Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education

2020 Edition
| Editors: Stephen Lerman

Critical Thinking in Mathematics Education

  • Eva JablonkaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15789-0_35


Mainstream educational psychologists view critical thinking (CT) as the strategic use of a set of reasoning skills for developing a form of reflective thinking that ultimately optimizes itself, including a commitment to using its outcomes as a basis for decision-making and problem solving. In such descriptions, CT is established as a general methodological standard for making judgments and decisions. Accordingly, some authors also include a sense for fairness and the assessment of practical consequences of decisions as characteristics (e.g., Paul and Elder 2001). This conception assumes rational, autonomous subjects who share a common frame of reference for representation of facts and ideas, for their communication, as well as for appropriate (morally “good”) action. Important is the difference as to what extent a critical examination of the criteria for CT is included in the definition: If education for CT is conceptualized as instilling a belief in a more or less fixed...


Logical thinking Argumentation Deductive reasoning Mathematical problem solving Critique Mathematical literacy Critical judgment Goals of mathematics education 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Bharath Sriraman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesThe University of MontanaMissoulaUSA