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Are There Domain–Specific Thinking Skills?
Journal of Philosophy of Education (2002)
  • Gerald Smith, University of Northern Iowa
Adopting a much broader notion of thinking than that associated with the Critical Thinking movement, this paper addresses the question of thinking skill generality. An analysis of the concept of ‘thinking skill’ suggests ways in which this notion has been misapplied. The paper demonstrates the importance of thinking tasks and argues for a non–universalistic notion of thinking skill generality. The domains–view of thinking is assessed, evidence from secondary research being used to show that thinking skills are not domain–specific simply by virtue of being instantiated with disciplinary content. The prevalence of general procedural knowledge in our thinking practices notwithstanding, empirical evidence suggests the existence of at least two kinds of domain–specific thinking skills: those in which thinking is essentially the application of domain–specific declarative knowledge; and those addressing specialised, domain–specific, thinking tasks.
Publication Date
January 5, 2002
Citation Information
Gerald Smith. "Are There Domain–Specific Thinking Skills?" Journal of Philosophy of Education Vol. 36 Iss. 2 (2002) p. 207 - 227
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