Critical thinkers ask questions, formulate and solve problems, use reasoning and evidence to reach conclusions, approach situations with an open mind, and so much more. School districts set goals designed to support students in becoming effective critical thinkers and problem solvers, but creating a learning environment that is conducive to the development of critical thinking rests with the teacher. Instructional materials can either greatly support or hinder teachers’ efforts.

Based on our experience reviewing thousands of instructional materials, this blog offers five considerations to help educators evaluate the degree to which an instructional material supports the development of critical thinking skills.