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A Short Guide to Building Your Team’s Critical Thinking Skills

  • Matt Plummer

training objectives for critical thinking

Critical thinking isn’t an innate skill. It can be learned.

Most employers lack an effective way to objectively assess critical thinking skills and most managers don’t know how to provide specific instruction to team members in need of becoming better thinkers. Instead, most managers employ a sink-or-swim approach, ultimately creating work-arounds to keep those who can’t figure out how to “swim” from making important decisions. But it doesn’t have to be this way. To demystify what critical thinking is and how it is developed, the author’s team turned to three research-backed models: The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment, Pearson’s RED Critical Thinking Model, and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Using these models, they developed the Critical Thinking Roadmap, a framework that breaks critical thinking down into four measurable phases: the ability to execute, synthesize, recommend, and generate.

With critical thinking ranking among the most in-demand skills for job candidates , you would think that educational institutions would prepare candidates well to be exceptional thinkers, and employers would be adept at developing such skills in existing employees. Unfortunately, both are largely untrue.

training objectives for critical thinking

  • Matt Plummer (@mtplummer) is the founder of Zarvana, which offers online programs and coaching services to help working professionals become more productive by developing time-saving habits. Before starting Zarvana, Matt spent six years at Bain & Company spin-out, The Bridgespan Group, a strategy and management consulting firm for nonprofits, foundations, and philanthropists.  

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training objectives for critical thinking

About Onsite Training What is onsite training?

training objectives for critical thinking

The Full List See all onsite courses.

training objectives for critical thinking

Locations Find out where we can deliver training.

Critical thinking course, critical considerations: three hours to better thinking, available formats: half-day training course, course highlights.

This critical thinking course will:

  • Define critical thinking and its workplace value.
  • Highlight situations where critical thinking is needed.
  • Offer a model and questions for encouraging critical thinking.
  • Outline common fallacies. 
  • Explore ways in which language influences thinking.

Course Overview

Despite the plethora of data employees are asked to consider and problems they are required to solve, few people have received any formal training in critical thinking in the workplace. This fast-paced workshop introduces the critical thinking skills necessary for considering workplace problems and striking a balance between open-mindedness and skepticism. During this program, we will define critical thinking and consider its value, look at the types of decisions that require critical thinking, explore the steps critical thinkers usually follow, craft a list of questions to improve critical thinking, consider language and its role in argument, and explore a range of fallacies and how to spot and avoid falling prey to their use.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Define critical thinking.
  • Explain the value of critical thinking at work.
  • Identify situations requiring critical thinking.
  • Recognize barriers to thinking critically.
  • Follow a critical thinking process.
  • Ask meaningful and relevant questions.
  • Recognize how language can be used to manipulate thought.
  • Identify common fallacies and avoid falling prey to their use.
  • Define terms clearly in their efforts to ensure common understanding.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Decisions decisions: business judgement, let’s think: working through a model, stay within the lines: steps to improve critical thinking, advertising and influence: how the pros do it, fallacy: recognizing failures in reasoning, words words words: language and the critical thinker, related directories:.

  • Thinking, Planning, and Problem Solving

Didn't find what you were looking for?

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When you team with us, you’ll get:

  • A partner who will ask questions about your goals and objectives.
  • An opportunity to have a tailoring call and to speak with the program facilitator prior to a workshop.
  • Interactive facilitation conducted by someone who has a deep understanding of adult learning and the topic at hand.
  • A post-training web-based skills check-in meeting if desired.
  • People behind the scenes who will work to make our relationship a success.

You won’t get:

  • A workshop leader who sells products during class time.
  • A talking head with a PowerPoint presentation and not much else.
  • Lecture-based training that’s too academic, not practical, and doesn’t connect to life in the workplace.
  • The sense that you are a number, a transaction, or a cog in a machine.

Onsite Training Course Reminders

Our instructor-led training courses are available to private groups.  These workshops are not offered in a public seminar format.  Please  contact us  to speak with a facilitator about your needs and bringing training to your organization.

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We also travel to Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Central America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Please contact us about your location.

  • For information about pricing, please see our fee schedule .
  • For instructor-led webinars, take a look at our  virtual classroom programs .
  • For information about self-paced courses available to anyone, visit our online courses catalog .
  • For free resources, check out our resources pages .

Questions This Page Answers About Critical Thinking Training

  • Where can I find a course on critical thinking?
  • Who offers a critical thinking workshop?
  • I need a critical thinking course for my team.  Where can I look?

“Greg Jones was a DYNAMITE presenter! He was fun, knowledgeable, and engaging and had our large group of 50+ people laughing and participating right up until the 5:00 PM end time. I am always impressed when a facilitator can keep a group engaged and involved WITHOUT using PPT and Greg did just that with his handouts, flip charting, storytelling and mixing up activities at table groups, teams, and with partners. We would love to have him back!”

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Article • 8 min read

Critical Thinking

Developing the right mindset and skills.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

We make hundreds of decisions every day and, whether we realize it or not, we're all critical thinkers.

We use critical thinking each time we weigh up our options, prioritize our responsibilities, or think about the likely effects of our actions. It's a crucial skill that helps us to cut out misinformation and make wise decisions. The trouble is, we're not always very good at it!

In this article, we'll explore the key skills that you need to develop your critical thinking skills, and how to adopt a critical thinking mindset, so that you can make well-informed decisions.

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the discipline of rigorously and skillfully using information, experience, observation, and reasoning to guide your decisions, actions, and beliefs. You'll need to actively question every step of your thinking process to do it well.

Collecting, analyzing and evaluating information is an important skill in life, and a highly valued asset in the workplace. People who score highly in critical thinking assessments are also rated by their managers as having good problem-solving skills, creativity, strong decision-making skills, and good overall performance. [1]

Key Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinkers possess a set of key characteristics which help them to question information and their own thinking. Focus on the following areas to develop your critical thinking skills:

Being willing and able to explore alternative approaches and experimental ideas is crucial. Can you think through "what if" scenarios, create plausible options, and test out your theories? If not, you'll tend to write off ideas and options too soon, so you may miss the best answer to your situation.

To nurture your curiosity, stay up to date with facts and trends. You'll overlook important information if you allow yourself to become "blinkered," so always be open to new information.

But don't stop there! Look for opposing views or evidence to challenge your information, and seek clarification when things are unclear. This will help you to reassess your beliefs and make a well-informed decision later. Read our article, Opening Closed Minds , for more ways to stay receptive.

Logical Thinking

You must be skilled at reasoning and extending logic to come up with plausible options or outcomes.

It's also important to emphasize logic over emotion. Emotion can be motivating but it can also lead you to take hasty and unwise action, so control your emotions and be cautious in your judgments. Know when a conclusion is "fact" and when it is not. "Could-be-true" conclusions are based on assumptions and must be tested further. Read our article, Logical Fallacies , for help with this.

Use creative problem solving to balance cold logic. By thinking outside of the box you can identify new possible outcomes by using pieces of information that you already have.


Many of the decisions we make in life are subtly informed by our values and beliefs. These influences are called cognitive biases and it can be difficult to identify them in ourselves because they're often subconscious.

Practicing self-awareness will allow you to reflect on the beliefs you have and the choices you make. You'll then be better equipped to challenge your own thinking and make improved, unbiased decisions.

One particularly useful tool for critical thinking is the Ladder of Inference . It allows you to test and validate your thinking process, rather than jumping to poorly supported conclusions.

Developing a Critical Thinking Mindset

Combine the above skills with the right mindset so that you can make better decisions and adopt more effective courses of action. You can develop your critical thinking mindset by following this process:

Gather Information

First, collect data, opinions and facts on the issue that you need to solve. Draw on what you already know, and turn to new sources of information to help inform your understanding. Consider what gaps there are in your knowledge and seek to fill them. And look for information that challenges your assumptions and beliefs.

Be sure to verify the authority and authenticity of your sources. Not everything you read is true! Use this checklist to ensure that your information is valid:

  • Are your information sources trustworthy ? (For example, well-respected authors, trusted colleagues or peers, recognized industry publications, websites, blogs, etc.)
  • Is the information you have gathered up to date ?
  • Has the information received any direct criticism ?
  • Does the information have any errors or inaccuracies ?
  • Is there any evidence to support or corroborate the information you have gathered?
  • Is the information you have gathered subjective or biased in any way? (For example, is it based on opinion, rather than fact? Is any of the information you have gathered designed to promote a particular service or organization?)

If any information appears to be irrelevant or invalid, don't include it in your decision making. But don't omit information just because you disagree with it, or your final decision will be flawed and bias.

Now observe the information you have gathered, and interpret it. What are the key findings and main takeaways? What does the evidence point to? Start to build one or two possible arguments based on what you have found.

You'll need to look for the details within the mass of information, so use your powers of observation to identify any patterns or similarities. You can then analyze and extend these trends to make sensible predictions about the future.

To help you to sift through the multiple ideas and theories, it can be useful to group and order items according to their characteristics. From here, you can compare and contrast the different items. And once you've determined how similar or different things are from one another, Paired Comparison Analysis can help you to analyze them.

The final step involves challenging the information and rationalizing its arguments.

Apply the laws of reason (induction, deduction, analogy) to judge an argument and determine its merits. To do this, it's essential that you can determine the significance and validity of an argument to put it in the correct perspective. Take a look at our article, Rational Thinking , for more information about how to do this.

Once you have considered all of the arguments and options rationally, you can finally make an informed decision.

Afterward, take time to reflect on what you have learned and what you found challenging. Step back from the detail of your decision or problem, and look at the bigger picture. Record what you've learned from your observations and experience.

Critical thinking involves rigorously and skilfully using information, experience, observation, and reasoning to guide your decisions, actions and beliefs. It's a useful skill in the workplace and in life.

You'll need to be curious and creative to explore alternative possibilities, but rational to apply logic, and self-aware to identify when your beliefs could affect your decisions or actions.

You can demonstrate a high level of critical thinking by validating your information, analyzing its meaning, and finally evaluating the argument.

Critical Thinking Infographic

See Critical Thinking represented in our infographic: An Elementary Guide to Critical Thinking .

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training objectives for critical thinking

Course details

An introduction to critical thinking.

This is an In-person course which requires your attendance to the weekly meetings which take place in Oxford.

In print, online and in conversation, we frequently encounter conflicting views on important issues: from climate change, vaccinations and current political events to economic policy, healthy lifestyles and parenting. It can be difficult to know how to make up one’s own mind when confronted with such diverse viewpoints.

