Knowledge and Practice: The Real Keys to Critical Thinking

By Daniel Willingham, Knowledge Matters Campaign Last updated 2024/05/27


In this Knowledge Matters Campaign article, Daniel Willingham explores the factors that lead to critical thinking skills, noting that background, or domain knowledge, plays a key factor. Willingham notes, “background knowledge is absolutely integral to effectively deploying important cognitive processes,” suggesting that facts that are taught need to be meaningful, can be learned incidentally and that learning should start early.

Curriculum Connection

A1. Transferable Skills
Critical thinking is essential in all areas of the curriculum and this article broadly supports the successful implementation of developing critical thinking skills across all curricula. 
Grade(s): K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Comprehension

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