а , а а
. . Б
а а. О
а а «
а, а а
а а ,
, а а
а а а
а а . В
, а а
. .). П
а М. В. О
/ М.В. В
. - М., 2005. № 5
/ Е.О. И а
а // И
. / С
. – М., 2006. - № 4
а С.В. П
М., 2005. - № 1
. – М.:
Nowadays development of critical thinking in students is becoming essential not only in high school but in
secondary school as well. Critical thinking skills are very important for students as it is deﬁ ned by a number of
researchers, for instance, Paul (1992) believes that “the development of intellectual habits that enhance students’
abilities as critical thinkers, namely intellectual humility; intellectual courage; intellectual empathy; intellectual
good faith; intellectual perseverance; faith in reason; and intellectual sense of justice” [1,p.3].
In the ﬁ eld of education, critical thinking can be seen as an exercise in higher order thinking skills, associated
with the ability to think logically based on evaluated information according to certain criteria. Bloom et al. (1956)
proposed a framework which deﬁ nes cognitive presence in education; this has been widely used among educators.
It describes six types of cognitive operations, namely knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis,
and evaluation. The last three are considered to be higher-order thinking skills. Higher – order thinking can also be
thought of “… the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing,
synthesizing and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generalized by, observation, experience, reﬂ ection,
reasoning or communication, as a guide to belief or action” [1, p.25]. On the contrary, lower order thinking
requires only memorization of previously learned items. Bloom’s taxonomy was among the ﬁ rst models that
provide educators with systematic classiﬁ cation of cognitive operations and one of the most widely used models
of cognitive skills in education. It serves as a model that assists educators in presenting ideas and concepts at
varying levels of thought. It is hierarchical with “comprehension” at the bottom, and “evaluation” at the top. The
three highest levels (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) are frequently said to represent critical thinking. One of
the ways of developing critical thinking skills is reading.
Reading is considered as a complex, meaning-making and cognitive process that fosters higher-level thinking
skills. Critical thinking skills, often associated with learning strategies that include analysis, reasoning, transfer,
organization and evaluation, are considered essential in comprehension and language learning. Capable thinkers
are considered strategic learners because they embed higher-level thinking skills and use different strategies that
aid learning. Yeh’s study on elementary and middle school students revealed that critical thinking is highly related
to academic achievement in science and social science. In relation to the relationship between reading and critical
thinking, it is conﬁ rmed that people who have critical thinking skills comprehend better in reading than those with
weak critical thinking skills.
Researchers have pointed out that essential reading requires readers to use strategies that help develop a deep
level of understanding and thinking process.
What is critical thinking? Critical thinking (CT) has no general mode or deﬁ nition. Current deﬁ nitions reﬂ ect
some particular requirements of critical thinking, and usually are deﬁ ned by different meanings.
Thinking critically involves various cognitive skills and activities, such as generating information, analyzing
claims, identifying assumptions, and determining a reasonable conclusion. [2, p.40]
Reading, as well as thinking that is inﬂ uenced by various patterns and factors, is always dealing with cognitive
Reading comprehension has been identiﬁ ed as the cognitive skill that people use to comprehend what they
read, to deduct information by previous information and knowledge, to evaluate information by their beliefs and
values, and to make decisions or judgments.
Reading should be taught in the context of a content – centered integrated skills curriculum, since content
provides motivation and integration reinforces learning; Individualised instruction should additionally be provided
in a reading lab, including a range of skills and strategies (timed reading, vocabulary learning strategies); Sustained
silent reading should be encouraged to develop automaticity, conﬁ dence and enjoyment; Reading lessons should
take account of background knowledge through pre-, during-, and after-reading tasks; Speciﬁ c skills and strategies
should be practiced consistently: the nature of these will depend on the group and goals; Group work and
cooperative learning should promote discussions of the readings and explorations of different task solutions and
textual interpretations; Students need to read extensively: students need to learn by reading [2, p.35].
In addition to reading guidelines, it is essential to develop students’ critical reading sub-skills. Abdullah (1941)
presents the sub-skills of critical reading in the following way: “ability to evaluate deductive inferences; the ability
to evaluate inductive inferences; the ability to evaluate the soundness of generalization; the ability to recognize
hidden assumptions; the ability to identify bias in statements; the ability to recognize author’s motives; the ability
to evaluate strength of arguments” [3, p.21] Speaking about teaching inference, we have to pay attention to its
importance of teaching, that learners will study to guess the meanings of unknown elements in the text using
syntactic, cultural and logical clues. Teacher should encourage her students to guess the meaning before looking up
in the dictionary. Another reading technique is understanding the sentence structure, because some students have
difﬁ culties to work out the complex structure and may be discouraged to read. In this case, a teacher should give
enough practice in “dividing the passage into sentence groups” and pay attention on the “core (subject+verb) of the
sentence”. Predicting is not exactly a technique, it is more like a reading skill that is crucial in general reading and
critical as well. “This skill is at the core of techniques such as ‘anticipation’ or ‘skimming’”[4, p.17]. So, it must be
trained systematically via making incomplete passages for students to complete or dividing the text into pieces and
asking students to predict the following information [ibid, p.17]. Essential reading techniques of efﬁ cient reading
are skimming and scanning. While skimming a reader quickly goes through the text to get the main gist of the text
and ﬁ nd out how the text is organized. While scanning a reader tries to ﬁ nd some details, for example date, name
or any speciﬁ c piece of information ignoring the “linearity” of the text. These techniques of reading should be
taught together, because the learner ﬁ rst looks through the passage to get the idea and then re-reads more closely
if he/she has a particular interest in it. Comparing skimming and scanning, the ﬁ rst one is more thorough activity
and requires “deﬁ nite reading competence”, while scanning “only means retrieving what information is relevant
to our purpose” [ibid, p.19].
Researchers have found that strategies are teachable and that they help improve students’ performance on
comprehension tests and recall. Besides, since both reading and thinking involve cognitive structures, strategies
that aim to promote higher-level thinking can be applied to enhance readers’ understanding and provided four
reading strategies that should be taught to students: summarizing, predicting, clarifying and asking questions.
Regarding reading’s association with reasoning, Thorndike (1917) stated that “understanding a paragraph is like
solving problem in mathematics”. To this point, reading comprehension has been seen as a process that is similar
to thinking for problem solving because readers read with a purpose, to discover meaning by identifying words.
In order to gain meaning from a written text, readers need to ﬁ nd out the relationship between words and what the
author imposes on the words. Thus, reading for comprehension is not just identifying words; rather, it is related to
how a reader manipulates his/her thinking process in order to receive understanding and meaning. Stauffer noted
that learning how to read and think from a variety of sources of information is an important skill in today’s world.
Critical thinking relies on the ability to be analytical, and so does reading. In order to read with critical thinking,
it is suggested that a reading text should include increasing complexity based on Bloom’s taxonomy of levels of
thinking. As a result, it is pointed out, essential reading requires the use of strategies that help to develop a deep
level of understanding and thinking process. [2, p.36]
In conclusion, it is proved the importance of teaching critical thinking skills in the learners of secondary
schools. One of the best ways of developing critical thinking is reading. Many researchers have already done on
the stages of developing critical thinking through reading activities.