In this paper, the second of two, we set out a conception of critical thinking that critical thinking is a normative enterprise in which, to a greater or lesser degree, we apply appropriate criteria and standards to what we or others say, do, or write. The expression `critical thinking’ is a normative term. Those who become critical thinkers acquire such intellectual resources as background knowledge, operational knowledge of appropriate standards, knowledge of key concepts, possession of effective heuristics, and of certain vital habits of mind. We explain why these intellectual resources are needed and suggest that we can best teach critical thinking by infusing it within any curricular practice in which our students are involved.
Conceptualizing critical thinking