Critical thinking high-leverage practices are built on insights drawn from decades of research on how critical thinking is best taught and learned, including:
- Critical thinking is best taught within the context of a content area (ELA, math, science, etc.), rather than as its own standalone subject.
- Critical-thinking skills must be taught explicitly, rather than assumed to pass on to students through osmosis when thoughtful teachers teach complex material.
- Students must be given ample opportunity to engage in deliberate practice of specific critical-thinking skills and methods.
- Critical thinking instruction should inspire students to continue to develop their critical-thinking skills outside the classroom as well as develop dispositions that are vital to becoming a critical thinker.
The fact that critical thinking is best taught within existing disciplines means the current structure of K-12 and higher education does not need to be abandoned or transformed in order for critical thinking to be more successfully incorporated into instruction, nor does it require sacrificing coverage of content or abandoning curriculum materials and methods teachers have found to be successful.
However, such materials and methodologies will need fine tuning and may need to be supplemented with instructional techniques and educational material that leverage high-leverage critical-thinking practices.