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Motivation to Think in Working and Learning PDF

(17 pages) Facione, PA, Facione NC, and Giancarlo (Gittens), CA. This essay was originally published by the California Academic Press in 1996. An abbreviated form appears in Jones, E (Ed.) Preparing Competent College Graduates: Setting New and Higher Expectations for Student Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 67-79. This material is used with the permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Consult their website for information and permission to make copies.

Abstract: How can we habituate learners and workers to engage in thoughtful, fair-minded problem solving, decision making, and professional judgment? Demands for skillful and fair-minded thinkers arise today in every professional field and in our civic and personal lives. The pace of change accelerates, multiple sources of information saturate our senses, the rules are rewritten, and problems arise daily that defy predetermined solutions. At a minimum, to be effective learners and successful workers we must be willing and able to make informed, fair-minded, judgments in contexts of relative uncertainty about what to believe and what to do in a wide variety of situations. To go beyond the minimum, workers, learners, and citizens must be willing and able to critique intelligently and amend judiciously the methods, conceptualizations, contexts, evidence, and standards applied in any given problem situation. In short, we must habitually, not just skillfully, engage in critical thinking in a world that is so dynamic that today’s verities are yesterday's misconceptions. Thus the driving question: how is the consistent internal motivation to think critically identified, measured, and nurtured?

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