Complexity, Inquiry Critical Thinking, and Technology: A Holistic and Developmental Approach

  • Jonathan Michael SpectorEmail author
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations book series (ECTII)


Among the skill and competency areas being addressed in national education plans and by prominent educators are collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. In this chapter, a fifth C is added to that list—namely, contemplation. The argument to be presented in this chapter involves two assumptions: (a) technologies can play an important role in developing these competencies, and (b) to be effective in developing the five C’s, a holistic and developmental approach seems appropriate. Given those assumptions, the solution approach here is that a learner should be considered as a whole person and not simply a cognitive processor. Moreover, promoting effective learning involves developing stable and persistent changes in what a person knows and can do. Consequently, developing habits of inquiry and reasoning takes time and is not likely to happen in one unit of instruction, nor in one course. The earlier those habits are developed, the more likely they are to persist and to be applied to multiple domains of inquiry.


Critical thinking Inquiry habits Technology affordances 



Support from a yumber of colleagues at NetDragon, East China Normal University, Beijing Normal University and the University of North Texas have contributed many ideas reflected in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Learning TechnologiesCollege of Information, University of North TexasDentonUSA

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