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Teaching Patterns of Critical Thinking: The 3CA Model—Concept Maps, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Assessment


  • Elham Zandvakili
  • Ernest Washington
  • Edmund W. Gordon
  • Craig Wells
  • Mzamo Mangaliso


This is a research report of teaching patterns of critical thinking using the competency-based 3CA (an acronym for the educational practices of Concept maps, Critical thinking, Collaboration, and Assessment) model of classroom instruction to change the grammar of schooling. Critical thinking is defined as the “WH questions†: “what, when, where, how, who, and why†taken from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. These questions are threaded through the practices of concept maps, collaboration, and assessment. This conceptualization of patterns of thinking is influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s conceptualization of the relations between the language games of practice and language games in the mind. This study compares individual and collaborative approaches to teaching the critical thinking “WH questions†in a child development class. Students in the individual groups used more “what questions,†whereas students in the collaborative group used more “why and how questions.â€

Suggested Citation

  • Elham Zandvakili & Ernest Washington & Edmund W. Gordon & Craig Wells & Mzamo Mangaliso, 2019. "Teaching Patterns of Critical Thinking: The 3CA Model—Concept Maps, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Assessment," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(4), pages 21582440198, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:sagope:v:9:y:2019:i:4:p:2158244019885142
    DOI: 10.1177/2158244019885142

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Donnelly, James P., 2017. "A systematic review of concept mapping dissertations," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 186-193.
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