Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A lifetime learning approach, more than a course in "critical thinking"

Review of --> Critical Thinking: Learn the Tools the Best Thinkers Use

by Richard Paul

A lifetime learning approach, more than a course in "critical thinking."

I enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it. For such a high level book it isn't easy reading because it requires you to think about your own thinking while you are reading it in order to get full value out of it. If you skip that exercise, in my opinion, you will not appreciate the value of this book. So if you want to grow from what the authors are offering, be prepared to take a long term vision of your own abilities and to do a lot of work. In spite of the somewhat misleading title of this book, it is not really about what most people would call "critical thinking," it is a much deeper and more useful view of thinking abilities in general.

This book presents a relatively accurate (in my opinion) and very usable model of how human reasoning works in practice and how we get better at it. In addition it offers many simple but practical drills for identifying how well you are thinking and what sorts of things would be good to work on. So I do recommend this book.

Having gotten that positive impression from my reading, I also noticed the many very negative reviews here and that made me pause and think a bit. It may be helpful to expand on what I think it good about this book and what the negative reviewers are seeing.


Link to complete review on Amazon