Dimensions of criticality: An axis diagram

Figure 0.1 represents the critical thinking movement as outlined so far. This movement is largely concerned with an individual's cognitive qualities, that is, cognitive elements or skills (argumentational skills, skills in thinking) and reasoning and argumentative propensities or character attributes of the person. These are inclusive of all the skills and attributes mentioned in figure 0.1 (namely foundation, higher-level, complex, metacognitive skills, as well as critical thinking abilities and dispositions). These skills and dispositions are represented by separate lines radiating out from the bottom of the Y axis. This account of criticality is what might be termed "critical thinking unadorned" or critical thinking in its traditional senses. (The X axis will be added in a moment.) For the full development of this diagram see Davies (2015).

Critical thinking as “criticality" (The “skills-plus-dispositions- plus-actions" view)

Following Barnett (1997), the term now most commonly used in relation to critical thinking is that of "criticality." Criticality is a term deliberately distinct

Axis diagram

Figure 0.1 Axis diagram: The critical thinking movement.

from the traditional expression "critical thinking," which was felt to be inadequate to convey the educational potential that lies to hand. The term "criticality" attempts to inject a perspective that widens critical thinking to incorporate not only argument and judgment and reflection but also the individual's wider identity and participation in the world. This is a concept of critical thinking involving students reflecting on their knowledge and simultaneously developing powers of critical thinking, critical self-reflection, and critical action—and thereby developing (as a result) critical being (Barnett 1997; 2004; Johnston, Ford, Mitchell, and Myles 2011). Now, criticality, not unlike critical thinking, appears, in some quarters, to be gaining its own scholarly industry.

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