Judgment: Unlike sheer guesswork, judgment utilizes information to support a tentative factual claim that goes beyond the available evidence. Unlike ex-cathedra pronouncements, judgment draws on information, together with general principles, to determine what ought to be done or what value something has. Open-minded teachers bear in mind that their judgments rest on limited information or even on misinformation; that we need to be willing to suspend judgment when the evidence is insufficient; that the judgment we make may need to be revisited in the light of subsequent experience and reflection; and that others, drawing on the same evidence and the same general principles, may well reach different conclusions that we need to consider. La Rochefoucauld's observation is salutary concerning our own open-mindedness: Everyone finds fault with his memory, but none with his judgment.
Many people traced the importance of critical thinking in education to Dewey. But Dewey did not make very extensive use of the term "critical thinking". Instead, in his book How We Think , he argued for the importance of what he called "reflective thinking": ... [when] the ground or basis for a belief is deliberately sought and its adequacy to support the belief examined. This process is called reflective thought; it alone is truly educative in value ... Active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends, constitutes reflective thought. There is however one passage where Dewey explicitly uses the term "critical thinking":