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Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting [Paperback]

Stephen D. Brookfield
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 29 1991 1555423566 978-1555423568 1
1989 Winner of the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education

This award-winning book offers a practical, straightforward guide to helping adults develop their critical thinking skills in four key arenas of adult life: in their personal relationships, in their workplaces, in their political involvements, and in their responses to the media.


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"Developing Critical Thinkers is a book practitioners and others interested in applying critical thinking principles will find extremely useful. The writing is clear, the examples are many, and the ideas are well grounded in theory and research."

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This award-winning book offers a practical, straightforward guide to helping adults develop their critical thinking skills in four key arenas of adult life: in their personal relationships, in their workplaces, in their political involvements, and in their responses to the media.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.0 out of 5 stars Necessary Andragogy Supplement Jan. 26 2003
Format:Paperback
Brookfield makes clear how critical thinking is a necessary part of adult education. It is necessary for the adult educator to develop the skills necessary to be cognizant of the critical thinking process, through practice and developing the ability to articulate the concept and process to students while assisting them into putting the critical thinking process into practice.
Brookfield outlines in this book how critical thinking is necessary in decipering media coverage, developing political positions, negotiating family vacations, and even in building and maintaining intimate relationships. Further, Brookfield advises that the critical thinking process affords students the ability to recognize perspectives other than their own held beliefs. Finally, through the epilogue, the educator is given some clear direction in implemeting and incorporating critical thinking dialouge and questioning in the classroom.
Excellent supplement to any andragogy focused course or to improve the quality and efficacy of adult education.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable read except for two things March 19 2001
Format:Paperback
As an organizational psychologist, I found this book very well-written and informative. For those who are not educators or counselors, Dr Brookfield's thorough discussion in Part One of just what constitutes critical thinking, how to recognize it and learning to think critically as adults is well worth the read. Parts Two and Three deal in-depth with developing critical thinking in adults, particularly college students. There are only two things I feel distract from the book. First, almost all of Dr Brookfield's examples employ very politically liberal themes. I'm afraid Dr Brookfield, as a member of the Academy, is so steeped in this persuasion that he didn't consider that more moderate examples might appeal to a wider audience. The second weakness, ironically, involves an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Someone (probably his editor or a Jossey-Bass marketeer) prevailed on the author to periodically insert references to the workplace, political institutions and the media. At the end of the book, Part Three contains whole chapters dedicated to these areas, and the back cover suggests that the book should be placed in either the Higher Education or Management sections of the bookstore. Unfortunately, I found his references to business and the workplace to be rather superficial and, well, forced. At the end of the day, however, I found the book interesting and well-written and a valuable find particularly for educators.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Phill1SPHR@aol.com, Dallas, TX, April 13, 2000 April 13 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you are looking for a practical and, yet, profound work that allows you to develop critical thinking skills Stephen D. Brookfield has written what you are seeking. Brookfield defines critical thinking and articulates a method to help you recognize it in action. He proposes that to be critically analytical concerning the assumptions underlying our actions and those of others is organizationally and culturally beneficial as well as personally liberating. I have utilized the critical debate method that he recommends as a means to help others examine their assumptions as part of a diversity exercise within an organizational setting. The lessons learned were tremendous. The participants had to select a position (for or against) regarding a topic on which they held strong opinions. An example topic would be "physician assisted suicide". I then asked for ten volunteers who said they were for physician assisted suicide to form a debate team. Next, I asked for volunteers who said they were against physician assisted suicide to form a debate team. Then, I asked the debate teams to prepare an argument that was counter to their position. The debate team that was composed of people for the position had to develop an argument against it. The debate team that was composed of people against the position had to develop an argument for it. They had to present their final arguments in a debate format to approximately sixty observers. The observers were paired during the debate teams' preparation time and they had to discuss with their partner how they would argue a counter position to their original belief. The participants were able to experience in real time that they could "try on" a perspective which they had not held and be able to effectively support it. Read more ›
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