This course teaches you how to critically engage with different points of view. You are given some guidelines that will help you decide to what extent to trust the person, organisation, website or publication defending a certain position. You are also shown how to assess others’ views and arrive at your own point of view through reasoning. We discuss examples of both reasoning about facts and the reasoning required in making practical decisions. We distinguish risky inferences with probable conclusions from risk-free inferences with certain conclusions. You are shown how to spot and avoid common mistakes in reasoning. 

No previous knowledge of critical thinking or logic is needed. This course will be enjoyed by those who relish the challenge of thinking rationally and learning new skills. The skills and concepts taught will also be useful when studying other areas of philosophy.

Programme details

Term Starts:  23rd April 2024

Week 1: What is critical thinking? What is the difference between reasoning and other ways of forming beliefs?

Week 2: What is a logical argument? How do arguments differ from conditionals, explanations and rhetoric?

Week 3: Certainty versus probability: the distinction between deductive and inductive reasoning.

Week 4: Deductive validity and logical form. 

Week 5: When do arguments rely on hidden premises? A closer look at probability. 

Week 6: Inductive generalisations: Reasoning from samples. 

Week 7: Reasoning about causes and inference to the best explanation.

Week 8: Practical reasoning: Reasoning about what to do.

Week 9: When is it appropriate to believe what others tell you? What is the significance of expertise?

Week 10: Putting it all together: We analyse and assess longer passages of reasoning.

Recommended reading

All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.

There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information.

Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO , the library catalogue.

Preparatory reading

  • Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic for Complete Beginners / Talbot, M
  • Critical Thinking : An Introduction to Reasoning Well / Watson, J C and Arp R

Recommended Reading List


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses

Dr Andrea Lechler

Andrea Lechler holds a degree in Computational Linguistics, an MSc in Artificial Intelligence, and an MA and PhD in Philosophy. She has extensive experience of teaching philosophy for OUDCE and other institutions. Her website is 

Course aims

To help students improve their critical thinking skills.    

Course Objectives:

  • To help students reflect on how people reason and how they try to persuade others of their views.
  • To make students familiar with the principles underlying different types of good reasoning as well as common mistakes in reasoning.
  • To present some guidelines for identifying trustworthy sources of information.

Teaching methods

The tutor will present the course content in an interactive way using plenty of examples and exercises. Students are encouraged to ask questions and participate in class discussions and group work. To consolidate their understanding of the subject they will be assigned further exercises as homework.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • be able to pick out and analyse passages of reasoning in texts and conversations
  • understand the most important ways of assessing the cogency of such reasoning
  • know how to assess the trustworthiness of possible sources of information.

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on a set of exercises similar to those discussed in class. One set of homework exercises can be submitted as a practice assignment.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

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training objectives for critical thinking

Learning Tree

Critical Thinking Training

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Language: English
  • 17 NASBA CPE Credits (live, in-class training only)
  • 17 PMI PDUs
  • Level: Foundation

In this Critical Thinking Training course, you will learn how to leverage critical thinking and creative problem-solving techniques to solve organizational issues in a corporate environment. You will learn about:

  • Left and right-brain thinking
  • Spur creativity
  • Outcome-based thinking

Critical Thinking Training Delivery Methods

Critical thinking training benefits.

In this leadership course, you will:

  • Learn to make better decisions through critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • Enhance your personal creativity through proven tools and techniques.
  • Apply critical processes to assess work issues and problems.
  • Transform your creativity into practical business solutions.
  • Continue learning and face new challenges with after-course one-on-one instructor coaching.


Critical Thinking Training Outline

Module 1: critical thinking and creative problem-solving essentials.

In this module, you will learn how to: 

  • Apply creative problem solving in the workplace
  • Differentiate between creativity and innovation
  • Apply the steps of critical thinking and understand the connections between ideas and facts
  • Analyze and evaluate data and establish significance
  • Identify various conclusions, weigh strengths, and limitations of all possible outcomes

Module 2: Leveraging Personal Thinking Styles

In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Identify your own natural brain dominance with the Triune Brain Theory
  • Assess your preferred approach to thinking, along with your strengths and opportunities
  • Leverage your left- or right-brain dominance
  • Enhance your whole-brain thinking
  • Recognize and adapt to others’ preferred thinking styles

Module 3: Unleashing Your Creativity

  • Explore your own creativity
  • Utilize tools and techniques to become more creative
  • Identify elements that stimulate creativity
  • Eliminate barriers to innovation
  • Avoid groupthink, which can lead to poor outcomes
  • Unscramble the iterative mind
  • Move between the left and right brain
  • Value non-dominant preferences
  • Deploy divergent and convergent thinking

Module 4: Solving Problems Using Analysis and Prioritization Tools

  • Apply analysis models for problem solving
  • Set priorities for taking action to solve a problem
  • Evaluate problems around people, process and technology
  • Deconstruct problems using the stair-step technique, which focuses on solving a problem step-by-step
  • Create a satisfaction scale to help you choose the best solution

Module 5: Translating Creativity and Analysis into Practical Application

  • Overcome the "It won't work here" mentality
  • Analyze for outcomes, not solutions
  • Clearly express analysis results

Module 6: Putting It All Together

  • Reinforce your newly developed creative thinking skills
  • Construct a blueprint for your action plan
  • Educate others with creative tools
  • Practice creative and critical thinking skills
  • Live Instructor
  • 3-day instructor-led training course

After-course coaching available

  • Guaranteed to Run - you can rest assured that the class will not be cancelled. Feb 14 - 16 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM EST Virtual
  • Mar 13 - 15 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EDT Washington, DC or Virtual
  • Apr 10 - 12 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM EDT Aurora, CO or Virtual
  • May 8 - 10 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EDT Herndon, VA or Virtual
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  • Jul 10 - 12 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EDT Herndon, VA or Virtual
  • Sep 4 - 6 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EDT Herndon, VA or Virtual
  • Bring this or any training to your organization

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  • Blended learning models
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  • Expert team coaching

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Critical Thinking Training FAQs

What is critical thinking.

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a professional judgement.

What is creative problem solving?

Generating inventive solutions to every day problems by implementing the innovating ideas in a practical way for your workplace.

What is the difference between critical thinking and creative thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to interpret data and make a professional judgement whereas creative thinking gives possible solutions for the data you interpreted and analyzed.

Can I learn critical thinking and problem solving online?

Yes! We know your busy work schedule may prevent you from getting to one of our classrooms which is why we offer convenient online training to meet your needs wherever you want, including online training.

Can I earn Professional Development Units for the Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving course?

Yes, you can receive PDUs from the Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving course.

To find out how many PDUs you can receive, check out the PMI Q&A List ›

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What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas.  Critical thinking has been the subject of much debate and thought since the time of early Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and has continued to be a subject of discussion into the modern age, for example the ability to recognise fake news .

Critical thinking might be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason. It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.

Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. They will always seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the entire picture and are open to finding that they do not.

Critical thinkers will identify, analyse and solve problems systematically rather than by intuition or instinct.

Someone with critical thinking skills can:

Understand the links between ideas.

Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas.

Recognise, build and appraise arguments.

Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning.

Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way.

Reflect on the justification of their own assumptions, beliefs and values.

Critical thinking is thinking about things in certain ways so as to arrive at the best possible solution in the circumstances that the thinker is aware of. In more everyday language, it is a way of thinking about whatever is presently occupying your mind so that you come to the best possible conclusion.

Critical Thinking is:

A way of thinking about particular things at a particular time; it is not the accumulation of facts and knowledge or something that you can learn once and then use in that form forever, such as the nine times table you learn and use in school.

The Skills We Need for Critical Thinking

The skills that we need in order to be able to think critically are varied and include observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, inference, explanation, problem solving, and decision making.

Specifically we need to be able to:

Think about a topic or issue in an objective and critical way.

Identify the different arguments there are in relation to a particular issue.

Evaluate a point of view to determine how strong or valid it is.

Recognise any weaknesses or negative points that there are in the evidence or argument.

Notice what implications there might be behind a statement or argument.

Provide structured reasoning and support for an argument that we wish to make.

The Critical Thinking Process

You should be aware that none of us think critically all the time.

Sometimes we think in almost any way but critically, for example when our self-control is affected by anger, grief or joy or when we are feeling just plain ‘bloody minded’.

On the other hand, the good news is that, since our critical thinking ability varies according to our current mindset, most of the time we can learn to improve our critical thinking ability by developing certain routine activities and applying them to all problems that present themselves.

Once you understand the theory of critical thinking, improving your critical thinking skills takes persistence and practice.

Try this simple exercise to help you to start thinking critically.

Think of something that someone has recently told you. Then ask yourself the following questions:

Who said it?

Someone you know? Someone in a position of authority or power? Does it matter who told you this?

What did they say?

Did they give facts or opinions? Did they provide all the facts? Did they leave anything out?

Where did they say it?

Was it in public or in private? Did other people have a chance to respond an provide an alternative account?

When did they say it?

Was it before, during or after an important event? Is timing important?

Why did they say it?

Did they explain the reasoning behind their opinion? Were they trying to make someone look good or bad?

How did they say it?

Were they happy or sad, angry or indifferent? Did they write it or say it? Could you understand what was said?

What are you Aiming to Achieve?

One of the most important aspects of critical thinking is to decide what you are aiming to achieve and then make a decision based on a range of possibilities.

Once you have clarified that aim for yourself you should use it as the starting point in all future situations requiring thought and, possibly, further decision making. Where needed, make your workmates, family or those around you aware of your intention to pursue this goal. You must then discipline yourself to keep on track until changing circumstances mean you have to revisit the start of the decision making process.

However, there are things that get in the way of simple decision making. We all carry with us a range of likes and dislikes, learnt behaviours and personal preferences developed throughout our lives; they are the hallmarks of being human. A major contribution to ensuring we think critically is to be aware of these personal characteristics, preferences and biases and make allowance for them when considering possible next steps, whether they are at the pre-action consideration stage or as part of a rethink caused by unexpected or unforeseen impediments to continued progress.

The more clearly we are aware of ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, the more likely our critical thinking will be productive.

The Benefit of Foresight

Perhaps the most important element of thinking critically is foresight.

Almost all decisions we make and implement don’t prove disastrous if we find reasons to abandon them. However, our decision making will be infinitely better and more likely to lead to success if, when we reach a tentative conclusion, we pause and consider the impact on the people and activities around us.

The elements needing consideration are generally numerous and varied. In many cases, consideration of one element from a different perspective will reveal potential dangers in pursuing our decision.

For instance, moving a business activity to a new location may improve potential output considerably but it may also lead to the loss of skilled workers if the distance moved is too great. Which of these is the more important consideration? Is there some way of lessening the conflict?

These are the sort of problems that may arise from incomplete critical thinking, a demonstration perhaps of the critical importance of good critical thinking.

