Krathwohl’s Taxonomy For Transfer of Learning

There are five levels of transfer of learning. Here we give an example of transferring knowledge of how to use a new recipe. You can apply these levels to anything you’ve learned. How are you using the knowledge?

  1. RECIEVING: At this level we are willing to listen to or read about new information.  We read a recipe in the magazine and think it might be tasty, economical and easy to prepare.

  2. RESPONDING: We do something in reaction to the information.   We clip the recipe from the magazine.

  3. VALUING: We spontaneously use new information without being pressured to do so.  We actually use the recipe to prepare a meal.

  4. REORGANIZING: We rearrange some part of our lives ti include regular use of the new information.   We use the recipe regularly as part of our everyday cooking…or make it part of our special holiday menus, pot-luck suppers, etc.

  5. CHARACTERIZING: We use our new knowledge so consistently that we become known for it.  We are described by others as a person who does this recipe well, we are asked to bring the dish to events, and people anticipate its being served when they visit our homes.

Improving Life Through Critical and Creative Thinking

All of these Critical and Creative Thinking skills can improve your life by helping you to solve problems, make decisions, get things done.

Here are a few ways to apply the information to improve the quality of your thinking and your life.

  1. Be metacognitive in difficult situations
  2. Use the guidelines for critical thinking.
  3. Avoid mistakes in thinking. 
  4. Find reliable resources on the internet.
  5. Honor the stages of the creative process.
  6. Brainstorm.
  7. Give yourself time to think.

The 20-Minute Problem Solving Model

Now it’s time to put the thinking skills to good use with a model of Creative problem Solving. You may get some inspirational solutions and come up with a satisfactory result. Though you can use this model by yourself, it is easier to learn the process by working with one or two other people. One person identifies a problem and the others help solve it.

Follow these steps:

Step 1

Describe the problem to the other people for five minutes. Say everything you cab about the problem. Remember the 5W’s and H: Who? What? When? Where? and How? What led to the problem? What are the consequences? What are your feelings? What are your feelings of others? If you run out of things to say, start repeating things you said before. Just keep talking for five minutes. Let the others listen and take notes.

Step 2

Allow the others to ask you questions for five minutes; then answer their questions. Some suggested questions: What do you really want? Is this a new problem? If the problem occurred before, how did you and others react? How has it worked out?

Step 3

In the group, brainstorm ideas for solutions for five minutes. One of the other two participants records the ideas for you. 

Step 4

Select the ideas that seem best to you. If you want, you can ask the others for suggestions, but you don’t have to. If you don’t ask them, they are not allowed to volunteer their ideas. As a group, develop a plan of action.

People are always amazed at what they can accomplish with this 20-Minute Creative Problem-Solving Process. The most difficult part is the first five minutes. It’s often hard for the problem owner to talk for five minutes and for the listeners to stay quiet! But it keeps everyone focused, and no time is wasted on socializing.

The Creative Mind

Creative Thinking means “thinking about thinking in order to bring something new into existence”. This new thing can be an idea, a plan, an event, an object, a book, a play, a research paper, or a process.

It’s important to know that:

  • You are a natural creative thinker because creative thinking is part of being human. 
  • You can improve your creative thinking by learning about it.
  • You don’t have to be artistic to be a creative thinker.

There are lots of ways to think creatively, and you will learn some of them in this section.

Why and When You Need Creative Thinking

You use creative thinking when you need choices for solving a specific problem. Several situations requiring creative thinking are listed:

  • When  something you care about isn’t working out the way you want.

Example: You haven’t found enough reference material for your research paper.

  • When you want to think of ways to deal with bad situations.

Example: You have a flat tire on your way to class.

  • When you to change the way you are doing something.

Example: You are chair of an important committee, and the meetings are too long, are poorly attended, and are inefficient.

Creative thinking and critical thinking are similar. You use them in daily life to assist in problem solving and decision making. Critical thinking leads to creative thinking, and creative thinking leads to critical thinking. For example, your critical thinking tells you that you need to study more to get better grades. Your creative thinking comes up with ideas for increasing your study time. Then your critical thinking selects the best ideas. Finally, your fear of failure drives you to do the necessary work.

A recent read: Lead From The Outside by Stacey Abrams

Lead From The Outside: How to build your future and make real change

by Stacey Abrams

I thought this book includes a really useful spreadsheet format for planning “what you want and what you need to get this” called the Stacey’s Ambition Spreadsheet.

Here is an excerpt from page 207 of the book.

Stacey’s Ambition Spreadsheet 

Use this tool to remind you why you want what you want and what you need to get there.

Ambition: ________________________________




(what do you want) (why do you want it?) (what should you do?) (whose help do you need… and what help do you need?) (when should each step be done?)

