Constructing Meaning from Multiple Sources Worksheet

Part I

Elements for Comparison and Contrast
Payne & Gainey text

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Tsui text

Description in my own words
Evidence from the text

(include direct quotes, page numbers)
Description in my own words
Evidence from the text

(include direct quotes, page numbers)
Explicit Meaning

This text expounds on the various discourse approaches adopted by instructors to address controversial issues.
In this article we will discuss some common issues that surface in college courses that encourage critical thinking. What strategies can educators use to promote enlightened and fair discussion of them?
Tsui is concerned with the instruction methodologies that tutors in classes and lecture halls can employ to stimulate critical thinking in Student
“Rather than devote so much effort to teaching students what to think, perhaps we need to do more to teach them how to think. Higher-order cognitive skills, such as the ability to think critically”
Implicit Meaning

Controversial issues can be used to teach students how to develop critical thinking skills
“Our discussions illustrate handling controversial topics by being open-minded and considering all sides. We also include these issues because we are familiar with them, and we see them as good contexts for promoting critical discussion.”

Teaching methods adopted by the tutors determine the capacity, ability and depth with which their students can critically analyze everyday issues.
“Very few studies on critical thinking among college students examine the impact of instructional factors (see Tsui, 1998b)”.
My situatedness with respect to the texts

For critical thinking to inculcated in students, it would take a combination of discussing controversial issues and the tutors aptitude in the subject
As pointed out by Tsui, effective teaching methods have the capacity to stimulate critical thinking in Students. The means that a tutor uses to deliver content in a class largely provoke students either into thinking critically or switch off. .

Part II

Critical thinking is a subject of much interest and as a result of great debate in the higher education echelons. Critical thinking is described as the ability of student to reflect logically on any subject without the attendant bias that more often than not prejudices the thought train, thus influencing choices and/or decisions. Individuals can be trained in critical thinking. The instruction in critical thinking would take the form of divergent teaching methodologies adopted by lecturers and professors. There are those who take the path of discussing the controversial issues of the day. The discussions are conducted in an amiable way that encourages learners to open up and give their thoughts on the subject. With the lecturer’s expert guidance, discussion is directed and stimulated in a manner that everyone feels unhindered in proffering their views (Bransford, 1979)

There are those tutors who adapt their curriculum to achieve specific end. As illustrated in Tsui text, tutor can adapt writing of essays into their student class work. Such writing assignments are designed in a thought provoking manner, which stimulates the student’s critical thinking ability. In the first article, understanding and developing controversial issues in college courses, the approach utilized is one of identifying a controversial issue

that may be currently in the public arena and discussing it in class. While the move may be well intentioned, it may not produce the desired result-inbuilt capacity to think critically. This is why; most students would treat such discussions as “appetizer” before the main topic of discussion. The approach developed by fostering critical thinking through effective pedagogy is more feasible as student through repeated written assignments think critically in formulation of the essays and the papers (Borg & Borg, 2001)


Bransford, J. D. (1979). Human cognition: Learning, understanding, and remembering. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Borg, J. R., & M. O. Borg. 2001. Critical thinking in interdisciplinary economics courses. College Teaching 49(1): 20-27.


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Constructing Meaning from Multiple Sources Worksheet. (2016, Aug 25). Retrieved from