Category: Critical thinking
Good presentation of critical thinking. Rich in content, informative in knowledge and practical in practice. Thank you. - Binglin Li [February 5, 2014]
Although I teach adults, I will most certainly be able to use the concepts and exercises that you present in your articles. - Gloria [December 18, 2013]
The article is informative. I have a school development plan for developing critical thinking skills of my students. I am very much interested to know more about the topic. - Nemat Shamoon [June 17, 2011]
if i happen to type some critical thinking question ,would you be kind as to give the answer to the question? - judith [March 10, 2011]
that articles very useful for me as educator in science - arief R [October 20, 2010]
critical thinking is a set of information and belief generating and processing skill. We need a highest level of quality in a fair minded way. - Iefa [July 11, 2010]
i think may be its true..critical thinking is needed intentional analyzing of every situation in life - gurl. [July 11, 2010]
interesting article. I wish there was more information about the socratic thinking method. It seems like it could be a powerful tool to have in both education and everyday life. - joe mata [April 7, 2010]
Great insight. Can't wait to have more. - Afolabi olamide [April 6, 2010]
Dose anyone think that having good critical thinking skills could effect a persons Attitude or personality? How? or Why? - Dennis Parker [March 31, 2010]
Tavares Strickl, Your thought is right on the money because as a former Life Insurance salesman, any time you come in contact with a person with good Critical Thinking skills it always made for a good strong presentation, an required that you really know your business. Good Answer - Deennis Parker [March 31, 2010]
First I feel that "Critical Thinking" is very much needed to solve any problem of importance, this eliminates quick decision making; leaving a much better understanding of a problem. Also one must be careful with this form of thinking, as not to discourage the person you are discussing the problem with. - Dennis Parker [March 31, 2010]
I personally think that developing critical thinking skills is not only beneficial for mental growth but it is also beneficial in teaching others, by challenging them to develop their analytical thought process. - Tavares Strickl [September 29, 2009]
Mina abandonada - Filme completo e dublado (HD)
Laura, abandonada - Mujeres Asesinas Argentina - Capitulo completo
Kajian Umum: Jadilah Muslim yang Kuat - Ustadz Zaid Susanto, Lc
Ceramah Umum: Urgensi Akhlak Mulia - Ustadz Firanda Andirja, MA.
Serial Wasiat Nabi: Silsilah Tazkiyatun Nufus; Khusyu' - Ustadz Afifi Abdul Wadud
Kajian Umum: Enam Prinsip Dasar Ahlussunnah; Eps. 4 - Ustadz Aris Munandar
Kajian Rutin: Berbaik Sangka Kepada Orang Lain; Eps. 06 - Ustadz Aris Munandar
Critical thinking can help you assess ideas and build well-supported arguments.
From solving problems in class assignments to facing real world situations, critical thinking is a valuable skill for students to master. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze the way you think and present evidence for your ideas, rather than simply accepting your personal reasoning as sufficient proof. You can gain numerous benefits from mastering critical thinking skills, such as better control of your own learning and empathy for other points of view.Autonomous Learning
Rather than relying on teachers and classroom time for instruction and guidance, students with critical thinking skills become more independent, self-directed learners. Researcher Jane Qinjuan Zhang writes that critical thinking enables students to assess their learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and allows them to take ownership of their education. For example, students in an English class might write reflective letters about how their writing has improved and what they still need to work on. This lets them view their performance objectively and reach conclusions about what goals they can set next for their work.Higher Achievement
Learning critical thinking skills can also enhance your academic performance. According to Linda Elder and Richard Paul, authors of "Critical Thinking Development: A Stage Theory," students who know how to analyze and critique ideas are able to make connections across disciplines, see knowledge as useful and applicable to daily life and understand content on a deeper, more lasting level. For example, AP United States History students learn to analyze and compare historical events. Writing about history can therefore help them better understand its relevance and application to present-day concerns.Appropriate Emotional Appeal
It's easy to let your emotions take over when making an important decision or arguing for your opinion, especially if you are personally invested in it. However, "Why Critical Thinking?", a report from York University, asserts that critical thinking can help you effectively use emotional appeal, letting your feelings influence, but not control your reasoning. For example, a public speaking student arguing for health care reform might share a personal story about a relative who struggles with getting insurance, but also provide solid supporting evidence from credible sources to support this position.Teamwork and Empathy
Ultimately, critical thinking skills help you to better understand the experiences and views of others, enhancing your ability to work with different people. For example, the Scholastic Parents article "Think About It: Critical Thinking" shares that group activities let elementary school students hear their peers' ideas for accomplishing a task, rather than zeroing in on their own thoughts. This not only shows them that any given problem can have multiple solutions, but lets them work together to agree on one idea. Activities like this teach students to cooperate rather than make judgments or assumptions.References About the Author
Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.Photo Credits
It is hard to overstate the importance of critical thinking in today’s knowledge economy. In this post, you will learn about critical thinking skills, how to develop them, and resources to help you further.