“Outside” for Stacey = non-white female

Mistakes in Critical Thinking

So many mistakes in critical thinking are made by so many people that numerous books have been written about the topic. Though you will make mistakes on your own, the actions and words of other people often contribute to your mistakes. By being aware of how others influence your thinking process, you will be able to judge situations more clearly and come to better decisions. Some of the most common mistakes in thinking are described in the following paragraphs.

Mistakes in thinking are called fallacies. They distract you from making decisions based on critical thinking. Several fallacies are described below.


Peer Pressure

Peer pressure causes you to go along with the crowd in order to be accepted or popular.

Example: “Ling and I are skipping class tonight to go to the hockey game. Aren’t you coming with us?”

Horse Laugh

Horse laugh refers to making fun of someone or something when you disagree. This fallacy is best communicated by one’s tone or voice or body language.

Example: Wallie is talking to a co-worker, and the coworker says, “You are doing that project?”

Two Wrongs Make A Right

This refers to returning an insult with an insult.

Example: “My coworker invited everyone to her party but me, so I’m not going to help with her project.”

Hasty Generalization

This refers to making a decision too quickly.

Example: “I know I just met him, but I don’t like him” or ” I tried playing tennis once, and I’m not going to try it again.”

Name Calling

Name calling substitutes a personal insult for a direct response.

Example: Joe says, “Being metacognitive about studying is a great help.” Pat responds, “That’s a typical nerd statement if I ever heard one.”

Scare Tactics, Appeals To Pity, and Apple Polishing

These fallacies all focus on emotional thinking and ignorance logic.

Scare Tactics Example: ” We, the membership committee of the Sigma Club, see in your application that you’ve been very active with the student newspaper. Did you know that our club president was kicked off your paper’s editorial board last year?”

Appeal to Pity Example: “Professor Amato, please let me had in my paper tomorrow. I had to take care of my grandmother last night. When I finally started typing, I ran out of paper, and it was too late to buy any. If you accept my paper late, I’ll be able to stay off probation.”

Apple Polishing Example: “Hamid, please let me photocopy your notes to study for an exam. Your handwriting is so much neater than mine, and you always get more out of Professor Smith’s lectures than I do.”

False Dilemma

People use a false dilemma to make you think there are only two choices in a situation–the one they favor and an unappealing alternative.

Example: The statement “Strong men watch wrestling on T.V., so what’s the matter with you?” is intended to make you think you aren’t strong if you don’t enjoy professional wrestling. Actually one has little to do with the other; there are many ways to be strong. People often combine peer pressure, mentioned earlier, with the false dilemma tactic.

Slippery Slope

People tend to use slippery slope thinking in situations involving change. Claims are made that the change will lead to many more changes and that the end result will be bad.

Example: “If we let you have two excused absences, then you’ll want three. Before we know it, all of our absentee standards will have disappeared.”

Begging the Question

This is also known as “circular reasoning.” The same statement gets repeated with different words, but nothing is added to the meaning. This is very popular in advertisements.

Example: “Athletes need a good, healthy diet. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to what you eat if you want to perform well in sports.”

Straw Person

Have you ever had someone disagree with you by changing your statement? The changed statement is the “straw person.” Notice how the brother changed the one time clean-up request in the following example to a daily one.

Example: You ask your brother to help you clean the bathroom. He says he can’t clean it every day. It’s too much work and a waste of time.


Using someone of status to convince others of the “right” thing to do is one of the most common fallacies used in advertising and political campaigns.

Example: Famous people (prestige identification) or people just like you (ordinary people) tell you how great something is: “Buy it!” “Vote for it!”

Point of View

These fallacies are frequently used by people who want to persuade you to believe or do something. They have a particular point of view, and their message to you is tilted to favor that point of view. That tilt is called bias. Two common groups of persuaders in American society are politicians and advertisers. Politicians want you to vote for them. Advertisers want you to buy their products or support their cause.

In order to be influenced, a persuader only shows you part of the picture (that’s the bias)or a point of view he or she thinks you will like. Presenting part of the picture is called card stacking. The persuader only shows you the cards he or she has chosen instead of the full deck.

Several of the critical thinking guidelines can help you with bias. (Refer to the Critical Thinking Guidelines at

Know when you need more information  (Guideline #2) is something to keep in mind when you suspect the persuaders is stacking the cards. Separate emotional and logical thinking (Guideline #5) when you sense the persuader is appealing to your emotions –greed, fear, pity– and is omitting a logical approach. Know the difference between something that must be true and something that might be true (Guideline #4) when the persuader is making statements that are not backed by proof. Build your vocabulary (Guideline #6) when the persuader uses unfamiliar words and terms.

Looking for points of view is a critical-thinking strategy. While it is easy to believe people who share your point of view, remember to be openminded to new ideas (Guideline #1). Consider using other points of view and accepting people who have them.

