This book will be very useful for anyone who is interested in the area of thinking skills, critical thinking skills, and various issues pertaining to the development of such cognitive processes. The book is organised into two distinct yet interconnected parts.
The first part of the book, Conceptualisation, explores the definitions of various big issues, as well as the inter-connection of various knowledge constructs within the scope of developing and teaching thinking skills. For example, I seek to address the question such as: “Are thinking skills and critical thinking skills teachable?” “How are thinking skills related to the construct of intelligence and learning?” “What does it mean to be a thinking/thoughtful teacher?” “What approaches can a teacher (or anyone who see themselves as teacher) adopt in order to bring thoughtfulness into their instructional environment?” etc. I have attempted to bring together the gems of thoughts from the thinking Gurus of the past 20 years or so. These ideas will help you, the readers, to form a comprehensive perspective on “thinking” and “thinking instruction”.
The second part of the book, Developing Thoughtfulness, revolves around a research project investigating the effect of a thinking programme, the Cognitive Infusion Module, on critical thinking skills and dispositions of a group of pre-service teachers. The theoretical framework and principles underpinning the programme are carefully spelled out in this second part of the book. Although the research was done on adult participants, the implication of the findings can be far-reaching; as in turn, the student teachers were working with young children. Observations were made on the latter and the impacts of infusing thinking skills from the onset of the teacher-as-the-learner to teacher-as-the-educator are explored.
This wonderful book gives us an in-depth look at a dynamic and interactive history of ideas and accomplishments by those who, over the past 75 or so years, have grappled with the question of how we can teach our students so that they develop the requisite thinking skills and thinking habits that bring out the potential we all have to think as carefully and well as our best thinkers. This is the only book that brings it all together — a masterful piece of scholarship — that will be appreciated by anyone interested in this fundamental issue who doesn’t want only a tour-bus look at a few highlights on the surface of what has become a dynamic and important 21st Century quest.
Prof Dr Robert Swartz
Director, The National Center for Teaching Thinking, USA
Critical thinking is a distinctive hallmark of a strong researcher and inventive innovator. It is a skill that equips one to be a great problem finder and solver. This book contains myriad gems of wisdom for understanding the critical thinking construct, and through the Cognitive Infusion Model, highlights crucial principles for the acquisition of critical thinking skills for all ages. An enlightening and revitalising intellectual account of critical thinking and the teaching of the critical thinking skills!
Prof Dr Peter Songan
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Gloria’s book is a refreshing look into the areas of critical thinking and the teaching of critical thinking skills. It is built on a solid theoretical foundation, and it also offers many practical tips on how to develop critical thinking skills for effective thinking and learning. I strongly recommend Gloria’s book to teacher-educators and those who wish to learn how to think critically!
Dr Ng Aik Kwang
Author, Creativity: Questions & Controversies, 2009
Readership: Graduates majoring in education and psychology; graduates and researchers with academic/research interests in thinking skills, critical thinking skills, and various issues pertaining to the development of such cognitive processes, General public interested in self-help books.