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Critical Thinking with Rationale:
Argument Mapping as a way to develop structured thinking, critical thinking and writing skills
Critical thinking is becoming increasingly central in education. Many students struggle to reason clearly, to structure and analyze argumentation, and fail to pick up these transferable skills without dedicated practice.
Argument mapping is a technique for structured thinking and writing and for improving critical thinking. It involves drawing diagrams of reasoning and argumentation. Extensive research at e.g. the University of Melbourne, Carnegie Mellon and NUI Galway indicates that practice based on argument mapping can substantially enhance critical thinking skills.
Rationale is the most user-friendly and developed tool to make argument maps. The methodology Critical Thinking with Rationale has shown to be very effective. This method emphasizes deliberate practice of reasoning skills by argument mapping. Rationale has been developed by ReasoningLab to facilitate the implementation of this technique into teaching practice and is used in classrooms internationally to develop critical thinking and writing skills. This organization, directed by Timo ter Berg, brings evidence-based programs to develop skills in structured thinking, critical thinking, writing and decision making.