From Ryan Bretag  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/LeaderTalk/2011/02/critical_thinking_more_than_wo.html

Critical Thinking: Characteristic/ Trait/ Skill/ Attributes:

Abstract

Active Thinking

Adaptive

Adventurous

Advocacy

Alternative Action

Analytical

Application

Bias Recognition

Challenges assumptions

Cognitive Maturity

Coherent

Conceptual Basis

Concise

Connections (build & see)

Consciousness

Consequences

Construct Knowledge

Contextualized

Craftmanship

Creative

Curiosity

Degrees of Beliefs

Depth and Breadth

Discarding Irrelevant

Draw Conclusions

Efficacy

Empathy

Evaluation Skills

Fairmindedness

Flexibility

Generalize

Higher Order Thinking

Implications

Independent Learning/Thinking

Information Processing

Inquiry

Inquisitiveness

Interdependent

Interdisciplinary

Interpretation

Interrelationships

Intellectual Due Process

Judgment and Decisions

Linking

Logic

Maturity

Metacognitive

Model

Multiple Views

Objectivity

Open Mindedness

Organized

Patterning

Persistant

Problem-Finding

Problem-Solving

Purposeful

Questioning

Rationalizing

Reasoning

Reflective Thinking

Repertoire of Strategy

Self-Confidence

Self-Monitoring

Self-Regulation

Skepticism

Strategic

Support with Data/Evidence

Synthesis

Systems Thinking

Thought Process

Truth Seeking

Understanding

Values

Wondering

Worldview

Comment by Stephen Downes: OLDaily http://www.downes.ca/post/54875

Looking at the list, it seems to me that most are process-oriented, either based on simple learning taxonomies such as Bloom's, or a wider range of "21st century skills." The different sorts of literacies, such as the visual literacy competency standards, pictured above, are similar. But I don't think simply enumerating a series of processes is illuminating (as Plato would say, you cannot define 'clay' by pointing to clay pots, clay images, and other instances of clay).

From my perspective, critical literacies consist of six domains of expertise (not merely skills or practice, and not merely facts or knowledge either):

  1. syntax - detecting and using forms, rules, operations, patterns and similarities
  2. semantics - sensing and referencing, interpreting, associating and deciding
  3. pragmatics - speaking, acting, expressing, declaring, asking, meaning, using
  4. cognition - description, definition, argument, explanation
  5. context - theorizing, framing, identifying possibilities, environment, reference space, ontologies and categorization
  6. change - relation and connection, flow, historicity, directionality, progression, logic, games, scheduling, events and activities, See more here.

Each of these works across language, not just text-based language, but visual languages, metaphoric languages, and 'skills' generally - performance, simulation, appropriation (all of which are interpretable as languages).