Imagine yourself taking the blame for assessing that Iraq possessed WMDs. Various committees found that managers “did not encourage analysts to challenge their assumptions, fully consider alternative arguments” and that they were focused on the end results and not on the process [Moore: Critical thinking and intelligent analysis ]. Thankfully most of us are not in a position to provide recommendations that affect national security, but if they did, would you change your thinking process?Importance of critical thinking
On his way to work, a villager met a wolf. Hungry and desperate, the wolf pleaded to the villager to give it some work. Although the villager initially resisted, due the wolf’s insistence, the villager relented and took the wolf home. He asked the wolf to guard his shack and his belongings. After sometime, just when the villager welcomed a child in his family, he started trusting the wolf.
One day, the villager and his wife had to go out but they couldn’t take the child with them. They decided to ask the wolf to look after the baby. The wolf, very excited and happy about the trust that family showed, agreed.
A few hours later, when the villager came back, he was aghast by the scene. He saw the wolf panting with blood on its mouth. Without even thinking for a minute, he took his axe and killed the wolf.
As he rushed inside, he saw that his child was sleeping sound in the crib, but next to it was a venomous snake left in pieces. Needless to say that he was filled with grief and sorrow and with only one thought: “What if had I delayed my judgment for a few minutes?”
Now, the question is: have you been guilty of jumping to a conclusion too quickly? Your colleague brings you an idea, and you take your axe out and boom: list 100 reasons why it can’t be done. You do not delay your judgment. You do not let the ideas form fully. You do the intellectually lazy thing and say “interesting” and walk out. Saying “interesting” is exactly like a kid’s response to doing something mischievous: “I don’t know who did it”. We take the easy route and instead of challenging our intellectual capacity we answer with intellectual dishonesty. [That response is not unlike when people tell me how much they love running or working out: I say “interesting” and run as far away as possible.]
Thinking about the problem is the first step in any sound analysis. Excellent critical thinking involves limiting self and other biases, evaluating many alternatives, and presenting multiple solutions. Analysis is hardly a one-shot process: take data, select favorite technique, and apply it using favorite software. Good analysts will first ask “why?” rather than asking “how?”, and after seeing the results, will ask “so what?” rather than saying “interesting.” The ultimate objective of analysis is to iterate continuously and not be satisfied with the present. Rather than asking “which is the best technique to solve my problem,” we must focus on maximizing information to time ratio.
Programming, specialized software or technique are irrelevant once the right question for the analysis is formed. Good analysts possess excellent critical thinking skills, which they use to remove the insignificant (noise) details from the given information to focus on significant (signal) details and come up with multiple possible solutions. They don’t stop there, however. While thinking of those possible solutions, they also think how to come up with an optimal solution. [Moore: Critical thinking and intelligent analysis ]. In short, they focus not only on the end results, but also on the process.Stages of Analysis
In their book Introduction to Strategy. Liedtka et. al say: “in any analysis, it is important to be prepared to articulate your major conclusions and provide evidence and analysis in support of them. You should be prepared to not only present your own analysis and conclusions, but also respectively challenge and extend the viewpoints of others … strategic analysis requires the honing of your skill in logic and argumentation.”
Similar to the analytics maturity model for an organization, I propose a model, given in the table below, for maturity of analysis. At the bottom of this model, we have day-to-day trivial decision making, where given a problem, we come up with a solution rather quickly. An example where this type analysis would be sufficient for most people: where to stop to buy a cup of coffee on the way to work? [I say most, because I’ve gotten into trouble with my wife for taking too long to decide which coffee shop to go to.]
