A comprehensive approach to the development of thinking skills


The development of independent and innovative thinking entails much more than merely the acquisition of a series of thinking skills. A comprehensive approach based upon inter-disciplinary cooperation between, among others, the disciplines of philosophy, education and pscychology is needed. In such a comprehensive approach to the development of thinking skills the following factors that have a bearing on the acquisition of thinking skills should be addressed:

  • The cultivation of a positive disposition towards the development of thinking.
  • The creation of conditions conducive to the development of thinking.
  • The cultivation of virtues that will dispose a person towards good thinking.
  • An understanding of what good thinking entails.
  • The teaching and assessment of thinking skills.

In this article, these various factors and their bearing on the development of thinking skills are explored. A general theoretical framework for the development of thinking skills is proposed that can and should be translated to specific domains of knowledge or to specific human enterprises.

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