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989).  In education it refersto a style of instruction where students search for knowledge or answers inthe problem area they are facing.  The teacher poses a question or problemand then aids students in the quest to find solutions.Modes of Thinking: A term used by Richard Paul to describe the various disciplines,like history, literature, or mathematics.  Paul believes that the disciplinesshould be taught as modes of thought where teachers lead students to thinkabout fundamental problems and questions in each discipline.Procedures: The steps, stages or phases designed to foster critical thinking.xivSubject-Specific Approach: Also referred to as the infusion or immersion approachRefers to the belief held by critical thinking theorists, likeJohn E. McPeck, that the most preferable way to teach CT is through deep,thoughtful, well-understood subject-matter instruction in which studentsare encouraged to think critically in the subject, and in which generalprinciples of CT abilities and dispositions are taught (Ennis, 1989).Systematic: Arranged or conducted according to a system, plan, or organized method;involving or observing a system; (of a person) acting according to system,regular and methodical (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989).Thinking Strategies: One of the five categories of tools for CT identified by TC2.Although CT is never simply a matter of following procedures or steps,there are numerous strategies that are useful for aiding one in thinkingcritically.  Refers to the repertoire of heuristics, organizing devices,models and algorithms that may be useful when thinking through a CTproblem (Case & Daniels, 2002).xvACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThere are many people who have made diverse contributions to the developmentof this thesis.  I would like to thank my thesis defence committee members ProfessorCarol Scarff, Professor Wendy Klassen and Professor Martin Blum for the time andenergy they devoted to reading my thesis, and providing insightful commentary within avery tight timeline.  I would also like to commend the Professors from the UBCOgraduate program for aiding me in the development of my thesis, and for making myMasters degree a worthwhile and meaningful experience.  Although, my mother RuthGibson’s keen editorial eye frustrated me throughout high school, it proved to beinvaluable for improving the clarity of my thesis.  Finally, Professor Phil Balcaen hasbeen an incredible mentor, critic and friend throughout the past two years, and I could nothave asked for a better supervisor.  His challenging questions, thoughtfulness andencouragement have helped me become more reflective and critically minded in mypractice and my personal life.xviDEDICATIONI dedicate this thesis to the two girls in my life, Meghan and Tenille, for theirnever-ending support, encouragement and patience throughout the countless hours I wasin my office working away.  I could never have done this without you.I also dedicate this to my parents for accentuating the importance of learningthroughout my life, and to the many History 12 students I have taught throughout myteaching career; I am certain that I have learned more from you, then you have from me.1CHAPTER ONE:INTRODUCTION TO THE THESISBackgroundCritical thinking is not a new concept; its origins can be traced back thousands ofyears to Ancient Greece and Rome.  The origins of critical thinking (hereafter CT) are notjust rooted in the ancient world; John Dewey (1991) mentioned CT as a goal of educationin his 1910 book How We Think.  In the last twenty years, the support for CT as animportant goal for education has achieved almost unanimous approval (Lipman, 2003).Despite mainstream acknowledgement, CT is not being used in our classrooms any morethan it was when it was first identified as a goal for North American educators twentyyears ago (Lipman, 2003).  CT is a term that almost everyone in the educational fieldbelieves they know the meaning of, yet few people can either define it or agree on a truedefinition.  For example, in Richard Paul’s 1997 study on the prevalence of CT inuniversity and college courses, he determined that 89% of the 140 university and collegeprofessors interviewed claimed CT was a primary objective of their instruction, but only19% could give a clear explanation of what CT was (Paul, Elder, & Bartell, 1997).The problem extends to British Columbia schools as well.  A 1989 survey of1,700 social studies teachers in British Columbia revealed that 88% of teachers supportedthe teaching of CT in their classes, and 79% judged CT to be a major emphasis in theirteaching (Bognar, Cassidy, Manley-Casimir, & Lewis, 1991).  This claim is at odds withfindings from the 1989 provincial assessment involving social studies teachers of over100,000 British Columbia students in Grades 4, 7, and 10.  In his assessment of the study,Case (1992) concluded that the lack of teaching strategies which support the development2of critical thinking at the secondary level, suggest that students are not being supported inthe development of critical thinking.The above studies indicate that although teachers often think they areaccentuating CT in their classroom instruction, the majority of teachers cannot articulatewhat CT is.  Teachers are not solely culpable—part of the problem is the lack ofagreement amongst CT theorists about what CT is, and how it should be taught.  Thearray of definitions, theories and conceptions of CT in existence cause dissonanceamongst teachers trying to implement CT in the classroom.  CT theorists cannot expectclassroom teachers to improve CT in our schools when they cannot agree on a standarddefinition.  A second explanation for the lack of CT in schools is the lack of practicalconceptions (see glossary for italicized words) of CT that can be adapted into everygrade level and subject area.  Many of the theories of CT that have been developed arenot pedagogical models for teaching CT, instead they are concerned with describing thevarious aspects and processes that constitute CT.  With this background in mind, thefollowing two questions guide this thesis:1.  “Which conception of CT is most adaptable for teaching History 12?”2.  “After identifying the most adaptable conception, what are the strengths andlimitations of the model when implementing it in History 12 classes?”In order to answer the first question, I conducted an analytic philosophical inquiryof CT conceptions developed by theorists Ennis, McPeck, Siegel, Lipman, theFoundation for Critical Thinking (FFCT), and the Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2).  Itis important to note that I am not deciding which theory of CT is the best theoretical3model.  Instead, I determine which conception is most adaptable to teaching History 12from the perspective of a practicing teacher.  After deciding which conception is the mostadaptable, I implement the model in five History 12 classes and use autobiographicalnarrative inquiry to aid me in reflecting on the strengths and limitations of the model.My findings may not be applicable to every history teacher in British Columbia becausethey represent only my perspectives on embedding CT in History 12.  However, by theend of the study I identify a model of teaching CT that I argue will increase students’knowledge of the curriculum, their CT abilities, and their interest in history.  Hopefully,my findings, recommendations and conclusions about the adaptability of CT conceptionscan be used by CT theorists to make their conceptions more practicable for teachers.Importance of Critical ThinkingIdentifying an adaptable conception of CT that aids students in understandingcurriculum and develops CT abilities in students is an issue of great importance to ourschools and our society.  Educational academics, government educational departments,school administrators and teachers are unanimous that the creation of critical thinkers isone of the important goals of our education system.  Lipman (1998), and Wright (1992)believe that CT is a key component in the development of a higher quality democracybecause a society of critical thinkers embraces representative government, due process,protection of human rights and civil liberties, and the cultivation of rational socialinstitutions, while a non-CT society is built upon elitism, wealth, power or intelligence.Paul (1992) points out that the world is changing, and the damage caused byprejudice and narrow-mindedness is mounting.  Over the last decade, information4acquisition via the Internet has become more accessible and faster.  It makes no sense thatwe are teaching students to memorize simple information that can be accessedelectronically in seconds.  Forming conclusions, recognizing bias and point of view, andstudying issues from multiple perspectives are tools that students will need in the future.Paul argues that schools need to help students thrive in the next century by teaching themto be adaptable, and to develop the capacity to learn on the job and in their civic andsocial lives.  Paul believes that in our current system students go through their schoolcareers inculcated with understood procedures and undisciplined beliefs, but lackknowledge and insight.  In other words, they are trained, but not educated.  Educatingstudents cannot be achieved by rote learning and memorization; it can only beaccomplished by using a method of teaching that multiplies comprehension and insight,and stimulates and empowers students.  CT represents the future for our educationsystem.  It should not only serve as a goal for our students, but as a method for teachingour students the entire curricula from kindergarten through university.  A populace thatdoes not utilize CT will lack the ability to adapt itself to the social, political,environmental and economic problems that developed and undeveloped countries arecurrently facing.  Mass media and politicians constantly feed the demand for simpleanswers, but these problems cannot be solved unless significant intellectual developmentoccurs (Paul, 1992).  This point further illustrates the importance of CT protecting usfrom believing what the powerful in society want us to believe without inquiring forourselves.Before I introduce and analyze CT conceptions, I provide selectedautobiographical background to outline my beliefs about the importance of change, my5teaching philosophy and methods, and my interest in history.  After these sections Iunpack my assumptions about teaching history and the History 12 course.Autobiographical BackgroundMy inquiry into alternate methods of history instruction began in my sixth yearteaching secondary school when I realized that my current instructional methods were notmeeting students’ or my needs.  I observed students who were completely disinterested inhistory, and could not see the importance of what they saw as a string of seeminglyunimportant events that they were expected to memorize.  As a result I entered into aMaster’s program in search of methods that would help me improve students’understanding and enjoyment of history.  In the early months of my Master’s program Iwas introduced to CT, which I realized could help me improve how I taught history, andalso improve students’ ability to critically think in history and other areas of their lives.Like many teachers, I believed that CT was an important goal of teaching, but I wasunsure exactly what it was, and how I could teach students to improve their ability tothink critically.  Although I was excited to discover what I felt was a solution to myproblems, I still needed to answer several important questions.  These unansweredquestions served as the beginning of my thesis topic.Below I “unpack” my experiences as a student and as a teacher in order tounderstand how these experiences affected my motives and interpretation of this study,and my beliefs about history teaching methods.6Reflections on the Importance of ChangeIn my life the one thing that is consistent is change.  Throughout my elementaryand high school career, my family moved to new towns throughout British Columbiathree times.  Adapting to new environments and people was a necessity, but also abenefit, because I learned to cope with change at an early age.  As a boy I loved changingthe furniture in my room around, or when teachers insisted on new seating plans in classbecause seeing things from new and different perspectives was invigorating for me.Throughout my teaching career I have continued to look for new methods, routines orresources that change the way my classes’ operate.  For this reason I have alwaysassociated following the same procedures, habits and traditions with monotony andboredom.  Change for the sake of change is not the best option either.  People must bereflective and realistic about the situations that require change, and the situations thatshould remain the same.When I first began my teaching practicum I was assigned to a suburban 850student, grade 8-12 school located in an upper-middle class area of a medium sized city.From the beginning, I loved the students and staff at the school, and was hired to teach atthe school after completing my practicum.  It was an exciting time to be at the school as Iwas part of a group of six first-time teachers hired at the same time.  We were full ofidealism and energy about how to improve the school and after five years at the school Iended up growing both personally and as a history teacher.After six years at the school, I decided that it was time to move to a differentschool.  I transferred to an 1800 student grade 10-12 school, located in a more urban partof the same city that featured a larger mix of socio-economic and ethnic groups.  Due to7its large size, history and reputation, the school attracted many students to its specialtyacademic, music, drama and athletic programs.  Many of my colleagues at my previousschool were angry at my transfer, and treated my departure as a betrayal of the positivemomentum, great learning environment and collegial atmosphere we had established.  Iexplained that my transfer was necessitated by my need for change and differentchallenges.  I had only experienced one school in my career, and I wanted to teach adifferent group of students in a different environment.  I was aware that my decisioncould end up being a poor one but I felt I had to do something different to keep myselfpositive and fresh.  Weeks after my arrival I realized that the new school had as manyissues with change as the previous one.  It was the oldest school in our city and had atradition of academic, artistic, musical and athletic accomplishment.  Many of theteachers viewed change as a threat to the established “tradition” of the school.  In manycases, their attitude towards change was, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”  The problemwas that they were so fixated on the tradition of excellence in the traditional areas thatthey failed to recognize the areas that required wholesale changes.  I recognized that anychange I initiated would have to be gradual in order to avoid any conflict with staffmembers.All of these experiences with change help me understand that because of mypersonal history I view change as something progressive, natural, and important forpersonal and professional growth.  The recognition of these attitudes helps me understandwhy I have attempted to initiate CT in my teaching practices, and why it is a struggle forCT to gain acceptance amongst a wider community of educators.8Reflections on Teaching Methods and BeliefsIt might seem surprising that I became a teacher because no one in my familyfrom great-grandparents to parents were ever teachers.  However, the role of a teacherwas not foreign to me.  My mother was a registered nurse, who later became a teacher ofpractical nurses at the college level, while my father was a policeman with the RoyalCanadian Mounted Police, and frequently mentored rookie police officers.  I cannot saythat I was determined to become a teacher, although by the end of high school I had aninclination that I would eventually become involved in some area of education.I believe that previous experiences and events shape our future actions.  As achild I was frustrated by my parents’ refusal to let my brothers and I play in theneighbourhood after dinner when we had school the next day.  I hated getting ready forbed when I could hear my friends playing games in the field that bordered our house.  Itold my parents that when I was a parent, my children would be allowed to play outsideafter dinner.  Similarly, there have been several experiences from my career as a studentand as a teacher that have shaped my teaching philosophy and methods.In secondary school I was a well-rounded student who generally enjoyed school.I had an active social life, achieved a strong “B” average in my classes, and wasrecognized for being a top athlete in a variety of sports.  In the classroom, I found themethods used by the majority of teachers to be uninspiring.  Teachers lectured, gavenotes, or assigned readings with questions or worksheets.  I always completed my work,but rarely put anything extra into learning because the methods of instruction used did notrequire much thought or commitment.  My mother came home from parent-teacherconferences once, and told me that the teachers all had nice things to say about my9personality and character, but they wished I would put a little more effort into my studiesbecause I was very capable of achieving “A’s” instead of “B’s.”  I remember telling mymother that I was perfectly satisfied with the grades I was achieving, especiallyconsidering the more interesting pastimes that occupied my time.  I knew I could getstraight A’s if I desired, all it would take was more effort memorizing my notes or thetextbook.  Even then, I understood that my teachers did not reward creative and divergentthinkers.  Instead, school deified students who followed the rules, never challenged thesystem, and answered their homework questions in full sentence answers.  By the end ofmy grade twelve year, I swore that if I ever became a teacher, I would use teachingmethods that presented the curriculum in ways that captured students’ interest and madethem think in more meaningful ways.  My negative experiences with my teachers’teaching methods shaped my aversion to didactic instruction (see glossary for italicizedwords), and helps explain my determination to find instructional methods that engagestudents in learning.My third year university history courses were divided into weekly two-hourlectures and two-hour tutorials.  For each tutorial our class of twenty students wasassigned a document or reading to discuss with the professor.  I assumed that universityprofessors had little interest in the perspectives and ideas of lowly undergrads on asubject they had been through multiple times.  Instead, the professor listened to students’responses, congratulated them for enlightened thinking, and sincerely thanked studentsfor furthering his understanding of the subject.  The quality of tutorial discussionsincreased as the semester went on, which I attribute to the atmosphere the professorcreated in the classroom.  I remember wishing that other teachers and professors10understood how to create a similar atmosphere in their classes.  Only since myintroduction to CT could I accurately categorize the classroom atmosphere I encounteredas a community of inquiry (see glossary for italicized words).  This approach has stayedwith me, and serves as a model for the type of environment I try to establish in myclasses.The event that really motivated me to learn was based on experiences with twodifferent teachers.  In high school, I had a fabulous history teacher whose class andteaching style I enjoyed. He was very knowledgeable, had a great sense of humour andtold phenomenal stories about each historical period we studied.  Alongside his love ofhistory, he had passion for the school debate team.  In history class, he favoured studentson the debate team, and since I had no interest in debate, I never joined.  One day inclass, he privately told me that he was pleased with my progress and my “B” grade.  Theimplication was that because I was a “jock” who played so many sports I was incapableof achieving “A’s.”  I was taken aback; I had always admired him and felt that herespected my academic and intellectual abilities.  What he did not realize was that I hadnever been “pushed” academically by any teachers, and was getting a “B” by doing verylittle work.  This comment had several effects: it was hurtful, made my self-esteemplummet, and soured my opinion and future relationship with him.  Although some of hishistory teaching methods are still an inspiration to me, his biased categorization of mestill stings.  The worse part was that his comment made me wonder if I was nothing morethan a jock.Luckily, my self-perception was rebuilt by a professor I had in my third year ofuniversity.  In my first two years at university I was somewhat of an aimless student.  I11achieved solid “B+’s” in history, english, sociology and political science courses, but nosubject really captivated my interest, and I had not declared a major.  I was a scholarshipathlete on the varsity golf team, but after my experience with my high school historyteacher I did not want anyone to know about my athletic pursuits for fear of being judged.In my third year, I took a British history course that changed the course of my academiccareer.  My professor was a Canadian born Anglophile like me, and was a fabulousteacher because of his passion for history, and his personable nature.  After severallectures and tutorials I had a conversation with him, and soon we began to have shortchats about all things British.  My initial written assignments for the course were decent,but not up to “A” grade undergraduate standards.  He told me that my insights fromtutorials and conversations were extremely perceptive, but my writing did not match thesame level of thought and oral articulation.  Recognizing this, he worked with me toimprove my writing.  With guidance and someone pushing me, I responded with higherquality assignments.  For the first time I felt inspired, and I attribute it to the fact that aprofessor had recognized a spark of intelligence and ability and attempted to develop it.On each assignment I wrote draft after draft until it was written in the historical style thatmy professor expected.  After the course was finished I declared history as my major,focused on British history and graduated with “A’s” for the rest of my third and fourthyears.My experiences with my high school history teacher and university historyprofessor shaped many attitudes towards teaching that are still with me today.  I realizedthe importance of teacher-student relationships.  Had I not established a personalconnection with my professor, I would not have been motivated to improve.  I try to12recognize students who are coasting along (like I was), and attempt to help them improvewith extra encouragement and attention.  Without my professor’s encouragement, mywriting and self-confidence in my abilities would not have improved.  I understand theimportance of never stereotyping students based on my perceptions and I reservejudgment on students’ academic abilities until I have collected enough evidence to informmy judgment.  Furthermore, I realize the importance of establishing high standards forstudents, and doing whatever necessary to help them achieve those goals.  In myexperience, the most rewarding learning experiences occur when something is achievedthat was believed to be impossible.My Interest in HistoryFrom an early age I was interested in history; in elementary school my classwould go on a weekly visit to the library where we were permitted to take out a book onany subject that interested us.  I always requested a book on a historical subject, one weekit would be Vikings, the next week General Custer and the Battle at Little Big Horn.  Iremember the librarian telling me that my requests were different than the other studentsand always required him to search throughout the library to find a book on my desiredtopic—which of course made me very proud.  At home I was enthralled with my father’scollection of TimeLife books about North American explorers, gunfighters of the West,voyageurs and fur traders.  I distinctly remember holding the padded covers of the booksin my hands and spending hours reading the captions and staring at the photographs andartists’ recreated pictures.  Historical artefacts also fascinated me; my grandparentstravelled to Texas and brought home a souvenir lead musket ball from the Alamo.  I13remember holding the small ball in my hand and being amazed at its weight.  I imagineda worker at the Alamo picking the musket ball out of a hole in the Alamo wall and sellingit to my grandfather, as I did not fully understand the idea of replica souvenirs.  My realfirst historical infatuation came in grade three when I became interested in the AmericanCivil War.  I do not know what spurred this interest, but I was soon reading everything Icould get my hands on, collecting lead Civil War figurines, and marching around theneighbourhood with my Union Civil War hat and replica cap gun musket.Students have often asked my why I am so passionate about history, and for sometime I could not answer the question because I had never considered it.  After reflecting, Ihave come up with two possible answers; a basic curiosity and imagination about life inprevious times, and a love of stories.  I still love to imagine what life was like in previoustimes.  A good friend of mine in London often pokes fun at me for something I said whenvisiting him in 1997.  We were walking along the Thames River and I said, “I would loveto go back one hundred years to see what life in Victorian London was like.”  He laughedbecause he thought my maudlin love of the past was amusing.  It is this type of curiosityand imagination about the past that is important to foster in students.  The second thing Ilove about history is the stories.  I love to hear about strange idiosyncrasies of greatleaders, or the unusual occurrences that shaped the past.  I will never forget my History12 teacher’s stories about his experience as a British soldier in Berlin in the 1950’s, hisretelling of an anecdote about Stalin’s paranoia, and the tale of his mother’s chanceencounter with Winston Churchill on a train in wartime Britain.  It is a love of historicalstories that really “hooked” me on history, and I try to do the same by passing on storiesand anecdotes to my students.  My passion and curiosity about history is not fostered by14memorization, testing and textbooks—it is cultivated by stories, books, pictures, replicas,souvenirs and travel.  The experiences that ignited my passion for history have shaped thebelief that students will enjoy history if it is taught with the purpose of stimulated interestand capturing imagination.As part of my narrative inquiry, I uncover some of my basic beliefs andassumptions about best practice in history teaching, and the History 12 course andprovincial exam in the next section.  These assumptions shape my belief about adaptingCT to the History 12 curriculum.Assumptions About Teaching HistoryWhen I first began teaching history, I taught history as an informational1 subjectwhere I transmitted historical information to students and expected them to learn andaccept this account as the “true” story of what happened.  All assignments, quizzes andtests centered on the ability of students to learn a body of knowledge and display theirunderstanding of the information.  I often overhear students say how much they dislikehistory; to them history is about memorizing disconnected details about events that are oflittle importance to their lives.  Frequently, I went home at the end of the day frustratedby many students’ lack of interest in what I felt was a fascinating subject.  I began to askmyself important and philosophical questions about history teaching: What was historicalknowledge?  What are the purposes and aims of teaching history in schools?  I questionedmy teaching methods because I realized I was indoctrinating students with curriculumthat enforced historical conclusions determined by outside groups such as textbook15writers, historians, government bureaucrats and teachers.  After going through thisphilosophical morass, I began to change the way I taught history.  I developed lessonsand activities that attempted to change students’ negative view of history by getting themmore involved in “doing” history.  Although these lessons had varying degrees ofsuccess, I noticed that the successful activities had several commonalities.  Theypresented multiple perspectives on the causes, consequences and significance ofhistorical events, focused on events that were interesting and important to students, andrequired students to debate and make judgments about what really happened, or whoseperspective of historical events were most plausible.  At the same time that I wasexperimenting with new history teaching methods, I was introduced to Denos and Case’s(2006) book that presented a model of teaching history based on Peter Seixas’ conceptsof historical consciousness2 that underpin our ability to think historically.  This theoryoutlined an alternative to the informational model I had been using to teach history.Although I did not implement Seixas’ theories completely, they informed the ways that Ibegan to teach history.  Students were still expected to understand the basic facts ofhistorical events, but knowing historical details only served to help students formjudgments.  The successful activities initiated excellent class discussions about howhistory is written and the perspective history is written from.  In short, students began tounderstand the “nature”3 of the discipline.  This was an important awakening for mebecause I realized that content was equal in importance to learning how to think                                                                                                                                                      1 Denos & Case (2006) use the term “informational” to describe history teaching methods in which teacherspresent accounts of historical events as the “true” story, which they expect students to learn.2 Seixas’ (2006) six concepts include historical significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause andconsequences, historical perspective and moral judgment.3 The “nature” of history describes the ability to understand that history is constructed for specific purposes,it provides a limited picture of events because events or details were selected by someone with a specificperspective, and historical knowledge is shaped by current morals and values (Denos & Case, 2006).16historically and make historical judgments.  Lipman (2003) supports this conclusionwhen he argues that, “If we understand that we are teaching them history critically inorder to improve their historical judgment and not merely to provide them with groundsfor patriotism, then content assumes its rightful place alongside method, neither inferiorto it nor superior to it” (p. 48).  In short, history courses should help students understandthe nature of the discipline and how to think historically, not just learn a bevy ofhistorical details.In the next section, I describe the structure of the History 12 curriculum andprovincial exam, and uncover my assumptions and biases about its design andimplementation.Overview of History 12The purpose of this section is to provide an overview of the History 12 course inBritish Columbia, and to explain the beliefs I have developed about the curriculum andthe year-end provincial exam after teaching it for five years.History 12 is a four-credit elective course that is equivalent to 120 hours of classtime.  It is offered to those having completed Social Studies 11, Civics 11 or First Nations12.  The History 12 curriculum is designed to give students a range of experiences andopportunities to develop skills that increase their understanding of their lives asCanadians and as global citizens, and prepare them for further study in history and relateddisciplines (Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, Province of British Columbia,1997).  History 12 is a history of world events in the 20th century; it concentrates on theWest and its relationship with world affairs between 1919 and 1991.  In order to expand17students’ historical awareness of global affairs in the 20th century, the curriculumincorporates a global perspective where appropriate (Ministry of Education).  Students’final marks for the course are based on a 60% School Mark, and a 40% Provincial Exammark that is marked by a provincial exam marking team.  The school mark is determinedby the teacher, and is designed to be an accurate measure of students’ abilities to meet thePrescribed Learning Outcomes4 (PLO) designated for the course.  The History 12 exam isworth 40% of students’ final grade and features fifty-one multiple-choice questions (55%of the exam), one one-page written response questions (9% of the exam), one one-pagewritten response document-based question (9% of the exam) and one thematic essayquestion (27% of the exam) (Achievement and Assessment Department, Ministry ofEducation, Province of British Columbia, 2007).In my opinion, the curriculum includes too much specific content knowledge, andtoo little focus on helping students understand the nature of the discipline.  Thecurriculum includes 45 PLO’s, but only 120 hours to complete the course.  This is far toolittle time because many of the PLO’s are too complex to be “adequately taught” in thetime provided. “Adequately taught” refers to teaching activities that require students tothink and make judgments about concepts, rather than expecting students to understandconcepts after teachers have merely introduced, explained or mentioned concepts.For example, the PLO “explain the social, economic, and political effects ofWorld War I on the post-war world” is far too complex to be covered in the small amountof time in which this PLO is to be covered (Ministry of Education, Skills and Training,Province of British Columbia, 1997, p. 12).  By my estimates, this PLO requires at least                                                  4 Prescribed Learning Outcomes are the legally required content standards that define the required attitudes,skills and knowledge for each course in the B.C. provincial education system (Ministry of Education, Skills18five hours of class time to help students fully comprehend the effects World War I had ondifferent countries around the world.  If I spend even three hours teaching each PLO inthe curriculum, the course would require 135 hours of class time, 15 hours more than theallotted time to complete the course.  The course includes far too much content to getthrough in 120 hours, and as a result I and other teachers race through the course usingdidactic methods focused on “getting through” the material, rather than having studentsthink deeply about historical issues.  