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In Summary:

Critical thinking is aimed at achieving the best possible outcomes in any situation. In order to achieve this it must involve gathering and evaluating information from as many different sources possible.

Critical thinking requires a clear, often uncomfortable, assessment of your personal strengths, weaknesses and preferences and their possible impact on decisions you may make.

Critical thinking requires the development and use of foresight as far as this is possible. As Doris Day sang, “the future’s not ours to see”.

Implementing the decisions made arising from critical thinking must take into account an assessment of possible outcomes and ways of avoiding potentially negative outcomes, or at least lessening their impact.

  • Critical thinking involves reviewing the results of the application of decisions made and implementing change where possible.

It might be thought that we are overextending our demands on critical thinking in expecting that it can help to construct focused meaning rather than examining the information given and the knowledge we have acquired to see if we can, if necessary, construct a meaning that will be acceptable and useful.

After all, almost no information we have available to us, either externally or internally, carries any guarantee of its life or appropriateness.  Neat step-by-step instructions may provide some sort of trellis on which our basic understanding of critical thinking can blossom but it doesn’t and cannot provide any assurance of certainty, utility or longevity.

Continue to: Critical Thinking and Fake News Critical Reading

See also: Analytical Skills Understanding and Addressing Conspiracy Theories Introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

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  • v.38(3); Jul-Sep 2003

Active Learning Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking

Stacy E. Walker, PhD, ATC, provided conception and design; acquisition and analysis and interpretation of the data; and drafting, critical revision, and final approval of the article.

To provide a brief introduction to the definition and disposition to think critically along with active learning strategies to promote critical thinking.

Data Sources:

I searched MEDLINE and Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) from 1933 to 2002 for literature related to critical thinking, the disposition to think critically, questioning, and various critical-thinking pedagogic techniques.

Data Synthesis:

The development of critical thinking has been the topic of many educational articles recently. Numerous instructional methods exist to promote thought and active learning in the classroom, including case studies, discussion methods, written exercises, questioning techniques, and debates. Three methods—questioning, written exercises, and discussion and debates—are highlighted.


The definition of critical thinking, the disposition to think critically, and different teaching strategies are featured. Although not appropriate for all subject matter and classes, these learning strategies can be used and adapted to facilitate critical thinking and active participation.

The development of critical thinking (CT) has been a focus of educators at every level of education for years. Imagine a certified athletic trainer (ATC) who does not consider all of the injury options when performing an assessment or an ATC who fails to consider using any new rehabilitation techniques because the ones used for years have worked. Envision ATCs who are unable to react calmly during an emergency because, although they designed the emergency action plan, they never practiced it or mentally prepared for an emergency. These are all examples of situations in which ATCs must think critically.

Presently, athletic training educators are teaching many competencies and proficiencies to entry-level athletic training students. As Davies 1 pointed out, CT is needed in clinical decision making because of the many changes occurring in education, technology, and health care reform. Yet little information exists in the athletic training literature regarding CT and methods to promote thought. Fuller, 2 using the Bloom taxonomy, classified learning objectives, written assignments, and examinations as CT and nonCT. Athletic training educators fostered more CT in their learning objectives and written assignments than in examinations. The disposition of athletic training students to think critically exists but is weak. Leaver-Dunn et al 3 concluded that teaching methods that promote the various components of CT should be used. My purpose is to provide a brief introduction to the definition and disposition to think critically along with active learning strategies to promote CT.


Four commonly referenced definitions of critical thinking are provided in Table ​ Table1. 1 . All of these definitions describe an individual who is actively engaged in the thought process. Not only is this person evaluating, analyzing, and interpreting the information, he or she is also analyzing inferences and assumptions made regarding that information. The use of CT skills such as analysis of inferences and assumptions shows involvement in the CT process. These cognitive skills are employed to form a judgment. Reflective thinking, defined by Dewey 8 as the type of thinking that consists of turning a subject over in the mind and giving it serious and consecutive consideration, can be used to evaluate the quality of judgment(s) made. 9 Unfortunately, not everyone uses CT when solving problems. Therefore, in order to think critically, there must be a certain amount of self-awareness and other characteristics present to enable a person to explain the analysis and interpretation and to evaluate any inferences made.

Various Definitions of Critical Thinking

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Recently researchers have begun to investigate the relationship between the disposition to think critically and CT skills. Many believe that in order to develop CT skills, the disposition to think critically must be nurtured as well. 4 , 10 – 12 Although research related to the disposition to think critically has recently increased, as far back as 1933 Dewey 8 argued that possession of knowledge is no guarantee for the ability to think well but that an individual must desire to think. Open mindedness, wholeheartedness, and responsibility were 3 of the attitudes he felt were important traits of character to develop the habit of thinking. 8

More recently, the American Philosophical Association Delphi report on critical thinking 7 was released in 1990. This report resulted from a questionnaire regarding CT completed by a cross-disciplinary panel of experts from the United States and Canada. Findings included continued support for the theory that to develop CT, an individual must possess and use certain dispositional characteristics. Based upon the dispositional phrases, the California Critical Thinking Dispositional Inventory 13 was developed. Seven dispositions (Table ​ (Table2) 2 ) were derived from the original 19 published in the Delphi report. 12 It is important to note that these are attitudes or affects, which are sought after in an individual, and not thinking skills. Facione et al 9 purported that a person who thinks critically uses these 7 dispositions to form and make judgments. For example, if an individual is not truth seeking, he or she may not consider other opinions or theories regarding an issue or problem before forming an opinion. A student may possess the knowledge to think critically about an issue, but if these dispositional affects do not work in concert, the student may fail to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the information to think critically. More research is needed to determine the relationship between CT and the disposition to think critically.

Dispositions to Think Critically 12

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Educators can use various instructional methods to promote CT and problem solving. Although educators value a student who thinks critically about concepts, the spirit or disposition to think critically is, unfortunately, not always present in all students. Many college faculty expect their students to think critically. 14 Some nursing-specific common assumptions made by university nursing teaching faculty are provided 15 (Table ​ (Table3) 3 ) because no similar research exists in athletic training. Espeland and Shanta 16 argued that faculty who select lecture formats as a large part of their teaching strategy may be enabling students. When lecturing, the instructor organizes and presents essential information without student input. This practice eliminates the opportunity for students to decide for themselves what information is important to know. For example, instead of telling our students via lecture what medications could be given to athletes with an upper respiratory infection, they could be assigned to investigate medications and decide which one is appropriate.

Common Assumptions of Nursing Faculty 15

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Students need to be exposed to diverse teaching methods that promote CT in order to nurture the CT process. 14 , 17 – 19 As pointed out by Kloss, 20 sometimes students are stuck and unable to understand that various answers exist for one problem. Each ATC has a different method of taping a sprained ankle, performing special tests, and obtaining medical information. Kloss 20 stated that students must be exposed to ambiguity and multiple interpretations and perspectives of a situation or problem in order to stimulate growth. As students move through their clinical experiences, they witness the various methods for taping ankles, performing special tests, and obtaining a thorough history from an injured athlete. Paul and Elder 21 stated that many professors may try to encourage students to learn a body of knowledge by stating that body of knowledge in a sequence of lectures and then asking students to internalize knowledge outside of class on their own time. Not all students possess the thinking skills to analyze and synthesize information without practice. The following 3 sections present information and examples of different teaching techniques to promote CT.


An assortment of questioning tactics exists to promote CT. Depending on how a question is asked, the student may use various CT skills such as interpretation, analysis, and recognition of assumptions to form a conclusion. Mills 22 suggested that the thoughtful use of questions may be the quintessential activity of an effective teacher. Questions are only as good as the thought put into them and should go beyond knowledge-level recall. 22 Researchers 23 , 24 have found that often clinical teachers asked significantly more lower-level cognitive questions than higher-level questions. Questions should be designed to promote evaluation and synthesis of facts and concepts. Asking a student to evaluate when proprioception exercises should be included in a rehabilitation program is more challenging than asking a student to define proprioception. Higher-level thinking questions should start or end with words or phrases such as, “explain,” “compare,” “why,” “which is a solution to the problem,” “what is the best and why,” and “do you agree or disagree with this statement?” For example, a student could be asked to compare the use of parachlorophenylalanine versus serotonin for control of posttreatment soreness. Examples of words that can be used to begin questions to challenge at the different levels of the Bloom Taxonomy 25 are given in Table ​ Table4. 4 . The Bloom Taxonomy 25 is a hierarchy of thinking skills that ranges from simple skills, such as knowledge, to complex thinking, such as evaluation. Depending on the initial words used in the question, students can be challenged at different levels of cognition.

Examples of Questions 23

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Another type of questioning technique is Socratic questioning. Socratic questioning is defined as a type of questioning that deeply probes or explores the meaning, justification, or logical strength of a claim, position, or line of reasoning. 4 , 26 Questions are asked that investigate assumptions, viewpoints, consequences, and evidence. Questioning methods, such as calling on students who do not have their hands up, can enhance learning by engaging students to think. The Socratic method focuses on clarification. A student's answer to a question can be followed by asking a fellow student to summarize the previous answer. Summarizing the information allows the student to demonstrate whether he or she was listening, had digested the information, and understood it enough to put it into his or her own words. Avoiding questions with one set answer allows for different viewpoints and encourages students to compare problems and approaches. Asking students to explain how the high school and the collegiate or university field experiences are similar and different is an example. There is no right or wrong answer because the answers depend upon the individual student's experiences. 19 Regardless of the answer, the student must think critically about the topic to form a conclusion of how the field experiences are different and similar.

In addition to using these questioning techniques, it is equally important to orient the students to this type of classroom interaction. Mills 22 suggested that provocative questions should be brief and contain only one or two issues at a time for class reflection. It is also important to provide deliberate silence, or “wait” time, for students upon asking questions. 22 , 27 Waiting at least 5 seconds allows the students to think and encourages thought. Elliot 18 argued that waiting even as long as 10 seconds allows the students time to think about possibilities. If a thought question is asked, time must be given for the students to think about the answer.

Classroom Discussion and Debates

Classroom discussion and debates can promote critical thinking. Various techniques are available. Bernstein 28 developed a negotiation model in which students were confronted with credible but antagonistic arguments. Students were challenged to deal with the tension between the two arguments. This tension is believed to be one component driving critical thought. Controversial issues in psychology, such as animal rights and pornography, were presented and discussed. Students responded favorably and, as the class progressed over time, they reported being more comfortable arguing both sides of an issue. In athletic training education, a negotiation model could be employed to discuss certain topics, such as the use of heat versus ice or the use of ultrasound versus electric stimulation in the treatment of an injury. Students could be assigned to defend the use of a certain treatment. Another strategy to promote students to seek both sides of an issue is pro and con grids. 29 Students create grids with the pros and cons or advantages or disadvantages of an issue or treatment. Debate was used to promote CT in second-year medical students. 30 After debating, students reported improvements in literature searching, weighing risks and benefits of treatments, and making evidence-based decisions. Regardless of the teaching methods used, students should be exposed to analyzing the costs and benefits of issues, problems, and treatments to help prepare them for real-life decision making.

