Critical thinking is a skill. There is some rote memory involved at first when one wants to learn the logical fallacies. However, once learned, it is a tool to be applied to almost everything else we encounter. It does little good for children to memorize historical events if they are not taught to reason. What good is knowing when William Jennings Bryan gave the "Cross of Gold" speech if you are unable to formulate reasons to explain why it was a good or bad idea? Context is everything, but when no context is given, it is important to be able to apply logic to fill in the gaps.
It should be a mixture of both. All skill without knowledge would not help you at all. Same goes to the opposite. With a proper amount of skill and knowledge, people would know how to take hold of many situations and make right decisions. That's all I have to say