Due to this overemphasis on content, History 12does not accentuate5 critical thinking in the curriculum or assess it on the provincialexam.Embedding Critical Thinking in History 12To be effective, any conception of CT that can be adapted to History 12 wouldhave to be embedded within the content, because it would be impossible to teach a CTconception in addition to the overloaded content that already exists.  Furthermore, the CTconception must be adaptable to most required curriculum content and skills so that theHistory 12 PLO’s are satisfactorily met.  If CT cannot be adapted to all PLO’s thenstudents will be unprepared for the end of year provincial exam.  This is a difficult issuebecause the History 12 exam does not emphasize CT; instead it focuses on contentknowledge and understanding.  For example, 55% of the exam features multiple-choicequestions that require students to find the correct answer, not provide evidence of CT.The multiple-choice questions do not allow students to reasonably explain why theyselected one answer over another, even if the question is ambiguous.  The three written                                                                                                                                                      and Training, Province of British Columbia, 1997).19response questions do not measure CT, instead they are designed to measure threecognitive levels of each student: knowledge, understanding and application, and higher-mental processes6 (Ministry of Education, Province of British Columbia, 2005).  CT isnot mentioned in any of the definitions for the three cognitive levels, and it is safe toconclude that CT is not an important goal for any of the questions on the exam.Often times CT and content knowledge are seen as separate entities because manyteachers believe that CT can only be taught after content knowledge is mastered.  Anadaptable CT conception helps students improve their CT abilities while increasing theirknowledge of course content at the same time.  I assume that it is possible for aconception of CT to improve students’ content knowledge and skills for the exam, whilealso improving their CT abilities.  If this contention is true, then CT is not only animportant goal for education, but also a method to increase student comprehension ofcourse content.  For example, if students’ are taught to use CT to help them judge ifMao’s period of rule was positive or negative for China, they might improve both theirability to critically think and also their understanding of Mao’s China which is animportant part of the curriculum.Structure of the ThesisThe thesis is organized into five chapters: introduction, literature review,methodology and limitations, discussion of experiences, and conclusion.  Whenanalyzing the literature in Chapter Two, I use Coombs and Daniels (1991) theory of                                                                                                                                                      5 Although the Integrated Resource Package (government curriculum document) mentions critical thinking,no specific models of critical thinking are described in the curriculum document or the exam specifications.20analytic philosophical inquiry, which aims to understand and improve sets of concepts orconceptual structures.  In Section One of the Chapter Two literature review, I utilizeCoombs and Daniels (1991) mode of conceptual analysis to analyze the diversedefinitions of CT developed by theorists in order to clarify what a “useful” definition ofCT is.  Conceptual analysis is used to arrive at a sound understanding of CT, and toestablish what serious users of CT mean when they use the term.  In Section Two of theliterature review, I rely on Coombs and Daniel’s (1991) description of conceptualstructure assessment inquiry to determine which of the six conceptions of CT is the most“adaptable” method for teaching History 12.  Conceptual structure assessment inquiry iscomparative and is used to measure whether a conceptual structure is an improvementover previous conceptions, or if a conception is adequate for curriculum development.  Inmy case, I develop criteria for comparing each of the conceptions in order to determinewhich conception is most adaptable for teaching History 12.In Chapter Three, I describe the “blended approach” of methodologies used inChapter Two and Chapter Four and justify the reasons for their usage.  “Blendedapproach” refers to the use of two different methodologies in the thesis, analyticphilosophical inquiry in Chapter Two, and autobiographical narrative inquiry in ChapterFour.  After describing the details of the chosen methodologies, I outline the limitationsof using these methodologies, and explain how these limitations were addressed.In Chapter Four, I use autobiographical narrative inquiry to discuss the strengthsand limitations of the “most adaptable” conception of CT for teaching History 12.Autobiographical narrative inquiry utilizes autobiographical details and personal                                                                                                                                                      6 The definitions for knowledge, understanding and application and higher mental processes are based onBloom’s taxonomy, higher mental processes refer to the abilities of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.21experience as the empirical evidence to understand central issues related to teaching andlearning through the telling, and retelling of teacher’s stories.  Autobiographical narrativeinquiry is shaped by my recollections and documented field texts using the mostadaptable model of CT in five History 12 classes, plus reflections on field notes, writtenassignments and journals written during the time period.In Chapter Five I discuss the inferences drawn from my experiencesimplementing the most adaptable model of CT to History 12, focus on the contributionsto knowledge, and the prospects and recommendations for future research.Below, I conduct a review of relevant literature in order to uncover a “useful”definition of CT, which provides me with the understanding of the important parts of CT.Once I understand what CT is, I develop criteria to help determine which conception ofCT is the most “adaptable” for teaching History 12.22CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEWThe guiding question for this literature review is what conception of CT is mostadaptable for teaching History 12 in British Columbia?  Below I outline criteria for an“adaptable conception” of CT, and then use the criteria to assess the adaptability ofconceptions promoted by various CT theorists over the past forty years.  I critique thevarious theories of CT from my perspective, as a practicing high school history teacher.It is important to establish a definition of CT before determining what an“adaptable” conception of CT is.  To do this I analyze various definitions of CT in orderto gain an understanding of what a “useful” definition of CT is.  A “useful” definition isused to inform the analysis of various conceptions of CT in order to determine theiradaptability to History 12.Section One: Defining Critical ThinkingOne of the largest problems within the CT community is that there is littleagreement about a universal definition of CT.  A definition is an important part of any CTconception because it determines the view of CT being used and how it can beachieved—it is the foundation upon which conceptions of CT are built.  Many theoristshave created definitions that attempt to accurately explain CT.  Unfortunately, there aremany differences in terminology usage, what the constituent parts of CT are, and thedifferent types of activities that can be considered CT.  Despite the difficulty in creating auniversal definition, there are many definitions of CT that have contributed to anincreased understanding of CT over the past forty years.23I have developed criteria for determining “useful” CT definitions after studyingvarious CT theories and developing an understanding of the basics and importantcharacteristics of CT.  My criteria includes characteristics that are common to themajority of CT definitions that I analyzed, as well as the qualities that most clearlydescribe CT and how it can be adapted to teaching practice.  Characteristics that arecommon to the majority of CT definitions are important because they have achievedagreement amongst theorists as being an important part of CT.  A “useful”7 definition ofCT meets the following criteria:• Defines CT using language that can be easily understood by practitioners.  If a CTdefinition is unclear, or uses terms that are ill-defined, the definition loses clarityand unity of purpose.  Language that is ambiguous or vague may also detract fromthe usefulness of the definition.• Identifies the purpose for CT; to produce quality thinking that meets criteria orstandards (Bailin, Case, Coombs and Daniels, 1999).  CT differs from regularthinking because it ascribes to standards of quality thought and reasoning (Bailinet al.; McPeck, 1990; Lipman, 1988; Paul, 1992).  CT includes activities such asassessing the logic of statements, making judgments about actions or beliefs,answering questions or designing a creative project.  McPeck (1988) points outthat there must always be a purpose for CT because, “thinking is always thinkingabout something” (p. 3).                                                  7 In this case a useful definition of CT is one that contains the parts of CT that are important because theyhave been commonly agreed upon, and they are described in a way that is understandable to a practitioner.24• Mentions abilities and dispositions8 that promote CT.  An example of a CT abilityis using inference to draw a conclusion from a primary historical source.However, the ability to perform a CT task does not guarantee that CT has takenplace.  If critical thinkers do not possess essential dispositions then CT abilitiesmay not be performed in an adequate manner (Siegel, 1988).  One commondisposition is being attentive to detail.  If a thinker has the ability to use inference,but is not disposed to be attentive to detail then mistakes in thinking will occur.In this next section, I use the criteria outlined above to analyze the CT definitionsdeveloped by Ennis, McPeck, Lipman, Siegel, The Foundation for Critical Thinking(FFCT) and the Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) to determine which definitions canbe considered “useful.”  The identification of useful definitions is the initial step indetermining an adaptable conception of CT.  Once it is understood exactly what CT is,criteria can be developed for determining what an “adaptable” conception of CT is, andthen each conception will be analyzed in order to determine the most adaptableconception.Assessing Statements: Ennis’ 1962 DefinitionEnnis has directly and indirectly influenced the development of critical thinkingas an important educational concept over the past six decades.  In his 1962 paper “AConcept of Critical Thinking”, he developed a definition of CT that states, “Criticalthinking is the correct assessing of statements”(p. 83).  Ennis’ original definition does notinclude sufficient characteristics of CT to be considered a useful description of what CT                                                  8 CT theorists often use the terms dispositions, habits, and character traits to describe the attitudes,inclinations, sensitivities and tendencies that help foster critical thinking.  I will use the term disposition to25is.  According to Siegel (1988) Ennis makes the faulty assumption that individuals whocorrectly assess statements are thinking critically.  If CT is limited to just the assessing ofstatements, then anyone who assesses a statement is a critical thinker.  This definition istoo narrow to include all of the component parts that are included in CT.  CT is alsoabout what to believe, or how to act in a certain situation.  For example, which is the bestexplanation for why Hitler came to power?  One must use CT to develop criteria fordetermining which historian’s theory is most plausible.According to Lipman (2003) the “correct” assessing of statements does notnecessarily guarantee that thinking will be of high quality because he believes the term“correct” implies passivity and compliance with societal norms, and ensures thatindividuals will do what society believes is right.  I agree with this criticism because theidea of what is, or is not correct is sometimes relative—it may be interpreted in manyways depending on the cultural, political or religious beliefs of a society.  It also impliesthat there is only one correct assessment of each statement.  I concur with Lipman’s(2003) argument that CT is a defensive mindset that empowers people to inquire intotopics they do not understand in order to protect themselves from believing what others insociety want them to believe.  This interpretation of Lipman’s gets at the crux of what Ibelieve CT is, and what Ennis does not include in his definition.Ennis’ definition mentions “assessing statements” and does not include theimportant task of making judgments.  Assessing statements describes how an individualmakes decisions on the logic or truth of a statement, but CT is not just about assessingstatements (Siegel, 1988).  Ennis does not consider that CT can take place in a variety of                                                                                                                                                      describe all of these terms in the meantime.  For further clarification see the glossary.26contexts, whether answering a question, designing a model or making judgments aboutone’s beliefs or actions.Ennis’ “Streamlined” 1991 DefinitionBy 1991 Ennis’s initial definition of CT evolved many times because he realizedthat his original definition was, “as vague as Bloom’s taxonomy” (Ennis, 1993, p. 180).Bloom’s taxonomy created a hierarchical model for categorizing the levels of questionsthat are often asked in educational settings.  It is based on two incorrect assumptions.First, that students can only answer higher levels of questions after mastering the morebasic levels of questioning, and second, that all of the steps in the hierarchy are separatefrom each other.  Ennis realized that, like Bloom, his original definition was limited andcould be widely interpreted to encompass activities that cannot be considered goodexamples of CT.   By 1991 Ennis knew that his original definition was not wellorganized.  It had many redundancies and omissions, and was not easily grasped.  Ennis(1991) offered a “streamlined” definition where he stated that,  “Critical thinking isreasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do” (p. 6).  Thisdefinition offers several improvements on the 1962 definition, but is also flawed becauseit fails to mention the habits of mind crucial to CT.Ennis’ 1991 definition expands on the previous definition by stating that CT is notjust about correctly assessing statements, it also includes decisions about belief or action.This change highlights Ennis’s awareness that CT is more than assessing the logic ofstatements, it also includes conclusions about appropriate beliefs and responses.27The definition uses terms to describe CT that are easy to understand for apracticing teacher new to the concept.  Ennis’ inclusion of the words “reasonable” and“reflective” are also important improvements because they reveal an expandedunderstanding of what constitutes CT.  The use of “reasonable” accentuates Ennis’ beliefthat critical thinkers focus on making their thinking meet important standards of quality,and the necessity for all thinking to be supported by reasons.  Thus, Ennis is stating that amajor difference between CT and non-CT is the “quality” of the thinking and soundnessof the judgments that are reached.  The word “reflective”, among other things, marksEnnis’ awareness that critical thinkers must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses oftheir own thinking in order to prevent poor quality thinking.Despite the improvements, the major flaw with Ennis’ 1991 definition is that hedoes not mention important dispositions that competent critical thinkers possess.  CTrelies upon the important abilities, and dispositions thinkers possess or develop (Siegel,1988; McPeck, 1981).  Ennis’ definition describes CT as reflective thinking, but beingreflective about one’s thinking is only one disposition, and does not encompass all thedispositions required for quality CT.9  The omission of these key components weakensthe overall strength of Ennis’ definition.  It is worth noting that Ennis is one of the most influential figures in the CTmovement, and his 1962 definition articulated a theory of CT before many others hadeven considered the notion.  His theories of CT were often the first introduction manypeople had to the concept, and informed many other theorists’ considerations.  Despitehis influence, the definitions of CT he developed do not meet all of the criteria outlined                                                  9 Ennis further describes eleven of the dispositions for thinking in the 1991 article “Critical Thinking: AStreamlined Approach”, but28previously because they offer a limited view of CT, or do not address important aspectsof CT.McPeck’s “Reflective Scepticism”McPeck is a controversial figure in the CT movement because he was a vocalcritic of many other theories and conceptions that gained momentum in the 1980’s and1990’s (Ennis, 1989).  In 1981, he published a book entitled “Critical Thinking andEducation” where he was among the first people to consider the role of CT in theeducation system.  In this book, he defined CT as “the appropriate use of reflectivescepticism within the problem area under consideration” (McPeck, 1981, p. 8).  He alsoadded to the notion that CT is, “the propensity and skill to engage in an activity withreflective scepticism” (McPeck, p. 9).  Like Ennis’s definitions, McPeck’s definition hasseveral strengths, and also several flaws that diminish its quality when compared to otherdefinitions.McPeck’s definition is important because it pinpoints an important dispositionthat is crucial to critical thinkers, scepticism.  He carefully explains that scepticism is notquestioning the truth of everything.  In his view, questioning everything is in directopposition to the nature of CT because it is irrational and uncritical.  Instead, “reflectivescepticism” refers to the judicious use of scepticism in which truth is not taken forgranted unless there are sufficient reasons to believe something is true (McPeck, 1981).McPeck’s description of scepticism does not include all of the dispositions necessary forCT, but it is an example of one of them.  The dispositions of a critical thinker are alsohighlighted in the second part of McPeck’s (1981) definition when he refers to critical29thinkers having the, “propensity and skill to engage in reflective scepticism” (p. 9).  Thismeans that proficient critical thinkers have the tendency—or can develop thetendency—to use reflective scepticism when required.  Critical thinkers not only possesscertain dispositions, but they know when to apply the dispositions to appropriatesituations.  Both of these points stress McPeck’s belief that dispositions are as importantas the actual abilities of a critical thinker.Another positive aspect of McPeck’s definition is his explanation of the contextand purpose for CT.  McPeck (1981) refers to the situations for CT as “problem areasunder consideration” meaning that CT is instigated when a thinker is faced with aproblematic situation.  This statement is important to McPeck because of his belief that,“Critical thinking always manifests itself in connection with some identifiable activity orsubject area and never in isolation (p. 5).  Both of these descriptions explain that CT takesplace when thinkers are faced with problematic situations that require an individual torationally think through a situation.  Like Ennis’s 1991 definition, McPeck argues thatCT includes more than analysis of statements; it also includes situations where anindividual must decide what to believe or how to act.There are some significant flaws with McPeck’s definition.  There is nothing inthe term “reflective scepticism” that describes the standards of quality thinking requiredin CT.  Furthermore, Harvey Siegel (1988) argues that scepticism is not the same as CT.One can be reflectively sceptical without doing any CT.  Scepticism is an unclear termbecause there are many different meanings—some believe sceptical means the same ascynical, while others believe it describes a questioning attitude.  Moreover, McPeck usesreflective scepticism to describe CT, yet he ignores the specific abilities used by a critical30thinker to make a judgment.  Reflective scepticism does not cover all of the abilities anindividual must perform in order to think critically.McPeck’s definition is not useful because it excludes any mention of the specificabilities of a critical thinker, and the quality of thinking required for quality CT.Lipman’s “Skillful Responsible Thinking”Lipman created the Philosophy for Children program at Montclair StateUniversity in the 1970’s with the purpose of developing children’s CT abilities.  Hecriticizes other definitions because he believes they are too narrowly focused onproducing outcomes, and too vague in defining the essential characteristics of CT(Lipman, 1988).  Lipman sees an important connection between CT, criteria andjudgment.  He states that, “making judgments is a skill, critical thinking is skillfulthinking and skills cannot be defined without criteria to judge skillful performances” (p.40).  Lipman (1988) defines CT as “skillful, responsible thinking, that facilitates goodjudgment because it (a) relies on criteria, (b) is self-correcting, and (c) is sensitive tocontext” (p. 3).  Lipman’s definition includes several important elements that Ennis andMcPeck do not, but it misses several important pieces that their definitions include.Making good judgments is central to Lipman’s entire definition, while thepurposes or situations that provoke a thinker to make judgments are not clearly defined.His definition does not stipulate if CT requires a problematic situation, nor does itarticulate if the judgments can be about beliefs and actions.  His definition does highlighttwo important aspects of CT: quality and criteria.  Lipman uses words like “skillful”,“responsible” and “good” to support the idea that CT is separated from other types of31thinking by the quality of the thinking required.  Lipman also reinforces the importanceof establishing criteria in CT.  In his view, the origin of CT can be traced to the word“criteria” and not from “critical.”  This is an important distinction for Lipman because hebelieves that many people believe that CT is about being critical, whereas he believes thetrue nature of CT is establishing criteria that guide or help individuals make reasonedjudgments.Lipman’s definition focuses on the abilities of a critical thinker when it mentions“skillful thinking”, but his definition does not discuss the dispositions necessary forbecoming a critical thinker.  The term “responsible thinking” and “self-correcting” arementioned, but these terms are problematic.  Use of “responsible thinking” is problematicbecause it does not denote who the thinking is responsible to?  Society?  The individualthinker?  Previously established standards?  Self-correcting is a less troublesome choicebecause it is similar to Ennis’s use of “reflective” in his 1991 definition.  “Self-correcting” refers to the meta-cognitive ability of a critical thinker to think about his orher own thinking.10  While this ability is an important proficiency, it does not come closeto encapsulating all of the necessary dispositions of a critical thinker, such asindependent-minded, circumspect, curious or reflective.  It is ironic that Lipman criticizesother CT definitions for being unclear when many of the terms he chooses are alsoimprecise.Siegel: Appropriately Moved By ReasonsSiegel is an educational philosopher at the University of Miami who has devotedpart of his research interests towards promoting CT in education.  He has not created one32definition of CT; instead he has created a variety of statements that describe the abilitiesof a critical thinker.  By themselves, the statements describe limited aspects of CT, butwhen they are considered in their entirety, they adequately outline the importantcomponents of CT.According to Siegel (1988), a critical thinker is “appropriately moved by reasons”aimed at fostering rationality and the development of rational individuals (p. 32).Lipman argues that Siegel’s definition is “brief and elegant” because it uses only fourwords to touch on the major aspects of CT (Lipman, 2003, p. 61).  Lipman believesSiegel’s use of “appropriate” describes the importance for CT to adapt to the contextwhere the problematic situation occurs.  “Moved,” specifies the emotions that areimportant to CT, and “reasons” highlights the importance of rationality and criteria toCT.I disagree with Lipman’s assessment of Siegel’s definition.  “Appropriatelymoved by reasons” does not adequately describe CT because it does not describe all ofthe important aspects of CT, and it is not clear what is meant by the term “appropriate.”Appropriate could describe the pressures of behaving properly in social situations, orunderstanding when or when not to question authority.  Like Ennis’ use of the term“correct,” Siegel’s use of “appropriate” gives the impression that dominant forces insociety determine the meaning of appropriate.  I believe that one of the important aspectsof CT is that it protects individuals from following ideas or values that society deemsappropriate or correct, thus allowing individuals to decide for themselves.  CT shouldtherefore focus on the strength of reasons, not the fact that they are appropriate or correct.                                                                                                                                                      10 The term thinking about one’s own thinking was previously described as meaning metacognition.33Siegel provides another definition that is more precise than the previous onebecause it focuses on the abilities a critical thinker should possess.  He states that, “Acritical thinker must be able to assess reasons and their ability to warrant beliefs, claimsand actions properly” (Siegel, 1988, p. 34).  In this statement Siegel identifies thenecessity for a critical thinker to demonstrate an understanding of the principles thatgovern the assessment of reasons.  The ability to assess reasons allows a thinker toproperly decide what beliefs and actions are appropriate.  Siegel (1988) includesassessing claims, making judgments, evaluating procedures or contemplating alternativeactions as important abilities needed to initiate CT.  This taxonomy of abilities provides alimited explication of the abilities of a critical thinker, and mentions the context thatinitiates CT.  Siegel’s wording in the definition is problematic because he uses the word“properly” without providing any criteria that determines what the “proper” assessmentof reasons is.  He needs to be explicit about the use of “proper,” and who determineswhat proper assessment is.The dispositions necessary for CT are an important part of Siegel’s definition.Siegel (1980) includes the dispositions required for CT when he explains that anindividual must have, “certain attitudes, dispositions, habits, and character traits, whichtogether may be labelled the “critical spirit or critical attitude” (p. 9).  This is animportant conclusion because Siegel’s description of “critical spirit” clearlyacknowledges that CT is not just about having reasoning abilities or the ability to assessreasons, it also includes attitudes, dispositions, habits and character traits.Another of Siegel’s (1980) notable descriptions of a critical thinker is, “a thinkerwho can assess claims and make judgments on the basis of reasons, and who understands34and conforms to principles governing the evaluation of the force of those reasons” (p. 8).This is his most useful definition because it uses clearer wording to describe CT and itsimportant characteristics.  According to this definition, CT judgments can only beevaluated by the strength of the reasoning, and the criteria and principles determined bythe context of the subject.  This definition accurately points out that each individual mustunderstand and adapt reasoning to the principles of the context in which he or she ismaking decisions.When taken together, Siegel’s multitude of CT definitions describe the importantaspects and characteristics of a quality definition.  The definitions describe a purpose forCT, include the aspects that produce quality thinking, and describe the important abilitiesand dispositions a CT definition must possess.  The major flaw of Siegel’s definitions arethe vague wording used in some of them, as well as the number of definitions provided.In order to develop an adaptable conception of CT, the multiple definitions must benarrowed into one definition that precisely describes what CT is, and what the importantaspects are.  By making these changes Siegel could establish the foundation for buildinga conception that identifies the important aspects of CT.The Foundation for Critical ThinkingThe Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique and the Foundation ForCritical Thinking—two sister educational non-profit organizations in Sonoma,California—work closely together to promote essential change in education and societythrough the cultivation of fair-minded CT (The critical thinking community: Our mission,35n.d.).  The Center conducts advanced research and disseminates information on CT, whilethe Foundation integrates the Center's research and theoretical developments, and createsevents and resources designed to help educators improve their instruction.Richard Paul is the Director of Research and Professional Development at theCenter for Critical Thinking and Chair of the National Council for Excellence in CriticalThinking.  Paul is an internationally recognized authority on CT, and has published eightbooks and over 200 articles on the subject.  Paul is the main developer of the definitionsand conceptions of CT that the Foundation for Critical Thinking (referred to as the FFCThereafter) forwards, although fellows of the FFCT, Elder, Nosich, Hale and Cosgrovealso make contributions.  Paul (1993) insists that CT can be defined in a number ofdifferent ways that should not be seen as mutually exclusive, which is opposed to mybelief that CT should be defined succinctly.  He has developed several definitions thatconstitute his understanding of CT including,Critical thinking is that mode of thinking-about any subject, content, or problem-in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfullyanalyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it.  Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.  It presupposes assent torigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entailseffective communication and problem solving abilities, as well as a commitmentto overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism (Paul, 2004, ¶ 2).This definition describes and explains CT better than the previous definitions, andalso includes all the criteria a useful definition should contain.  It describes a purpose forCT to occur—within any subject, content, or problem that prompts a thinker to improve36the quality of his or her thinking.  The definition explains that a critical thinker improvesthe quality of thinking by analyzing, assessing and reconstructing it.  It uses the terms“quality of thinking” and “rigorous standards of excellence” to identify the features of CTthat distinguishes it from ordinary thinking.  Important dispositions and abilities requiredfor CT are also identified in statements such as “self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking” and “effective communication and problemsolving abilities.”  The only criticism is that a definition of CT is meant to be a clear andsuccinct introduction to a theorist’s view of CT.  The definition is more of an explanationof the major components of CT than a simple definition.Paul has developed further definitions that describe other aspects of CT; the 1993definition makes a clear distinction about the purposes and uses of CT and categorizesCT into “strong sense” and “weak sense” categories.  Weak-sense thinkers use thinkingskills to defend self-interest or the interests of another group by pointing out inadequaciesin the reasoning of others (Paul, 1993).  Weak-sense thinkers do not apply thinking skillsas rigorously to their own arguments or assumptions, as they do to others’ arguments.Strong-sense critical thinkers strive to recognize their egocentric and ethnocentric biases,apply thinking skills to their own arguments, and seek truth or the morally preferredalternative.  Paul’s “strong-sense” theory describes the characteristics of a critical thinker,and the qualities that all critical thinkers should strive to possess.   Paul believes thatcritical thinkers value quality reasoning, self-reflection and the search for truth.  Whencritical thinkers make decisions, they are guided by criteria that consider morality, andthe interests of a wide-range of individuals and groups.  Paul’s conception of CT isdesigned to build strong-sense CT by supporting the premise that CT includes self-37criticism and metacognition, or as Paul (1993) puts it, “thinking about your thinkingwhile you’re thinking to make your thinking better” (p. 91).Paul has provided the highest quality definitions of CT that have been analyzedthus far.  He defines important terms in a clear manner, provides clear purposes forcritical thinking, focuses on building quality thinking, and describes the importantabilities and dispositions of a critical thinker.  The only flaw is the dissonance caused byproviding too many definitions that describe CT; it is difficult to grasp the meaning andpurposes of all the definitions at the same time.  Paul’s insistence that it is impossible todescribe CT with one succinct definition is entirely plausible.  Unfortunately, it isimpossible to build a conception of CT that can be adapted to classrooms if there is notan accessible understanding of the definition.The TC2 Definition of Critical ThinkingThe Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) is a non-profit association of institutionalpartners, school districts, faculties of education, teaching professionals, associations andother informal educational organizations.  TC2 was formed in 1993 by LeRoi Daniels andJerrold Coombs of the University of British Columbia, and Roland Case and SharonBailin from Simon Fraser University who were interested in, “…promoting criticalthinking from primary to post-secondary education through professional development,publications and research” (The Critical Thinking Consortium, n.d.).TC2 defines CT as follows: “Critical thinking involves thinking throughproblematic situations about what to believe or how to act where the thinker makesreasoned judgments that embody the qualities of a competent thinker” (Case & Daniels,382002, ¶ 1).  