Critical Thinking Rubric
5. Master Thinker
- Risks trying to answer intractable, perplexing, and complicated questions
- Reinterprets the history of thought in the relevant area
- Redefines the assumptions and premises from which all valid reasoning must proceed in the relevant area
- Creates an original synthesis of diverse perspectives
- Reaches conclusions that others acknowledge as foundational for all subsequent reasoning in the relevant area
4. Advanced Thinker
- Tackles questions that arise from profound cognitive dissonance
- Challenges conventional, received wisdom responsibly in search of new perspectives
- Reaches original conclusions through creative and imaginative lines of reasoning; draws vital distinctions and creates new categories
- Internalizes contrary positions; makes the arguments of opponents for them
- Actively cooperates or collaborates with others to test and expand the universe of knowledge
3. Practicing Thinker
- Seeks the most reasonable among the several reasonable answers possible
- Delays judgment until all of the relevant information is known and assessed; admits ignorance when necessary
- Constructs sound lines of reasoning based on a fair and accurate assessment of the evidence; examines his or her own presuppositions and assumptions
- Concedes points to those with opposing positions
- Believes all sides should recognize his or her attempt to be reasonable and fair
2. Beginning Thinker
- Seeks to justify his or her position rationally
- Accepts any information that supports his or her position, regardless of quality
- Presupposes the truth of the conclusion to be reached; employs logical fallacies
- Dismisses opposing points of view after only cursory examination
- Believes that, given the same evidence, all reasonable people should arrive at the same conclusions; those who disagree are unreasonable or worse
- Believes there is no single right answer to any question; each person must discover what’s right for him or her
- Relies on limited facts and information
- Offers personal opinions only; little or no evidence of reasoning
- Ignores contrary points of view
- Does not attempt to persuade others because all are entitled to their own opinion
Based, in part, on Paul & Elder (1999). Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking. Foundation for Critical Thinking.
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