Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education

2014 Edition
| Editors: Stephen Lerman

Critical Thinking in Mathematics Education

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4978-8_35


Educational psychologists frame critical thinking (CT) as a set of generic thinking and reasoning skills, including a disposition for using them, as well as a commitment to using the outcomes of CT as a basis for decision-making and problem solving. In such descriptions, CT is established as a general standard for making judgments and decisions. Some descriptions of CT activities and skills include a sense for fairness and the assessment of practical consequences of decisions as characteristics of CT (e.g., Paul and Elder 2001). This assumes autonomous subjects who share a common frame of reference for representation of facts and ideas, for their communication, as well as for appropriate (morally “good”) action. Important is also the difference as to what extent a critical examination of the criteria for CT is included in the definition: If education for CT is conceptualized as instilling a belief in a more or less fixed and shared system of skills and criteria for...


Logical thinking Argumentation Deductive reasoning Mathematical problem solving Critique Mathematical literacy Critical judgment Goals of mathematics education 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and Professional StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK