Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves making judgments based on reasoning: students consider options; analyze these using specific criteria; and draw conclusions and make judgments. Critical thinking competency encompasses a set of abilities that students use to examine their own thinking, and that of others, about information that they receive through observation, experience, and various forms of communication. The Critical Thinking Competency Profiles have been developed by BC teachers based on students’ work. The critical thinking competency review draft consists of two elements:

Critical Thinking Competency Profiles (PDF)

present an overview and the set of profiles. The overview provides background about the critical thinking competency and includes a description of its facets. The set of profiles are descriptions of students as they progress to sophisticated stages of competency. The profiles are written from the student’s point of view, reflecting student ownership and responsibility for demonstrating the competencies.

Download the Critical Thinking Competency Profiles in English or French

Critical Thinking Competency Illustrations

The illustrations offer examples of ways in which students from diverse backgrounds and communities can demonstrate the critical thinking competency.

Competency Illustrations

Profile Title Context Facets
1 Stacking and Building

Students worked with various materials to respond to the challenge, “How high can you stack it?”

Develop and Design, Question and Investigate
1 Magnetic Wand During free centre time, a student tried using a magnetic wand to move materials to the top of a plastic bottle. Question and Investigate
1 Exploring Objects

A student used her senses to explore a toy bear and some rocks.

Question and Investigate
2 Sharing Cookies

Students worked together to solve an open-ended problem about sharing cookies.

In this French Immersion class, students were asked to solve a problem in groups of three:

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design
2 Monster Roommates

Students crafted a monster story and develop criteria to determine who would be good roommates.

Question and Investigate
2 À quoi servent les formes?

Suite à la question « À quoi servent les formes? », les élèves ont expliqué ce qu’ils pensaient de l’utilité des formes géométriques dans leur vie quotidienne.

Analyse critique, Questionnement et investigation
2 Dinosaur Battle

A student shared his reasoning about which group of dinosaurs would win the battle.

Analyze and Critique
3 Retelling the Three Billy Goats Gruff

A student retells the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff from the perspective of the troll.

Analyze and Critique
3 Earth Science Mind Map

Students created a mind map to show their learning in earth science; then they reflected on the question: “How does studying changes on the earth reveal secrets from the past and impact our future?

Question and Investigate
4 The Lost Thing

A student created a one-page representation of the story The Lost Thing, including a synopsis and personal meaning, and explained the process and decisions.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design
4 Solutions santé

Au cours de ce projet, les élèves se sont regroupés en équipe de 2 et ont choisi un article de journal relié à la santé.

Analyse critique, Questionnement et investigation
4 Réflexions sur l’histoire d’Iqbal

En groupe de quatre, les élèves ont lu un texte informatif portant sur la dure histoire Iqbal Masih, un enfant pakistanais tenu de travailler dans une fabrique de tapis dès l’âge de quatre ans.

Analyse critique, Questionnement et investigation, Développement et conception
4 Osmosis Experiment with Gummy Bears

The student worked within a small group to design her own experiment on the effects of different salt solutions on gummy bears.

Question and Investigate
4 Mousetrap Car

Students built cars powered by mousetraps and made out of household materials for a class mousetrap car competition.

Develop and Design
4 Finding the Area under a Curve

The student developed, evaluated, and revised a process for calculating the area under a curve.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design, Question and Investigate
4 Extreme Environments

Students create and demonstrate submersibles; then discuss the process and the challenges they encountered.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design, Question and Investigate
4 Essay on the movie “GATTACA”

The student watched and then critiqued the movie GATTACA, applying what he knew about genetics from Biology class.

Analyze and Critique
4 “Just” Jeans

Students explored issues related to the manufacturing of jeans in sweatshops, then developed increasingly sophisticated questions.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design
5 Roller Coaster

As part of an engineering study, students worked collaboratively to build, test, adapt, and share roller coasters, reflecting on the process throughout.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design, Question and Investigate
5 Pull-tab Snake

Students in an art class were given the challenge of creating an artistic piece inspired by something from the animal world, but constructed from mass-produced objects.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design
5 Portraiture: What Fills My Head?

Students created images that represented themselves “inside” using edges, colour, line, symbols and composition.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design
5 Evolutionary Tree

The student attempted to make an evolutionary tree with a given set of 25 imaginary animals, applying knowledge of evolutionary processes.

Analyze and Critique
6 Martin Luther on Trial

Students presented a mock trial where they portrayed Martin Luther and associated historical figures.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design, Question and Investigate
6 Investigation Workbook in Visual Arts

The student created a cumulative collection of artistic research and investigation throughout a Visual Arts course.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design, Question and Investigate
6 Artistic Representation of the Conventions of Hotels

As part of a study of architecture in a Visual Arts program, the student questioned and investigated the concept of the hotel, and determined that it had certain functions, simultaneously acting as

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design
6 Clean Energy: Site C

Students chose a current resource management topic or problem, and created documentaries that explored the pros and cons of the issue, and considered various stakeholders.

Analyze and Critique, Develop and Design, Question and Investigate