Observing the reasoning skills of another person was used by Galotti 31 to promote CT. Students were paired, and 4 reasoning tasks were administered. As the tasks were administered, students were told to talk aloud through the reasoning process of their decisions. Students who were observing were to write down key phrases and statements. This same process can be used in an injury-evaluation class. One student performs an evaluation while the others in the class observe. Classroom discussion can then follow. Another alternative is to divide students into pairs. One student performs an evaluation while the other observes. After the evaluation is completed, the students discuss with each other the evaluation (Table ​ (Table5 5 presents examples). Another option is to have athletic training students observe a student peer or ATC during a field evaluation of an athlete. While observing, the student can write down any questions or topics to discuss after the evaluation, providing the student an opportunity to ask why certain evaluation methods were and were not used.

Postevaluation Questions

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Daily newspaper clippings directly related to current classroom content also allow an instructor to incorporate discussion into the classroom. 32 For example, an athlete who has been reported to have died as a result of heat illness could provide subject matter for classroom discussion or various written assignments. Such news also affords the instructor an opportunity to discuss the affective components involved. Students could be asked to step into the role of the ATC and think about the reported implications of this death from different perspectives. They could also list any assumptions made by the article or follow-up questions they would ask if they could interview the persons involved. This provides a forum to enlighten students to think for themselves and realize that not each person in the room perceives the article the same way. Whatever the approach taken, investigators and educators agree that assignments and arguments are useful to promote thought among students.

Written Assignments

In-class and out-of-class assignments can also serve as powerful vehicles to allow students to expand their thinking processes. Emig 33 believed that involving students in writing serves their learning uniquely because writing, as process and product, possesses a cluster of attributes that correspond uniquely to certain powerful learning strategies. As a general rule, assignments for the purpose of promoting thought should be short (not long term papers) and focus on the aspect of thinking. 19 Research or 1-topic papers may or may not be a student's own thoughts, and Meyers 32 argued that term papers often prove to be exercises in recapitulating the thoughts of others.

Allegretti and Frederick 34 used a variety of cases from a book to promote CT regarding different ethical issues. Countless case-study situations can be created to allow students to practice managing situations and assess clinical decision making. For example, after reading the National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement on lightning, a student can be asked to address the following scenario: “Explain how you would handle a situation in which a coach has kept athletes outside practicing unsafely. What information would you use from this statement to explain your concerns? Explain why you picked the specific concerns.” These questions can be answered individually or in small groups and then discussed in class. The students will pick different concerns based on their thinking. This variety in answers is not only one way to show that no answer is right or wrong but also allows students to defend their answers to peers. Questions posed on listservs are excellent avenues to enrich a student's education. Using these real-life questions, students read about real issues and concerns of ATCs. These topics present excellent opportunities to pose questions to senior-level athletic training students to examine how they would handle the situation. This provides the students a safe place to analyze the problem and form a decision. Once the students make a decision, additional factors, assumptions, and inferences can be discussed by having all students share the solution they chose.

Lantz and Meyers 35 used personification and assigned students to assume the character of a drug. Students were to relate themselves to the drug, in the belief that drugs exhibit many unique characteristics, such as belonging to a family, interaction problems, adverse reactions, and so forth. The development of analogies comes from experience and comparing one theory or scenario to another with strong similarities.

Fopma-Loy and Ulrich 36 identified various CT classroom exercises educators can implement to promote higher-order thought (Table ​ (Table6). 6 ). Many incorporate a personal reaction from the student and allow the student to link that learning to his or her feelings. This personal reaction of feelings to cognitive information is important to show the relevance of material.

Exercises to Promote Critical Thought 36

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Last, poems are another avenue that can be used to promote CT. 20 Although poems are widely thought of as an assignment in an English class, athletic training students may benefit from this creative writing activity. The focus of this type of homework activity should be on reviewing content creatively. The lines of the poem need not rhyme as long as appropriate content is explained in the poem. For example, a poem on the knee could be required to include signs, symptoms, and anatomical content of one injury or various injuries. A poem on head injuries could focus on the different types of history questions that should be asked. Students should understand that the focus of the assignment is a creative review of the material and not a test of their poetic qualities. The instructor should complete a poem as well. To break the ice, the instructor's poem can be read first, followed by a student volunteering to read his or her poem.


Regardless of the methods used to promote CT, care must be taken to consider the many factors that may inhibit a student from thinking critically. The student's disposition to think critically is a major factor, and if a deficit in a disposition is noticed, this should be nurtured. Students should be encouraged to be inquisitive, ask questions, and not believe and accept everything they are told. As pointed out by Loving and Wilson 14 and Oermann, 19 thought develops with practice and evaluation over time using multiple strategies. Additionally, faculty should be aware of their course goals and learning objectives. If these goals and objectives are stated as higher-order thought outcomes, then activities that promote CT should be included in classroom activities and assignments. 14 Finally, it is important that CT skills be encouraged and reinforced in all classes by teaching faculty, not only at the college level but at every level of education. Although huge gains in CT may not be reflected in all college students, we can still plant the seed and encourage students to use their thinking abilities in the hope these will grow over time.

Classroom Q&A

With larry ferlazzo.

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to [email protected]. Read more from this blog.

Eight Instructional Strategies for Promoting Critical Thinking

training objectives for critical thinking

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(This is the first post in a three-part series.)

The new question-of-the-week is:

What is critical thinking and how can we integrate it into the classroom?

This three-part series will explore what critical thinking is, if it can be specifically taught and, if so, how can teachers do so in their classrooms.

Today’s guests are Dara Laws Savage, Patrick Brown, Meg Riordan, Ph.D., and Dr. PJ Caposey. Dara, Patrick, and Meg were also guests on my 10-minute BAM! Radio Show . You can also find a list of, and links to, previous shows here.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On Teaching & Learning Critical Thinking In The Classroom .

Current Events

Dara Laws Savage is an English teacher at the Early College High School at Delaware State University, where she serves as a teacher and instructional coach and lead mentor. Dara has been teaching for 25 years (career preparation, English, photography, yearbook, newspaper, and graphic design) and has presented nationally on project-based learning and technology integration:

There is so much going on right now and there is an overload of information for us to process. Did you ever stop to think how our students are processing current events? They see news feeds, hear news reports, and scan photos and posts, but are they truly thinking about what they are hearing and seeing?

I tell my students that my job is not to give them answers but to teach them how to think about what they read and hear. So what is critical thinking and how can we integrate it into the classroom? There are just as many definitions of critical thinking as there are people trying to define it. However, the Critical Think Consortium focuses on the tools to create a thinking-based classroom rather than a definition: “Shape the climate to support thinking, create opportunities for thinking, build capacity to think, provide guidance to inform thinking.” Using these four criteria and pairing them with current events, teachers easily create learning spaces that thrive on thinking and keep students engaged.

One successful technique I use is the FIRE Write. Students are given a quote, a paragraph, an excerpt, or a photo from the headlines. Students are asked to F ocus and respond to the selection for three minutes. Next, students are asked to I dentify a phrase or section of the photo and write for two minutes. Third, students are asked to R eframe their response around a specific word, phrase, or section within their previous selection. Finally, students E xchange their thoughts with a classmate. Within the exchange, students also talk about how the selection connects to what we are covering in class.

There was a controversial Pepsi ad in 2017 involving Kylie Jenner and a protest with a police presence. The imagery in the photo was strikingly similar to a photo that went viral with a young lady standing opposite a police line. Using that image from a current event engaged my students and gave them the opportunity to critically think about events of the time.

Here are the two photos and a student response:

F - Focus on both photos and respond for three minutes

In the first picture, you see a strong and courageous black female, bravely standing in front of two officers in protest. She is risking her life to do so. Iesha Evans is simply proving to the world she does NOT mean less because she is black … and yet officers are there to stop her. She did not step down. In the picture below, you see Kendall Jenner handing a police officer a Pepsi. Maybe this wouldn’t be a big deal, except this was Pepsi’s weak, pathetic, and outrageous excuse of a commercial that belittles the whole movement of people fighting for their lives.

I - Identify a word or phrase, underline it, then write about it for two minutes

A white, privileged female in place of a fighting black woman was asking for trouble. A struggle we are continuously fighting every day, and they make a mockery of it. “I know what will work! Here Mr. Police Officer! Drink some Pepsi!” As if. Pepsi made a fool of themselves, and now their already dwindling fan base continues to ever shrink smaller.

R - Reframe your thoughts by choosing a different word, then write about that for one minute

You don’t know privilege until it’s gone. You don’t know privilege while it’s there—but you can and will be made accountable and aware. Don’t use it for evil. You are not stupid. Use it to do something. Kendall could’ve NOT done the commercial. Kendall could’ve released another commercial standing behind a black woman. Anything!

Exchange - Remember to discuss how this connects to our school song project and our previous discussions?

This connects two ways - 1) We want to convey a strong message. Be powerful. Show who we are. And Pepsi definitely tried. … Which leads to the second connection. 2) Not mess up and offend anyone, as had the one alma mater had been linked to black minstrels. We want to be amazing, but we have to be smart and careful and make sure we include everyone who goes to our school and everyone who may go to our school.

As a final step, students read and annotate the full article and compare it to their initial response.

Using current events and critical-thinking strategies like FIRE writing helps create a learning space where thinking is the goal rather than a score on a multiple-choice assessment. Critical-thinking skills can cross over to any of students’ other courses and into life outside the classroom. After all, we as teachers want to help the whole student be successful, and critical thinking is an important part of navigating life after they leave our classrooms.



Patrick Brown is the executive director of STEM and CTE for the Fort Zumwalt school district in Missouri and an experienced educator and author :

Planning for critical thinking focuses on teaching the most crucial science concepts, practices, and logical-thinking skills as well as the best use of instructional time. One way to ensure that lessons maintain a focus on critical thinking is to focus on the instructional sequence used to teach.

Explore-before-explain teaching is all about promoting critical thinking for learners to better prepare students for the reality of their world. What having an explore-before-explain mindset means is that in our planning, we prioritize giving students firsthand experiences with data, allow students to construct evidence-based claims that focus on conceptual understanding, and challenge students to discuss and think about the why behind phenomena.

