fully informed, capable of supporting in-depth analysis and assessment” - Scottish credit and qualifications framework, level descriptors.
For the full framework, see the The Open University (2009) outlines a useful ‘stairway’ to help students understand the skills involved in thinking critically.
Since few people realize the powerful role that thinking plays in their lives, few gain significant command of their thinking.
And therefore, most people are in many ways “victims” of their own thinking, that is, harmed rather than helped by it. Their thinking is a continual source of problems, preventing them from recognizing opportunities, keeping them from exerting energy where it will do the most good, poisoning relationships, and leading them down blind alleys.
In much of our work, we are concerned with helping you take charge of what you do, what you learn, and how you feel, by taking command of how and what you think.
Through our resources, we hope you will discover the power of your own thinking and choose to develop it in ways that serve your interests (and the well being of others as well). Whatever you are doing right now, whatever you feel, whatever you want--all are determined by the quality of your thinking.If your thinking is overly pessimistic, it will deny you due recognition of the many things in which you should properly rejoice.The single most significant variable in determining the quality of what you learn in college is your thinking.Certainly your instructors will play a role in your learning. It affects your academic success: if you want to achieve higher grades, being able to take an informed and analytical approach to your studies is very important.Simply memorising and explaining concepts and ideas will not be sufficient for a strong pass at postgraduate level: you will need to be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of your subject to articulate your own views or conclusions, supported by appropriate evidence.And it can be incorporated into your existing training programs for a blended learning option.Each course takes approximately 1 hour to complete.The lower steps of this stairway are the basics that support moving to the higher-level thinking skills that underpin a critical approach.Here is a summary of the different steps: Source: ‘Critical thinking: online guidance’, the Open University (2009) - no longer available.