Most of us in the knowledge industry spend a lot of time conducting analysis from the second stage. This stage consists of better planning as to how to answer the given question, generating multiple questions, collecting enough information, and producing a result. An example where this type of analysis would be required: which car to buy?
The analysis stage is advanced when the analyst starts challenging her own findings. This is where the good analysts start differentiating themselves from others. In his book Good to Great. Jim Collins described good leaders as the ones who seek self-actualization which is a process of understanding your limits and planning for your growth. It is very difficult to criticize your own work if you do not seek self-actualization.
The last stage of analysis is where the analyst generates multiple and competitive hypotheses, broadens the thinking to include other possible solutions, and iterates the process. While discussing critical thinking in his book Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis. David T. Moore says that a thinker “reflects on the quality of the reasoning process simultaneously while reasoning to a conclusion.” It is not enough to generate a quality recommendation, critical thinking demands questioning the thinking process itself. Analysis at this stage will provide key recommendations and generate questions that have not been asked yet.How to improve your analysis
Hadley Wickham. a professor of statistics at Rice University and a chief scientist for RStudio. believes that critical thinking can be taught. In one of his courses, he grades students on three components: curiosity, skepticism and organization.
In his own words:
these reflect what I believe to be the three key attributes of a statistician: they should be curious about data and able to creatively apply old tools in new ways; they should be sceptical about their findings …; and they should be able to present their findings in an organised manner that guides the audience from raw data to results.
As the first step in improving your analysis, assess your analysis using the grading rubric given in Hadley’s paper. “Using visualisation to teaching data analysis and programming.”The thinker’s toolkit: how to develop your critical thinking skills
Former CIA analyst and a critical thinking teacher, Morgan D. Jones authored a book called The thinker’s toolkit providing 14 techniques for problem solving. I have found the following techniques useful:
In their book Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations. George and Bruce describe a complete analyst. They posit that every analyst should possess, at a minimum, these seven characteristics:
George and Bruce argue that it is not the first three characteristics that separate good analysts from the best ones, but it is the last four: being imaginative and curious to explain and find missing information; being aware of self-biases; being a self-critic; and most importantly, being open to change her own mind.
Although the time of the decision-makers is limited, the complete analyst can actually persuade the decision-makers to use the recommendations of the analysis. Only then can we have truly data-driven decisions and help us move away from descriptive analysis to prescriptive synthesis.
Note: An edited version of this article was published in APRA ‘s Connections magazine.
Critical thinking has been described in many ways, but researchers generally agree that critical thinking involves rational, purposeful, and goal-directed thinking (see Defining Critical Thinking). Diane F. Halpern defined critical thinking as an attempt to increase the probability of a desired outcome (e.g. making a sound decision, successfully solving a problem) by using certain cognitive skills and strategies. Critical thinking is more than just a collection of skills and strategies: it is a disposition toward engaging with problems. Critical thinkers are flexible, open-minded.
Critical thinking has been described in many ways, but researchers generally agree that critical thinking involves rational, purposeful, and goal-directed thinking (see Defining Critical Thinking). Diane F. Halpern defined critical thinking as an attempt to increase the probability of a desired outcome (e.g. making a sound decision, successfully solving a problem) by using certain cognitive skills and strategies. Critical thinking is more than just a collection of skills and strategies: it is a disposition toward engaging with problems. Critical thinkers are flexible, open-minded, persistent, and willing to exert mental energy working on tough problems. Unlike poor thinkers, critical thinkers are willing to admit they have made an error in judgment if confronted with contradictory evidence, and they operate on autopilot much less than poor thinkers (see Critical Thinking Dispositions). There is good evidence that critical thinking skills and dispositions can be taught (see Teaching Critical Thinking). This guide includes (a) sources that extol the importance of critical thinking, (b) research that identifies specific critical thinking skills and conceptualizations of critical thinking dispositions, (c) a list of the best practices for teaching critical thinking skills and dispositions, and (d) a review of research into ways of assessing critical thinking skills and dispositions (see Assessments).
Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology
Full text: subscription required