The definition asserts that CT occurs when an individual faces a “problematicsituation”, which is defined as an event that presents an individual with conflictingpossibilities for belief or action.  Problematic situations provide meaningful contexts inwhich thinkers create possible solutions and consider their positive and negativeconsequences.  If a situation is not sufficiently problematic or important, individuals willnot care to consider the positive and negative consequences of the decision.One of the important criteria for a useful CT definition is that it states the purposefor CT.  The TC2 definition states that critical thinkers make “judgments” about whichbelief or action is best to adopt.  CT requires a situation where the individual must make adecision about belief or action and cannot be confined to the assessment of the logic of astatement or a belief.  The definition uses “reasoned judgments” to describe the quality ofthinking required.  CT is different from regular thinking in that it requires higher qualitythought.  The use of “reasonable” implies a level of quality thinking, as compared to“unreasonable” thinking, which denotes lower quality thinking.  The term “reasonedjudgments” accentuates the idea that judgments made must meet standards or criteria forhigher quality thought, which is similar to Paul’s description of weak and strong senseCT mentioned previously.An important aspect of a critical thinker is the ability to critically think through asituation, and the dispositions that promote CT.  The TC2 definition states that criticalthinkers possess the “qualities of a competent thinker.”  The use of this termacknowledges that a competent thinker possesses certain abilities and dispositions thatfoster CT.  A person cannot make a decision about which historical source is more biasedunless he or she understands the concept of bias.  Likewise, without certain dispositions39or “qualities of a competent thinker”, an individual cannot make reasoned judgments.  Ifa person is closed-minded, they will make hasty judgments without considering allpossible solutions or perspectives.  Self-reflection (or metacognition) is another exampleof an important disposition TC2 believes a critical thinker needs to exercise.Like Paul’s definition, the TC2 conception of CT is useful.  It is clear andstraightforward, and includes all of the important aspects of CT outlined in the criteria.The definition uses easy to understand language, it identifies standards for qualitythinking and reasoning, and it mentions key CT abilities and dispositions.Table 1 on the next page summarizes the categories for analyzing CT definitionsand displays how the criteria related to each definition.  The criteria are listed on top,while the key definitions analyzed are listed in the column on the far left.  Although thechart is meant to serve as a summary for the reader, it also helped clarify my conclusionsabout each definition.  Only three definitions met the criteria for a useful definition:Siegel’s definitions, the Foundation for Critical Thinking’s definitions, and TC2’sdefinition.  40Criteria for Determining “Useful” Critical Thinking DefinitionsTheorists’Definitions ofCriticalThinkingDefines CT UsingClearly UnderstoodLanguageProvides a Purpose forCT: Produces QualityThinking ThatFocuses on Criteriaand StandardsIncludes the Habits ofMind and Abilities ofa Critical ThinkerEnnis 1962Definition(1962)No, an extremely briefand vague definition isprovided.No, only mentions“correct”, which does notnecessarily meet criteriaor standards.No mention of habits ofmind or critical thinkingabilities.Ennis 1991StreamlinedDefinition(1991)Yes, detailed and clear.Somewhat, CT includesbelief and action and theuse of the term“reflective.”  No realmention of standards.Somewhat, does mention“reflective”, one habit ofmind.McPeckDefinition(McPeck, 1981)Yes, detailed and clearlanguage used.Somewhat, CT occurs inproblem area underconsideration but, nostandards or criteria arementionedSomewhat.  Does mentionreflective skepticism, butthis is just one habit ofmind.LipmanDefinition(1988)Somewhat.  Definition isunderstandable, but somewords are ambiguous andunclear.Somewhat. Mentions thatthinking is sensitive tocontext, too unclearYes, does mentioncriteria, and skillfulthinking.Not directly.  Mentionsself-corrective thinking,but this is not specific.SiegelDefinitions(1980; 1988)Yes, but includes multipleoverlapping definitions.Yes, CT includes, actions,beliefs and reasons guidedby the force of reasons.Yes, includes abilities andhabits of mind.Foundation forCriticalThinking(1993; 2004)Somewhat clear.  Multipleoverly descriptivedefinitions.Yes, mentions manypurposes for CT bydiscussing quality ofthinking and standards ofexcellence.Yes, discusses abilitiesand habits of mind.TC2 Definition(2004)Yes, detailed and clear.Yes, includes multiplepurposes and describes theterm “reasonedjudgments.”Yes, mentions thequalities of a competentthinker.Table 1: Summary of the Analysis of the Definitions of Critical Thinking41Below I use the analysis of useful definitions of CT to determine which CTconception is “most adaptable” to teaching History 12.  My goal is to identify anadaptable conception of CT that I can use as the method for teaching CT in my History12 classes.  After determining which conception is most adaptable, I use that model toteach five History 12 classes.  In later chapters, I reflect on the use of the model andcritique the strengths and weaknesses of the conception as it relates to my practice.Section Two: Criteria for an Adaptable Conception of Critical ThinkingThe analysis of CT definitions in Section One of the literature review reveals theessential characteristics of useful CT definitions.  I developed this understanding of theessential characteristics of CT over the past year and a half of comparing and contrastingvarious CT definitions.  The criteria for determining an “adaptable” conception of CT isderived from the common characteristics of “useful” CT definitions, and from myassumptions about how CT is best utilized in teaching history.  The criteria fordetermining an adaptable conception of CT is based on my perspective, a practicinghistory teacher, not from the perspective of an expert CT theorist.  I am not reviewing thelogical or theoretical strength of CT conceptions, rather I am judging which CTconception is most adaptable for teaching History 12.Criteria #1: The conception must provide coherent and understandable methods andguidelines for implementing CT into the classroom.Many theorists focus on explicating their theories of CT, but do not provide anyconcrete ideas or methods that assist teachers in implementing CT in their classrooms.42Theorists want to ensure that their conceptions provide logical and coherent descriptionsthat can withstand theoretical critiques from fellow CT theorists.  Unfortunately, manyCT theorists are not concerned about providing conceptual frameworks that are coherentand understandable enough to be practicable for classroom teachers.  Although sufficientunderstanding of CT is a process that takes years, not months, a conception that requiresyears of study and training just to begin implementation is untenable.  After introductionto a CT conception, teachers should be able to gain a basic understanding of the model’sbeliefs, methods and strategies, and should be able to implement them into their dailyactivitiesCriteria #2: The CT conception uses an inquiry model of instruction, not a didactic style.The style of teaching that features the teacher as the authority and possessor ofknowledge who transfers this knowledge to students is called didactic teaching.  Case andDenos (2006) argue that many teachers use didactic methods to explain their version of ahistorical event, and students are evaluated on their ability to understand the keyinformation about the event.  Paul and Elder (2000) believe that this method ofinstruction fails to consider the interpretive nature of history and the information learnedbecomes “inert.”  Although students believe they understand the information, they do notsufficiently think about it to transform it into something meaningful.  Students do notplay any role in making decisions about historical events, instead their only active role ismaking sure they understand the important parts of the story that have been passed on tothem.43The “community of inquiry” is a term that Matthew Lipman (2003) claimsCharles Sanders Peirce invented.  It describes the belief that education is most effectivewhen groups use inquiry to investigate a topic or problem within a specific subject area(Lipman, 2003).  In my experience, this method improves understanding of the contentand epistemology of a subject while facilitating groups working together to monitor theirown logic and reasoning.  Students who are part of a community of inquiry are morelikely to understand that history is an interpretive and subjective discipline that requiresevidence, logic and reasoning to be able to form conclusions on key issues in thecurriculum.In a didactic lesson, a teacher might lecture students about the reasons the UnitedStates government decided to drop two atom bombs on Japan in 1945, and then askstudents to prove their understanding by explaining the reasons Harry S. Truman decidedto drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  In an inquiry-style lesson, a teachermight design an activity where the class researched arguments on each side of the debate,and then discussed the strength and weaknesses of the arguments they uncovered.  Thisinquiry approach provides students with knowledge of the basic details of the atom bombattack, while helping them “understand” that historical conclusions are subjective andbased on different historians’ assumptions.Criteria #3: The CT conception can be embedded1 throughout History 12, not as aseparate course or an add-on to course content.                                                  1 Embedded describes a critical thinking conception that is used as the method to teach the content of thecurriculum.  It differs from critical thinking conceptions that are designed to be taught separately fromcurriculum content.44The History 12 curriculum features large amounts of content.  It would bedifficult to teach CT in addition to the content in the History 12 curriculum.  As a result,it must be possible to embed an adaptable conception of CT throughout the course, notadded on to an already overburdened curriculum.  Furthermore, CT is rarely taught insocial studies courses in B.C. because it is viewed as a group of skills or tasks to becompleted only after content knowledge has been mastered (Case, 1992).  This type ofinstruction separates thinking processes and content, and ensures that much of the contentis learned in a “detached and uninteresting way” (Bailin, Case, Coombs & Daniels,1999).  An adaptable CT conception must be embedded throughout the curriculum so thatacquisition and understanding of content knowledge are not separate from each other.Many CT theorists believe that when CT is embedded in the curriculum, it deepensstudents’ understanding of the epistemology of history and the nature of historicalthinking (McPeck 1981; Paul & Elder, 2000).Criteria #4: The CT conception produces quality CT by developing the necessarycharacteristics, dispositions, and abilities of a critical thinker.One of the most important aspects of a CT conception is that it produces qualityCT.  This may seem like an obvious statement, but many CT conceptions omit importantabilities, qualities or characteristics of CT and as a result, they do not produce highquality CT.  The important characteristics and abilities that critical thinkers possess is atopic of great disagreement amongst CT scholars.  The criteria I have developed includethe common statements, ideas and theories that emerged from useful definitions of CTanalyzed in the previous section.  It is assumed that if a CT conception does not include45these characteristics, it will not produce quality CT, and will not be adaptable to teachingHistory 12.  If a CT conception develops quality CT it includes:• The dispositions that foster CT.• The use of criteria to make high quality judgments about the problem athand (both actions and thoughts).• The abilities and competencies required to make CT decisions (alsoreferred to as skills like inference, bias, conclusions).• The purposes for CT to occur.  In other words, the events that instigateCT to occur.Criteria #5: The CT conception promotes assessment of students’ ability to thinkcritically, not just find the correct answer.Typically, history teachers assess whether students know the “right” answer.  If ateacher is focusing on improving students’ abilities to critically think about history, thenassessment should measure their ability to think critically, not their ability to get the rightanswer.  Correct information is not unimportant to CT because it enables students tomake reasoned decisions.  However, the process of making a decision is the importantfocus, not finding the right answer.  A teacher cannot assess CT ability by the number ofright answers students get on assignments or on tests.  If I ask students to decide ifStalin’s industrial policies were good for the Soviet Union, it is important that they havean accurate understanding of Stalin’s various industrial policies.  However, I would notjust assess students’ ability to understand Stalin’s industrial policies.  I would also assesshow students developed criteria to determine what “good” meant, and I would ensure that46they considered several points of view before forming their conclusion.  It would also beimportant that students supported their conclusions with solid reasoning and reliableevidence.In the next section, I use the criteria discussed above to determine which of the sixmajor conceptions of CT (developed by: Ennis, McPeck, Siegel, Lipman, the Foundationfor Critical Thinking and TC2) are most adaptable for teaching History 12.  By the end ofthe analysis I identify one conception of CT that is most adaptable for teaching History12.Ennis’ Conception of Critical ThinkingAs previously discussed, Ennis was one of the first thinkers in the last forty yearsin North America to unearth a tangible theory of CT.  He is undoubtedly a pioneer in themodern CT movement because his theories have had enormous influence on members ofthe CT community.  Ennis believes that his 1991 conception is the best-organized andmost easily grasped conception he created because it evolved from thirty years ofrevision and peer criticism.  It may be his best-organized conception, but it is vague,complex and not adequately developed to be utilized for teaching History 12.  Hisconception presents a clear definition and description of CT abilities and dispositions, butit does not explain how CT can be adequately developed, or put into practice at anyeducational level.Ennis’ 1991 conception outlines twelve dispositions and sixteen abilities thatdescribe the abilities and characteristics critical thinkers possess.  Although Ennisidentifies the key dispositions and abilities, he is not clear about how to teach them.  He47includes abilities that are too vague or complex to be embedded in a high school historyclassroom.  For example, ability number eight is, “to deduce, and judge deductions”,while ability number nine is “to induce, and judge inductions” (Ennis, 1991, p. 9).  I donot fully understand these concepts, and I know that students would have a difficult timelearning to judge deductions and inductions.  Ennis does not explain what an induction is,or how a teacher can judge if a student is using inductive reasoning correctly.  Acurriculum built around his conception would require enormous funding and in-servicetime to aid teachers in understanding and teaching the CT concepts Ennis includes in hisconception.In addition to this concern, fostering Ennis’ CT abilities would require too muchcurricular time, leaving little time for subject specific content in the curriculum.  It wouldbe unreasonable to expect that sixteen abilities and twelve dispositions be taught at thesame time as specific history content.  Even Ennis himself has admitted that this list ofabilities is “perhaps overwhelming” (Siegel, 1988, p. 8).Although Ennis clearly points out that the organization of his conception is only acontent outline, the structure of his conception is too systematic to produce quality CT inHistory 12.  His conception includes 16 abilities divided into four areas: clarification,basis for decision, inference and metacognitive abilities.  These abilities are not meant towork in sequence, but Ennis believes that all of these abilities need to be achieved for CTto occur.  Students would be frustrated by a system that advocates using sixteen differentabilities in order to critically think, especially when many of the steps are far toocomplicated to perform for a History 12 student with little experience in CT.  Ennis’systematic approach is too focused on informal logic, “the branch of logic that concerns48itself with interpretation, evaluation, and construction of arguments and argumentationused in natural language” (Johnson, 1996, p. 46).  Informal logic has greatly contributedto the theoretical foundation for CT, but in many cases, informal logic is only a small partof CT. Informal logic focuses on reasoning and argumentation but is not concerned withdecisions about what to do in a given circumstance.  Ennis’ model of CT is too focusedon argument analysis and CT abilities, and does not consider other contexts for fosteringCT in students.One of the major flaws of Ennis’ 1991 conception is his belief in its purpose.  Hebelieves this conception could be used as a guide for implementing CT as an overallcurriculum plan in various subject courses in secondary school or college, as the basis fora separate course in CT, or as a guide to the assessment of a CT course or curriculum thatconcentrates on CT (Ennis, 1991).  He contradicts himself later in the article when hestates that the 1991 conception “does not provide sufficient guidance for teaching andcurriculum decisions” (p. 6).  It is contradictory to claim that a conception is adequate foran overall curriculum plan, but does not provide guidance for teaching and curriculumdecisions.  If a conception can guide a curriculum, then it should be able to provideguidance for teaching.In addition to this inconsistency, Ennis further purports that the 1991 conceptionincludes more, “…explicit emphases on the importance of knowledge in the area wherethe thinking occurs” (p. 6).  One of the major criticisms of Ennis’ earlier conceptions wasthat it was not adaptable to various subject areas (McPeck, 1981).  By acknowledging theimportance of context specific subject knowledge in his 1991 conception, Ennis appears49to be backing down from his theoretical disagreements with McPeck12 by attempting tomake his CT conception more adaptable to other subject areas.  Ennis (1989) supportsusing a mixed approach for teaching CT, which recommends that CT should be taught asa separate course, and also embedded within different subject areas.  This way, genericCT abilities and dispositions can be taught in one class, and then applied to differentdisciplines.  This approach would not work for my History 12 classes because I cannotunderstand where Ennis has provided any emphasis on subject specific knowledge,historical or otherwise in the 1991 conception.  Although some abilities and dispositionscould be adapted for historical study, Ennis’ lack of clarity creates confusion as to howthis adaptation could be created.Although Ennis is one of very few CT theorists to focus on CT assessment, hisattempts are misguided and do not accurately measure students’ ability to think critically.He developed the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Level X and Z (1985), and the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test (1985) to measure students’ ability to think critically.He believes that CT tests can be used to serve multiple purposes like diagnosing students’levels of CT ability, and informing teachers about the success of their efforts to teachstudents to think critically (Ennis, 1993).  The main problem with Ennis’ CT tests is thatthey test CT in a general-content-based area.13  This means that the tests measure CTabilities on their own, without the context of a specific subject.  This affects the validityof the CT tests because as McPeck (1981) and Lipman (2003) argue, quality CT in onesubject may not necessarily be quality CT in another.  If these tests are only measuring                                                  12 For an understanding of the arguments between McPeck and Ennis see McPeck (1989) and Ennis (1989,1990) in the references list.13 The term general-content-based area is used by Ennis to describe generic critical thinking abilities that donot require any specific content focus (Ennis, 1993, p. 182).50generic CT abilities, they cannot measure how well students are critically thinking inHistory 12.  Ennis has lamented the lack of subject-specific CT tests that assess CTwithin one subject area, and because of the lack of accepted tests for history, Ennis’ viewof CT assessment cannot be successfully adapted to teaching History 12 (Ennis, 1993).Furthermore, both the multiple-choice Cornell Critical Thinking Test and theessay-style Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test do not accurately measure students’abilities to think critically.  Both of these tests measure CT abilities like induction,deduction, credibility, fallacies and overgeneralization, but they do not measure thedispositions necessary for CT.  Ennis has focused assessment of CT primarily on tests,which is misguided because assessment of students’ CT ability can be measured using avariety of assessment methods other than tests, such as rubrics, debates, and onlinediscussions.14  His fixation on testing as the only method of assessing CT makes it lessadaptable for teaching History 12.Overall, Ennis’ 1991 conception cannot be adapted to teaching History 12because of its support of the mixed-approach, the systematic nature of his conception,and his views on assessment.McPeck and Subject-Specific Critical ThinkingJohn E. McPeck is an important figure in the CT movement because he proposeda conception of CT that challenged many of the accepted theories of what CT is, and howit can be achieved in educational institutions.  His criticisms forced CT theorists toquestion some of their fundamental beliefs, and set the stage for the emergence of new                                                  14 For further information on assessment see my description of assessment methods on page 102 in ChapterFour.51perspectives of CT.  In the 1980’s, Ennis and other theorists created conceptions of CTthat focused on building the general skills of informal logic and argument analysis.  Theybelieved that critical thinkers possess a group of abilities and dispositions that could betransferred to any situation or subject where CT is required.  McPeck contended thatthere are no “general thinking skills” that can be transferred across subject areas anddisciplines because “thinking is always thinking about something” (McPeck, 1981, p. 3).To McPeck (1981), general thinking courses about thinking are impossible because CT isnot a distinct subject—the “critical” in critical thinking refers to the way that somethingis thought about.  McPeck’s contentions led to voluminous and heated responses from thedefenders of general CT abilities, but neither side were able to gain the upper hand.These debates have become irrelevant and counter-productive because the two positionsdo not have to be irreconcilable.  CT theorists like Siegel (1988) believe that there are CTabilities and dispositions that are transferable across subject areas.  Siegel labelled theabilities and dispositions that can be transferred from discipline to discipline “subject-neutral”; and the abilities and dispositions that cannot be transferred “subject-specific.”For example, the disposition concerned with being accurate is transferable across manysubject areas.  A student concerned about being accurate can transfer this disposition inscience, history or literature.  Other theorists, like McPeck (1981, 1990) concede that thecriteria for determining quality CT can only be measured by the standards and norms ofthe discipline in which the thinking takes place.  To them, the criteria and subject-specificknowledge for determining the reliability of a historical source is very different fromdetermining the reliability of a scientific experiment or theory.52McPeck’s conception is not adaptable to teaching History 12 because it is atheoretical explication of his view of CT, and not concerned with how his conception canbe practically implemented in the classroom.  He does provide several purposeful hintsthat discuss what teaching CT in a high school history classroom might look like, butthese hints do not constitute a fully explained model of adapting his method of CT to theclassroom.  McPeck’s (1990) central argument is that CT should be taught as an “integralpart” of many subjects because there is room for autonomous thought and CT withinsubject areas like history (p. 51).  He states that CT should be embedded within a highschool history curriculum, not as a separate course.  According to McPeck, CT is besttaught through the disciplines, and if the disciplines are taught correctly, they willproduce students who think critically (McPeck, 1990).His conception of CT also supports the use of inquiry style instruction rather thandidactic instruction.  McPeck thinks that didactic instruction and traditional modes ofschooling have been seriously deficient at promoting independent thought (McPeck,1990).  He argues that didactic instruction is featured in secondary schools because it hasbeen carried over from grade school.  McPeck is critical of didactic instruction insecondary schools because he believes that, “secondary school is the place wherediscussion, argumentation, and the free exchange of ideas within a subject should be themajor means of teaching and learning” (p. 50).McPeck’s (1990) theories on assessment are similar to the criteria I developed; hebelieves that assessment for CT should measure CT ability, not students’ ability to findthe right answer.  He explains that students are not fools, if they are expected to reasonand discuss things they will do it, however, if regurgitation and getting the right answer is53what garners high marks then that is what they will do.  McPeck finds it ironic thatteachers often blame students for not becoming critical thinkers, but the same teachers donot support CT in the subjects they teach.  One of the fundamental cures McPecksuggests for this problem is replacing questions that have “right” answers with questionsthat demand reasoning and articulation.  To adopt this style, he believes teachers must bewilling to assess the quality of the reasoning and articulation, and not the answer that isprovided.  McPeck astutely points out that creating a classroom based on reasoning andargumentation is very difficult unless teachers open up their views and methods forreasonable disagreement, and instil students with the confidence that reasonabledisagreement will be rewarded, not punished.  In order to create a learning environmentthat encourages CT, McPeck believes that students need to be cut loose from theirdependency on the teacher and the textbook.A major weakness of McPeck’s views on assessment is that his theories do notconsider the realities of teaching in classrooms today.  For example, he states thatteachers must open up their views and methods to reasonable disagreement from students(McPeck, 1990).  I agree with McPeck’s position, but I also know several teachers whoview disagreement from students as a sign of disobedience, or are fearful and anxiousabout inviting students to question their methods and views.  This type of reasonabledisagreement in a classroom needs to be fostered over time as a teacher builds acommunity of inquiry.  It cannot be built overnight, as McPeck seems to expect.Another example of McPeck’s lack of understanding of teaching reality is hisview that students who do not produce reasonable thinking in their assignments should befailed.  He believes that only failure will help students understand that having their own54thoughts about things is the “name of the game in school” (McPeck, 1990, p. 51).  Theoverreaction recommended by McPeck would not be effective in any school I haveworked in because many students do not engage in reasonable thinking and as a result,the majority would fail.  Furthermore, failing a student for not using reasoning andautonomous thinking is an unreasonable, counter-productive and hypocritical response.It would be like a teacher using violence and physical threats to stop a student frombullying.  Teachers need to create a classroom environment that teaches, embraces andvalues reasoning, rather than one that banishes students for not using reasoning.The major reason McPeck’s conception of CT would not adapt well to teachinghistory in a secondary school is because he does not clearly explain how his conceptionactually produces CT.  He is adamant that CT should only be taught as part of a specificsubject and never in isolation as a generic, transferable group of abilities.  McPeck (1981)outlines that teaching CT involves teaching students “how” to think (using proceduresand skills) and also “teaching to”, which involves teaching students the dispositions,tendencies and proficiencies to critically think.  Unfortunately, he never identifies thespecific procedures, skills, and dispositions important to fostering CT.  McPeck (1981)argues that CT requires a thorough knowledge of the epistemology of each field of study,and the standards and abilities required for CT differs according to the subject beingdiscussed.  McPeck (1990) would argue that he could not specify which CT abilities anddispositions should be learned in each subject because he is not an expert in eachdiscipline.  In his mind, the decisions about which CT abilities and dispositions are taughtshould be left up to curriculum specialists, epistemologists and experts from eachdiscipline.  These experts could meet together and establish central frameworks and55teaching methods for teachers to use.  Although this argument is consistent with thecentral arguments McPeck makes, I cannot see how he expects CT to flourish in ourschools if he leaves the skills and proficiencies that perpetuate CT up to non-CT expertsto decide.  These experts have considerable knowledge in their disciplines, but they havelimited knowledge about the nature and requirements of what constitutes CT.  McPeck(1990) mistakenly assumes that if teachers use the structure of their discipline as the coreof the curriculum, they will foster CT.  There is no guarantee that if a teacher understandsthe structure of his or her discipline, that he or she will automatically encourage CTamongst students.  McPeck’s inability to identify specific CT abilities, and concede thatsome general thinking abilities exist is a major flaw of his conception.John E. McPeck’s theories of CT have contributed a great deal to theunderstanding of what constitutes CT.  His unshakeable belief that CT can only existwithin the confines of each subject discipline has forced CT theorists to examine theirbeliefs about the transferability of CT abilities and dispositions.  Although his conceptionis too vague to be adapted into teaching History 12, he has articulated many ideas that areimportant for embedding CT in my teaching.Siegel’s Conception of Critical ThinkingSiegel developed a conception of CT called the “Reasons Conception” whichfocuses on developing both a theory of CT and a critical thinker at the same time (Siegel,1988).  Siegel’s theories include many accurate understandings of the nature of CT, butthey could not be adapted to teaching History 12 because the conception is more focused56on developing a comprehensive model of CT, not developing a practical framework thatcan be adapted into school classrooms.The conception that he developed does not introduce any remarkable new ideas,but does piece together several important theories.  It presents a wider view that CT is notjust about assessing reasons, but also about making judgments, evaluating procedures andcontemplating alternative actions (Siegel, 1988).  Another keystone to Siegel’sconception is his insistence that CT must meet standards and principles that govern theassessment of reasons.  This statement underlines the belief that CT must meet specificcriteria in order to qualify as quality thinking.  Siegel is adamant that the ability to assessstatements and make judgments is an important part of CT, but this ability alone does notguarantee CT.  An individual must value good reasoning and be disposed to believe andact on the basis of reasons.  Siegel (1988) describes the list of attitudes, character traits,dispositions, values, emotions and the general willingness to value good reasoning as the“critical attitude” (p. 40).As previously mentioned, there is a debate about whether CT is subject-specificor a general set of abilities and dispositions that could be transferred between subjectdisciplines.  Siegel takes a stance that the entire debate is irrelevant, which influenced myperspective on the issue.  He argues that principles governing the assessment of reasonscan be divided into two categories, subject-specific and subject-neutral.  The subject-specific category refers to the principles that govern the assessment of reasons within acertain context or discipline, while subject-neutral describes general principles that applyacross a wide variety of contexts (Siegel, 1988).  He is saying that CT does not have tomeet the standards within each discipline; there are several CT abilities and dispositions57that transfer across different subject areas.  Rather than ask the question, “Is there ageneralized skill (or set of skills) of CT?”  Siegel (1988) believes that theorists need toask themselves “How does CT manifest itself?”  He believes that the answer to thequestion will be, “It manifests itself in both subject-specific and subject-neutral ways” (p.35).The main reason Siegel’s conception is not adaptable to teaching History 12 isbecause it focuses entirely on building a theory of CT and justifying why CT is animportant educational ideal.  It focuses on general philosophical explanations ofeducation, and the importance of CT in developing rationality in schools.  He does notdiscuss the practical issues that need to be explained in order for his conception to beadapted to the classroom.  There is no mention of the abilities required to teach CT, themethods of teaching CT, how CT can fit into a subject curriculum, or how CT can beassessed.  Siegel’s views on CT informed my knowledge of CT theory, and reinforced thephilosophical importance of CT in our education system, but did not provide anypractical understanding of how to adapt CT in the classroom.Lipman’s Conception of Critical ThinkingLike many of the previous thinkers, Lipman’s conception accentuates manyimportant aspects of CT.  