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Applying Critical Thinking: Purity Spirals and What Holds Communities Together

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Emerging's fifth edition is here, and it contains some great new readings - including Gavin Haynes's discussion of purity spirals. See this video blog for ideas about teaching with this reading, the portability of the purity spiral idea to other readings and contexts, and how to develop student insight into what holds communities together or tears them apart.

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The skills that we need in order to be able to think critically are varied and include observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, inference, explanation, problem solving, and decision making.



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Critical thinking can be seen as having two components a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and  the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior.


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Critical thinking is the ability to make informed decisions by evaluating several different sources of information objectively.

About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.