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Critical Thinking

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April 14, 2013

Introduction
Application Learning A learning style is the way in which an individual learner tries to learn. It includes how they approach learning, experience learning and utilize information. Filling in questionnaires and quizzes to determine preferred learning styles can be fun but will not be effective unless they become part of an ongoing program of learning how to learn for students. How you present something is often as important as what you say indeed it may determine whether it is understood at all Research shows that approximately a third of the population has a preferred learning style which is visual, a third that is auditory and a third that is kinesthetic. It is

possible that each preferred learning style could be genetic, dependent on which part of the brain is most receptive in each of the three areas, or because of the way that we were taught. (Duckett, 2009).

Critical Thinking People are not born critical thinkers nor do they inherit critical thinking skills; critical thinking is something that comes along as they evolve. Critical thinking skills are problem-solving skills that seem to go deeper, examining the ins and outs of a certain situation. One is always processing information and debating certain situations, this is part of the critical thinking process. “Thinking is a skilled work. It is not true that we are naturally endowed with the ability to think clearly and logically- without learning how, or without practicing (Alfred Mander).” Critical thinking is a mode of thinking about any subject, content, or problem in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it (Paul, 2006). There is nothing more practical than sound thinking. No matter what your circumstance, goals, no matter where you are, or what problems you face you are better off if you’re thinking is skilled. Critical thinking is a disciplined and learned process that ensures that you use the best thinking you are capable in the situation. While critical thinking can take place without the need to make a decision, one would think that making a decision should never take place without thinking critically about the decision that needs to be made. Through critical thinking and decision making it is evident the two are linked. We will examine Critical thinking, benefits of critical thinking, and the importance and benefits in the decision-making process. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities (Paul, 2006).
There are five steps to the critical thinking process. 1. The first step is to identify and clarify the problem 2. Step two is to gather information, learn about the problem, and look for causes and solutions. 3. The third step is to evaluate the evidence, ask questions such as the source of information, what biases could be expected from each source, how accurate is the information. 4. Step four is consider alternatives and implications. Draw conclusions form the gathered evidence and pose solutions, then way the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. 5. Fifth step is choose and implement the best alternative, select an alternative and put it into action then follow through by monitoring result and implementing your plan (Guffey, 1998). Critical thinking results in more rational, accurate, clear, consistent thoughts. Some of the benefits are critical thinkers are usually calm, and know exactly when they are right or wrong. They approach everything with a sufficient amount of skepticism and doubt. Another benefit is they have the capability to identify the difference between thought based rationality, emotional response, and personal bias. Since they understand their own perspective it helps to consider the viewpoint of others, which helps in making decisions on actuality rather than feelings. So the benefit of critical thinking is that it provides an individual with an opportunity to “make a choice about how he/she will react and what he/she sees and hears. If a person or individual fails to question and evaluate what he/she experiences they would be making someone else’s opinion his or her own. By questioning beliefs, others research, reviewing one’s actions you are determining if the belief is in accordance with one’s values. The importance of critical thinking and decision making relate to each other, it is determined that those making decisions must use critical thinking to determine the best solution to the problem. Without critical thinking, details of a situation can be missed and the best solution overlooked (Paul, 2006). When making a decision critical thinking allows one to act instead of reacting. Reacting cultivates hasty decisions that are not always thought out which could lead to more problems. Another benefit of critical thinking in decision-making is reflecting on personal on experiences. This can be a good tool when evaluating possible outcomes of a critical solution. By using past victories and defeats in one’s personal working life a critical thinker can become stronger by learning from previous outcomes. We have no choice we must think on a daily bases. However, there are different types of thinking. Most of the population use critical thinking over the other types of thinking. According to “What are the Different Types of Thinking?” (2006), critical thinking is convergent thinking. It assesses the worth and validity of something existent. It involves precise, persistent, objective analysis.
After researching critical thinking in more detail, I have concluded that a person must evaluate information about the subject at hand and think about the subject and problem in an open-minded way. Unfortunately, no one can think rationally on certain situations. As humans, people tend to listen to gossip. Critical thinking includes several complex combinations of skills. The main skills include: Rationality, Self-Awareness, Honesty, Open-mindedness, Discipline, and Judgment “What is Critical Thinking?” (2006). Critical thinking is a part of my life and has used this ability to evaluate information and determine my belief system. When at work I prioritize and evaluate the tasks that need to be accomplished. When co-workers, family, peers, etc. come to me with problems I first evaluate before I give a response. Typically I research the issue by asking questions that are relevant, and going to someone I respect for feedback. In my current job, I notice most of the problems are co-workers gossiping and slander of others. I use my critical thinking skills by reflecting on past experiences and this is an activity I know not to get involved in. I usually listen to others who vent and are upset but refrain from offering an opinion. I have found from past experience not to get involved. No matter what your circumstance or goals, no matter where you are, or what problems you face, you are better off if your thinking is skilled, in every realm and situation of your life — good thinking pays off. Critical thinking and decision-making are often intertwined within our work and daily life. There are benefits and advantages to constantly strive to grow in our thinking skills.

Conclusion

As explained in the beginning of the paper the reader will be able to relate how applying critical thinking in the workplace is critical. I presented a challenge in the beginning to the reader, which they will be able to answer a few questions as they read through the paper. Each question was talked through thoroughly and clearly. Last, keeping the five characteristics in mind, the reader will always think about their actions if wondering what type of thinking is he or she doing.

References

Duckett, I. Tatarkowski, M. (2009). Learning styles and their application for effective learning.
Gary Kirby, Jeffery Goodpaster (2007) Thinking: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Critical and Creative Thought 4e. Pearson Education Company
Guffey, M. (1998) Business Communication: Process and Product 2e Chapter 1
Richard, P. Elder, L. (2006) Critical Thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life 2e. Pearson Education Company
Scriven, M. and Paul, R.W. (1987). Critical thinking as defined by the National council for excellence in critical thinking
What are the different types of thinking? (2006). Retrieved from http://askville.amazon.com/types-thinking/AnswerViewer.do request Id=68894922 on April 17, 2013
What is Critical Thinking? (2000). Retrieved from http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_thinking.htm on April 17, 2013.

References: Duckett, I. Tatarkowski, M. (2009). Learning styles and their application for effective learning. Gary Kirby, Jeffery Goodpaster (2007) Thinking: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Critical and Creative Thought 4e. Pearson Education Company Guffey, M. (1998) Business Communication: Process and Product 2e Chapter 1 Richard, P. Elder, L. (2006) Critical Thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life 2e. Pearson Education Company Scriven, M. and Paul, R.W. (1987). Critical thinking as defined by the National council for excellence in critical thinking What are the different types of thinking? (2006). Retrieved from   http://askville.amazon.com/types-thinking/AnswerViewer.do request Id=68894922 on April 17, 2013 What is Critical Thinking? (2000). Retrieved from http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_thinking.htm on April 17, 2013.

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