It ascertains that all reasonable decisions are based on criteriaand evidence, it supports the development of the dispositions of a critical thinker, and itespouses the idea that CT should be taught within subject disciplines (Lipman, 1988,2003).  Lipman focuses on the “community of inquiry” more than any other CT theorist,and he sees it as the basic methodology for teaching CT.  Lipman (1988) describes the58community of inquiry as a collaborative group of individuals that pursue similar goalsand foster critical, creative, and caring thinking, which leads to sounder reasoning,understanding, and judgment.  A community of inquiry has several characteristics; it isfocused on creating a product, settlement or judgment; the conversation has a sense ofdirection and structure, but the community goes where the argument takes it (Lipman,2003).  The central role of the community of inquiry is one of the strengths of Lipman’sconception.  It is difficult for individuals to recognize the errors in their own thinking,whereas in communities of inquiry (Lipman, 1988) believes members often becomeaware of their own thinking, and begin looking for and correcting each other’s methodsand procedures. I could not adapt Lipman’s conception of CT to my high school history classesbecause the practical applications of his theories are unclear.  Originally Lipman’stheories were focused entirely on supporting the development of CT through hisPhilosophy for Children program (P4C).  He developed a definition of CT that said,“Critical thinking is thinking that (1) facilitates judgment (2) relies on criteria, (3) is self-correcting, and (4) sensitive to context (Lipman, 2003, p. 212).  In his 2003 bookThinking in Education Lipman states that CT is only one dimension of thinking, andstudents must develop creative and caring thinking as well.  This model advances thenotion that all three dimensions of thinking rely on each other, and are not hierarchical;instead the three dimensions need to be taught in concert with each other (Lipman, 2003).Both caring and creative thinking are important areas of thought, but TC2 contend thatCT does not need to be divided from creative thinking because they are inextricablylinked (Bailin, Case, Coombs & Daniels, 1999).59Lipman’s conception includes too many disparate parts, and is unclear about howthese parts join together to foster CT, or can be adapted into my practice.  Diagrams ofconceptual frameworks are supposed to aid in the understanding of a conception, butLipman’s many frameworks15 are more confusing than they are helpful.  To understandLipman’s community of inquiry, one must comprehend the fifteen descriptions of acommunity of inquiry, and the five stage, 31-step prototype explanation of how aphilosophical community of inquiry is developed.  Even Lipman (2003) is unsure how hiscommunity of inquiry prototype can be adapted to other disciplines.  He also provides alist of the skills and dispositions that are encouraged and developed in the Community ofInquiry.  There are six “General Inquiry Skills”, three “Open Mindedness” dispositions,and eight “Reasoning Skills” (Lipman, 2003, p. 167).  Thinking skills are divided intofour categories including inquiry skills, reasoning skills, concept formation skills, andtranslation skills (Lipman, 2003).  Lipman also includes a list and examples of the fouraspects of CT (self-correction, acquiring sensitivity for context, being guided by criteria,judgment) (Lipman, 2003).  The lists of dispositions, skills and inquiry skills are verycomplicated and confusing.  Lipman developed a logical theory of CT, but his model fordeveloping and fostering CT lacks cohesion amongst the disparate parts.  I kept askingmyself how all of these parts work together to facilitate CT?  I never came up with aconcrete solution.  The conception includes too many aspects of CT, and they are notorganized in a coherent enough manner to be useful for teaching CT in History 12.Lipman does advocate embedding CT in subjects like history, but he also supportsthe creation of independent CT courses.  He believes in creating courses that teach                                                  15 Conceptual frameworks can be found on the following page numbers: figure 8.1 page 164, figure 9.2page 204, figure 10.1 page 242 (Lipman, 2003).60generic CT skills, because it is his view that teachers in individual disciplines will find itdifficult to convey why CT is important (Lipman, 2003, p. 230).  This position iscontradictory.  How can Lipman advocate embedding CT throughout disciplines, but notbelieve that teachers can convey why CT is important?  Is he trying to argue that only CTin its generic form can justify the importance of CT?  This statement of Lipman’s defiesthe purpose of embedding CT in disciplines.  Embedding CT in disciplines helps studentsunderstand the importance of CT, and its adaptability to other subjects.Lipman’s (2003) conception reveals a clear bias about the importance of teachingphilosophy to students.  He places too much faith in the ability of philosophy to teach CTwithout considering how other disciplines might use his model.  He believes that there isnothing in CT that is not included in a philosophy course that emphasizes dialogue,deliberation, and the strengthening of judgment and community (Lipman, 2003).  Theteaching style that he advocates for philosophy teaching would never work in my grade12 classes.  The basis of his model is that students learn the skills and dispositions of CTby reading fictional stories centred around characters who model desirable thinking skills,and encounter problematic situations that require students to think through.  Thecommunity of inquiry established in the class would set about “unpacking” the story anddiscussing key issues and events (Lipman, 2003).  This method of teaching would notwork in my history class because it does not accept the realities of the amount of contentin the curriculum, and it would be difficult to find narrative fictional texts that modelhistorical thinking while meeting the needs of the curriculum at the same time.  I cannotimagine reading a fictional story to grade 12 students, and then try to justify to them howthe book relates to their studies in history.  This method might work with elementary61aged students discussing philosophical issues, but I cannot see how this conception canbe adapted to any history curriculum.Lipman’s conception of CT includes many attractive and adaptable elements, butwhen the theory is taken in its entirety it is not adaptable to teaching History 12.The Foundation for Critical Thinking ConceptionOf the CT conceptions analyzed thus far, the Foundation for Critical Thinking(FFCT hereafter) conception is the first to bridge CT theory with practical methods forteachers to implement CT in the classroom.  Throughout this section, I refer to theconception or theories as Paul’s because he is the driving force behind the FFCT as theprimary theorist and developer of their conception of CT.  The FFCT aims to improveinstruction in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities by offeringconferences and professional development programs that emphasize assessment,research, instructional strategies, Socratic questioning, critical reading and writing, higherorder thinking, quality enhancement, and competency standards (The Critical ThinkingCommunity, n.d.).  Usage of the term “higher-order thinking” is problematic because itdescribes the FFCT belief that there is a clear hierarchy or order to thinking processes.  Intheir view, CT is higher-order thinking that can only be performed after lower-levelthinking like knowledge acquisition and understanding have been accomplished.  I wouldargue that CT is a method used to acquire knowledge and understanding not somethingthat happens after knowledge and understanding have been achieved.  Other than the useof “higher-order thinking” I agree with the goals and objectives of the FFCT because theyfocus on improving the instruction of CT, not just the development of a CT theory.62Paul’s conception advances CT in many useful ways, but it is not fully adaptable forteaching History 12.One of the basic beliefs of the conception is that CT should be embedded in thedelivery of all subjects.  Paul supports a concept of CT that “organizes instruction inevery subject area at every educational level, around it, and on it, and through it” (CriticalThinking in Every Field of Knowledge and Belief, n.d.). Embedded CT practices areimportant because Paul (1992) does not believe that there should be a separation ofknowledge and thinking because one cannot exist without the other.  Recall ofinformation is not equivalent to knowledge; knowledge is the product of thinking and canonly exist when it has been comprehended and constructed through thought (Paul, 2004).Like McPeck (1981; 1990), Paul advocates the belief that understanding theepistemology of disciplines, or what they call the modes of thinking (like history,mathematics or biology), can only be accomplished through thinking (Paul, 2004).  Inmany history classes students believe that they know history when they can recall factsabout the past.  Instead, Paul (2004) calls for disciplines to be taught as modes of thought.In history, students would not blindly memorize content; instead they would learnhistorical content by thinking about historical problems and questions.  Students wouldlearn that history is not a simple recounting of past events, but an interpretation of eventsselected and written from someone else’s point of view (Paul, 2004).  This method ofteaching would help students understand historical perspective, relate the past to thepresent and master content through in-depth historical thought (Paul, 2004).  The conception developed by Paul also includes a discussion of instructionalmethodology that fosters CT.  He believes that classrooms should feature an inquiry63approach, not traditional, didactic teaching.  He criticizes didactic instruction andexplains that teachers should speak less so that students learn more.  Although he doesnot mention inquiry-based learning specifically, the classroom methods he outlinesclearly describe the type of inquiry learning described previously.  He states that allactivities and assignments should be designed so students think their way through them.When new concepts are introduced, teachers should present problematic or significantsituations that require students to use the concepts as tools to arrive at solutions (Paul &Elder, 2000).  This is a description of inquiry learning, and Paul believes that it is onlythrough inquiry learning that students can gain a deeper understanding of concepts.According to Paul’s conception of CT, assessment should measure how well astudent meets the standards, elements and traits of CT, not the ability to find the rightanswer (Paul & Elder, 2000).  He also recommends that teachers should outline theintellectual standards used to grade student work, and teachers should help students learnto assess their work using these standards (Paul & Elder, 2000).  Paul also advocates theuse of a variety of formative and summative tools to assess students’ ability to thinkcritically.  In his view, students should be assessed formatively and provided withinformation on how they can improve their CT ability, and they should also be givensummaries that indicate how well they are meeting the standards and qualities of CT(Paul & Elder, 2000).Is the Foundation for Critical Thinking conception adaptable to History 12?Paul has created a conceptual framework that breaks CT into three interdependentareas: intellectual standards, the elements of reasoning and intellectual traits.  Intellectual64standards describe universal intellectual standards that critical thinkers internalize andapply to thinking in order to check the quality of their reasoning (Paul & Elder, 1996).Intellectual standards include ten qualities fundamental to good reasoning, including:clarity, accuracy, relevance, logicalness, breadth, precision, significance, completeness,fairness and depth.  The elements of reasoning refer to eight “parts” of thinking (orabilities) a thinker must perform when thinking critically (Paul & Elder, 1997).  The eightelements of reasoning describe the ability to understand the basic logic of reasoning.  Forexample, one of the eight parts is, “a thinker must understand that all reasoning is basedon assumptions” (Paul & Elder, 1997, ¶ 8).  Intellectual traits are the last section of hisconceptual framework, and describe eight dispositions that individuals need to acquire inorder to become critical thinkers (Paul & Elder, 1996).  The intellectual traits includedispositions such as intellectual humility, intellectual courage and intellectual empathy.Paul ties the conceptual framework together by explaining that, “critical thinkersroutinely apply the intellectual standards to the elements of reasoning in order to developintellectual traits” (Paul & Elder, 1997, ¶ 14).  In other words, the important dispositionsof a critical thinker are developed when individuals perform CT abilities in ways thatmeet the intellectual standards.There is no doubt that the conception developed by Paul is a well thought-out andsubstantive model of CT.  The conception stresses the importance of metacognition, andthe dispositions necessary to foster CT.  It promotes the idea that thinking needs to meetthe criteria of quality thinking standards in order to be deemed “critical.”  His position onteaching methodology, embedding CT in subject disciplines and assessment techniquesalso strengthen his conception considerably.  However, Paul does not combine the65important aspects of CT in a model that makes his conception of CT clear enough for meto implement in History 12.  Among the many conceptions of CT I have studied over thepast two years, Paul’s was the most difficult to understand.  His articles and books do notexplain how the CT components he identifies can be organized into any subjectcurriculum.  The time required for academically gifted grade 12 students to understandPaul’s CT concepts would be too great considering the amount of content in History 12,and the pressures of the provincial exam.  It would take a great deal of classroom time toteach the three interdependent areas of his conception thoroughly enough for students tounderstand them well enough to put them into practice.  The time required to teach thevarious parts of the conception would mean there would be little time left for teachingimportant content and skills in the curriculum.Another limiting aspect of the model is the range of activities required to fosterCT.  The conception includes a list of 35 teaching strategies to help teachers know how toadapt the model into their lessons.  The strategies highlight affective strategies (forexample, exercising fair-mindedness), cognitive strategies: macro-abilities (likegenerating or assessing solutions) and cognitive strategies micro-skills (like exploringimplications and consequences) (Paul, Martin & Adamson, 1989).16  Paul also does notdescribe what macro-cognitive-abilities, or cognitive strategies micro-skills are.  The 35teaching strategies are not organized into specific enough categories that separate thediverse aims of the strategies.  Intellectual traits, simple thinking strategies, criticalthinking vocabulary, complex mental processes and difficult concepts are all lumpedtogether into the three vague categories listed above.  It would make sense if Paul created66a clearer method of categorizing these teaching strategies, and indicated how thesevarious thinking strategies worked together to foster CT.Paul provides examples of lessons that use his conception of CT (Paul, Martin &Adamson, 1989).  The lesson I analyzed focuses on discussing and evaluatinginternational trade decisions and policies by focusing on three affective strategies and twomacro-abilities and one micro-skill.  The lessons are not organized very well in that noneof the lessons outline which instructional strategies are taught in different lessons, or thenumber of times a strategy is presented throughout a course.  The strategies, abilities andskills that the international trade lesson focuses on appear to have been chosen at random.The model lesson includes little more than a series of eleven questions strung together ina logical sequence.  There is no description of the amount of time required to completethe lesson, and no assessment strategies are included in the plan.  Little idea is given inthe lesson plan about the methods a teacher might use to teach CT.  The lesson planwould not meet acceptable standards for a lesson plan in any pre-service teachereducation program in British Columbia.  Paul’s presentation of the CT conception needsto be better organized if he expects that teachers can utilize his method of CT in theirpractice.   The conception designed by Paul requires too much focus on intellectualstandards and elements of reasoning, which results in a lack of focus on subject-specificcontent.  He loses sight of the importance of the subject-specific content, and insteadconcentrates on CT abilities and dispositions.  Furthermore, Paul’s conceptionapproaches CT in a pedantic and systematic manner that weakens the quality of CT.  Paul                                                                                                                                                      16 For a more in-depth look at Paul’s teaching strategies see Critical Thinking Handbook: High School, AGuide for Redesigning Instruction (1989) written by Richard W. Paul, Douglas Martin, Ken Adamson.67(1993) believes that thinkers should apply his conceptual framework to situations thatrequire CT.  In Paul’s view, individuals should internalize and apply the ten intellectualstandards and the eight elements of thinking to ensure that each situation or problem isproperly analyzed (Paul, 1993).  It is unreasonable to expect students to think throughevery situation that requires CT by going through a mental checklist of ten standards andeights elements of thinking.  In my experience, students would find this process overlyformulaic.  I agree that CT is structured thinking, but too much structure will hinder theability of an individual to think critically.  Each individual needs to make decisions aboutwhich CT abilities and traits should be utilized in each situation, not go through a mentalchecklist of processes to follow.  Paul expects that an individual will only becomeproficient at critical thinking once they have practiced his conception enough times to beable to internalize it.  TC2 contradicts Paul’s conclusion when they state that “…allaspects of CT centrally involve judgment, and judgment cannot be made routine” (Bailin,Case, Coombs & Daniels, 1999, p.  280).  CT should be free from overly systematicthought, not reinforce it as Paul’s model does.  This is not to say that an individual doesnot use thinking strategies, heuristics, algorithms and processes to help them makereasonable judgments, but it should be up to the individual to decide which strategies aremost relevant for each scenario.  A memorized (or internalized) systematic processcontradicts the very nature of CT.Despite a thorough and well-considered conception of CT, Paul’s conceptioncould not be fully adapted to my History 12 classes.  Although it focuses on manyimportant characteristics of CT, it does not combine all of the pieces together into acoherent conception that can be readily applied.                                                                                                                                                      68The TC2 Conception of Critical ThinkingConceptions other than the TC2 model have one common flaw.  Their conceptionsdo not organize CT abilities and dispositions in a method that clearly helps teachersimplement them in the classroom.  TC2 created a clearer conception because it organizedall of the necessary aspects for CT into four interdependent categories that logicallyexplain how CT may be taught.17  According to TC2, CT is achieved by creating acommunity of thinkers, providing critical challenges throughout the curriculum, teachingthe tools to enhance CT and assessing the tools of CT.  These four categories provide aconcise and clear model that explains how TC2 conceptualizes CT, and how the fourcategories work together to produce CT.  Although the TC2 model is clear about howthey believe CT occurs, teachers could not begin implementing CT practices in theclassroom just by understanding the framework.  In order to practice the TC2 model ofCT, teachers must comprehend each category, and understand how the individual piecesof the model work together.Paul (1991) and Siegel (1988) discuss embedding CT in the curriculum, but theirconceptions focus so much on CT skills and abilities that it would be impossible to getthrough the required History 12 curriculum and teach their models at the same time.  TheTC2 model clearly states that CT is embedded in the core of the curriculum, and providesa clear picture of how content and CT support each other.  TC2 does not view CT as an“add-on” to the curriculum in which students complete activities only after achievingmastery of the content (Case, 2005).  Foremost, TC2’s conception is designed to be amethod of teaching, not an abstract theory or group of repeatable mechanistic tasks that69produce CT if practiced enough (Case, 2005).  The purpose of the TC2 model is to embedCT throughout the curricula of various subject areas and age groups, which enablesstudents to learn content while engaging in CT.  In the TC2 model, content knowledgeand CT are not separated because they are seen as mutually dependent.  A CT task thatasks students to decide if the Treaty of Versailles was fair to Germany must understandthe important background about the Treaty of Versailles in order to make rationaljudgments about it.  Knowledge about the Treaty does not have to be taughtseparately—instead students will learn the important content as they think their waythrough the task.TC2 clearly advocates an inquiry approach to instruction.  They disapprove ofteaching CT by focusing on step-by-step procedures, or by improving students’ ability tocritically think by practicing isolated CT abilities and techniques (Bailin, Case, Coombsand Daniels, 1999, p. 277).  TC2 dismisses didactic teaching because students receiveinformation in a passive or transmissive manner that does not aid them in understandingthe material (Case, 2005).  Instead, they believe that students who make criticaljudgments about curriculum material will better understand the content, and master theskills required (Case, 2005).  TC2 supports the development of critical challenges tosupport the inquiry model of instruction.  In critical challenges, teachers present questionsor tasks that challenge students to reflect critically about required content and skills(Case, 1995).  This manner of inquiry enables students to develop their ownunderstanding of content in an active way, which increases their understanding.                                                                                                                                                      17 See the Figure 1 of the model of the Four Fronts TC2 conception on page 91 of Chapter Four.70TC2’s tools for critical thinkingAll five of the CT theorists mentioned in the literature review, Ennis, Paul,Lipman, Siegel and McPeck have argued about the importance of various tools18 that theybelieve are necessary to produce quality CT.  Unfortunately, each thinker disagrees aboutthe specific tools that are important for CT, and disagrees with the tools included in otherCT conceptions.  As a result the effectiveness of conceptions are compromised becauseimportant abilities are omitted.  TC2’s model includes all of the tools that they believehave strong theoretical arguments supporting their inclusion in a CT model.  The “toolsfor critical thinking” are one of four interdependent categories that TC2 believes willenhance the CT abilities of students.  The “tools for critical thinking” includes five sub-categories that outline and explain the essential tools, including: background knowledge,criteria for judgment, critical thinking vocabulary, thinking strategies and habits of mind.One of the CT abilities TC2 includes in their tools for CT is the importance ofdeveloping context-specific criteria that aid in making reasonable judgments (Case,2005).  Lipman (1988) also focuses on the importance of criteria for making CTjudgments, when he points out that the word “critical” in CT is closer to the word“criteria.”  Criteria refers to the standards on which a judgment or decision can be based(Lipman, 1988).  The agreement on the importance of character traits, dispositions andvalues to CT is nearly unanimous amongst the major theorists.  Ennis (1991), Siegel(1988), McPeck (1981) and Paul (1992) discuss the importance of certain character traitsor dispositions that are necessary for making reasonable decisions.  TC2 also includes the                                                  18 The term tools can also describe the critical thinking abilities, proficiencies or dispositions that supportthe ability to critically think.71dispositions important for CT in their conception and labels them “habits of mind”because they believe that the term “habits of mind” better describes the intentional usageof the these intellectual commitments as opposed to the use of the term “dispositions”(Bailin, Case, Coombs & Daniels, 1999).  A disposition refers to a variety of affectsincluding attitudes, inclinations and sensitivities that make it likely that a person will actin a certain way.  At the core of critical thinking dispositions are commitments orconvictions to principles of rationality.  Case (2007) explains that habits of mind aredifferent from a disposition in that they are intentional and habitual, while being disposedto an ideal does not guarantee that the ideal or virtue is consciously followed.  Anindividual can be disposed to being fair-minded without making the conscious decision.As outlined previously, there have been vociferous disagreements regarding theissue of whether CT is subject-specific, or whether CT abilities can be transferred acrossvarious subject disciplines.  TC2 does not side with either side of the debate—theirconception recognizes the importance of subject-specific knowledge, but alsoacknowledges that there are several generic CT abilities that transfer across subject-disciplines.  McPeck (1981, 1990) argues that CT can only take place within a subjectdiscipline because thinking can never be about nothing, it always has to be aboutsomething.  TC2 partially sides with McPeck because they include backgroundknowledge as one of the essential tools for CT.  Case (2005) points out that one cannotthink critically about a topic if they do not know anything about it.  Furthermore, hepoints out that many CT conceptions do not include background knowledge as anessential building block because they see thinking abilities as being separate from contentknowledge (Case, 2005).72While in agreement with McPeck, TC2 also accepts Ennis’s (1989) argument thatCT includes several abilities that can be transferred across subject disciplines.  TC2includes critical thinking vocabulary and thinking strategies in their tools for CT andassumes that both these tools can be applied across subject disciplines.  Consider twoterms included in TC2’s CT vocabulary list: critique and perspective.  Whether a studentis trying to understand the perspective of a scientist or a historian, or a teacher asksstudents to critique an art piece or an English novel, these two terms can be transferredbetween both contexts.  TC2 further believes that there are thousands of thinkingstrategies in existence, and many of them are transferable across disciplines (Case, 2005).One example of a transferable thinking strategy is comparing similarities and differences.If a student is asked to compare the differences between two historical accounts, or thedifferences between two invertebrates, the same thinking strategy is used.  The resultswould be different, and the criteria for comparing might be different, but they would beusing the same strategy.  The important ability for a critical thinker is to know which CTstrategies will be useful to make the most reasonable judgment.One of the four categories that TC2 created to enhance CT is the assessment of thetools required for CT.  The basis of the TC2 philosophy of assessment is that teachersmust measure students’ ability to critically think and not their ability to find the rightanswer (Case, 2005).  TC2 believes that assessment must be designed to measure what thelesson focuses on (Case, 2005).  If an activity is designed to improve students’ abilities toconsider historical perspectives and the habit of mind of open-mindedness, thenassessment should focus on these two areas, not on finding the right answer.  Using thismethod of assessment provides students with feedback on how well they are learning to73critically think.  The TC2 method of assessment works well with History 12 because Ioften create assignments that do not have right or wrong answers.  For example, I askstudents to determine which events in World War II were the most important in helpingthe Allies win the war.  I do not have an answer key that provides a definitive ranking ofthe top ten most important events.  Instead, I use a criterion based rubric that assesses thereasoning, accuracy of detail, evidence and logic students provide in their explanations ofthe events that they determine are most important.  After their assignments are assessedstudents tend to understand how well they met the CT standards that were included in theassignment.TC2 combines their own theoretical understandings of CT with the commonlyaccepted ideas of other CT theorists, to create a conception of CT that is clear to teachersand academics.  The TC2 conception is different from the other models in that it is a“full” pedagogical model specifically designed to increase the presence and quality of CTin schools.  After working with teachers, TC2 realized that there were many goodconceptions of CT in existence, but important developments needed to be made to helpteachers work with CT (Bailin, Case, Daniels & Coombs, 1999).  Paul (1997) recognizesthe strength of the TC2 conception when he states that, “this approach stands out asremarkable, refreshing, and exciting…anyone seriously using it will be encouragingcritical thinking in deep and important ways” (p. 20).  I agree with Paul and believe theTC2 conception is the most adaptable conception of CT for teaching History 12 of all theconceptions analyzed.  This is not to say that TC2 is a flawless method of CT, or thatthere is nothing that can be done to improve it.  A statement made by Churchill (1947)provides the context for a useful analogy.74Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sinand woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it hasbeen said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those otherforms that have been tried from time to time (p. 206).TC2’s conception of CT can be seen in the same light as democracy.  It is not the perfectsystem of teaching CT, but it is the most adaptable conception for teaching History 12that has been developed thus far in the North American context.In the last section of this chapter, I provide a table that summarizes the variousconceptions of CT and the criteria for determining an adaptable conception for teachingHistory 12.  This table is meant to help the reader clarify the arguments and descriptionsprovided in the above section.75Table 2: Comparison of Various Critical Thinking ConceptionsCriteria for Determining an “Adaptable” Conception of Critical ThinkingCriticalThinkingTheorist(s):Conceptionprovides clear,understandablemethods forimplementingCT in theclassroomConceptionfocuses ondeveloping acommunityof inquiry,not adidactic styleConceptionembedscriticalthinkingthroughoutthecurriculumIncludes theabilities of acriticalthinker thatproduceshigh qualityCTAssessmentfocuses onstudents’ability tocriticallythinkRobert H.Ennis:No, is not clearabout precisemethods forimplementationDoes notdiscuss thestyle criticalthinkingshould bedeliveredNo, favoursspecificcourses, notembedding incurriculumYes, list anddescribes keyabilities anddispositionsYes, butassessmentfocuses ontesting generalCT abilitiesJohn E.McPeck:No, unclear aboutexact applicationto the classroomYes, inquiryvery importantYes,embedding incurriculum isimportantDoesn’tinclude athoroughexplanation ofeitherYes, purposeof assessmentis to measurestudent abilityto CTTheFoundationfor CriticalThinking(RichardPaul)Attempts to focuson practicalapplications, butconception isdifficult tounderstandYes, focuseson creating acommunity ofinquiryYes, stronglybelieves inembedding CTin alldisciplinesYes, bothabilities anddispositionsare describedYes,assessmentfocuses on CTabilities,dispositionsnot measuredHarveySiegelNo, rarelydiscussespracticalapplicationsDoes notdiscuss methodof teaching CTBelieves inembedding,and a separateCT courseYes, describesboth abilitiesanddispositionsDoes notmentionassessmentMatthewLipmanNo, providescomplicatedmethods forimplementation inthe classroomYes,community ofinquiry is oneof the mostimportantbeliefsBelieves inembedding,and a separateCT courseYes, describesabilities anddispositions,but verycomplicatedDoes notmentionassessmentThe CriticalThinkingConsortium(TC2)Yes, practicalapplications arevery important tothis conceptionCommunity ofInquiry isaccentuated inthis modelYes, in everysubject andage groupYes, cleardiscussion ofabilities anddispositionsYes,assessment isaligned witheach abilityand habit ofmind taught76ConclusionsAfter finishing the analysis of the adaptability of the six conceptions of CT itbecame apparent that the various conceptions of CT could be divided into three maincategories that highlight the evolution of CT conceptions over time.  The first groupingincludes theorists Ennis, McPeck and Siegel who were among the first group of theoristswho sought to understand CT by classifying and defining the abilities and dispositions acritical thinker possesses.  This group was primarily concerned with developing theoriesthat stipulated what CT is.  The second category of CT theory includes Lipman, whomoves beyond describing and defining CT and into the realm of improving individuals’CT abilities.  Like Ennis and McPeck, his theory describes, defines and classifies CT, buthe also develops a model that improves individual proficiency as critical thinkers.  Thelast category of CT conceptions pushed the evolution of CT another step.  Rather thanfocus on theoretical descriptions of CT, theorists in this category are concerned withdeveloping full pedagogical models that can be implemented in all school subjects andgrade levels to improve students’ CT abilities and their understanding of curriculumcontent.  Currently, TC2 and the FFCT are the only groups of theorists that fit into thiscategory.  They have built on the theories and ideas of other CT theorists, but they alsodevelop adaptable pedagogical models.  Of the two organizations, the TC2 model is betterorganized and strengthens students’ CT abilities and dispositions more than the FFCTmodel.  