critical thinking

Topics: Critical thinking, Reasoning, Logic Pages: 9 (2455 words) Published: September 25, 2013
Critical thinking is a rational and intentional cognitive skill oriented to take adecision or solve a problem. We use critical thinking skills in any area of our lives – professional, as citizen, love or friendship. Its key characteristics are rationality, reflection and evaluation (Tenreiro‐Vieira and Vieira, 2000, p. 29). Critical thinking is clear and rational, involves precise and systematic skills and follows the rules of logical and scientific reasoning (Lau, 2011, p. 1).

It is a set of skills and attitudes that result in the evaluation of the reasoning of a speaker or writer, using specific generally accepted criteria for strong reasoning. For example, that a conclusion should have a reason in the first place is a standard that requires explicit attention. Multiple strategies could advance the learning of critical thinking. I prefer to teach CT by emphasizing the asking of questions because that approach seems optimal to me in terms of acknowledging and activating curiosity, while emphasizing the worth of ongoing wonder. But others might opt for a more didactic approach. A Definition

Critical thinking is that mode of thinking - about any subject, content, or problem - in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and Imposing intellectual standards upon them.

John Dewey defined critical thinking as "reflective thought"-to suspend judgment, maintain a healthy skepticism, and exercise an open mind. These three activities called for the active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief in light of the ground that supports it. Dewey's definition suggests that critical thinking has both an intellectual and an emotional component. Thus we view critical thinking as the intellectual and emotional ability to go beyond the known without "falling to pieces". Students must be taught to examine, poke, question, and reflect on what they have learned. Skepticism, questioning, and reflection are essential. Examine a problem, find a solution, think about why you were or were not successful, and learn from your successes and failures. In summary, critical thinking involves students in doing things (probing, questioning, etc.) and thinking about the things they are doing (reflecting, evaluating teacher feedback, etc.).

Richard Paul uses this definition:
Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking, while you’re thinking, in order to make your thinking better. Critical thinking is disciplined, self-directed thinking which exemplifies the perfections of thinking appropriate to a particular mode or domain of thought. It comes in two forms. If disciplined to serve the interests of a particular individual or group, to the exclusion of other relevant persons and groups, it is sophistic or weak sense critical thinking If disciplined to take into account the interests of diverse persons or groups, it is fair-minded or strong sense critical thinking.

Characteristics of Critical Thinkers

 Are honest with themselves, acknowledging what they don't know, recognizing their limitations, and being watchful of their own errors.

Base judgments on evidence rather than personal preferences, deferring judgment whenever evidence is insufficient. They revise judgments when new evidence reveals error.

Are interested in other people's ideas and so are willing to read and listen attentively, even when they tend to disagree with the other person.

Recognize that extreme views (whether conservative or liberal) are seldom correct, so they avoid them, practice fair-mindedness, and seek a balance view

five Components of Critical Thinking

Thinking can’t be separated from language since both tend to have three primary purposes: to inform, persuade and explain. Language denotes (designates meanings) and connotes (implies or suggests something), and relies heavily on the...
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