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In his review of critical thinking assessments, Ennis (1993) concluded that general testing of higher-order thinking may be important even though it does not address subject-specific concerns. A number of proprietary tests of critical thinking have been developed over the years. These include the California Critical Thinking Skills Test, the California Critical Thinking Dispositional Index, and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. Several of these measures have been used extensively with health care learners, particularly nurses. While educators expect that learners will increase in their critical thinking abilities over the course of their education, results using these instruments have been inconsistent.

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Simulation techniques are designed to train learners by placing them in complex situations where there are elements of uncertainty. Working through the situation, usually in a team, learners apply knowledge, deal with issues of incomplete information, problem solve, and interact with other team members. Debriefing after the simulation, often by viewing a videotaped performance of the simulation, and reflection are key components of the technique.

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Netting the Evidence is an extensive set of resources for teaching and learning effective ways to search for and appraise evidence that was created by the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield, UK. Although the content of this material is primarily about evidence-based medicine, the principles are applicable to the notion of evidence-based policy/practice.


Critical thinking is the ability to identify an issue, dilemma, or problem; frame it as a specific question; explore and evaluate information relevant to the question; and integrate the information into development of a resolution. An advanced manifestation of critical thinking is evidence-based practice – the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence about practice, the creation of policy, and the conduct of research.

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Bloom, B., Englehart, M., Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification system of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York: Longmans Green.

Metaphilosophy, Contemporary | Internet Encyclopedia …

Huitt, W (1998). Critical thinking: An overview. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University.
Accessed August 13, 2004.

The CLS Program - Critical Language Scholarship Program

Scriven, M., & Paul, R. (1992, November). Critical thinking is the “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” Critical thinking defined. Handout given at Critical Thinking Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Critique - definition of critique by The Free Dictionary

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