Just think of the critical thinking that has to occur for students to construct a scientific claim. 1) They need the opportunity to collect data, analyze it, and determine how to make sense of what the data may mean. 2) With data in hand, students can begin thinking about the validity and reliability of their experience and information collected. 3) They can consider what differences, if any, they might have if they completed the investigation again. 4) They can scrutinize outlying data points for they may be an artifact of a true difference that merits further exploration of a misstep in the procedure, measuring device, or measurement. All of these intellectual activities help them form more robust understanding and are evidence of their critical thinking.

In explore-before-explain teaching, all of these hard critical-thinking tasks come before teacher explanations of content. Whether we use discovery experiences, problem-based learning, and or inquiry-based activities, strategies that are geared toward helping students construct understanding promote critical thinking because students learn content by doing the practices valued in the field to generate knowledge.


An Issue of Equity

Meg Riordan, Ph.D., is the chief learning officer at The Possible Project, an out-of-school program that collaborates with youth to build entrepreneurial skills and mindsets and provides pathways to careers and long-term economic prosperity. She has been in the field of education for over 25 years as a middle and high school teacher, school coach, college professor, regional director of N.Y.C. Outward Bound Schools, and director of external research with EL Education:

Although critical thinking often defies straightforward definition, most in the education field agree it consists of several components: reasoning, problem-solving, and decisionmaking, plus analysis and evaluation of information, such that multiple sides of an issue can be explored. It also includes dispositions and “the willingness to apply critical-thinking principles, rather than fall back on existing unexamined beliefs, or simply believe what you’re told by authority figures.”

Despite variation in definitions, critical thinking is nonetheless promoted as an essential outcome of students’ learning—we want to see students and adults demonstrate it across all fields, professions, and in their personal lives. Yet there is simultaneously a rationing of opportunities in schools for students of color, students from under-resourced communities, and other historically marginalized groups to deeply learn and practice critical thinking.

For example, many of our most underserved students often spend class time filling out worksheets, promoting high compliance but low engagement, inquiry, critical thinking, or creation of new ideas. At a time in our world when college and careers are critical for participation in society and the global, knowledge-based economy, far too many students struggle within classrooms and schools that reinforce low-expectations and inequity.

If educators aim to prepare all students for an ever-evolving marketplace and develop skills that will be valued no matter what tomorrow’s jobs are, then we must move critical thinking to the forefront of classroom experiences. And educators must design learning to cultivate it.

So, what does that really look like?

Unpack and define critical thinking

To understand critical thinking, educators need to first unpack and define its components. What exactly are we looking for when we speak about reasoning or exploring multiple perspectives on an issue? How does problem-solving show up in English, math, science, art, or other disciplines—and how is it assessed? At Two Rivers, an EL Education school, the faculty identified five constructs of critical thinking, defined each, and created rubrics to generate a shared picture of quality for teachers and students. The rubrics were then adapted across grade levels to indicate students’ learning progressions.

At Avenues World School, critical thinking is one of the Avenues World Elements and is an enduring outcome embedded in students’ early experiences through 12th grade. For instance, a kindergarten student may be expected to “identify cause and effect in familiar contexts,” while an 8th grader should demonstrate the ability to “seek out sufficient evidence before accepting a claim as true,” “identify bias in claims and evidence,” and “reconsider strongly held points of view in light of new evidence.”

When faculty and students embrace a common vision of what critical thinking looks and sounds like and how it is assessed, educators can then explicitly design learning experiences that call for students to employ critical-thinking skills. This kind of work must occur across all schools and programs, especially those serving large numbers of students of color. As Linda Darling-Hammond asserts , “Schools that serve large numbers of students of color are least likely to offer the kind of curriculum needed to ... help students attain the [critical-thinking] skills needed in a knowledge work economy. ”

So, what can it look like to create those kinds of learning experiences?

Designing experiences for critical thinking

After defining a shared understanding of “what” critical thinking is and “how” it shows up across multiple disciplines and grade levels, it is essential to create learning experiences that impel students to cultivate, practice, and apply these skills. There are several levers that offer pathways for teachers to promote critical thinking in lessons:

1.Choose Compelling Topics: Keep it relevant

A key Common Core State Standard asks for students to “write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.” That might not sound exciting or culturally relevant. But a learning experience designed for a 12th grade humanities class engaged learners in a compelling topic— policing in America —to analyze and evaluate multiple texts (including primary sources) and share the reasoning for their perspectives through discussion and writing. Students grappled with ideas and their beliefs and employed deep critical-thinking skills to develop arguments for their claims. Embedding critical-thinking skills in curriculum that students care about and connect with can ignite powerful learning experiences.

2. Make Local Connections: Keep it real

At The Possible Project , an out-of-school-time program designed to promote entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, students in a recent summer online program (modified from in-person due to COVID-19) explored the impact of COVID-19 on their communities and local BIPOC-owned businesses. They learned interviewing skills through a partnership with Everyday Boston , conducted virtual interviews with entrepreneurs, evaluated information from their interviews and local data, and examined their previously held beliefs. They created blog posts and videos to reflect on their learning and consider how their mindsets had changed as a result of the experience. In this way, we can design powerful community-based learning and invite students into productive struggle with multiple perspectives.

3. Create Authentic Projects: Keep it rigorous

At Big Picture Learning schools, students engage in internship-based learning experiences as a central part of their schooling. Their school-based adviser and internship-based mentor support them in developing real-world projects that promote deeper learning and critical-thinking skills. Such authentic experiences teach “young people to be thinkers, to be curious, to get from curiosity to creation … and it helps students design a learning experience that answers their questions, [providing an] opportunity to communicate it to a larger audience—a major indicator of postsecondary success.” Even in a remote environment, we can design projects that ask more of students than rote memorization and that spark critical thinking.

Our call to action is this: As educators, we need to make opportunities for critical thinking available not only to the affluent or those fortunate enough to be placed in advanced courses. The tools are available, let’s use them. Let’s interrogate our current curriculum and design learning experiences that engage all students in real, relevant, and rigorous experiences that require critical thinking and prepare them for promising postsecondary pathways.


Critical Thinking & Student Engagement

Dr. PJ Caposey is an award-winning educator, keynote speaker, consultant, and author of seven books who currently serves as the superintendent of schools for the award-winning Meridian CUSD 223 in northwest Illinois. You can find PJ on most social-media platforms as MCUSDSupe:

When I start my keynote on student engagement, I invite two people up on stage and give them each five paper balls to shoot at a garbage can also conveniently placed on stage. Contestant One shoots their shot, and the audience gives approval. Four out of 5 is a heckuva score. Then just before Contestant Two shoots, I blindfold them and start moving the garbage can back and forth. I usually try to ensure that they can at least make one of their shots. Nobody is successful in this unfair environment.

I thank them and send them back to their seats and then explain that this little activity was akin to student engagement. While we all know we want student engagement, we are shooting at different targets. More importantly, for teachers, it is near impossible for them to hit a target that is moving and that they cannot see.

Within the world of education and particularly as educational leaders, we have failed to simplify what student engagement looks like, and it is impossible to define or articulate what student engagement looks like if we cannot clearly articulate what critical thinking is and looks like in a classroom. Because, simply, without critical thought, there is no engagement.

The good news here is that critical thought has been defined and placed into taxonomies for decades already. This is not something new and not something that needs to be redefined. I am a Bloom’s person, but there is nothing wrong with DOK or some of the other taxonomies, either. To be precise, I am a huge fan of Daggett’s Rigor and Relevance Framework. I have used that as a core element of my practice for years, and it has shaped who I am as an instructional leader.

So, in order to explain critical thought, a teacher or a leader must familiarize themselves with these tried and true taxonomies. Easy, right? Yes, sort of. The issue is not understanding what critical thought is; it is the ability to integrate it into the classrooms. In order to do so, there are a four key steps every educator must take.

  • Integrating critical thought/rigor into a lesson does not happen by chance, it happens by design. Planning for critical thought and engagement is much different from planning for a traditional lesson. In order to plan for kids to think critically, you have to provide a base of knowledge and excellent prompts to allow them to explore their own thinking in order to analyze, evaluate, or synthesize information.
  • SIDE NOTE – Bloom’s verbs are a great way to start when writing objectives, but true planning will take you deeper than this.


  • If the questions and prompts given in a classroom have correct answers or if the teacher ends up answering their own questions, the lesson will lack critical thought and rigor.
  • Script five questions forcing higher-order thought prior to every lesson. Experienced teachers may not feel they need this, but it helps to create an effective habit.
  • If lessons are rigorous and assessments are not, students will do well on their assessments, and that may not be an accurate representation of the knowledge and skills they have mastered. If lessons are easy and assessments are rigorous, the exact opposite will happen. When deciding to increase critical thought, it must happen in all three phases of the game: planning, instruction, and assessment.


  • To increase rigor, the teacher must DO LESS. This feels counterintuitive but is accurate. Rigorous lessons involving tons of critical thought must allow for students to work on their own, collaborate with peers, and connect their ideas. This cannot happen in a silent room except for the teacher talking. In order to increase rigor, decrease talk time and become comfortable with less control. Asking questions and giving prompts that lead to no true correct answer also means less control. This is a tough ask for some teachers. Explained differently, if you assign one assignment and get 30 very similar products, you have most likely assigned a low-rigor recipe. If you assign one assignment and get multiple varied products, then the students have had a chance to think deeply, and you have successfully integrated critical thought into your classroom.


Thanks to Dara, Patrick, Meg, and PJ for their contributions!

Please feel free to leave a comment with your reactions to the topic or directly to anything that has been said in this post.

Consider contributing a question to be answered in a future post. You can send one to me at [email protected] . When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it’s selected or if you’d prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo .

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An intensive 5-day training course, masterclass in advanced critical thinking skills, how to think effectively in the workplace and beyond, course introduction.

The critical thinking process will help you re-examine what you think you know and approach a problem from a new perspective. Enhance your critical thinking skills with this "Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills".

By attending this "Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills," you will develop advanced critical thinking skills and learn to ask the right questions.

You will learn to make better judgments about the information presented before you in any format, enabling you to make more informed decisions about what to do with that information.

Participants will develop the following competencies:

  • How to frame problems using a systematic, repeatable process
  • How to create and test solutions using the 80/20 rule
  • How to identify user needs and develop solutions to meet them
  • How to use design thinking to generate ideas and discover creative solutions
  • How to plan and execute primary and secondary research
  • How to design and build effective surveys

This Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills training course aims to enable participants to achieve a high level of confidence in their ability to solve problems and think critically. Objectives for the week include:

  • Identify the theories that support critical thinking
  • Employ a methodology for the application of critical thinking
  • Relate the elements that make up the stages of critical thinking
  • Analyse the standards of critical thinking practice
  • Assess the responsibility of perpetuating the intellectual values of the resolution analysis
  • Distinguish the vices of thought in decision making
  • Apply critical thinking to groups

Training Methodology

This Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills course uses self-assessment questionnaires, models, practical exercises, case studies, presentations and group discussions to develop creative thinking and innovative decision-making skills.

