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Professional Judgment and the Disposition Toward Critical Thinking PDF

(17 Pages) This essay is an earlier version of a paper published in 1999 in French. Facione, PA, Facione, NC, Giancarlo (Gittens), CA, Ferguson, N, (1999). Le jugement professionnel et la disposition à la pensée critique. Guilbert, L, Boisvert, J., and Ferguson, N (Eds.) Enseigner et compredre: le développement d´une pensée critique. Quebec, Canada: Les Presses de l´Université Laval. 307-26.

Abstract: Professionals are expected to exercise sound, unbiased judgment in interpreting and analyzing information, determining the nature of problems, identifying and evaluating alternative courses of action, making decisions, and, throughout, monitoring the process and impact of their problem solving activity so as to amend, revise, correct, or alter their decisions, or any element that led up to those decisions, as deemed necessary. Judgment in professional practice, correctly exercised, is a reflective, self-corrective, purposeful thinking process which requires the professional to take into account content knowledge, context, evidence, methods, conceptualizations, and a variety of criteria and standards of adequacy. Professional judgment is what educators have called “critical thinking” but exercised in a practical, professional setting. The exercise of sound judgment requires both a willingness and the ability to think critically. The multiplicity of parameters affecting professional judgment has direct implications for the education of novice and more advanced practitioners. Given the relationship between professional judgment and the disposition toward critical thinking, scientific investigations of that disposition have direct implications for educating and evaluating professionals.

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