• John A List

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In the past several decades academics and policymakers have grappled with how to augment the traditional classroom approach to enhance critical thinking skill formation. In this not, I take a different approach. I begin by developing a Critical Thinking Hierarchy, where from the bottom of the hierarchy upwards two key skills evolve: developing/assimilating empirical evidence to update one's beliefs (connecting the dots with empiricism) and putting the puzzle pieces together with conceptual reasoning (connecting the dots with abstract thought). Skills lower down in the hierarchy must be achieved before individuals can gain skills higher up. A key aspect of the CT skill formation process revolves around student's maturation from "fast thinking" to "slow thinking". My overall approach is useful because it at once defines critical thinking, pinpoints where improvements must be made for development, and provides a classroom playbook to enhance critical thinking skill formation.