Using participants' real work situations adds reality and enhances the transference of learning. This non-threatening environment will allow participants to practice safe techniques they will transfer to the workplace.

Organisational Impact

By attending this Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills, participants will learn:

  • How to perform strategic analysis and assessment
  • How to perceive and assess a critical need and design a tailored solution
  • How to identify key stakeholders and ensure their needs are met
  • How to employ adaptive problem-solving
  • How to work through obstacles collaboratively
  • How to analyse failure to improve future performance

Personal Impact

The most successful professionals can assess the environment, analyse a situation, design a solution, and ultimately win in a competitive scenario.

By attending this Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills, delegates will:

  • Consolidate the tools and techniques for thinking creatively
  • Make better decisions for solving problems innovatively and successfully
  • Learn a process for ensuring that your team contribute effectively
  • Enhance creative thinking in the workplace
  • Display the confidence to tackle complex issues courageously
  • Employ a comprehensive toolkit of methods and techniques to ensure success in any situation

Who Should Attend?

This Oxford Management Centre Masterclass in Advanced Critical Thinking Skills training course is designed for all leaders - supervisors, professionals, executives, and future leaders who must handle various issues and challenges.

This training course has been specifically designed for:

  • General Manager, CEO, COO, CFO
  • Directors, senior managers and leaders
  • HR and Training Managers and Directors
  • Members of strategy units
  • Members of innovation hubs

Course Outline

Understanding basics of critical thinking.

  • Intuitive vs Deliberate Thinking
  • Definition of Critical Thinking
  • Differentiation between Critical, Creative and Analytical Thinking
  • Strategic benefits and importance of Critical Thinking
  • Characteristics of Critical Thinkers (Archetypes)
  • Methods to collaborate with various archetypes at work

Cognitive Process of Processing Information

  • 7-Up Phase Thinking Model
  • Application of the 7-Up Phase Thinking Model
  • Questioning techniques and short-circuiting thinking
  • Applying the 7-Up Phase Thinking Model in role play

Assessment Framework for Critical Thinking

  • Defining RED Model
  • Reviewing and understanding assessment results
  • Significance of the RED Model to Critical Thinking
  • Determine standards to manage practical Critical Thinking
  • Effective questions to control the use of standards
  • Applying standards in role play

Thinking and reasoning errors

  • Types of thinking and reasoning errors – Assumptions & Fallacies
  • Ways to overcome and apply an appropriate response to reasoning errors
  • The logic of our decisions and the behaviour derived from them
  • How to improve our critical thinking skills
  • How to become a fair-minded thinker

Critical Thinking Applications at Work

  • Identify and enhance suboptimal outcomes in daily activities
  • Enhance positive effects of the decision-making process with Critical Thinking
  • Ways to value-add and provide enablers, including resources for intervention
  • Action plan for improvement


Oxford Management Centre Certificate will be provided to delegates who successfully completed the training course.

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training objectives for critical thinking

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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Effective Decision-Making

Professional development and personal effectiveness.

An essential competency in today’s workplace

Mastering critical thinking and problem-solving skills can help you make better decisions or recommendations- an essential competency in today’s knowledge workplaces. Critical thinking helps you to examine and improve thought processes, ask the right questions, challenge assumptions and consider varying viewpoints. Effective problem-solving helps you to properly identify and systematically work through a problem in a comprehensive manner, ensuring clarity when it comes time to make decisions or recommendations.

This course will demonstrate how critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making work optimally together, and will provide hands-on practice with tools that you can apply to your everyday workday tasks, big or small.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Define critical thinking and identify your critical thinking styles
  • Work through the critical thinking process to build, analyze and evaluate varying viewpoints
  • Improve key critical thinking skills, including active listening and questioning
  • Analyze context and information to clearly understand and identify a problem
  • Apply problem solving steps and tools
  • Identify appropriate solutions using specific approaches
  • Select the best technique for making decisions
  • Avoid common decision-making mistakes

Workshop topics

Maximizing the Power of Your Brain

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving the key to effective decision making
  • The Iceberg Principle and the Understanding-Resolution Ration

Critical Thinking

  • Definition of a Critical Thinker
  • Critical thinking behaviours: active listening, probing, Empty Your Bucket
  • Identify and evaluate issues and viewpoints
  • The 3 C’s: context, credibility, and consistency
  • Critical thinking worksheet- practice it!
  • Problem Solving
  • The problem-solving process- various models
  • Obstacles and counterproductive approaches
  • Problem-solving techniques for groups and individuals
  • Applying a problem-solving model to a workplace scenario

Decision Making

  • Individual and collective decision-making traps
  • How to choose: criteria, goals and vision-based decision-making
  • Individual and group decision-making tools and techniques
  • Decision-making – practical application to a workplace scenario


There are no prerequisites for this course

Who should attend this course?

Anyone who is required to problem solve on the job or make important project, department or organizational decisions or recommendations

Does this course address your competency development needs?

This workshop addresses:

  • Achievement / Results Oriented
  • Adaptability / Flexibility
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Change Management / Leadership
  • Creative Thinking
  • Decision Making / Decisiveness
  • Engagement and Motivation
  • Impact / Influence
  • Innovation and Initiative
  • Self Confidence / Self Esteem
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Teamwork and Cooperation
  • Working with Others

To learn more about core competencies, click here .

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Have you ever wondered why you should think hard about a problem and find a solution? What happens if you refuse to think more deeply? That question involves a kind of understanding that is critical thinking. Thinking critically is one of the soft skills that workers need to have. The more you think about it, the more critical it becomes, and the brain becomes smarter. With HRM Software , it can manage employee work schedules, attendance lists, and salary management.

With critical thinking ability, it requires that you analyze and gather the information that is a necessity for each decision, formulating concepts, reasoning, and problem-solving. They can affect the work environment, such as easy solving problems, knowing personal abilities, being open-minded, and being able to communicate well. Therefore, it is important to know how to improve critical thinking skills.


Table of Contents

  • The Purpose 
  • The Benefits 

How to Improve Critical Thinking

Critical thinking definition.

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally so that one can make reasonable decisions based on information obtained and processed. Thinking critically can be taken as a tool for analyzing, reconstructing, analyzing logically, objectively, rationally, clearly, and independently.

The characteristic that must exist in a person to think critically is, to be curious, creative, diligent, and objective. Think critically has nothing to do with denial. Instead thinking critically can handle problems so as to try to find relevant information, ask meaningful questions, consider alternative views, use logic and reason, avoid assumptions and consider all opportunities.

Purpose of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking has a purpose, which is achieving a deep understanding of something. A critical, ideal way of thinking, will surely generate new ideas, and innovation that will help the business run more efficiently. It can help decision-making at the moment of step and direct business and business development.


Benefits of Critical Thinking

We cannot interpret critical thinking as argumentative toward others. Basically, thinking critically benefits both yourself and others. It is essential in life because critical thinking can enhance work processes and social intuition. In addition taking each step will be more effective, especially when making a decision. Here are some of the benefits of critical thinking that can support your career:

A valuable asset that never runs out

These skills are the foundation of everything from work to everyday life. So having critical thinking expertise is an invaluable saving. Keep in mind that thinking critically is not limited to a particular field of subject. This skill is useful for all ages because it has a dynamic character. In today’s modern era critical thinking has a significant role, such in education, technology, law, finance, and management. In your school’s administrative tasks can simplify with School Management Software . With automation, you can focus on creating a healthy environment for the students to study.

Not gullible

Critical thinking makes a person think logically, rationally, and with good reason in regard to and setting up a decision. So that every data, assumption, the opinion should be based on an in-depth analysis of the facts. That which causes a person with critical thinking is not easy to be deceived. Because they will not easily believe in anything directly without logical and rational analysis.

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Accelerate adaptation

Information and technology drive the global knowledge economy. The acceleration of the world makes every human race develop the ability to compete. Therefore should be able to deal with rapid and effective economic and technological changes. Critical thinking makes it easier for one to adapt. Because of his reflective and analytical nature, he will be more likely to take the initiative to do things on his own.

Increase creativity

Critical thinking plays an important role in promoting creativity. This is because critical thinking leads a person to consider alternative viewpoints and not be fanatical about his own. New ideas are not only required to generate a creative approach. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the details of whether the resulting ideas are useful and relevant.

Also read: Business Development Strategies for Business Growth

how to improve critical thinking

Some people assume that a person who has abilities in remembering new knowledge is a sign that such a person has a high level of intelligence or sufficient intellectual competence. However, in critical thinking, this is not the absolute truth. Big professors around the world teach someone to ‘get’ more than just to know.

Here are some ways you can improve them, among others:

Critical thinking

Essentially, it has a sense of meaning and processes information through systematic work to get answers to the issues at hand. To understand information by using critical thinking needs to do such things as, capture concepts, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. The information comes from observation, experience, reflection, problem-solving, and communication.

Always looking for the root to the question

Imagine when you are working on a math problem that seems overwhelming and feels lost in the problem. You’ve even forgotten the point of the question after trying various methods without success. To avoid this, that matter go back to the basic question itself. Do the following guidelines on finding a basic key to a problem:

  • What have you figured out?
  • How do you know the variable?
  • What was it you were trying to prove?
  • What you should be looking for?

Base assumption questions

Although questioning an assumption can be confusing at times, it is easily resolved by questioning back on a basic assumption. Whether these assumptions are right or wrong. Consider whether your certainty about what is wrong and right is an absolute decision that cannot be challenged by any principle.

Look at things from a different perspective

When you’re stuck on a problem, one thing you can do is look at it from a different perspective. An example to take is to question which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Many say that it is the chicken that comes out first so the eggs can happen. But then, subconsciously you’d start to think that there was no way the chicken would go straight out into the chicken. So shouldn’t the egg come first from chickens?

This question will be endless. While sometimes the method of flipping questions is not always correct, it may be that this can help you to find solutions through a different path.

Critical thinking especially in regard to business development is preferable. Especially for those of you who are just starting a business, thinking outside of the box is the most important thing to come up with a lot of new ideas. Just as a company does, it needs proper, harmonious arrangements in various ways. To elevate the company performance, you can start with your employees performance. You should facilitate your employees to improve their skill set, especially in critical thinking. 