This explains why the TC2 model is the most adaptable conception of CT forteaching History 12 of all the models analyzed in this chapter.In Chapter Three, I discuss the structure, methodology and limitations of mychosen methods.77CHAPTER THREE:METHODOLOGY AND LIMITATIONSTheory of Analytic Philosophical InquiryIn essence, this thesis is the story of my attempt to investigate the nature ofcritical thinking (CT) and discover a conception of CT that might help improve me teachHistory 12 more effectively.  Throughout the thesis I use various aspects of Coombs andDaniels (1991) theory of analytic philosophical inquiry to determine which conception ofCT can best be implemented in my practice.  Analytic philosophical inquiry as describedby Coombs and Daniels (1991) aims to understand and improve sets of concepts orconceptual structures.  Conceptions of thought that are frequently over-complicated,incoherent or based on false dichotomies are problematic because conceptions form thebasis for future curricular policy reform, and research studies.  Coombs and Daniels(1991) contend that the conduct of analytic philosophical inquiry cannot be identifiedwith any specific methodology, but there are analytic questions, techniques andprocedures included in the three main kinds of inquiry: concept interpretation (CI),concept development (CD) and conceptual structure assessment (CSA) that are helpful.Below I discuss both methodologies utilized in Chapter Two of the literaturereview, conceptual analysis and conceptual structure assessment.  In addition, I explainthe method of analysis used for the narrative in Chapter Four, autobiographical narrativeinquiry.78Chapter TwoChapter Two is divided into two sections, in Section One I analyze literatureabout CT to uncover the characteristics of “useful” definitions of CT, while in SectionTwo I devise criteria to analyze the six conceptions and determine which is the most“adaptable” conception of CT for teaching History 12.  There is a large amount ofliterature devoted to CT theory, and how it can be adapted to diverse areas such asnursing, philosophy and education.  I focus solely on the adaptations of CT theories andconceptions to teaching History 12.I analyzed the conceptions of six major CT theories throughout Chapter Two:Ennis, McPeck, Siegel, Lipman, the Foundation for Critical Thinking (FFCT), and theCritical Thinking Consortium (TC2).  I used cross-referencing of CT theories to help medecide what were the most important conceptions to analyze.  In an earlier course in mygraduate degree, a professor suggested that I analyze the CT theories of Ennis as thebeginning of my inquiry into CT.  I discovered that Ennis is recognized as the originatorof the modern CT movement because the conception developed in his 1962 article “AConcept of Critical Thinking” defined CT and outlined the important abilities anddispositions necessary for CT.  Ennis was the perfect starting point, and throughout manyof his published articles and journals I discovered references to CT theories developed byMcPeck, Paul and Norris.  Upon reviewing their theories, I discovered further referencesto conceptions developed by TC2, Lipman, Siegel and Facione.  After compiling the listof theorists, I developed criteria to ensure that my list included only the theorists thathave created “significant conceptions” of CT.  The criteria included whether the79conception presented a new perspective, the theorist made a significant contribution toprevious conceptions, and if the theory is recognized by other CT theorists as beingsignificant.  After applying these criteria to the list of theorists, I arrived at the sixconceptions developed by the theorists listed above.  For example, Norris and Facionewere not included on the list despite their important work on different aspects of CTbecause neither theorist developed full conceptions.In Section One of Chapter Two, I present a variety of definitions of CT thatemerged from the six major conceptions (some conceptions included more than onedefinition), and develop criteria to determine what constitutes a “useful” definition ofCT.  Coombs and Daniels (1991) point out that new conceptions of thought are designedfor several purposes, to make vague concepts more precise and useable in guidingcurriculum development, or to differentiate the characteristics of an abstract concept toimprove categorization of certain activities.  The method I used to determine a usefuldefinition of CT is based on Coombs and Daniels description of “conceptual analysis.”Conceptual analysis attempts to uncover a term’s use or meaning by analyzing theorists’and researchers’ many uses of the term.  I apply conceptual analysis to analyzedefinitions of CT, and develop specific criteria to compare and contrast the variousdefinitions in order to determine “useful” definitions of CT.  The criteria stipulates thequalities and characteristics of a useful definition and include the following: thedefinition uses language and terms that are clear and precise, it outlines a purpose orintent for CT, and it mentions that CT includes both abilities and dispositions.  Ideveloped the criteria after considering the significant characteristics common to the80majority of CT definitions, as well as the qualities that best describe how CT can beadapted to teachers’ practice.In Section Two of Chapter Two, I present the six major conceptions of CT anddevelop criteria to judge which conception is “most adaptable” for use in History 12.  Iuse Coombs and Daniels (1991) theory of “conceptual structure assessment inquiry” asthe method for determining an adaptable conception of CT.  Conceptual structureassessment inquiry determines the adequacy of a conception for curriculum development,educational goals or research.  This method uses comparison to measure which of thecompeting conceptual structures is most developed.  Coombs and Daniels suggest askingthree important questions when conducting conceptual structure assessment inquiry.Does the conception help achieve the important goals it claims?  For my thesis, theconception must improve students’ ability to think critically.  Is the conception coherentand free of inconsistencies, contradictions and terms that have no sensible interpretation?Does the conception imply mysterious or empirically problematic processes or powers?To explain what an empirically problematic process is, Coombs and Daniels use anexample from a popular conception of CT that suggests practicing thinking processes isthe best way to become proficient in using them.  This belief in practice further assumesthat after thinking processes are mastered they can be transferred from one context toanother.  This is an empirically problematic assumption because it is clear that someonewho is skilled at classifying buttons will not necessarily be skilled at classifying theories.The criteria I used to determine an adaptable conception of CT were developedfrom the characteristics of useful CT definitions, and from my assumptions about the bestmethods and philosophies for embedding CT in History 12.  It is important to remember81that the criteria for determining an adaptable conception of CT are developed from theperspective of a practicing history teacher, not from the perspective of a theorist.  Chapter FourChapter Four utilizes autobiographical narrative inquiry to reflect on the effects ofimplicitly embedding TC2’s model of CT throughout the 2006/2007 school year in fiveclasses of History 12.  I chose to embed CT implicitly because I decided that studentsneeded to concentrate on the curriculum during class time, rather than be concerned withhow they learned the material.  It is important to remember that there are significantdifferences between creating a narrative and conducting narrative inquiry.  Gay, Mills &Airasian (2005) point out that a narrative is a story about people’s lives, while narrativeinquiry is focused on collecting data about people’s lives, and constructing a narrativeabout these experiences and the meanings attributed to these experiences.  Specifically,this study presents my autobiographical reflections about the effects of TC2’s conceptionon students and different aspects of my teaching practice.  The narrative section inChapter Four illustrates my methods and experiences using the TC2 method, and providesexperiential-based conclusions about the strengths and limitations of the conception froma teacher “in the field.”  I felt that I was in a unique position being both a graduatestudent and a teacher, because I was both a practitioner and a researcher.  This dualityprovided me with rich amounts of material for reflection.  However, my dual role alsoleft little time during classes to make observational notes, and as a result all field textswere in the form of reflections made after events occurred, which may be a limitation.82The chapter is an “autobiographical narrative inquiry” on two counts: it usesautobiographical details (family life, personal attitudes towards dimensions of education,community and family background) to illuminate and inform my personal context of thestory; and because I use personal experience as the primary experience (empirical data)considered in the inquiry.  When conducting narrative inquiry, Clandinin and Connelly(2000) discuss the importance of acknowledging the centrality of the researcher's ownexperience—the researcher's livings, tellings, retellings, and relivings.  Clandinin andConnelly suggest that telling stories of our past shape our present viewpoints.  Early inChapter One I reflect on how my experiences as a student and as a teacher impacted thephilosophies and methods that I utilize in my current practice.  I also acknowledge thatprior educational experiences shaped my assumptions about best practice in historyteaching, and the limitations of the History 12 curriculum and provincial exam.  Clandinin and Connelly (2000) developed a method of doing research intoexperiences that focuses on the four directions of an inquiry: “inward”, “outward”,“backward” and “forward.”  Inward describes the internal conditions such as feelings,hopes, and moral dispositions.  Outward refers to environmental or existential conditions,while backward and forward refers to the temporality—past, present and future.  To doresearch into an experience—is to experience it simultaneously in these four ways, and toask questions pointing each direction (p. 50).  To provide an example of how I used thefour directions of inquiry in my research, I refer to a journal entry that I wrote on thenight of October 13, 2006.  After using the TC2’s method since the beginning ofSeptember I wrote that, “One of my big worries is that I am becoming too pedantic andstructured.  Will students get bored or worn-out with my teaching?”  This single question83raised several important issues that informed the “restorying” (or writing) of mynarrative.  Inwardly, I was reacting to my feelings of inadequacy and worries that Ilacked the knowledge to use TC2’s method in a variety of ways, and that my methodswere too systematic and structured and as a result students were becoming bored.Outwardly, I was reacting to the comments students made after I introduced similarroutines and activities several classes in a row, and the less interested atmosphere that Iwitnessed in the classroom that week when compared to previous weeks.  Students saidthings like, “Not this again,” or “Do we have to do this again?”  Temporally, I reflectedback to the frustrations and negative feelings experienced in classes where teachers usedthe same pedantic methods each day.  I also considered the future, and wondered whatstudents in my classes would be saying or doing if I used the same group of teachingmethods and activities in June?  These four directions of inquiry helped me reflect on theclassroom experiences I witnessed, and aided in the construction of the stories thateventually came together to form the narrative found in Chapter Four.My narrative involves two interwoven texts described by Clandinin andConnelly’s (2000) categories of narrative text.  The central text is comprised of myreflections on the implementation of TC2’s conception over one year of teaching fiveHistory 12 classes.  The field texts or “rough data” informing the story are myrecollections of the past year, reinforced by the journals, notes, lesson plans and classactivities created during the process.  My journal entries document observations,conversations, experiences, and interpretations of the process of embedding CT inHistory 12.  As Clandinin and Connelly (2000) point out, “field texts help fill in therichness, nuance and complexity of the landscape, returning the reflecting researcher to a84richer, more complex, and puzzling landscape than memory alone is likely to construct”(p. 83).  Throughout the narrative, I insert specific anecdotes and examples from the pastyear to illustrate and accentuate important points.  Furthermore, the specific anecdotesand remembrances serve to legitimize the narrative and strengthen the plausibility of myaccounts.To accentuate the importance of field texts to the accuracy of my narrative, Idescribe an example where my journals contradicted the memories I had of certainevents.  By June 2007, I was convinced that the amount of time spent using didacticmethods to teach my classes decreased as I used the TC2 model throughout the year.However, before writing the narrative I consulted my notes and discovered that myDecember 18, 2006 journals contradicted these memories.  The journals reminded methat there was a period during the year when I reverted back to using didactic practices,“I am slipping back into the habit of what Richard Paul calls a Mother Robin.  I ambiting off pieces for them to chew on and dropping them into their mouths to eat.”Clandinin and Connelly alert narrative researchers that memory tends to smooth out thedetails of the past.  Without the information provided by my field texts, the plausibilityand veracity of my narrative would have been compromised.Limitations of the StudyThe study is limited by the innate characteristics of the methodology employedand by my approach to working with the challenges.  As noted earlier, Chapter Twofeatures two sections; Section One analyzes literature to uncover “useful” definitions ofCT using “technical use analysis.”  Coombs and Daniels (1991) explain that technical85use analysis is used to uncover a term’s use or meaning, by analyzing the various uses ofthe terms by theorists and researchers.  In Section Two, I use the Coombs and Danielsmethod of conceptual structure analysis, and develop specific criteria to determine whichof the six conceptions of CT is most “adaptable” for teaching History 12.  Conceptualstructure assessment inquiry determines the adequacy of a conception for curriculumdevelopment, educational goals or research.The main limitations I faced in working with these two methods of inquiry are mylack of background knowledge in philosophical training and the analysis of conceptionsof CT.  This limitation was overcome in several ways.  I relied upon the expertise ofsupervisors and mentors to provide the sensitivity and good judgment required forcompetent conceptual analysis.  Their advice and direction helped me avoid analyticalerrors, develop strong criteria and ensured that my assumptions and beliefs were madeexplicit throughout the inquiry.  For example, my supervisor constantly reminded me thatmy analysis of CT was from the “lens” of a practicing teacher, not a philosopher or CTtheorist.  My criteria for determining a “useful” definition of CT, and the most“adaptable” conception of CT are framed by my beliefs about education, teaching history,and knowledge of the History 12 curriculum that were made explicit in Chapter One.When I began my investigation into CT in the fall of 2005, the first conceptionthat I was introduced to was the TC2 model.  I was excited by the possibilities this modelrepresented for my instructional methods, and began to experiment with its usage inseveral classes.  As my thesis topic and questions developed, a major limitation surfaced.In Chapter Two, I determined that the TC2 model was the most adaptable conception ofCT, and used autobiographical narrative inquiry to highlight the strengths and limitations86of the conception as it related to my practice.  My prior usage of the TC2 model created asituation my thesis supervisor labeled the “chicken or the egg” syndrome.  Did I decidethat the TC2 model was the most adaptable because I had already predetermined thisconclusion after my prior experience with the model, or did I prove it to be the mostadaptable after applying criteria and analysis to the six conceptions?  Furthercomplicating the issue was the fact that my thesis supervisor is a workshop presenter forTC2 and senior editor for TC2’s series of Science and Mathematics resources.  Did hisinvolvement and belief in the TC2 conception influence and bias my decision that theirconception was the most adaptable? I took several steps to address these limitations.  I relied on the advice and fair-mindedness of my supervisor and other graduate professors.  They advised me that theawareness of my potential bias and conflict of interest would ensure that the conclusionsin my analysis of literature in Chapter Two were reasonable, justified and based oncriteria.  Furthermore, by making this limitation explicit I ensure that the reader iscognizant of these issues as they proceed through the thesis.  The limitation presented bythe professional affiliation of my supervisor can also be reconciled.  As a member of theacademy he has an obligation to ensure that my study has been conducted in an objectivemanner, and would not risk his professional reputation for the sake of influencing mythesis.  He repeatedly reminded me that the purpose of my study was a personal inquiryinto CT, and my findings are meant to inform my practice and understanding, no oneelse’s.  In a conversation with Dr. Roland Case, one of the founders of TC2, he stressedthe importance of objectivity and remaining true to the nature of CT when conducting myinquiry.  CT is focused on using criteria to make reasonable decisions about what to87believe or do.  It would be hypocritical and duplicitous if the decisions I made about themost adaptable conception of CT were based on biased or fraudulent criteria.As noted previously, Chapter Four is an autobiographical narrative and as suchhas several limiting characteristics.  The most important issue is the role that bias andsubjectivity plays in the chapter.  In my autobiographical narrative inquiry I play dualroles, as both researcher and practitioner.  Critics of this method of inquiry argue thatthere is a potential for unreliable and skewed results because, “I only see what I want tosee.”  Clandinin and Connelly (1991) argue that reliability and validity are overratedcriteria in narrative study, while apparency and verisimilitude are underrated criteria.Their argument is that reliability and validity have little importance in narrative inquirybecause narrative inquiry focuses on increasing understanding of central issues related toteaching and learning through the telling and retelling of teachers’ stories.  The results ofa narrative inquiry cannot be assumed to apply to all teachers in the world, instead anarrative inquiry can be seen as a “snapshot in time”, an individual experience that mayor may not have applications to a larger audience.  Instead, each researcher must defendthe criteria that best apply to their work.  Throughout my study, I include a commitmentto veracity and plausibility when conducting research, which is similar to the standardsapplied by non-autobiographical researchers.  Clandinin and Connelly (2000) refer to theterm “wakefulness” to describe the ability of the researcher to proceed through inquirywith an awareness of risks, narcissism, solipsism, and of simplistic plots, scenarios andunidimensional characters.  The thoughtful reflection required by a researcher in the field,writing field texts, or writing research texts is best described by a “wakeful” disposition.88It was this mindset, or reflective state, that I attempted to follow as I made my waythrough this study.Compared to other quantitative and qualitative methods I used less empirical datato conduct autobiographical narrative inquiry.  The only “hard data” utilized in my studywere documented journals, lesson plans, blackline masters for activities, assessmentrubrics and personal recollections from the year.  I am able to attend to these limits bypresenting and acknowledging my bias and subjectivity throughout my work.  Myreflections on the importance of change in education, teaching beliefs and methods, andlove of history are clearly laid out in the Autobiographical Background section inChapter One.  I also provide a clear and detailed account of my assumptions aboutteaching history, the History 12 course and how they affect the interpretation of myexperiences adapting TC2’s model to History 12.  These beliefs and assumptions shapedthe way I analyzed other CT conceptions, and the effects the TC2 model had on myclasses and my teaching methods.In Chapter Four, I discuss my experiences using TC2’s conception to teach fiveHistory 12 classes.  I provide a detailed explication of the model, a description of how Iused the model in my classes, an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the TC2conception, and suggestions to improve the conception in the future.89CHAPTER FOUR:DISCUSSION OF FINDINGSThe Adaptability of TC2 and History 12In this chapter I describe the TC2 conception of CT and provide examples of howI adapted the conception to teach five History 12 classes.  Later in the chapter, I reflectupon my experiences using TC2’s method, and discuss the strengths and limitations of theconception as it applies to teaching History 12.  Throughout the chapter, I make severalsuggestions on how to make improvements to the TC2 model to make it more adaptablefor teachers wanting to implement it in their classes.  Before beginning the discussion ofmy experiences in History 12, it is important to understand the basics of the TC2conception.Explication of TC2’s Four Fronts ModelTC2’s definition stipulates that, “Critical thinking involves thinking throughproblematic situations about what to believe or how to act where the thinker makesreasoned judgments that embody the qualities of a competent thinker” (Case and Wright,1997).  Teachers often believe that curriculum content should be the primary focus forclassroom instruction.  The teaching of CT is often identified as an important goal, but itis not usually taught because curriculum content occupies most of teachers’ attention.Many teachers also believe that CT cannot be taught until content is fully understood.They see thinking skills as a hierarchy, and believe that CT cannot be taught until basicthinking skills like knowledge, understanding and application are first accomplished.  Asa result, teachers only focus on CT when the other thinking skills have been90accomplished.  As a result, CT usually is not given the concentration or focus that otherthinking skills are.  TC2 disputes this view of teaching CT, because they argue that CTshould be “embedded” throughout the curriculum, not as an add-on to the curriculum,and should be one of the key methods for delivering the curriculum.  Even the mostmundane classroom activities can be taught critically (Case, 2005).  For example,teachers often have students read a section of a history textbook to comprehend an eventor issue.  To make this a CT activity, a teacher might ask students to read the section andidentify the five “most important” points in the article that helps students understand thehistorical event.  Students will better understand the content because they actively thinkabout the information as they read it, which will help them understand the informationbetter.TC2’s model focuses on improving students’ abilities to critically think bydeveloping four distinct “fronts” of CT that interact and complement each other.  The“Four Fronts” model provides a comprehensive pedagogical method that teachers can useto support CT in the classroom (see Figure 1 below).  The first front in the model is aCommunity of Thinkers that fosters CT by developing a supportive community ofinquiry.  The second front helps teachers embed CT throughout the curriculum inclassroom activities called Critical Challenges.  The third front labeled Teach the Toolsaims to develop the tools that help students become critical thinkers, while the fourthfront Assess the Tools provides methods and tools to help teachers assess students’improvement as critical thinkers.  Within each of the four fronts, there are specificmethods, strategies and recommendations that support CT in powerful ways.  Figure 191below shows the Four Fronts model and illustrates how each of the four fronts are equallyimportant for establishing CT in the classroom.Figure 1: The Four Fronts (Used with permission from TC2)Below, I explicate each of the Four Fronts by discussing the important details ofeach, and provide examples from my experience that illuminate how the Four Fronts canbe adapted to History 12.Front One: Community of Thinkers (COT)TC2 defines a Community of Thinkers (COT) as, “a collection of individualsinteracting in mutually supportive ways to nurture critical reflection” (Case & Wright,1997, p. 15).  An important part of CT is establishing an environment that supports andencourages thoughtful reflection and rational thinking because CT cannot exist in anenvironment that does not encourage these ideals.  TC2 identifies five aspects that helpbuild a COT in a classroom: classroom expectations, classroom routines and activities,92teacher modeling, questioning techniques and tools for community participation.19Within these five aspects, TC2 makes several methodological suggestions to help teachersconvert their classrooms into COT’s.  Throughout the year I used the TC2 approach as ageneral guideline for developing a COT and I also adapted several Case and Wright’s(1997) descriptions and recommendations to suit my method of teaching History 12.1. Setting appropriate classroom expectationsIn my view classroom expectations are important to establish in any class,however, when teaching history it is especially important that students make uptheir own minds, use reasons to support their conclusions and suspend judgmentuntil all perspectives are considered.  These expectations are fundamental tounderstanding both the discipline, and the strategies historians use to makereasoned judgments.• Students should make up their own minds about historical events, and usereasons, evidence and explanation to support all of their decisions.Furthermore, before making up their mind they should consider the pros andcons of all relevant perspectives.• Disagreements about history are encouraged, but debate should focus on theinterpretation of historical events, not personal disagreements.   It is expectedthat all people should be treated respectfully by all members of the class.2. Implementing appropriate classroom routines and activitiesClassroom routines create an environment for rationality and reasoning toprosper, thus making CT more likely to occur.  Classroom routines and activities                                                  19 For a comprehensive inventory and list of all of the methodologies and practices that TC2 believes willsupport a community of thinkers see Case and Wright’s (1997) article “Taking Seriously the Teaching of93can be considered part of the “hidden curriculum”; the informal learningenvironment that powerfully affects the way that students learn.• Students and teachers scrutinize films, textbooks and documents for evidenceof bias, stereotyping and inaccuracy.• Student responses that are insightful, creative, thoughtful or empathic arevalued.• Assignments are intended to get students to think critically and to helpstudents understand course content better.  I never create assignments that aretrivial or intended to keep students busy.• Throughout the course, students are expected to understand and utilizeimportant CT and historical vocabulary (e.g., what “criteria” did you use todetermine the historical “reliability” of that document?)• Students are expected to help determine criteria for assessing assignments andbe actively involved in peer marking and self-evaluation of assignments.• Students are expected to develop historical empathy.  They should regularlyconsider historical events from a variety of perspectives in order to understandthe complexity of historical causation and significance.3. Teacher modeling of the attributes of competent thinkersTeacher modeling of the traits, abilities and characteristics of a critical thinker isan important requirement for developing a community of thinkers.  Teacherscannot expect students to become critical thinkers if they do not embody thehabits themselves.                                                                                                                                                      Critical Thinking.”94• I concentrate on helping students understand that historical conclusions areoften ambiguous, and that it is acceptable to not make up your mind until allfactors and considerations are considered.• When students respond to questions, I encourage insightful and innovativeresponses, not the first correct response.• When I make historical decisions, I ensure that I provide accurate evidence,reasoning and explanations to justify my decisions, and I expect students to dothe same.• I avoid making careless and quick conclusions about historical events, and Iaim to provide a variety of perspectives when studying historical topics.• I attempt to model open-mindedness by displaying a willingness to change mymind and perspective if presented with plausible evidence contrary to myopinions.  I am not afraid of being wrong, or of not knowing everything aboutthe curriculum.  If students ask me a question that I do not know the answer toI model positive habits of mind by telling students that I will search foraccurate information about the topic and inform them next class.4. Employing effective group questioning techniquesTC2 wants to help students make decisions about problematic subjects in areasonable and rational manner.  Therefore, questioning techniques should aim toget students thinking deeply about topics rather than just locating the correctanswer.  Below are samples of questions that support students in making reasonedjudgments.95• Questions that seek greater clarity.  (I do not fully understand, could youdescribe what you are saying differently?)• Questions that probe for assumptions.  (Is this always the case?  Are youmaking any generalizations in your statement?)• Questions that probe for reasons and evidence.  (Is there any reason to doubtthis evidence?  What evidence would verify this conclusion?  What reasonsseem most plausible?)• Questions that explore alternative perspectives.  (How do you think othergroups would respond?  What would people who disagree with you say?)• Questions that consider consequences and implications.  (What are theintended/unintended consequences of this action?)5.  Developing the tools for student participation in a reflective communityIn my experience, teachers often wrongfully assume that students understand howto work in groups because they have been doing it throughout most of their schoolcareers.  In order for students to work effectively in groups, they need to learn theCT vocabulary, thinking strategies and habits of mind that support group work.• Provide opportunities for students to work in groups.• Students must understand that individuals see events from differentperspectives.• What problems do unsuccessful groups encounter?• When speaking in a group, are individual opinions and explanations clear toeveryone?• What strategies can be utilized for making group decisions?96• What strategies allow group members to critique other group members in non-threatening ways?• What are the best strategies for presenting group work to the rest of the class?• While working in a group, are students aware how their actions affect thegroup and various individuals within the group?  Are students willing tostand-up for their own beliefs?Front Two: Critical Challenges Through the CurriculumThe second front in the TC2 model is focused on providing critical challengesthroughout the curriculum.  TC2 labels any opportunities, assignments or tasks thatrequire students to engage in CT as critical challenges.  TC2 believes that CT isstrengthened when students are presented with numerous opportunities to engage in CTthroughout the curriculum.  In order for students to become better critical thinkers, theyneed to be exposed to situations and problems that require them to make judgments orarrive at reasoned solutions.  Critical challenges do not need to be major projects orarduous assignments that take up a great deal of classroom time, they can also be smallfocused assignments that require a few minutes to think through.  Critical challenges canbe used in conjunction with any pedagogical style or approach, but TC2 has createdseveral criteria that establish the characteristics of an acceptable critical challenge.1. Critical challenges require students to make judgmentsStudents are often asked questions that merely require them to find the correctinformation and write it down, TC2 refers to these as “Where’s Waldo?” questions.  Othertypes of questions ask students to explain why they prefer one option to another, such as,97Why do you think Stalin was a harsher leader than Lenin?”  These types of questions donot require any critical judgment because there are no wrong answers.  As long asstudents explain their position and reasoning clearly their answers are correct, whichteaches students to be self-righteous and opinionated.  Neither the “Where’s Waldo?”questions, nor the personal preference questions require any CT.  Figure 2 belowprovides examples of two types of questions that do not invite CT, and one example of acritical challenge question that invites CT.“Where’s Waldo?” BasicKnowledge Question“How do you Feel?”Preference QuestionCritical ChallengeQuestionList the reasons Britain andFrance adopted theappeasement policy duringthe 1930’s?Why do you think Britainand France adopted theappeasement policy inEurope during the 1930’s?What is the most plausibleexplanation why Britain andFrance adoptedappeasement in Europeduring the 1930’s?Table 3: The Different Categories of Questions2. Critical challenges are meaningful to studentsIf students believe an activity is useless or trivial, then they will not engage in CT,or they might think CT is a meaningless and boring exercise.  In my history classes, I tryto create challenges that ask students to make judgments about historical events that arehighly debatable and likely to engage them with the topic.  Students enjoy working oncontroversial events because they feel as though they are solving an important puzzle orproblem. For example, I asked students to decide if Franklin Delano Roosevelt knewabout Pearl Harbor before the attack occurred.  