What is critical thinking anyway?

Reading through Tarantula’s Students or Learners? post the other day got me thinking……about critical thinking. This is a concept that is central to education and yet I rarely see it put into practice among undergraduates. I think part of the reason for that is because critical thinking is an elusive concept. Thinking about how I might define “critical thinking”, I couldn’t exactly put my finger on one definition. I wondered……What is critical thinking? When does critical thinking develop? And why does it often seem that we lose our ability to think critically as we get older? How has critical thinking in a pedagogical context changed through time? I found a great literature review that focuses on these questions and more. It’s 50 pages long but it’s an extremely quick read and is divided into clear sections so you can choose which sections you want to read.