National Center for Teaching Thinking

 

Important Types of Thinking That Students Should Become Skillful At Using
adapted from Robert Swartz, Director of NCTT

Visit the NCTT website.

 

I. GENERATING IDEAS

1. Alternative Possibilities

A. Multiplicity of Ideas (brainstorming)

B. Varied Ideas

C. New Ideas

D. Detailed Ideas

2. Composition

A. Analogy/Metaphor

 

II. CLARIFYING IDEAS

1. Analyzing Ideas

A. Compare/Contrast

B. Classification/Definition

C. Parts/Whole

D. Sequencing

2. Analyzing Arguments

A. Finding Reasons/Conclusions

B. Uncovering Assumptions

 

III. ASSESSING THE REASONABLENESS OF IDEAS

1. Assessing Basic Information

A. Accuracy of Observation

B. Reliability of Sources

2. Inference

A. Use of Evidence

a. Causal Explanation

b. Prediction

c. Generalization

d. Reasoning by Analogy

B. Deduction

a. Conditional Reasoning (If then )

b. Categorical Reasoning (Some All )

 

IV. COMPLEX THINKING TASKS

1. Decision Making

2. Problem Solving

3. Planning

4. Systems Thinking