Students enjoyed this activity because it is98a frequently debated topic, there is a great deal of information available, they wanted toweigh in with their opinion, and they enjoyed the process of trying to solve the mysteryfor themselves.3. Critical challenges are embedded in the core of the curriculumBy embedding critical challenges in the core of the curriculum, TC2 claims thatstudents will gain a deeper understanding of curriculum content, and will become activeparticipants in their own learning.  If critical challenges are not designed to teachimportant curriculum, then students are being done a disservice.  It defies logic to designa critical challenge around content or abilities that are not important to the curriculum.4. Critical challenges limit the number of CT tools used (Case and Wright, 1997)The last criteria that a successful critical challenge requires is that it limits thenumber of CT tools needed to complete the challenge.  In designing a critical challenge,teachers must anticipate the tools that a student will need to complete the challenge, andthen help the students acquire and develop these tools.  If a challenge requiresbackground information about a topic, then the teacher should provide an informationsheet or article on the topic.  If a thinking strategy or tool needs to be utilized during thechallenge, then the teacher needs to explain how to use the strategy.  One of the commonproblems teachers make is that they require students to learn too many strategies andtools to complete the challenge.  If the challenges require enormous amounts ofbackground detail, thinking strategies and tools to complete, students will becomediscouraged by the difficulty of the task.  It is possible that a critical challenge focuses on99only one CT vocabulary term, one habit of mind or one thinking strategy.  In an activity Ideveloped, I limited the amount of background knowledge.  Instead of asking students todetermine if all 440 articles in the Treaty of Versailles were fair to Germany, I providedstudents with two editorials (from a German and French perspective) about the fairness ofthe Treaty of Versailles and asked them to determine which one of the documents is mostaccurate.Front Three: Tools for Critical ThinkingThe third front of the TC2 conception is the development of the intellectualresources or “tools” necessary for CT.  Critical thinkers must have knowledge of theimportant tools that facilitate CT, and they must know when and how to apply these toolsto situations that require CT.  TC2 has identified five categories of tools that help fosterCT: background knowledge, criteria for judgment, CT vocabulary, thinking strategiesand habits of mind.  All of these tools complement each other, and are of absoluteimportance in facilitating CT.  If a thinker neglects any one of these tools, the quality ofCT will be compromised.Background knowledge is one of the simplest, yet most essential aspects of CTbecause reasoned judgments cannot be made if all of the relevant background knowledgeis not fully understood.  The importance of background knowledge is accentuated byMcPeck (1981) who stated that thinking can never be thinking about nothing.  Proficientcritical thinkers are able to identify the exact knowledge that needs to be understoodbefore making judgments (Case and Wright, 1997).  It is important that teachers helpstudents new to CT understand precisely what background knowledge is required for100each critical challenge.  Otherwise, students may impede the CT process by trying toacquire too much information, or they will not acquire enough background knowledge tomake an informed judgment.  For example, a student cannot understand who won theCuban Missile Crisis until they understand the previous fifty years of Cuban-Americanhistory, and the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union in the yearsleading up to the event.As previously discussed, CT judgments require the development of criteria forjudgment that help individuals make judgments about the plausibility of alternativesolutions.  Students often need help in determining criteria that can be used to makereasoned judgments about the best option to pursue, or what to believe.  If I ask studentsto determine whether the Treaty of Versailles was a “fair” peace settlement for Germany,students would need to develop criteria about what constitutes a fair peace treaty.  Thespecific criteria that students develop about the characteristics of a fair treaty determinethe decisions students make in the challenge. Without an understanding of the criteria orstandards for making a judgment, TC2 argues that a quality judgment cannot be made.CT vocabulary refers to the basic set of terms and concepts necessary to facilitateCT.  These concepts allow students to make important distinctions amidst the differentkinds of issues and thinking tasks facing them (Case and Wright, 1997).  TC2 includesover 33 different concepts in its list of CT vocabulary terms (i.e. bias, critique, explicit,justify and relevant).20  Knowledge of CT vocabulary is not just a matter ofunderstanding the literal meaning of the terms—it also includes the ability to apply theseterms to the appropriate context.  CT vocabulary can be introduced before the critical                                                  20 For a comprehensive list of TC2’s critical thinking vocabulary terms see Roland Case (2006) conferenceproceedings.101challenge, or accentuated throughout it.  If I wanted to teach the CT vocabulary term“bias”, I would create a critical challenge that asks students to read a biased Soviettextbook account explaining the causes of the Cold War, and then re-write the accountwith an American bias as it might have been written in an American textbook during theCold War.Theorists such as Ennis and Paul believe that CT can be achieved by following aseries of steps, or applying problem-solving models to situations that require CT.  TC2acknowledges that thinking strategies or heuristics are important in aiding CT, but arguethat they alone do not guarantee CT.  Thinking strategies help individuals think throughcertain tasks, but they cannot always be adapted to a variety of contexts.  The teacher’sjob is to introduce various thinking strategies, and provide a variety of contexts for thesestrategies to be utilized.  TC2 believes that proficient critical thinkers understand whichthinking strategies best help them think through problematic situations.  Thinkingstrategies can be as simple as double-checking an assignment before submitting it, or itcan be as complex as creating a T-chart that highlights the pros and cons of a certainproblem (Case and Wright, 1997).Habits of mind refer to the mindsets, or virtues that are part of the typical orhabitual way that a person approaches a task.21  TC2 organizes habits of mind into twocategories “thinking for one’s self” and “thinking with others.”  Thinking for one’s selfincludes habits of mind such as having an inquiring mind, being attentive to detail, fair-minded or empathic.  Thinking with others includes being accommodating, constructiveor inclusive.  Habits of mind are an essential part of CT because without them tasks arenot done in a critical way.  For example, if a student is not attentive to detail, the102judgments they make may be based on inaccurate information, which results in flaweddecisions.  Like the other tools for CT, habits of mind should be taught as part of criticalchallenges.  I developed an activity in which I asked students to decide if Stalin did moreharm than good in the Soviet Union between 1924-1941.  If I want to reinforce the habitof mind of “open-mindedness”, I get them to write down three reasons someone maydisagree with the position they supported in their essay.  The ability to consider otherperspectives and arguments helps students understand the importance of being open-minded in arguments, and that in each historical argument people will have differentarguments and perspectives on each issue.Front Four: Assessing the Tools for Critical ThinkingAs I argued in Chapter Two, one of the main problems for the majority of CTconceptions is how to measure whether students are improving their ability to thinkcritically.  CT involves more than recall of content, therefore it is misguided to measurestudents’ CT ability by evaluating their recall of content knowledge.  One of TC2’s mainpositions on assessment is that there are no single correct answers for critical challenges.Critical challenges are not designed to have correct answers; what is important instead isthe CT tools developed, and the reasoning and justifications provided for the decisions.TC2 argues that assessment for CT is best measured by determining students’ ability toembody the “qualities of a competent thinker” (Case & Daniels, 2002).  “The qualities ofa competent thinker” describes the level of proficiency an individual has with the five                                                                                                                                                      21 For a full listing of TC2’s habits of mind see Roland Case (2006) conference proceedings.103categories of intellectual tools from the Four Fronts model.2  The five CT tools form thecategories of criteria used to assess students’ work, and measure how well students meetthe specific requirements of the five intellectual tools.  The standards for each criticalchallenge should be clearly articulated before beginning each challenge so that studentsunderstand exactly what is expected.  To give you an idea of how this assessment modelworks, I provide an example of a critical challenge and an accompanying assessmentrubric below.In this challenge, students are expected to write an essay that determines whetheror not Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program cured the problems of the GreatDepression in the United States.  Before a final decision is reached, students are expectedto use appropriate thinking strategies that outline arguments and counter-arguments foreach position, and develop criteria that helps determine which position is more valid.In the example below, each of the five CT tools are included in the markingrubric.  The five tools are given equal weighting and importance in the assessment of thetask.  When marking this task I determine how well students met the criteria for each ofthe five tools.                                                  2 The five intellectual tools include: background information, criteria for judgment, critical thinkingvocabulary, thinking strategies and habits of mind.104Criteria for Assessment (The FiveIntellectual Tools)Evidence for Assessing the IntellectualTools of Critical ThinkingBackground Knowledge• The student includes important,relevant and accurate informationabout the New Deal programCriteria for Judgment• The student develops sophisticatedand relevant criteria that enablesthem to determine if the New Dealactually cured the Great DepressionCritical Thinking Vocabulary(i.e. argument and counter-argument)• In the pre-writing section, thestudent correctly differentiatesbetween arguments and counter-argumentsThinking Strategies• The student employs a thinkingstrategy in the pre-writing sectionthat enables them to make areasonable judgment about the taskHabits of Mind• The student demonstrates fair-mindedness and openness toalternate conclusions before makinga reasonable decisionTable 4: Example of Critical Challenge and Assessment Rubric105My Methods for Adapting TC2 in History 12In the previous section, I described the TC2 conception of CT and explained howeach of the Four Fronts mutually benefit each other, and collectively strengthen CT in theclassroom.  Below I provide details of how I employed TC2’s conception when teachingfive History 12 classes.  This enables the reader to understand the adaptations I madewhen implementing the model, and describes how the TC2 conception can be practicallyapplied to teaching History 12.Throughout the 2006/2007 year I never explicitly told any classes that I was usingTC2’s method to teach them History 12.  I made this decision because I felt that studentsmight be overwhelmed learning both the curriculum and the TC2 model of CT.Furthermore, I realized that knowledge of CT was not imperative in helping studentslearn how to think critically.  Lipman (1989) supports this idea when he argues thatteaching “about” CT is not necessarily an effective way to “teach” CT.  In myexperience, students are not interested in the methods teachers are using to teach thecurriculum—they are more interested in the purposes and requirements for completingeach task.  At the beginning of each task I explain my content goals and CT purposes forthe assignment so that students clearly understand the direction for each assignment.Throughout the course I used a variety of tasks and methods to introduce TC2’sconception of CT, these included mini-critical challenges, major unit critical challengesand online discussion challenges.  I chose to use a variety of methods because I wanted toincrease my understanding of the different ways CT can be embedded in classroominstruction, and to avoid repeating the same tasks again and again, thereby ensuring thatstudents do not see my class as a mundane and predictable set of similar activities.106Mini-Critical Challenges“Mini-critical challenges” describes tasks that require anywhere from fiveminutes to one-class23 to teach and reinforce limited numbers of CT abilities, habits ofmind or vocabulary terms.  The advantage of mini-challenges is that they require lessplanning than major challenges, and can easily be adapted into courses with massiveamounts of content in the curriculum.  If time to complete the curriculum is an issue,teachers can focus on two or three mini-challenges in each major unit of the course,rather than devote an entire unit to CT.  An example of a mini-challenge I use is, “Whydid the United States get involved in the Vietnam conflict?”  I provide students withvarious primary and secondary sources that describe various accounts of Americaninvolvement in Vietnam, and then ask students to use evidence from the sources toidentify all of the explanations for American involvement.  After students identify all ofthe arguments, they discuss the different reasons in partner groups.  Students are thenasked to decide which explanations are the “most plausible” reasons for Americaninvolvement after considering what they already know about American policy during theCold War.Mini-challenges do not have to be this complicated, and can include tasks thatstudents are commonly asked to complete, like summarizing information from atextbook.  To infuse CT into this task, students are asked to summarize the mostimportant information from the relevant page in the textbook in 100 words or less.  Thebenefit of this type of task is that it requires students to think critically and make                                                  23 One class at my school is exactly one hour and eighteen minutes.107decisions about what they are reading, rather than complete the task in a thoughtless orcareless way.  The limitations of mini-challenges are discussed later in this section.Major Unit Critical ChallengesAnother method I use to implement TC2’s model into the classroom is thecreation of major unit critical challenges.24  I utilize two different methods to introducethese types of critical challenges.  One method is to create one major critical challengethat all activities in a unit are designed to help students complete.  For example, duringthe World War II unit students are asked to determine which events during the war weremost important in helping the Allies win the war.  Each day the class focuses on aparticular battle or aspect of war that helps students make an accurate judgment about themost important events in the war.  The culminating assignment involves studentsexplaining the criteria they developed to determine the most important events, and awritten explanation of how each important event is chosen and ranked.I discovered that another way of presenting major unit challenges is to create aseries of mini-challenges that are all steps towards accomplishing one final activity.During the Paris Peace Conferences (PPC) unit, students complete seven mini-challengesthat are designed to help students decide if the PPC were a success or a failure.  The finalactivity is a debate in which students are assigned to either side of the debate, and preparearguments and counter-arguments for their respective positions.  At the end of the debate,students are asked to abandon the roles they are assigned and consider the PPC afterviewing the question from a variety of perspectives. Students are then asked to organizethemselves in a U-shape.  Students who think the conferences were a failure stand at one108end of the “U”, while students who think the conferences are a success stand at the otherend of the “U.”  Students who are undecided, or support arguments from both sides areasked to place themselves in the middle position that best represents their conclusions.Students are then asked to explain the reasons why they placed themselves where theydid.  After listening to various reasons and evidence students are queried to find out ifthey want to move to a new location.  Several students move to new locations in the “U”,while others remain where they were.  The students who move (or do not move) areasked to explain why they moved, or stayed in the same position.  This activity teachesstudents important listening skills, habits of mind and reinforces the important CT ideathat it is acceptable to change one’s mind if presented with irrefutable evidence andreasoning.Online Critical ChallengesThe last method I employ to initiate TC2’s version of CT is the use of onlinediscussion challenges.  Five years ago, my school district implemented collaborativesoftware program for e-mail, messaging and online conferencing that every teacher andstudent in the district has access to.  I created two online conferences for my five History12 classes (three classes in one conference, two in the other), and I posted one criticalchallenge question per week on each conference page.  Students are required to respondto two of the questions each month in an original posting, or as a response to anotherstudent’s entry.  All of the questions are designed to meet the criteria described by TC2for quality critical challenges.  I purposely create contentious questions that I know willinterest students and stir debate.  During the unit on early Cold War competition, I asked                                                                                                                                                      24 In my classes a unit requires three to ten classes to complete.109students to decide who won the Space Race, the United States or the Soviet Union?  Inmaking their decision students were asked to explain their criteria for determining avictor in a Space Race.  Online challenges are useful because they get students using CToutside of the traditional classroom environment, and provide me with extra time toreinforce content, or introduce new content that I do not have time to cover during regularinstructional time.  Furthermore, it helps students see other student responses to criticalchallenges, which further strengthens students’ understanding of CT and history.I utilized all of the above methods when implementing TC2’s conception of CT inmy History 12 classes and I use these examples to provide a context for my conclusionsregarding the adaptability of the TC2 conception for teaching History 12.  The nextsection discusses the effects the TC2 model had on students’ CT abilities, my teachingpractice and the development of a community of thinkers.Reflections on Adapting TC2 to History 12Impact of the TC2 Conception on StudentsThroughout the past year of implementing TC2’s model in my History 12 classes Inoticed several improvements in students’ ability to think critically.  When students firstarrived in my class in September they were prepared to learn history as they had before.Based on previous experiences they expected that learning history involved memorizingthe details of historical events, watching videos, and then representing their acquiredknowledge on assignments and tests.  I presented an alternative view of learning historythat emphasized the importance of making reasonable decisions about the causes, detailsand consequences of historical events.  Initially, when asked to make historical110judgments, many students restated other people’s informed opinions, or they madenarrow judgments that did not consider important perspectives or information.  Manystudents made egocentric and self-righteous judgments that did not utilize aspects of theTC2 model, except for important background knowledge.  They did not use criteria forjudgment, employed few thinking strategies, and rarely embodied important habits ofmind.  After using the TC2 model for a year, students became accustomed to developingsophisticated criteria for making historical judgments, and utilized important thinkingstrategies, habits of mind and CT vocabulary when making decisions about criticalchallenges.  In short, they improved their abilities in all aspects of the TC2 conception,and as a result improved as critical thinkers.For example, in one critical challenge students were asked to determine who wonthe Space Race, the United States or the Soviet Union?  Before discussing the details ofthe Space Race, classes involved themselves in discussions about the different criteria fordetermining the winner of a race, especially a race in which the competitors are unsurewhere the finish line is—or even if there is one.  Some students stated that the winner of arace was the first one to cross the finish line.  These students stated that a successfullanding on the moon was the finish line, and because the United States first landed on themoon, they won the Space Race.  Others argued that because there was no predeterminedfinish line, the winner of the Space Race was the nation who achieved the most “firsts” inthe Space Race; for example, the first nation to launch an earth orbiting satellite.  Thesestudents saw the Space Race as a point system in which the winner was awarded a pointeach time a first was achieved.  After applying these criteria to the backgroundknowledge on the Space Race, students determined that the Soviet Union won the Space111Race because they achieved more firsts in space than the United States.  It was during thedebate about criteria when I realized the growth the students had attained during the year.In September they were incapable of discussing criteria, let alone displaying suchsophisticated thinking about criteria.  This event was not an isolated anecdote of success,rather it was one of many examples that I could cite from my journal from the past year.I observed that the majority of students not only improved their ability to developcriteria for making reasoned judgments, and also improved their proficiency with otherCT tools.  They developed an understanding of the thinking strategies that best aidedthem in making reasoned judgments.  When students were asked to determine if Stalin’sindustrialization policies were good for the Soviet Union, they discussed which thinkingstrategy best organized information and aided in the decision making process, a T-Chartor a positive negative factors list?  I also noticed that students began to expand their CTvocabulary list, and regularly CT vocabulary words like evidence, inference and criteriawere used in casual student conversations.  Students also became more proficient atrecognizing the appropriate background knowledge that needed to be understood beforejudgments were made.  When students were asked to compare the Hungarian Revolutionof 1956 with the Prague Spring Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1968, they outlined thecategories of information they needed to understand about each country beforecompleting the task.The one CT tool students struggled to improve throughout the year was habits ofmind.  They are called “habits” of mind for a reason, because the negative ones are hardto break, and the desirable ones require constant attention, effort and self-reflection toimprove.  Habits of mind such as open-mindedness, fair-mindedness and circumspection112require years, not months to improve.  TC2 advocates that teachers include habits of mindas a focus for development in each critical challenge they design.  Concentrating on adifferent habit of mind in each challenge does not provide enough time to properlydevelop it.  There were too many other classes besides History 12 that did not buildhabits of mind, or fostered habits that were detrimental to CT.  Many students spend theirschool years learning habits that counter the habits of mind that the TC2 model is tryingto improve, thus decreasing the likelihood that CT can be improved.Furthermore, I noticed that many of my grade 12 students lack important habits ofmind such as being inquisitive, persistent, circumspect, or attentive to detail.  Thissituation is problematic and difficult to understand.  It could be that the current schoolsystem does not build habits of mind, or that students realize they do not need many ofthe habits of mind TC2 accentuates in order to be successful in the school system.  Justbecause I create a critical challenge that focuses on persistence, does not mean studentswill become persistent.  The only way that I can improve students’ habits of mind is toemphasize a small number of specific habits of mind throughout the entire course.  TheTC2 model assumes that habits of mind can be improved if they are included in criticalchallenges.  I think that the only way habits of mind will be improved amongst students isif they are explicitly taught and emphasized throughout students’ school careers, not justin one class.One of the truly exciting aspects of the TC2 conception is that its effectiveimplementation improves students’ understanding of course content, and there are severalexamples of evidence that support this claim.  TC2 claim that thinking and content areintertwined, and both cannot exist without the other.  When I designed critical challenges113according to TC2’s model, students understood content in deeper ways than when I useddidactic methods.  For example, I organized a class debate where I asked students todecide if the policy of appeasement practiced in 1930’s France and Britain was a policyof submission to an aggressive enemy, or an optimistic policy focused on avoidinganother catastrophic global war?  I knew that students would learn about the importantappeasement events because they would not be able to competently complete thechallenge if the important events were not understood.  After the debate was over, I wasamazed at the exceptional discussions that took place.  The students clearly understoodthe important events and arguments on each side of the debate.  It was not just the topstudents either, even the lower achieving students displayed an understanding of eventsthat I did not expect.  More importantly, several students challenged the myth thatappeasement was a policy of weakness and submission because their criteria helped themsee the events from a different perspective.  This helped students gain insight into theepistemology of historical judgments by understanding that historical conclusions are notalways concrete.  They understood that historians’ perspectives, biases and interpretationof evidence determine their positions on appeasement.  After the debate, I gave students aseries of multiple-choice questions about appeasement from previous provincial exams.Although the majority of students got most of the knowledge-based questions correct, itremains to be seen whether students will do better on the provincial exams because oftheir ability to think critically about history, especially considering that CT is notaccentuated on the exam.  However, based on informal evidence, I am confident thatstudents’ exam scores will improve as their ability to think critically improves.  Thistopic will be addressed further in chapter five.114Students became more engaged and interested in history after using the TC2model, when compared with classes that did not.  There are several factors that seem toexplain this occurrence.  Firstly, students prefer making decisions about history ratherthan just memorizing important information about historical events.  When makingdecisions, students begin to understand that history involves more than merelyunderstanding historical experts’ viewpoints.  Instead, students get a chance to look atvarious arguments and evidence, and decide which of the conclusions is most reasonable.In many ways students are performing the same tasks as professional historians,analyzing evidence and making decisions about what or why an event happened.  Thereare many examples from my classes that provide examples of increased studentengagement throughout the year.  One of the more lively examples was an onlinediscussion challenge that asked students if Harry S. Truman was justified in his decisionto drop two Atom bombs on Japan.  Almost all students replied to the question, whereasone-third of the class usually responded to previous questions.  There was vociferousdebate on the moral and strategic decisions to drop the bombs.  I cannot imagine that ahomework question on the reasons for dropping the bomb would have elicited a similarquantity or quality of responses.  Some of these debates began to enter class discussionsand I overheard discussion of the topic in students’ personal conversations.  Throughoutmy teaching experience I cannot recall any topics that students continued to talk aboutafter the class was over.Another reason students engage more with history when using the TC2 model isbecause they experience more autonomy and control over their own learning.  In historyclasses that employ more conventional didactic methods, students are often told what is115historically significant about a topic, and what conclusions they should draw from certainevents.  This type of teaching is more focused on indoctrination than it is on helpingstudents understand what they are learning.  Student engagement is usually minimal withthis type of teaching because learning is passive and scripted.  When using the TC2 modelI design critical challenges that ask students to make their own decisions and conclusionsabout historical events.  This does not mean that students work on critical challenges ontheir own.  I directly teach concepts or background information that helps studentscomplete critical challenges, or I ask groups of students to determine what backgroundknowledge about the topic is necessary to understand before beginning the challenge.  Ialso discuss the criteria students have created for making reasonable judgments before thetask is begun.  Students find this type of learning environment more engaging because itis up to them to determine what they need to know, and how they are going to learn it.They do not have to sit through canned lectures, rather, they get a chance to form theirown conclusions on the topic, which is always more engaging.Many theorists have discussed the importance of CT as an educational ideal(Siegel, 1988).  Although I taught CT implicitly, I noticed several occasions wherestudents exhibited the characteristics of a critical thinker and began to use CT in theirdaily lives.  Several students remarked that they regularly develop criteria to help themmake decisions, such as when one student told me she developed criteria for determiningwhat movie she wanted to see.  During class discussions several students analyzedarguments from multiple perspectives without noticing what they had done and why theywere doing it.  They looked at the causes of the Cold War from an American perspective,and also from a Soviet perspective.  Although these developments may not appear to be116substantial to an outsider, they are significant because I know that considerable progressis being made if students are using CT in their daily lives after only one year of workingwith TC2’s model.  After all, the goal of CT is to teach students to become criticalthinkers in their everyday lives, not just in the classroom.  After focusing on the effect ofTC2’s model on students, in the section I discuss the potential effect on a teacher.The Impact of TC2 on TeachersA teacher’s role in the classroomEarlier in my career, I believed improving students’ ability to learn historyinvolved simplifying difficult topics and events and making them more interesting andaccessible.  In other words, I was a “Mother Robin” teacher.  I broke course content intobite-size pieces, chewed the content until it became palatable, and then placed it into thestudents’ mouths.  The problem with this method was that I was assuming too muchresponsibility for students’ learning and this was impeding their ability to develop theirown understandings.When I first began using CT as the method to teach history, I worried that I couldnot adequately teach curriculum content using CT methods.  There was not enough timein a school year to cover the entire curriculum using TC2’s model because CT requiredmore time to cover content than didactic methods.  After using the TC2 model I realizethat it is possible to cover the entire curriculum using CT.  Furthermore, the TC2approach allows teachers to be more effective in the classroom by freeing up more timefor assessing students’ individual needs and building stronger relationships betweenstudents and teachers.117In order to accomplish these purposes, I needed to make two adaptations to myteaching methods; change my teaching role and develop more effective methods fordelivering the curriculum.  I had to stop trying to directly teach every concept and eventin the curriculum.  It was not helping students understand the subject more, in fact, myteaching was an impediment to their learning.  I also realized that successful criticalchallenges help students think about and understand the curriculum at a deeper level.  Itwas a liberating moment when I realized that I did not need to control every student’slearning, and yet they would gain a deeper understanding of the subject material.It is a commonly heard adage that teachers in the classroom should strive to be a“guide on the side” rather than a “sage on the stage.”  Once I began to use the TC2approach I became more of a “guide” in the classroom.  For each new topic or class, Istarted by introducing and explaining the critical challenge we would be working on.Instead of teaching every concept students needed to understand, I focused on teachingthe important background information and concepts that helped students accomplish thecritical challenge.  After students understood the initial concepts, they began working onthe challenge.  While they worked on the activity, it provided me with time to circulatearound the classroom helping students with difficulties, establishing better relationshipswith the students, and assessing students’ understanding of the material.I recognize that it is an intimidating experience for many teachers to change theirrole in the classroom, and the way they teach.  