Points of view connect with what you believe is important in life. Because what’s important carries feelings, part of your critical thinking is always connected to your feelings. Your brain has emotional and logical responses.  A careful thinker notices how feelings are involved in problem solving and decision making. Remember most sources of information have points of view!

How Do You Think Critically?

While you can’t be sure critical thinking will provide correct answers, you can avoid obvious mistakes in thinking. First, metacognate!  When you have a problem to solve or a decision to make, think about your thinking. Sleep on it, count to ten, or use some other method to give yourself time to think. You need to be able to calm your brain because many situations requiring critical thinking are emotionally upsetting. The part of the brain that thinks critically does not function at its best under stress, time pressure, or emotional shock.


The following six guidelines can help you develop your critical thinking ability. They were adapted from material written by Anita Harnadeck.

  1. Be open-minded about new ideas.
  2. Know when you need more information.
  3. Be aware that different people have different ideas about the meanings of words, expressions, gestures, etc.
  4. Know the difference between something that must be true and something that might be true.
  5. Separate emotional and logical thinking.
  6. Develop your vocabulary in order to understand others and to make yourself understood.

By using these six guidelines, you can increase your self-esteem because you feel mentally competent in many situations. The guidelines will be helpful for:

  • Identifying situations that can be improved by critical thinking.
  • Developing conscious attention to your thinking (metacognition).
  • Increasing your confidence about your thinking.
  • avoiding harmful gossip and futile arguments.

The Critical Mind

Critical thinking focuses on the here and now. When you think critically, you concern yourself with what you think is happening and how you will deal with a given situation. How you behave depends on your beliefs. Critical thinking concerns beliefs and behaviors.

Beliefs are interpretations, evaluations, conclusions, and predictions you consider to be true. If you believe that women are not mechanically inclined, you may not think a woman can change a car’s spark plus. If you have failed mathematics in the past, you may have mistakenly concluded that you can’t do math.

Your beliefs guide your behaviors. The physical and mental skills you’ve acquired, such as driving a car or reciting the multiplication tables, were influenced by your belief that they were important. The only behaviors not influenced by beliefs are those that are automatic (that is, bodily functions and reflexes).

Why and When to Think Critically

You need critical thinking to help you solve problems or make decisions that are important to you. Many common behaviors, such as bathing and eating, don’t require daily critical thinking. You perform them based on previously established beliefs.

Being in new situations calls for critical thinking. Seeing new products, hearing dramatic news stories, and experiencing personal or work problems all require you to decide what you believe.


Teaching Critical Thinking with The Cognitive Six

On May 14, 2018 Co-Authors and Educators, Louise Loomis, Ed.D. and Tom Smith, M.A.Ed. were featured guests on the online podcast “Distraction”, hosted by Dr. Edward Hallowell .

They had an in-studio conversation about their book, The Cognitive Six: A Guide to teaching Thinking, how it can be used as a tool to teach critical thinking and the essential role they play in meeting this challenge.

Click link to listen to podcast:

S2 Ep 55: Teaching Critical Thinking with The Cognitive Six

The Cognitive Six: A Guide To Teaching Thinking by Louise E. Loomis, Ed.D. and Thomas Smith, M.A.Ed.

Order you copy today by calling  860-232-0891 or send us an email to

Click on link below to order:

The Cognitive Six Order Form


Don’t for get to comeback and leave us a comment about your thoughts about the podcast. Thanks!



By Louise Loomis & Thomas Smith

It is with great pleasure we are pleased to announce that the Cognitive Six: a Guide To Teaching Thinking is complete and available for you to purchase.

Since the vast amount of language used daily in our world—in print, talk, and media—is generally lacking in critical analysis and problem solving, we believe it is imperative that thinking skills become part of general education and daily life.

The Cognitive Six are the ways in which our brains naturally organize information.

Awareness and Practice of the Cognitive Six has many benefits:

  • Produces control of information
  • Provides a language to communicate about thinking
  • Develops a habit of thinking about thinking (Metacognition)
  • Makes learning easier
  • Generates transfer
  • Makes people realize they are smart and that feels good
  • Is the foundation of critical thinking and creativity

The Cognitive Six enables all users to meet the challenges that require thinking and problem solving in their lives. This is accomplished without disrupting the demands of daily activities.

The Cognitive Six: A Guide to Teaching Thinking cost is $30.00 plus ($1.91 CT sales taxes) /per copy. Include an additional $5.00 shipping and handling charge/per book if being mailed.

We also offer the Train of Thought (a Classroom Tool for Teaching Cognitive Six) at $15.00/set. Each set contains 8 (8½in X 11in) cards

To place an order today:  Call 860-232-0891 or send us an email to