METACOGNITION AND THE DISCIPLINES -( 3/7)
Craig Nelson claims that critical thinking has no universal definition or rules.
Thus, one field's critical thinking may be another field's logical fallacy or unjustified conclusion.
Consider the short answer or essay question command that so often appears on tests and written assignments:
"compare and contrast."
- It is the usually unspoken "series of conventions on argumentation and evidence in a given discipline."
- It is the "disciplinary dialect" that a field speaks
- It is the "disciplinary scaffolding" on which the profession constructs knowledge
- It is the "metacognitive model" on which the discipline operates.
Based on interviews with college instructors, Langer (1992) outlines the major metacognitive
differences among three major disciplinary groups, especially as these differences pertain to the
written products expected of students.
- In the laboratory sciences, this typically means "to list" as many similarities and differences as possible.
- In the social sciences, it implies "to discuss" as many as possible, referring to theoretical texts and/or
research findings to buttress one's "argument.
- In literature the command has yet another translation:
- "to analyse" one critical similarity at length
- "to analyse"one critical difference at length
- always staying close to the texts you are "comparing and contrasting"