Many teachers prefer complete control ofthe learning environment in the class, and might see a change in methods as a loss ofcontrol.  For me it was an exciting change because I recognized that my previousmethods were achieving marginal success.  I did not view my change in role as a loss of118control; I viewed it as a way of enacting positive changes to student understanding andappreciation of the course.  My role was to teach important concepts and knowledge, anddesign tasks that lead students towards improved understanding.  At the same time, theTC2 method shifted the focus of the students away from me and onto their own learning.Rather than spend valuable classroom time teaching every concept, I devoted time andenergy to helping students improve their understanding of course material and concepts.Instructional planning and organizationOne of the best aspects of the TC2 model is that it helped me identify a clearpurpose for my lesson plans because it helped me reflect on the exact goals I wanted toachieve by the end of the year.  Before using TC2’s conception, I organized my dailyplanning on the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLO’s) mandated in the provincialcurriculum (IRP) for History 12.  Although I always managed to cover the requiredmaterial by the end of the year, I found too much of my daily planning focused on broadcontent knowledge or skills that lacked unifying goals or objectives.  The daily objectivesmight be clear, but there was no end goal or purpose besides helping students do well onthe provincial exam.  When planning a section on why the March Revolution in Russiaoccurred, my objective would be, “by the end of the lesson students will understand thecauses and consequences of the March Revolution.”  While this objective is clear, it lacksdescription on what methods will be used to help students understand the MarchRevolution better, and it does not place the March Revolution within a larger goal for thecourse.119Many teachers identify CT as a goal for their teaching, but few can articulate howthey support and improve CT in their courses (Paul, 1998; Case, 1992).  TC2 provides avery clear idea how teachers can improve the ability of students to think critically.  WhenI began formulating critical challenges according to the TC2 model, the focus of myplanning became clearer—each lesson was geared towards improving students’understanding of history and helping them become critical thinkers.  Instead of focusingon improving students’ knowledge of one historical event, or students’ ability to masterone historical thinking ability25, critical challenges accomplished numerous objectives atthe same time.  The development of critical challenges helped me consider how eachindividual lesson helped me achieve curriculum and CT objectives simultaneously.The TC2 model benefits teacher planning by aiding teachers in aligning contentobjectives, CT objectives and assessment.  In other words, TC2 believes that assessmentshould measure exactly what has been taught and reinforced during class time.  Thissounds like common sense, but many times in my career my objectives and assessmentmethods did not coalesce.  I have designed units where students learned how to recognizehistorical bias, or how to conduct primary research, yet the unit assessment focused onhow well students performed on unit tests that focused on content-based questions.Critical challenges designed according to the TC2 model focus on important backgroundknowledge, criteria for judgment, thinking strategies, CT vocabulary and habits of mindthat teachers determine are important.  The TC2 model contends that teachers shouldassess critical challenges by determining how well students demonstrated proficiencywith the specific CT tools chosen for the challenge.  After their products are assessed,students should clearly understand how well they demonstrated the various tools                                                  25 Denos & Case (2006) discuss six major historical thinking abilities.120necessary to become a critical thinker.  The alignment of goals, content and assessmentalso helps teachers determine which CT tools need further attention, and how wellstudents understand important course content (an idea that is referred to as eitherassessment for, as, or of learning).  TC2’s focus on aligning objectives, content, abilitiesand assessment provide an example of good teacher practice that helps both teachers andstudents.Contributions, limitations and recommendationsDespite the benefits of the TC2 model, it also has several limiting impacts onteacher planning.  TC2’s assertion that CT can be embedded in the curriculum of anysubject or grade is one of the strengths of the model.  However, embedding CT in History12 requires more planning time than teaching according to traditional methods.  Forexample, I decided to plan a large eight lesson critical challenge on the Paris PeaceConferences (PPC) for the first unit in History 12 this year.  When organizing the unit, Iconsidered the big concepts and ideas necessary for students to understand the unit (i.e.self-determination, successor states and mandates), and concentrated on identifyingimportant habits of mind, CT vocabulary and thinking strategies I wanted students todevelop during the unit.  I located supporting primary and secondary sources, createdblackline master activity sheets, and developed marking rubrics for assessment.  I alsoidentified the important outcomes, objectives, and tools for CT that each lesson focusedon.  From inception to completion, the eight lesson unit required somewhere between 40-50 hours of preparation.  After it was completed, I was extremely proud of the quality,and I was impressed by the student responses and results of the challenges.  However, I121also realized that I did not have the time or energy required to put the same planning timeinto the other ten units in the course.  Although, the planning time for creating criticalchallenges decreased as I became more comfortable and knowledgeable when using themodel, it still required a significant amount of time beyond what many teachers arewilling to spend devising lesson plans.I am not suggesting that once critical challenges are created, they never have to beimproved or readdressed.  Throughout the planning and implementation of challenges Irecognized the necessity of making frequent adjustments to all aspects of the challengesfrom blackline masters to assessment rubrics.  This process of self-reflection and changeis imperative for any teacher who supports CT in the classroom because it models thehabits of mind essential for CT.  Every challenge created will need to undergo significantalterations.  Teachers must also realize that planning for CT is never completed, becauseit is an evolutionary and organic process.The difficulty I faced in planning time highlights a significant problem with theTC2 model.  The effort and time required for planning a TC2 unit in comparison to a moretraditional unit are so substantial that many teachers might be unwilling to put the amountof time into restructuring their lessons, especially if they teach three or four differentcourses.  There is no doubt that there were incredible benefits to the lessons I created, butit will still take me another two or three years to fully develop “quality” criticalchallenges for every unit in History 12.  Mini-challenges are a reasonable alternativebecause they require less planning and preparation, but still instil aspects of CT intolessons.  Often times mini-challenges utilize resources (like textbooks) that are alreadyavailable and do not require much preparation.  For example, a mini-challenge on122historical significance might ask students to determine why one textbook devotes a fullpage to one historical event, while another textbook only devotes two lines of space.Although mini-challenges are useful, they are not the most powerful method ofsupporting CT because they lack the organization and rigour of the “larger” challenges.Furthermore, they do not emphasize TC2’s CT tools as comprehensively as otherchallenges.Another significant challenge for TC2 is that the model requires more classroomtime to teach content than traditional didactic teaching.  TC2 claims that their model canbe embedded in any course at any grade level, and in my experience this claim is partiallytrue.  TC2’s model demands more curricular time because it requires students to make amore considered decision about a problem or issue than a standard activity.  Although theTC2 method of teaching requires more teaching time than other methods, it also increasesstudent understanding of the curriculum.  Didactic teaching takes less time because itpresents information to students and asks them to find the right answers.  When Iimplemented TC2’s model in my History 12 class, there were several drawbacks.  Due tothe enormous amount of content in the History 12 curriculum, embedding TC2’s methodstook a great deal of time and made it almost impossible to complete the course on time.By the end of the course I still had a great deal of content to cover and had to use somedidactic methods, and watered down versions of TC2’s conception to complete the courseon time.  Supporters of the TC2 conception argue that this is a problem with the amountof content in the History 12 curriculum and not the model.  Although I agree that theamount of content in the curriculum is far too large for students to adequatelycomprehend, TC2 should recognize that History 12 is not the only high school curriculum123in North America that over-emphasizes content.  If use of the model does not enableteachers to complete the entire curriculum in the time allotted, then it will not be fullyaccepted by the majority of teachers not matter how successful it is at helping studentsunderstand content.  At the same time, the Ministry of Education in British Columbia andother government bodies should consider revamping the curriculum to focus less oncontent and more on thinking.Critics might further argue that I did not have a full comprehension of the TC2model to be able to implement it properly.  Furthermore, they might argue that I did notuse innovative methods that enabled me to embed CT in History 12 in the time provided.Although I am in the beginning of my TC2 journey, I have more understanding than ateacher who has gone through a few TC2 workshops and is beginning to use CT in theirclassrooms.  In order to complete the course in the required time and embed TC2’s modelin the curriculum I utilized a wide variety of innovative methods.  I created onlinediscussion challenges because the only way to embed critical challenges in more of thecourse content was to get students to use CT electronically from home.  Electronicchallenges have allowed me to embed more CT in the curriculum, monitor studentprogress, and discuss historical issues in addition to the 120 hours of classroom time.The amount of curricular time required to implement the TC2 conception is an importantissue that must be reconciled.  The TC2 model of CT provides an alternative to thepervasive belief in content-based curricula and the importance of standardized high-stakes testing.  Either TC2 must adapt their model to meet the demands of the currentsystem, or the current system must reform and focus on increasing understanding and CTability by reducing the amount of content in its courses.124Curriculum knowledge and understandingAnother difficulty in adapting TC2’s model of CT to History 12 is that it requiresextensive knowledge of the curriculum, the major objectives for the course, and anunderstanding of the importance of each topic to the curriculum.  Not every teacher caneffectively implement TC2’s conception in their classrooms because many teachers lackexperience in the course, or they may not fully understand the discipline, or curriculumthey are teaching.  Early in the implementation of TC2 in my teaching I noted in myjournal that, “It is absolutely essential to know the curriculum.  You need to know whereyou are going, how to get there, and how much time you can spend on each unit.”  Imade this statement after I finished teaching the eight-challenge PPC Unit.  I realizedthat part of the reason for the success of the unit was because I understood the essentialparts of the curriculum after teaching the course several times previously.  My priorexperience provided me with perspective on which topics in the PPC I shouldemphasize, and how much time I could devote to the PPC without taking time awayfrom other significant topics in the course.  This experience led me to conclude thatteachers who do not have teaching experience with a particular course might struggle toimplement the TC2 model effectively.  CT also requires a more thorough knowledge andunderstanding of the epistemology of the discipline being taught than other teachingmethods.  The lack of experience and knowledge could have several negativeconsequences: critical challenges might focus on insignificant subjects, oroveremphasize some areas in the course, while leaving out areas that are more important.Furthermore, a lack of knowledge of the epistemology of history could lead to a narrow125understanding of a subject, faulty assumptions, or poorly designed challenges. McPeck(1990) argues that the first thing teachers need to do is get a clearer fix on the structureof their discipline, and to use it as the core of their curriculum.  In my experience,teachers know the content they are required to cover, but they do not fully understand theunifying principles of the course or the discipline they are teaching.  The Four Frontsmodel is built on the faulty assumption that teachers understand the curriculum they areteaching.  This knowledge can only be gained through teaching experience in a particularsubject, a thorough understanding of curriculum documents, or a keen comprehension ofthe discipline.  TC2 needs to help teachers who do not know their subject area wellenough by providing guidance on implementing CT into specific disciplines in differentgovernment curricula.  They have begun the development of resources focused onhelping teachers understand discipline specific thinking and knowledge in history in the“Teaching about Historical Thinking” resource created by Denos and Case (2006).  Thisis an excellent start, but there is still a large demand for resources in other disciplines aswell.Should TC2 adopt a more prescriptive model of instruction?New pedagogical models presented to teachers at in-services and professionaldevelopment days are often prescriptive—for each grade level the resources outline whattopics to teach, how to teach the topics and when the topics should be taught.  Designersof these models understand that teachers will not employ models, even if they believethey are useful, unless examples are provided that clearly outline how the model can bedirectly implemented into teachers’ classrooms.  TC2 has purposely avoided the126development of too many prescriptive lessons, units or “how to” guides to apply theirmodel because they believe that the development of too many prepared examplescontravenes the nature of CT.  CT is about making informed decisions about what tobelieve or do, not following a series of steps or standardized practices to arrive at adecision.  If TC2 prepares too many “ready made” curriculum resources, then teacherswill not really learn about CT and how to help students become critical thinkers.  TC2wants to avoid the overly procedural models of CT developed by theorists like Ennis andPaul because they are too pedantic and utilize the “pedagogy of practice”26 to improveCT ability amongst students.  In my experience, students and teachers becomeconstrained and bored by models that repeat similar processes, algorithms or heuristicsfor each assignment.  Furthermore, students’ CT abilities will not improve if they blindlyfollow a number of steps, rather than thinking critically about the subject at hand.While I support TC2’s opposition to the development of too many prescriptivemodels and lessons, I believe that TC2 needs to provide more guidance to teachers onhow to implement the model in their classes over the entire school year.  TC2 providesmany examples of entire units for different courses in their  “Critical Challenges Acrossthe Curriculum Series” but these units are extensive and require a great deal of time tocomplete, leaving little time to accomplish other required parts of the curriculum.Throughout the process of using the model, I desperately wanted to see how an expertTC2 practicioner would embed CT in the entire History 12 curriculum.  Teachers, likestudents need constant feedback to ensure that they are “on the right track.”  I struggled                                                  26 The pedagogy of practice is a term coined by Bailin, Case, Coombs & Daniels (1999) to criticize CTmodels that believe that if CT abilities are practiced enough in isolation they will transfer to everyday life.127to fully implement the model because each time I created a challenge it required far moreclassroom time to complete than more traditional models.Another area that needs more attention and clarification for teachers is asuggested timeline for introducing the 20 habits of mind, 33 CT vocabulary terms, and 23thinking strategies outlined in the TC2 model.  TC2 provides little idea how and whenteachers should accomplish this extensive list of objectives.  TC2 needs to suggest howmany vocabulary terms, thinking strategies and habits of mind teachers can reasonablyexpect students to learn in a year.  Without a clear idea of what can be reasonablyaccomplished in a yearlong class, teachers might attempt to teach too many of the CTtools in a year.  If teachers are given a list of habits of mind or vocabulary terms to teach,they are prone to teach them once and then check them off the list.  This style of teachingTC2’s model will not help students improve as critical thinkers.  Teachers must recognizethat CT is a lifelong journey, not something to be accomplished in a year.  Rather thantrying to make students adroit critical thinkers in a year, TC2 must help teachersunderstand that every time a single aspect of CT is reinforced in a classroom, students areanother step closer to becoming critical thinkers.  Roland Case (2007) borrows a quotefrom Ralph Tyler when he suggests that teaching CT to students is like dripping water ona stone: "In a day or week or a month there is no appreciable change in the stone, butover a period of years definite erosion is noted” (p. 17).  Like dripping water eroding astone, CT will not begin to make an impact on students unless it is accentuatedthroughout their entire scholastic careers.  I am not asking for TC2 to mandate exactlywhat CT abilities and habits of mind should be accomplished at each age and subjectlevel.  What TC2 should provide are tangible and useful examples of yearlong plans from128teachers who have successfully implemented CT in their classes.  This will help otherteachers understand how to organize their courses according to TC2 principles, and thatembedding CT in the curriculum can be accomplished.  Although the TC2 conception hasgained widespread acceptance as a legitimate method for classroom teaching, it has notyet gained acceptance as an important method to use in everyday classroom instruction.It will not gain full acceptance as an important method to use until teachers can be shownhow TC2’s model can be utilized in every aspect of different courses.Successes and Struggles: Building a Community of ThinkersWhile teaching five History 12 classes this year I experienced moments in eachclass where the beginnings of a COT were established.  There were other instances whenthere were palpable amounts of student resistance to establishing a COT.  Few classesever embody all the characteristics of a COT, however, when a class achieves more COTcharacteristics, the amount and quality of CT increases.  What is important is thatteachers focus on helping their classes make continual progress towards a COT.  Below, Ireflect on the difficulties I faced when trying to establish a COT in my classes, and thereasons a COT was difficult to establish.  Later in the section, I describe the successfulimplementation of a COT, and the factors that best enabled a COT to be created.Difficulties building a COTThe main challenge in building a COT was not the theoretical or methodologicaldeficiencies highlighted in TC2’s conception, it was students’ undeveloped habits of mindand inexperience with this type of classroom environment.  Frankly put, by the timestudents reached History 12 they had developed many habits of mind that were129antagonistic to building a COT.  Throughout the year I established the understanding thatthe focus of history is not just finding the right answer.  I accentuated the importance ofarriving at plausible conclusions that are supported by strong evidence, reasoning andexplanations.  Early in the year many students did not enjoy some of the ambiguousaspects of history because their entire educational experience reinforced the importanceof finding the right answer.  After finishing critical challenges students frequently askedme what the correct answer was, like I was secretly withholding the answer throughoutthe lesson, only to dramatically reveal it at the end.  I responded by asking them whatthey meant by “right answer”; were they asking me what the majority of historiansbelieved, or what I personally believed?  I explained my opinion to them, but I alsoexplained that historians have developed different arguments as well.  I also pointed outthat I was marking them on the quality of their thinking, not on how well their answersaligned with other people’s opinions.Students were often frustrated by this ambiguity because they wanted affirmationfor finding the correct answers, or they wanted the satisfaction of knowing that there wasa right answer.  Some complained that any assignment that has no clear answer, is notimportant for them to do.  I would remind students that throughout human history thereare historical mysteries that have never been solved, yet historians continue to debatedifferent arguments and theories and search for new evidence.  Other students tried tofool me into giving their critical challenge assignments good grades.  They felt that theywould receive good grades, even if their judgments were irrational, as long as theysupported their judgments with reasoning.  These students were displaying self-righteoushabits of mind that worked against CT.  They lacked fair-mindedness and the ability to130see historical problems from multiple perspectives.  Students soon discovered that thistype of thinking did not meet the standards I established in the assessment rubrics for theassignments.  The lack of habits of mind amongst some students prevented me from fullyestablishing a COT in some classes.  This is not because of the TC2 conception, rather itcan be attributed to the negative habits of mind many grade 12 students had reinforcedthroughout their scholastic careers, and because there were only 120 hours ofinstructional time to try and strengthen students’ habits of mind.  In the classes where I had difficulty establishing a COT, I noticed that there wasstudent resistance to classroom routines that accentuated CT.  I emphasized theimportance of each assignment, and ensured that in each assignment students would beexpected to think critically.  In many instances, students complained that, “they werethinking too much” and asked for worksheets that required them to find the answers, notthink about topics in any substantive way.  In my reflections, I made notes to myselfabout students’ general lack of curiosity and resistance to think through problems.  Theypreferred passive learning because it is what that they had become accustomed to.  Myteaching colleagues told me that several students complained to them that my class wastoo hard because they had to think too much.  I also noticed that some students lacked theinitiative to begin work on a critical challenge until I forced them to do it.  Frequently, Iwould ask the class to complete a standard thinking task, like creating five criteria fordetermining why a specific historical event was significant.  Many students attemptedevasive techniques to avoid thinking or discussing the topic.  They pretended to be busywhile waiting for other students in the class to respond, or they stalled for time until theirpartners or other members of the class provided the answers for them.  Despite my pleas131and urging, students in classes that did not establish a COT took any opportunity forthoughtful reflection as time to avoid doing work, or discussing off-topic subjects withtheir classmates.Case and Wright (1997) believe that an essential component for building a COT isteacher modelling, “If we want our students to be good critical thinkers we must modelthese attributes ourselves” (p. 17).  Teacher modeling is difficult because many teacherswho implement CT in their classrooms are beginning their development as criticalthinkers.  They cannot be expected to model the habits of mind and abilities of a mastercritical thinker when they do not fully understand what CT is and how it can be achieved.Previously in the paper, I explained that CT cannot be achieved if students do not possessthe habits of mind of a critical thinker.  Likewise, it is difficult for a teacher to build aCOT if they lack the required habits of mind.  When I began instituting TC2’s model inmy classes, I was just beginning my development as a critical thinker.  There were manyhabits and strategies I had to unlearn, and several habits and strategies that I had tostrengthen in order to support a COT.  I had to learn to embrace ambiguity, avoidhistorical generalizations and stereotypes, and be willing to change my mind whenpresented with good reasons to do so.  These were not incredibly difficult for me to dobecause I was disposed to do these things already.  It would be most problematic forteachers who lack the attitudes and habits necessary for establishing a COT.  In my pre-service training, being tolerant of ambiguity was not emphasized; assignments and testswere geared towards helping students find the correct answer.  Furthermore, I believedthat a history teacher’s job was to transmit information and knowledge to students.  In myearly years of teaching, I taught students that the Great War Battle of Vimy Ridge was132the birthplace of Canada because the “baptism by fire” turned a nation of immigrants intoa united country that supported a common Canadian identity.  I learned this messagefrom teachers I had, books I read, and films I watched.  This example illustrates how I didnot teach my students to give fair-minded consideration of historical issues from multipleperspectives.  It was not until I was more aware of CT that I realized that the type ofteaching I was utilizing was little more than indoctrination that was opposed to the natureof CT and historical thinking.  It also illustrates the difficulty some teachers have inbuilding a COT if they lack the habits of mind and inclination to teach a subject critically.TC2 must recognize that supporting the increase of CT in schools requires training pre-service and practicing teachers how to improve their abilities as critical thinkers so theycan model CT abilities and dispositions in their practice.  Furthermore, teachers will onlyvalue CT in their instruction if they see it as an important part of their own personalgrowth.Building a successful COTAfter several frustrating experiences, it might have been easy for me to becomecynical about the prospects of establishing a COT with History 12 students.  Manystudents were disenchanted and disengaged with the learning methods and environmentsthey experienced in several of their classes.  For obvious reasons, many saw little reasonto change their learning environment at the end of their mandatory public education.Fortunately, I experienced several examples of classes that established aspects of a COT,and the results were promising enough to influence the way I will continue to teach in thefuture.133Classes that began to establish a COT did several things differently than classesthat did not.  In most cases, these classes seemed to favour inquiry as their method oflearning.  They were happy to delve into subjects, rather than have every topic directlytaught by me.  Debates and discussions took on the atmosphere of conversations, asopposed to forced, teacher-scripted discussions.  The discussions had a topic and purpose,but the route to the end of the discussion was determined by the participants, not by me.Students did not want to learn in a passive manner, they wanted to engage with thematerial that they were learning.  In their discussions, students respected difference ofopinion and were content to disagree about ideas without allowing personal feelings toenter the debate.  Students with strong political or religious views were challenged bytheir classmates to be aware of their biases, and to consider historical topics from otherperspectives.  It was exciting to see that students realized that they could learn as muchfrom each other’s interpretations, as they could from a teacher.Classes that established a COT were also quicker to understand the nature ofhistorical thinking.  They understood the difference between historical facts and opinions.They knew that historical facts cannot be disputed, but opinions about causation,consequence and outcomes are open to interpretation.  In short, they began tocomprehend the idea that judgments are weighed by the strength of reasoning.  Thestudents in these classes were also accepting of ambiguity, not frustrated or limited byit—many students actually felt liberated.  In their other classes, they were required toprove that they understood accepted judgments or explanation of issues.  In a COT, theywere free to explain what they thought, and how they formed their opinion.  Theyunderstood that there were historical questions that may not have any right or wrong134answers, rather that criteria, evidence, bias and perspective shaped judgments.  Studentsnot only debated historical issues, they also discussed the criteria used to make theirjudgments.  They constantly used CT vocabulary terms like criteria, bias, inference,judgment and perspective in their formal and informal discussions.  Students began tojoke about the “curse of criteria”—how each time they made a decision outside theclassroom, they habitually developed criteria first.In a COT, students were more inclined to discuss the strengths and weaknesses ofassignments and were also willing to discuss the criteria I developed for evaluatingassignments.  After major assignments were completed, I asked for comments on theevaluation rubric used for the assignment, and what they liked and did not like about theassignment.  When a COT is established, students feel more comfortable discussing theseissues, because they feel that they have a voice in how they are being assessed, and theywant to ensure that the negative aspects of assignments do not surface again in the future.The most significant difference between classes that created a COT and those thatdid not was that successful classes embodied many of the important habits of mindnecessary for CT.  These classes were naturally inclined to be intellectually curious,open-minded, independent-minded, self-reflective, empathic and tolerant of ambiguity.Not every student possessed these habits of mind when they first walked into class, butafter several assignments and discussions I noticed that these mindsets developed morequickly than classes that were not as successful building a COT.Why were some classes more successful at developing the habits of mindnecessary for a COT than others?  Obviously, this question demands a more intensive135study than I have conducted, and I have no empirical evidence that explains why.Nonetheless, there are several factors that I think might explain this phenomenon:• Size of different classes• Different levels of students’ intellectual development• Student’s prior knowledge and comfort with each other• Student’s prior development of habits of mind• Intrinsic/extrinsic motivation levels of the classes.  Why were they taking theclass?  How motivated were they in the class?• Student’s learning styles, and whether an inquiry style of learning coalesced withtheir preferred method of learning• Student’s previous exposure to inquiry methodsWhile it is clear that TC2’s model influences the development of a COT thatsupports CT, using the model for one year does not necessarily guarantee that a classcan be converted to a COT.  From my experience, the determining factor in thedevelopment of a COT is establishing and reinforcing habits of mind that support CT.TC2 and AssessmentGarfield Gini-Newman (2005) states that instruction and assessment are two sidesof the same coin; any analysis of the adaptability of the TC2 model to classroom practicemust consider the methods used to assess student achievement.  Earlier in this chapter, Idiscussed TC2’s methodological and theoretical views on assessment.  TC2 argues thatassessment for each assignment should concentrate on how well students meet the136standards of the five intellectual tools: background knowledge, criteria for judgment,thinking strategies, CT vocabulary and habits of mind.  The standards required for eachcritical challenge should be clearly articulated and taught before the challenge so thatstudents understand exactly what is expected, and teachers can measure how well eachstandard is being met.  There are several aspects of TC2’s view of assessment thatstrengthens the adaptability of their conception to teaching history.  There are also severalaspects of their assessment model that requires further explanation and development tomeet the assessment practices that are currently being utilized by the Ministry ofEducation in British Columbia.Benefits of TC2 assessment philosophyOne of the benefits of the TC2 model of assessment for classroom teachers is thatit helps teachers identify clear goals and expectations for daily and unit-long lessonplans because the model is designed for “assessment to drive instruction” (Gini-Newman, 2005, p. 3).  Each time I introduced a critical challenge I knew which habits ofmind, background knowledge, thinking strategies, criteria for judgment and CTvocabulary the challenge would focus on.  The criteria for assessing the students’ tasksfor evidence of their incorporation of the specific CT tools in the challenge were alsoestablished.  Before I began using the TC2 model, my assessment methods focusedprimarily on determining if students understood the content being taught.  Occasionally Iincluded other assessment criteria with the assignment, but in many cases, the assessmentcriteria were not areas that I stressed when preparing students for the assignment.  Forexample, in an essay assignment I asked students to present “strong arguments” that137utilized “relevant evidence” to support the position they chose.  Although I included thisas important assessment criteria, I did not teach students how to develop strongarguments, or how to select relevant evidence.  