To help your task in talent development, you can implement Eva Talent Management by HashMicro that has the most comprehensive and integrated features. With our talent software, you can feel a variety of benefits, starting with complete employee performance management. You can track employees progress, give feedback, and company training more easily and objectively. Contact us now!

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Critical Thinking

In today’s society, many people experience information overload. We are bombarded with messages to believe various ideas, purchase things, support causes, and lead our lifestyle in a particular way. How do you know what to believe? How do you separate the truth from the myths?

The answer lies in critical thinking skills. The ability to clearly reason through problems and to present arguments in a logical, compelling way has become a key skill for survival in today’s world. This two-day workshop will give you some practical tools and hands-on experience with critical thinking and problem solving.

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Learning Objectives

  • Define critical and non-critical thinking
  • Identify your critical thinking style(s), including areas of strength and improvement
  • Describe other thinking styles, including left/right brain thinking and whole-brain thinking
  • Work through the critical thinking process to build or analyze arguments
  • Develop and evaluate explanations
  • Improve key critical thinking skills, including active listening and questioning
  • Use analytical thought systems and creative thinking techniques
  • Prepare and present powerful arguments

COURSE OUTLINE (click for details)

Understanding critical thinking.

The first session of the course will look at what critical thinking is, some characteristics of critical thinkers, and key critical thinking skills. Participants will also explore ways to develop their critical thinking skills.

Where Do Other Types of Thinking Fit In?

Next, participants will look at left- and right-brain and whole-brain thinking.

Pitfalls to Reasoned Decision Making

This session will look at some of the barriers to good decision making and explore how to get around them.

The Critical Thinking Process

Next, participants will delve into the seven-phase critical thinking model. They will also learn about the standards of critical thinking that serve as the foundation for this model. Participants will then practice the process through a case study.

A Critical Thinker’s Skill Set

This session will give participants some skills necessary for critical thinking: asking questions, probing, and active listening.

Creating Explanations

Another important part of critical thinking is being able to clearly explain why something is a particular way. This session will help participants build that skill.

Dealing with Assumptions

Although assumptions can help us get through our everyday lives, they can be a major impediment to critical thinking. In this session, participants will discuss how to reduce the number of assumptions that they rely on.

Common Sense

This session will explore a frequently overlooked thinking tool: common sense.

Critical and Creative Thought Systems

Next, participants will look at some analytical and inventive thought systems, including De Bono’s thinking hats and brainstorming.

Putting It Into Practice

This final session will give participants some tips on preparing and presenting a powerful, logical argument. Participants will also have an opportunity to prepare and present a critical thinking presentation, and to evaluate others’ presentations with the skills that they have learned.

Workshop Wrap-Up

At the end of the course, students will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.

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Interactive format

Accelerated adult learning

Participant manual

Certificate of Completion


Our high impact and interactive training programs have been skillfully researched and are designed to provide each participant with powerful, specific tools and knowledge. If any participant feels that they did not receive great value, effective tools or skills, they are asked to contact our customer satisfaction department. We will honour a 70% refund to the individual who has expressed (in writing) the reason for their dissatisfaction.  We believe that if you have not received what we have promised to deliver, then you are entitled to a refund.


$ 279.00 USD


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The traditional classroom style of training remains our Most Popular and Most Requested format.  On-site training provides participants with an in-person facilitator who will work directly with the team, whether for a single training session or a training series.  The Mainstream team will craft and tailor your experience to ensure that your training session is specific, relevant and unique to your audience while meeting your learning objectives. Why settle for ‘pre-formatted, pre-scripted, one-size fits all’ training programs, when our team is able to customize a program that is just right for you?  We know that every team has unique learning needs, situations and that they come from a variety of industries, each having unique customer needs and demands.  Our programs can be scaled to accommodate time restraints, unique learning needs and even industry or company nuances and barriers.

Don’t settle for a program that gives you  almost  what you need; our team wants to give you  Exactly  what you need.

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Delivering traditional onsite training results …virtually!

We’ve officially changed the rules and redefined what is possible in the world of soft skills learning. Our unique technology, accompanied by honed delivery methodology, have successfully replicated the traditional classroom-style training environment, allowing it to exist online.

Most online training solutions limit participants’ responses to keystrokes or to single person conversations because -with inferior technology- group discussions become distorted and confusing to follow.  Our Virtual Room has eliminated those barriers and encourages learning through meaningful instructor feedback, skills modelling and engaging group discussion, without visual or audio distortion

The Virtual Room is for any organization seeking a flexible substitute to traditional onsite training; whether to lower costs, eliminate unnecessary travel or to simply ease the burden of demanding work schedules.

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A Lunch and Learn session is an onsite or virtual learning program with a facilitator-led session sharing valuable information and skills on an area of identified learning interest.  It’s a great break away from a traditional training program, allowing your team the opportunity to learn while enjoying their lunch. Due to the limited time, the program focuses on specific learning concepts and skills.   It is an interactive session that quickly targets and reveals learning objectives that are predetermined by the training organizer.   Lunch & Learn sessions are also great as a training series, providing progressive learning programs for developing skills in a ‘bite-sized’ format.

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Objectives for training: a guide to writing clear and effective goals

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  • Posted by by Jack Woodworth
  • April 27, 2023
  • 5 minute read

Create effective training objectives to provide clarity and direction to your learners.

Learning and professional development is an essential part of any business, and it’s crucial to ensure that the training your company provides is effective and achieves its intended purpose. This is where setting clear and measurable training objectives comes in.  Objectives for training are specific goals that define what learners are expected to achieve by the time they’ve completed their training . Read on to explore what training objectives are, how they differ from training goals, the purpose of setting training objectives, how to write them, and examples of both objectives and goals.

Training objectives vs training goals

What is the purpose of setting training objectives, examples of training objectives, examples of training goals, key takeaways, what is a training objective.

A training objective is a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) statement that defines what learners are expected to achieve by the end of a training program . It is a clear description of the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that the learners should acquire or be able to demonstrate at the end of training. The training objectives you create should be aligned with the overall goals and objectives of your company or organization, and they should be relevant to your learners’ job roles.

While the terms “training objectives” and “training goals” are often used interchangeably, and are similar in nature, they are not identical. 

Training objectives are specific, measurable, and time-bound statements that describe what learners are expected to achieve as a result of participating in a training program. Objectives are usually written from the learner’s perspective and focus on the desired outcomes of the training. You are able to measure results by numbers, percentages, or pass/fail outcomes.  Training goals, on the other hand, are broader statements that describe what the organization hopes to achieve through the training program. Goals are often written from the company or organization’s perspective, and focus on the big-picture outcomes that the training is intended to support. Goals can also be measured numerically or through pass/fail outcomes. Both training objectives and training goals are essential for designing and implementing effective training programs.

The purpose of setting training objectives is to provide clarity both for learners and managers. Clear training objectives inform learners what skills and knowledge they’re expected to gain from the training program, as well as what metrics will be used to evaluate if they gained that knowledge. In turn, managers have a clear direction on how to evaluate if the objective has been achieved or not. Key reasons why it’s important to set training objectives:

  • Clarify expectations Training objectives help to clarify what is expected of learners and what they need to achieve to complete the training program successfully. This clarity allows learners to stay focused on the desired outcomes and understand how the training will help them to develop new skills and knowledge.
  • Measure progress Training objectives provide a measurable way to track learners’ progress throughout the training program. By setting specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives, you can easily assess whether learners are achieving the desired outcomes and make any necessary adjustments to the training program to ensure that learners are on track.
  • Improve learning outcomes By taking time to write clear objectives for training before that training is rolled out, you’re compelled to evaluate if the program you’ve created matches the objective it’s supposed to achieve. This will help you identify any gaps in the training program before you initiate it, instead of after the fact.

How do you write training objectives?

Writing effective training objectives is critical to designing and implementing an effective training program. Here are some clear, actionable tips to creating training objectives:

  • Define the desired outcomes The first step in writing training objectives is to clearly define the desired outcomes of the training program. This involves identifying what learners need to know or be able to do by the end of the training program.
  • Use the SMART criteria The SMART criteria is a framework for setting effective objectives. SMART stands for S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound. Use this framework to ensure that your objectives are clear, actionable, and achievable within a specified time frame.
  • Write from the learner’s perspective When writing training objectives, it’s important to write from the learner’s perspective. Objectives should focus on what learners will be able to do or know by the end of the training program.
  • Use action verbs Use action verbs in your objectives to clearly describe what learners are expected to do. For example, use verbs like “identify,” “analyze,” “demonstrate,” or “evaluate.”
  • Keep it concise Training objectives should be concise and easy to understand. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that learners may not understand.
  • Prioritize objectives Prioritize your objectives based on their importance to the overall success of the training program. This will help to ensure that learners are focused on the most critical skills and knowledge.
  • Test your objectives Ask yourself if the objectives you’ve written align with your company’s overall goals, if the training they correspond to is enough for them to be achieved, and if they’re easy to understand by someone other than you.

Here are some examples of training objectives that are specific to learners in your company:

  • Recognize and respond to the 5 most common customer questions As a customer support specialist you will be trained on the most common customer questions and memorize the correct responses to them to be able to assist customers faster and more efficiently.
  • Double the number of upsell opportunities proposed during customer consultations As a sales representative in the field you will learn how to identify upsell opportunities when consulting with customers, and how to effectively communicate the value of our products and services to increase your average deal size.
  • Learn and implement techniques for securing your electronically stored data You will improve the overall security of your company laptop and/or phone by learning how to properly secure your electronically stored data and minimize the risk of breaches.
  • Identify workplace hazards and report them correctly You will learn to spot hazards in the workplace, and how to correctly document and report them to decrease the overall risk of workplace injury to yourself and others.

Here are some examples of training goals. Each goal corresponds to the example training objectives above, and shows how those objectives contribute to the overall company training goal:

  • Improve customer satisfaction rating By training all employees on the most common questions and complaints, the company’s overall rating should reach at least 4 stars by the end of the year.
  • Increase upsell revenue by 25% By training sales representatives on how to identify and approach upsell opportunities with customers, the overall company revenue from upsells should increase.
  • Improve overall company security By delivering cybersecurity training to all employees the security of the company’s data should improve and lead to fewer breaches.
  • Decrease the number of workplace accidents By training all employees on workplace hazards and how to prevent them, the overall number of accidents on job sites should decrease.

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What are the 3 objectives of training?

The three objectives of training in an organization are:

  • Help each member of your team perform their job roles effectively
  • Improve overall performance
  • Increase the organization’s ability to achieve its goals and targets

What are SMART objectives of training?

SMART objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives that define what learners are expected to achieve by the end of a training program. SMART objectives help to ensure that the objectives are clear, measurable, and achievable.