Unlike my example, the TC2 model ofassessment features alignment between the tools of CT that are emphasized in the criticalchallenge, and the categories of assessment on which a teacher concentrates.  If a criticalchallenge focuses on promoting the habit of mind of empathy, and student developmentof “sophisticated criteria” for making a judgment, then the assessment tools shouldmeasure exactly how well students’ assignments displayed empathy and sophisticatedcriteria for judgment.  The benefit of this type of assessment model is that teachers andstudents are both absolutely clear on the assessment criteria each assignment emphasizes.Furthermore, it provides a focus for teachers’ instructional strategies leading up to theassignment, and it helps students know exactly what abilities and habits of mind theyneed to concentrate on in the assignment.Another benefit of TC2’s assessment conception is that it utilizes formativeassessment strategies that are increasingly utilized by educators across North America.Formative assessment should not be seen as another educational fad that will eventuallydisappear.  TC2 does not support formative assessment strategies because they arepopular, but because they help develop critical thinkers.  The importance of formativeassessment is that it provides students with clear achievement goals and regularlyprovides feedback to students as to how well they are achieving identified goals.Increasingly educational researchers link formative assessment with increased studentengagement and skill mastery, “…assessment is a key determinant of the degree ofengagement and effort students will put into mastering a skill…Students are not likely to138develop complex skills if they are not explicitly linked to important assessments”(Garfield-Newman, 1995, p. 3).  My local school district recently announced animplementation plan for a formative assessment model developed by Dr. Rick Stigginscalled “Assessment for Learning.”  I have witnessed the need for increased amounts offormative assessment in my classes.  During the explanation of a marking rubric for acritical challenge, I asked my students how many times they handed in an assignment andhad it returned with a grade on it, but they were unclear how the assignment wasevaluated, and why they received the grade they did?  The number of responses wereastounding; many students complained that for many assignments they had no idea whythey got the mark they did, and they did not know what areas they needed to improve intheir next assignment.As part of their emphasis on formative assessment, TC2 maintains that bothstudents and teachers should be involved in developing the criteria used for assignmentevaluation, and students should regularly be asked to self-evaluate their own assignmentsand peer evaluate their fellow students’ assignments.  Self and peer evaluation helpsstudents further their understanding of CT by reinforcing CT tools.  Getting students toidentify criteria for evaluation also helps students understand the purposes and goals foreach assignment.  I regularly ask students to help me generate criteria for evaluating anassignment, and they usually identify the same criteria I do.  Likewise, when I getstudents to peer mark other students’ assignments, the grade they decide on is usuallyvery close to the one that I assign.  Strangely, many teachers believe that students will beeasier on each other when they peer mark.  In my experience, students are far morestringent than teachers in ensuring that their classmates met the assignment criteria.  The139amount of attention currently being placed on aligning instructional goals with formativeassessment strategies heightens the demand for a model that supports this relationship.The power of the TC2 conception is that it establishes four important fronts of CT, how toteach students to become critical thinkers, and the methods to assess the ability ofstudents to improve as critical thinkers.Assessment difficulties: TC2 or the curriculum?The major assessment problem I faced when using the TC2 conception, is not aproblem with their method or concept of assessment, it is that current assessmentpractices adopted by the Ministry of Education in the History 12 curriculum are at oddswith the TC2 model.  TC2 focuses on developing competent thinkers that are able to makereasoned decisions about the curriculum, while History 12 concentrates more on theacquisition and retention of curricular information.  Students who take History 12 andplan on attending a university in Alberta or British Columbia must take a final examworth 40% of the final mark.  The exam rewards students who have broad knowledge ofHistory 12 concepts and information, not students who think critically about topics in thecourse.  An important question to ask is whether using the TC2’s model for teachingHistory 12 will benefit or hinder students who take the provincial exam?  If it is proventhat use of TC2’s model does not help students get higher scores on the provincial exam,then teachers may not accept it as a teaching method.  This would be unfortunate becauseuse of the TC2 model improves students’ ability to critically think, and it improvesstudents’ understanding of the course, which I believe are both more important than theprovincial exam.140I believe that students who learn History 12 using TC2’s methods will actually dobetter on the provincial exam because they will have a better understanding and masteryof the basic content in the course after completing critical challenges.  Throughout thecourse I gave students multiple-choice questions from old provincial exams, and askedthem to identify the most difficult questions.  We marked each student’s responses anddiscussed the most difficult questions.  Students complained that some of the multiple-choice questions had more than one right answer and seemed to be designed to trickstudents rather than test their knowledge of the course.  Many students were frustratedbecause the multiple-choice questions did not provide the opportunity to explain why oneanswer was more correct than another.  The results of the tests were inconclusive becausesome students did extremely well, which was the same as when I taught History 12 usingdidactic methods.  I cannot say whether students would have done better if I had taughtthe curriculum using standard methods, or if I taught to the test.  I concluded that thispoint is irrelevant because my students increased their understanding of history, and moreimportantly they improved their ability to think critically about history.Currently, our society and education system defines student achievement by howmuch information students have retained in a particular subject area, and how well theyperform on standardized exams.  In the last three years the government of BritishColumbia has increased the number of standardized provincial exams to include grade 10and grade 11 students.  The focus on retaining information is an outdated model for thetwenty-first century because students today can access information very easily.  Thedifficulty is getting students to think about the information deeply and help them makereasonable decisions supported by logic and evidence.  Societies and education systems141need to define exactly how they measure student achievement if students are to meet theneeds of the next century.  In the future, society will demand that students have theingenuity to solve problems and think critically, and the education system has to makeadaptations to meet these needs.  TC2’s assessment model provides a blueprint formaking the necessary changes because it focuses on improving students’ ability tocritically think, not just acquire information.  Garfield-Newman (2005) believes that it istime to abandon the race to “cover” the curriculum, and help students think critically sothey can begin “uncovering” the curriculum.TC2 faces a problematic issue revolving around the measurement of studentprogress as critical thinkers.  Again this is more of a problem with how society measuresprogress, than it is with a conceptual weakness of the TC2 conception.  In the currentpolitical climate in British Columbia there is a strong demand for accountability andquantitative measurement of student progress.  Provincial exams are mandated in variousgrade 10, 11 and 12 courses, the results are published in newspapers across the province,and the Fraser Institute ranks schools according to how well their students do on theprovincial exams.  It is within this climate that TC2 attempts to influence change.  Criticsof TC2’s model ask how teachers know if their students are improving as critical thinkers.TC2 argues that progress is measured by teacher observation and documentation ofstudents’ improvement in their acquisition of CT vocabulary, the use of criteria forjudgment, the selection of relevant background knowledge, the necessary habits of mindfor CT and knowledge and implementation of various thinking strategies.  The problemwith this answer is that for many people who prefer traditional assessment via the use oftesting and content-based assignments, the TC2 model features a lack of quantifiable142assessment methods for measuring CT.  Furthermore, TC2 focuses too much onformative assessment, which can be criticized for being too subjective and unreliable.TC2 can choose several courses of action to reconcile the debate with proponentsof standardized tests and quantitative assessment.  TC2 could conduct a quantitativeresearch study that compares student performance on current standardized exams afterbeing instructed using the TC2 method, with student performance on standardized examswho did not use the TC2 method.  This could prove that TC2’s method will improve boththe CT abilities and the provincial exam mark.  Alternatively, TC2 may want to considerdeveloping standardized assessment methods (such as CT tests) that measure students’ability to think critically in different disciplines.  This way TC2 could prove that studentsimprove their CT abilities when using the model.  For many within the CT movement,this suggestion is incredibly controversial because it is antithetical to the purposes andnature of CT.  Many people would argue that a test can never fully measure CT ability.However, without standardized measurements of CT abilities TC2 may never gain fullacceptance within educational circles.  I am not advocating the standardization of allTC2’s assessment strategies, but it is possible that TC2 will have to acknowledge thatsome forms of standardized assessment are a reality in the current political andeducational climate.  TC2 clearly disagrees with information-focused curriculum, butdespite this disapproval they still created a compromise when they designed theembedded model of CT that helps teachers meet information-based curricular goals whilealso improving students’ ability to think critically.  TC2 must find a similar compromisebetween the formative methods of assessing CT they champion, and the standardizedassessment practices advocated in the government curriculum.  Another possibility is that143TC2 becomes strong advocates for formative assessment as “the” alternative tostandardized assessment.  To do this, they would need to prove that formative assessmentis more successful at engaging students, and improving student achievement.          Final Analysis of the Adaptability of the TC2 ModelAfter using TC2’s model in five of my History 12 classes for a year, I have arrivedat several conclusions about its adaptability to the classroom, and have arranged theminto the following categories.• The TC2 conception improves students’ abilities as critical thinkers as evidencedby their ability to become more proficient with TC2’s five tools of a criticalthinker.• Use of the model improved student understanding of the curriculum, and of theepistemology of history.• Students became more engaged and interested in history, and began to use CTpractices in their daily lives.• TC2 also proved that there does not have to be a separation between content andCT practices—instead CT can be used as the method for teaching the entireHistory 12 curriculum.• Use of the TC2 method also had positive effects on my course planning and rolein the classroom.  My planning became more focused on aligning content and CTobjectives with assessment methods.  When a COT was successfully implementedin the classroom, students began to see me more as a guide, than an authoritarian144“holder of knowledge” that they have become accustomed to experiencing in theirschool careers.• TC2’s view that assessment “drives” instruction strengthens the model because ithelped me understand that the purpose of assessment is to measure and provideinformation on how well students are improving as critical thinkers, not just theirability to understand the curriculum.Use of the TC2 model also had its drawbacks and limitations.• Implementing the model in History 12 required more planning time andinstructional time to teach the same topics as the didactic methods I used beforeadopting TC2’s model.  Although planning time will decrease as a teacherbecomes more adept with the TC2 model, the amount of instructional timerequired to teach the entire curriculum using TC2’s methods made it more difficultto complete the curriculum by the end of the year.• Use of the TC2 conception requires teachers to have a thorough knowledge of theimportant concepts, content and foundations of the curriculum.  Without thisbackground knowledge, teachers will not know the important aspects of thecurriculum to focus CT activities on.• In order for the TC2 model to become more readily accepted by teachers, TC2must provide more resources, training, and guidance to help teachers understandhow to implement the model’s extensive list of vocabulary, habits of mind andthinking strategies to different subjects throughout the entire school year.145• One of the most difficult aspects in implementing the model was improving thenecessary habits of mind needed for fostering CT.  It was very challenging tochange the habits of mind in the last year of students’ mandatory educationbecause many students had reinforced habits of mind throughout their schoolcareers that were not conducive to CT.After weighing the strengths and limitations of the TC2 model after adapting it toHistory 12, I conclude that the benefits for students and my teaching style and methodsfar outweigh the limitations and drawbacks.  In Chapter Five, I discuss conclusions andinferences drawn from my experiences adapting TC2’s model of CT to teaching History12.  I also focus on the contributions to knowledge that this thesis makes, and discussprospects and recommendations for future research.146CHAPTER FIVE:GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURERESEARCHGeneral ConclusionsIn this thesis I critique the major conceptions of CT developed by Ennis, McPeck,Lipman, Siegel, the Foundation for Critical Thinking, and the Critical ThinkingConsortium (TC2), and use criteria to determine which of these conceptions is mostadaptable for teaching History 12.  After judging the TC2 model to be most adaptable, Iused TC2’s methods to teach five History 12 classes.  In this chapter I reflect on theprocess of adapting the TC2 model, the contributions to knowledge that this study makes,and the implications and requirements for future research in CT.During the past year using the model, it often felt as if I was being pulled betweentwo opposing educational ideologies.  One ideology was represented by TC2, whoadvocate embedding CT in the curriculum to improve students’ CT abilities, whilesimultaneously helping students develop deeper understandings of course material.  Theother side is represented by the current B.C. education system’s fixation on improvingexam results and graduation rates via the acquisition of large amounts of standardizedinformation and facts.  Throughout the year I was unable to choose one side over theother.  If I taught my History 12 classes using TC2’s methods exclusively, my studentsmight be unprepared for the provincial exam because CT may not prepare students bestfor a knowledge-based exam.  This would be negligent because it is important for manyof my students to achieve high marks in History 12 in order to gain entrance into post-secondary institutions.  If my sole focus for teaching History 12 was to make sure that147students “covered” the entire curriculum and did well on the provincial exam, thenlearning history would be less enjoyable for students, and they might not learn how tothink critically about history.  Because neither position was an acceptable choice, Iattempted to find a compromise between the two.  This was exceedingly challengingbecause finding compromise between two diametrically opposed positions is difficult.  Iconcluded that the best way to help students understand History 12 was to use CT as thepredominant model of teaching, but when necessary also use didactic methods that “teachto the exam” in order to “cover” the content in the curriculum.  An illustration of thecompromise between these positions was when I asked students to answer multiple-choice questions from past-provincial exams (teaching to the exam), but also asked themto pick out the ten most difficult questions, and develop criteria for what “most difficult”means (TC2’s method of CT).  This helped students prepare for the types of questionsthey will encounter on the provincial exam, but it also got students thinking about whatwas difficult about the questions.The yearlong compromise between the two positions was intellectually andmorally exhausting.  At the end of the year I was disenchanted and incredibly frustratedwith the current History 12 curriculum because it was obvious to me that teaching thecourse using TC2’s model was more beneficial for the students because it improved theirknowledge, interest and understanding of history.  I was worn down by the constantpressure to “cover” the curriculum and “teach to the test” in order to prepare students forthe provincial exam.  In the last two weeks of classes I rushed to finish the curriculumbecause the use of TC2’s model required more time to complete the curriculum than I hadanticipated.  I was forced to abandon the TC2 model and teach the curriculum using148didactic methods.  This was frustrating and stressful because I knew that students learnedthe material better using TC2’s methods, but I had to return to any methods that wouldhelp me complete the curriculum.  This conundrum led me to ask some fundamentalquestions about TC2 and my future teaching methods.  Did I make a mistake using theTC2 model as my primary mode of instruction during the year, or is the content-burdenedHistory 12 curriculum the root of the problem?  My belief is that the conception ofinstruction designed by TC2 should serve as an important pedagogical method forteachers in all disciplines to implement in their teaching.  I will continue using the modelbecause the benefits far outweigh the negatives.  However, it is also important that theMinistry of Education considers reforming and rewriting the curriculum to reduce theamount of content and increase the amount of thinking about the content.Contributions to KnowledgeIn my searches through books and journal articles looking for descriptions andtheories of CT, only Siegel (1988) provides a thorough comparison and description of CTtheories, but he analyzes only three theorists: Ennis, McPeck and Paul.  In theintroduction to the thesis I discussed almost universal agreement amongst educatorsabout the importance of CT as a goal of education.  If CT is an important ideal foreducation, it is important that educators understand what CT means, and what mentalabilities and dispositions critical thinkers possess.  My analysis considers six majortheories and different definitions, and synthesizes them to uncover what the nature of CTand its constituent parts are.  This synthesis can help future theorists and researchersunderstand what CT is, and what the key differences are between the major conceptions.149This thesis also contributes to the understanding of the relationship between CTand teaching history in secondary schools.  Any journal search of “critical thinking” and“history instruction” uncovers numerous studies devoted to this area.  Unfortunately, fewstudies have considered these issues in the depth discussed in this paper.  There arestudies devoted to explaining a model of teaching history that claims to increase the CTabilities of students as a by-product of using the history model.  Unfortunately, thesestudies often use CT as a generic term that is not explained or investigated, and insteadfocuses on describing the model of teaching history.  My study takes a different tact byfocusing more on understanding CT and explaining how CT helps students think abouthistory and historical thinking in a more critical way.When I began graduate work, my purpose was to discover ways to improve mystudents’ abilities to think about history and its epistemological foundations.  I soondiscovered CT and became convinced that it could accomplish the purposes I identified.After this realization, the focus of my graduate thesis changed.  I wanted to identify amethod that would help students improve as critical thinkers, and also increase theirknowledge, understanding and interest in history.  This thesis reflects my beliefs andvalues about teaching history.  However, these beliefs are not generalizable to all historyteachers who want to embed CT in their practice.  Clandinin and Connelly (1991) rejectthe idea of generalization as a goal of inquiry and believe it should be replaced bytransferability.  Although my findings may not be generally applied to all historyteachers, uncovering an adaptable method of CT can help teachers find a conception ofCT that they can understand and practice, and will improve students’ CT abilities andhabits of mind.  This study also assists teachers and theorists understand the difficult150process of adapting TC2’s method to history classes, and helps uncover some of themethods used to make the process easier.  While this thesis topic discusses the experience of adapting a conception of CTfor teaching history, I also believe there is transferability to other disciplines.  Theexperiences and reflections discussed can provide insight and guidance to any teacherwho is interested in integrating a model of CT into their teaching practice.  CT must beseen as the responsibility of all educators, not just the disciplines believed to be mostsuitable for adapting CT.  Hopefully the movement towards improving thinking will helpCT become more prevalent in our schools and our society.  Another contribution of thisstudy is more of an optimistic goal for the future—to make recommendations that will bea small step towards enacting larger changes within social studies curricula in theprovince.  After teaching social studies courses for seven years I realize that there is fartoo much focus on the acquisition of information and facts in the social studies curricula,while instruction focused on improving thinking abilities of students’ remains more“wish than practice.”  This study provides a glimpse at some of the exciting possibilitiesCT represents for our education system, and some of the frustrations with the currentsystem.  Hopefully the frustrations can be remedied and the possibilities can be builtupon.  A populace of critical thinkers is an exciting prospect because CT symbolizes thefoundations of a society that makes decisions based on criteria, reasons and justice for all.Furthermore, the discussion of the adaptability, strengths and limitations of eachtheory can significantly help CT theorists make their conceptions more practicable forteachers in the field.  Many of the CT theories were developed by theorists who areexperts in logic and reasoning, but have little training in developing pedagogical models151for implementation in school classrooms.  CT theorists have done a remarkable jobdefining CT, explaining the characteristics of CT, and even explaining how individualscan recognize and improve their own abilities to critically think.  The missing ingredientfor most CT theories is that they have not developed conceptions that can be adapted toevery level and subject in our schools.  This has to be the next major focus for CT.Implications for Future ResearchWhile this study provided valuable insights into the strengths and limitations ofthe TC2 model as it applied to teaching History 12, there are several topics and areasunearthed during the study that require further research and consideration.  TC2’s mainfocus over the past decade has been to develop a sound theoretical model of CT, and tohelp facilitate teachers utilize and embed this model throughout the curricula of anysubject and grade level.  Although the process of expanding the use of the TC2 model inschools is never ending, empirical data from thoughtfully constructed research studiescould provide TC2 with the evidence needed to buttress their theoretical claims in theareas of students’ increased understanding and engagement with the curriculum,increased comprehension of the epistemological foundations of the discipline, and thedegree to which CT can be adapted to various disciplines.  Evidence in these areas couldlead to wider acceptance and use of the model amongst different levels and disciplines.One important area for future research emerged from discussions presented inChapter Three.  “Does the use of TC2’s model in the classroom increase or decreasestudents’ understanding of the curriculum?”  If it is proven that use of TC2’s modelincreases student understanding, acceptance of the model will increase because educators152will not ignore a teaching methodology that improves students’ understanding of thecurriculum, while also strengthening their CT ability.  If it is proven that TC2’s modeldoes not improve understanding, this method of instruction will lose support and be seenas nothing more than an add-on to the curriculum.Determining conclusively whether TC2’s model increases understanding ofhistory would require a longitudinal study of a large sample of History 12 students,otherwise the results would not represent enough students to permit a generalizationabout students’ understanding of history.  This type of study would be difficult to conductbecause the size of the study would present many logistical problems.  Despite thepossible difficulties a study of this magnitude should be conducted because the resultswould be helpful in determining the degree to which CT aids students’ understanding ofHistory 12.The part of the study that would be most difficult to find agreement on would bethe development of valid, accurate and reliable methods to determine if TC2’s methodsincrease or decrease understanding of the curriculum.  There are many competingtheories on how to measure understanding including: summative tests, major essays, unitprojects, debates and presentations.  The basic dilemma is that the current way ofmeasuring student understanding of the History 12 curriculum is limited to a 60%classroom mark decided by the teacher (highly subjective), and a 40% provincial examthat is evaluated by a provincial exam marking team comprised of teachers from acrossthe province (less subjective).  Many teachers, administrators and ministry of educationpersonnel contend that the History 12 provincial exam measures understanding of history,but I argue that the exam measures students’ knowledge of historical facts, but does not153require “understanding” of history because of the type of multiple-choice, writtenresponse, evidence and essay questions used.  TC2 contends that it is not the type ofactivity that is important; it is the quality of the activity.  Case & Daniels (2002) arguethat “quality” is determined by the degree to which the activity invites “reasonedjudgments” about “what to believe or do.”  The provincial exam does not ask questionsthat require judgment; instead they ask questions that have right and wrong answers.Few teachers would measure students’ understanding of a course by giving a multiple-choice test.  If this is the case, why are over 55% of the questions on the History 12 exammultiple-choice questions?  Is this the best way to measure understanding of thecurriculum?  In order to design a more accurate way of measuring student understandingof History 12, the study should consider the recommendations of historians, CT theorists,teachers and history education professors.  Without an accurate method to determinestudents’ understanding of the curriculum, a study on whether or not TC2’s method ofinstruction increases understanding of history would be inconclusive.Ennis (1993) called for the development of more subject-specific tests formeasuring CT.  TC2 and CT researchers need to conduct research whether standardizedtests can be created that measure students’ CT abilities and understanding of history andother disciplines.  Subject oriented CT tests might provide information for teachers andstudents about whether students are improving their subject knowledge and criticalthinking ability at the same time.  The development of tests might also help bridge thegap between advocates of CT and people that believe formative assessment methods forCT are too subjective and unreliable.  If tests were developed and it was proven that they154provided reliable information on students’ understanding of history and CT ability, it ispossible that the tests could supplant the current provincial exams.Another area that requires future research is whether TC2’s model can besuccessfully adapted to disciplines other than history.  Although this study focusedexclusively on CT and teaching history, it is worthwhile asking if TC2’s model can beadapted to teaching Math, Sciences, English, Drama and other subjects?  This is animportant question because if TC2’s model is going to become an important method forteaching school curricula, it must be proven that it can be adapted to multiple subjects.McPeck (1990) suggests that some subjects are not amenable to CT because they requirestudents to learn “how to do something.”  A math teacher colleague with an introductoryknowledge of the TC2 model believes that CT works well for teaching history, butcontends that it is much more difficult to adapt CT practices for teaching math.  Hebelieves that successful math teaching does not require students to make judgments aboutwhat to believe or do, it focuses on understanding basic concepts and then adapting thisunderstanding to a variety of situations.  TC2 has begun to develop resources devoted tohelping teachers teach CT within specific subject areas.  Denos and Case (2006)developed an exceptional resource on teaching historical thinking, but furtherdevelopment of similar resources need to be made in sciences, math, geography and otherdisciplines.  If TC2 is going to continue to increase the number of teachers who adapt CTinto their classrooms, they need to conduct research to discover the degree to whichteachers can implement CT into other disciplines and develop resources that help teachersunderstand how it can be done.155One of the difficulties I faced this year was the isolation I felt because I was theonly person at my school trying to implement CT in their classes.  It was difficult notbeing able to discuss frustrations or celebrate successes in regards to building CT abilitiesamongst students.  Although I am the department head of social studies, I purposefullyavoided talking to colleagues about CT because I did not want to be a teacher that wasconstantly preaching about their “new” method of teaching.  Many of my colleagues aresceptical of educational reform because they believe that many of the innovations aregimmicks, things they already implement in their teaching, or repackaged ideas that theyhave already seen fail in their careers.  An interesting study could focus on understandingthe factors that convince teachers to investigate new methods that change the way theyteach.  Similarly, what is the best way to support a staff or department that wants to beginutilizing CT in their practice?   I find myself wondering how I can introduce CT to mycolleagues in a way that will not cause tension, and will help them enjoy the benefits Iexperienced from employing CT in my practice.In Chapter Four I discussed the conclusion that teachers had to understand theepistemology of the discipline they were teaching, or it would be very difficult to adaptthe TC2 model to their course.  This observation was influenced by McPeck’s (1990)contention that teachers do not have a clear enough understanding of the core andstructure of the discipline, and that understanding the discipline is at the core of CT.McPeck’s arguments provide several worthy topics of future study.  Are BritishColumbia teachers graduating from their undergraduate and pre-service educationprograms without understanding the foundational principles of the disciplines they study?If this is the case, why do they not understand their discipline, and what can be done to156improve their understanding?  This study might help uncover why our teachers are notreadily employing CT, or capable of thinking critically about the disciplines they studied.It might also lead to changes in the methods university faculties use to teach differentdisciplines, and reforms in the way education faculties instruct pre-service teachers.  Ifour graduating teachers are not learning how to think critically in their disciplines atuniversity, how do we expect that the graduates will be able to teach students to criticallythink once they enter the school system?  Paul, Elder & Bartell (1998) conducted a studyon the degree to which CT was being accentuated by university and college professors inCalifornia.  A similar study in Canada or British Columbia might be useful in awakeninguniversities about the lack of CT teaching methods used at universities.My study focused on “my perception” of the strengths and limitations of the TC2model as it applied to both students and my practice.  Another area that requires futureresearch is an investigation of “students’” perceptions of the effect the TC2 model had ontheir understanding and interest in the course.  This research might provide valuableinsight from students about how to improve the organization of the TC2 conception, andpresent helpful ideas on how to improve the implementation of the model in theclassroom.     All of the topics for future research suggested above highlight the limitedparameters of my study, but also provides for important and exciting direction forresearchers interested in studying CT and understanding how to improve and increase theembedding of CT in the curricula of any subject or age level in our school system.   157BIBLIOGRAPHYAchievement and Assessment Department, Ministry of Education, Province of BritishColumbia. (2007). History 12 examination specifications. Retrieved July 9, 2007from http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/exams/specs/grade12/hi/06_table_desc.pdfBailin, S., Case, R., Coombs, J. R., & Daniels, L. B. (1999). Common misconceptions ofcritical thinking. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 31(3), 269-283.Bailin, S., Case, R., Coombs, J. R., & Daniels, L. B. 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