From training objectives, to goals, to success

Setting clear training objectives is essential for any training program’s success. They provide learners with direction and focus, measure training effectiveness, and motivate learners to take ownership of their learning. Using the SMART framework will help you provide clarity and ensure that your objectives are aligned with your company’s overall goals. By setting clear and measurable objectives, you’ll improve the effectiveness of your training programs and help your whole team reach their fullest potential.

  • Training objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound statements that define what learners are expected to achieve by the end of a training program.
  • Training goals describe the overall purpose or aim of the training program, while objectives are specific and measurable outcomes.
  • The purpose of setting training objectives is to provide direction and focus, measure training effectiveness, and motivate learners.
  • Effective training objectives should be aligned with your organization’s overall goals and objectives, use the SMART framework, and be simple and easy to understand.
  • Clear and measurable training objectives are essential for improving the effectiveness of training programs and achieving desired outcomes.

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zoe talent solutions

Zoe Talent Solutions

Critical thinking training course.

Critical and Creative thinking: Strategies in RAPID Decision Making

Course Overview

Course outline, book classes now.

Thinking is a natural process and we cannot avoid it but we can definitely change our way of thinking. It is our brain which processes our thoughts when we look at any situation, object, data, person etc.

We have a set of preinstalled assumptions, reasons, logics biases which construct our thoughts and we can definitely change or control them to build an effective thinking skill which is called Critical Thinking.

Critical Thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, comprehending the logical connection in a situation.  It has been the subject of much thought for a lot of centuries and has continued to be a subject of discussion in today’s modern world.

Also Explore Other Courses

  • Team Building and Team Development Training Course
  • Conflict Management and Resolution Training Course
  • Difficult and Crucial Conversations Training Course
  • Crisis Negotiation Training
  • Thought Leadership Training

How will this “Critical Thinking Training Course” help you in becoming a better leader? In order to be an effective leader in today’s work environments, you must think out of the box and bring the right set of skills, attitudes and methods to achieve results.

This Critical Thinking Training Program provides you the mindset needed to see a situation in a completely different way and will help you in making effective decisions based on right logics and evaluations.

This Zoe training course will empower you in your Critical thinking by providing detailed knowledge of thoughts, logic, reasoning and arguments. This course will make you think 360 degrees about an idea and will help you make decisions effectively.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this ‘Critical Thinking Training Program’ successfully, participants will be able to:

  • Understand key concepts of critical thinking
  • Clarify the difference in cognition, reasoning and logics
  • Improve their decision making based on facts, assumptions, arguments etc.
  • Able to see a problem with a logical approach to find a quick solution
  • Understand the importance of bias in critical thinking
  • Apply Critical Thinking in practical situations
  • Self assess their thoughts and change them as per the requirement

Training Methodology

This Critical Thinking Training Program will comprise the following training methods:

  • Seminars & Presentations
  • Assignments
  • Group Discussions
  • Case Studies

This course will also follow the ‘Do-Review-Learn-Apply model like all our other courses.

Organizational Benefits

Companies who nominate their employees to participate in this Critical Thinking Training Program can benefit in the following ways:

  • More creativity from team members resulting in getting more ideas to improve business
  • Problems will get solved quicker due to the use of best practices by thinking about different solutions
  • Increase your teams’ productivity by focussing on areas to be worked upon
  • Performance issues can be addressed and improved by better mentoring 

Personal Benefits

Individuals who participate in this Critical Thinking Training Program can gain from it in the following ways:

  • Have a better understanding of a situation or an argument by thinking 360 degrees
  • Able to see a problem with a logical approach to solve it quickly
  • Build a customised self-development plan to ensure your growth in the organisation
  • Able to give a clear explanation of your thoughts in your presentation
  • Overall improvement in the mindset
  • Apply your critical and creative thinking to develop your own employee’s performance, as well as the growth of your organisation

Who Should Attend?

This Critical Thinking Training Program would be suitable for:

  • New Employees
  • Potential leaders
  • Management professionals
  • Heads of Department
  • Team leaders
  • Supervisors
  • Operation Managers
  • Technical Leaders who lead sub-teams
  • Aspiring leaders

MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION- Critical Thinking

  • What are the types of thinking?
  • What is critical thinking?
  • Importance of critical thinking

MODULE 2: Cognitive Thinking

  • Definition of Cognition
  • How does your Brain Work?
  • Evolution of Human Brain
  • Left Brain Vs Right Brain
  • Importance of Cognition in Critical Thinking
  • Limitation of Cognition

MODULE 3: Reasoning

  • What is reasoning?
  • Importance of Reasoning in Decision Making
  • Impact of Reasoning in Critical Thinking
  • Is reasoning always correct?
  • Fallacious Reasoning
  • Good and Bad Reasoning
  • Limitations of Reasoning

MODULE 4: Logical Thinking

  • What is logic?
  • Importance of Thinking Logically
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Impact of Logics in Critical Thinking

MODULE 5:  Statements and Arguments

  • What is a Statement?
  • What is the Argument?
  • Understanding Assumption

MODULE 6: Six Thinking Hats Model

  • Introduction
  • Application of 6 Hats Tool

MODULE 7: Cognitive Bias

  • What is Cognitive Bias?
  • Myths about Cognitive Bias
  • Some Examples
  • How does it impact Critical Thinking?
  • Debiasing Strategies

MODULE 8: Parts of Critical Thinking

  • Comprehension
  • Identification
  • Explanation
  • Self- Assessment

MODULE 9: Time to Apply

  • Case Studies and Story Telling
  • Understanding the practical application of Critical Thinking
  • Developing a powerful, positive leadership mindset
  • Applying the tools and theories to improve Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking Training [Learn to analyze objectively]

Participants in this training can have a comprehensive understanding of the flow of critical thinking and how to think objectively.

Through critical thinking training, participants will gain the ability to think objectively by being able to analyze and examine issues. This practical skill can be achieved by understanding the basic composition and flow of thinking. After understanding what is demanded with critical thinking, participants can practice this in their works.


3 Keys Features of Reskill Training

training objectives for critical thinking

Full Preparatory Support

You will receive support not only during the training, but also prior to it. A complete set of training material and equipment will be delivered to you by mail beforehand. This will allow you to receive high-quality training with minimum preparation time.

training objectives for critical thinking

Flat Rate Pricing

With the concept of "More Training", we make the courses available at a clear fixed price, even for a customized single-company training program that provides an excellent training environment.

training objectives for critical thinking

Online Training Options

We offer various training formats with no additional charge, whether it be in-person, online, or a hybrid of both(partially web-based). Please feel free to contact us regarding your needs.

Critical Thinking Trainingはオンライン研修に対応しています

Training Code: 100236   Information updated: 2022/11/10

Critical Thinking Training Goals

After understanding the whole image of critical thinking and why it is invaluable for business, participants can gain the skill to speak logically and develop problem-solving techniques by repeatedly formulating and testing hypotheses

Target Trainees

The following is a general list of target participants for the training and can be adjusted upon review. Please contact us regarding your needs .

Mid-Level Employees and Above

Result of Critical Thinking Training

  • Participants will be able to understand the necessity and the entire flow of critical thinking.
  • Participants will be able to persuade others through a logical setup.
  • Participants will develop the ability to think about problem-solving by learning about hypotheses, verification, and analysis.

Training Objectives

1. understand the true nature of critical thinking.

Participants can understand the necessity and basic structure of critical thinking. By understanding the steps of thinking, such as writing the issues and considering the framework, participants can apply this in their work.

2. Be able to talk logically

Participants will also be able to speak clearly to others by understanding the basic logical development such as deductive and inductive reasoning. The methods can be applied for work meetings and presentations.

3. The ability to solve problems that connects to your next step in career

By clearly writing out the issues, participants can effectively solve their problems in a short time.

Estimated Training Duration

6 hours (subject to change)

Critical Thinking Training Curriculum

Other training content can be incorporated into the curriculum upon request at no additional charge.

Training Cost

  • The number of participants, training content and training formats can all be adjusted afterwards with no additional charge.
  • Last minute changes can be made with no additional charge.

Critical Thinking TrainingParticipant Requirements

No particular requirements

Online and in-person training are available worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of Frequently Asked Questions> オンラインCritical Thinking Training 詳細> -->

Related Training Information

This page is about Critical Thinking Training course planned for a single company. Please see below for other training courses and related training programs.

Training Information Summary Page

  • Skill-Based Training  >  Mindset Training  >  Critical Thinking Training

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  • There are no public lectures at the moment.

Reskill provide training services for a wide range of businesses.


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Critical Thinking is Crucial In The Corporate World

September 1, 2021 | Category: Blog , Critical Thinking

An act of critical thinking refers to the act of analyzing a subject or a situation and making a statement based on the analysis.

We all use some form of critical thinking on a daily basis, including at work. Almost all jobs require some degree of critical thinking.

Depending on the industry and the role the individual plays in the company, critical thinking can differ greatly.

Critical thinking is beneficial at work in many ways. Team members who use critical thinking to solve challenges are able to find solutions to problems and work cohesively together.

Employees who are able to think critically benefit both the employer and themselves. An individual can apply critical thinking to all areas of their life, including interpersonal relationships, financial planning, career choices, and goal-setting.

Employees’ critical thinking benefits employers in the following ways:

  • Problem-solving with multiple approaches
  • Effective teamwork and communication
  • Ability to take a unique perspective on work scenarios

Critical Thinking & How It Relates To Business Management

critical thinking

The ability to think critically is crucial for every member of an organization, but business management is perhaps the most essential area for this skill. The manager is responsible for making decisions that will affect the team as a whole, both positively and negatively.

Critical thinking has specific applications in business management, such as:

  • Taking a proactive approach to preventing problems from occurring
  • Identifying cost-saving methods
  • Creating and executing strategic business plans
  • Delegating tasks to experienced team members
  • Finding the right candidates for the company by conducting effective interviews

Critical thinking benefits business management in the following ways:

  • Maintaining a low turnover team with a well-qualified workforce
  • Having a plan of action whenever there is a problem
  • Improved, streamlined processes
  • Better communication between team members and management

Critical Thinking Exercises

The ability to think critically can be learned and developed. Similarly, it should be practiced regularly so employees don’t become complacent, and they are prepared to handle modern work challenges.

Some of the critical thinking exercises used by companies around the world include:

  • Reverse engineering a challenge
  • A step-by-step explanation as if to a six-year-old
  • Using multiple ways to express an idea

The challenges posed by these critical thinking exercises force the participants to think differently about the problem. Then they are forced to think differently about the challenge and come up with ideas to solve it.


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