Critical Thinking Students

Topics: Critical thinking, Learning styles, Education Pages: 4 (1462 words) Published: March 30, 2011
Essay 2 topic:

A critical student is one who ‘does not accept information without first examining it from different angles or perspectives.’ Discuss this definition in relation to the critical thinking expected of university students in essay writing. Incorporate relevant readings in your discussion.

In the changing landscape of the Australian education system, it can be difficult to ascertain what is expected of university students in essay writing. Indeed expectations can vary from institution to institution and even tutor to tutor, however the one commonality is the expectation of critical thinking in students. In this essay, I will argue that in universities, critical thinking is not only encouraged of university students in essay writing, but is also expected. I will explore what it means to be critical in ones thinking, discuss the expectations of students in essay writing and will provide alternative learning methods to illustrate other viewpoints. In order to achieve this, I will draw upon relevant readings to support my thesis. The word ‘critical’ is to describe “that which is urgent, serious, crucial or of fundamental importance” (Craig 1994, 54). In relation to essay writing, to be critical in ones thinking is to “question the phenomenon of study rather than simply accept and repeat the facts” (Craig 1994, 54). Warren (1995) provides some context to these definitions in her essay ‘The critical self’. She defines critical thinking as a reflective and reasonable thought process that dictates our decisions on what we do or believe (2). She refers to her teaching experiences and at the lack of the critical thinking abilities in her students at that time. Through these experiences and subsequent teachings on philosophy and specifically critical thinking, she draws conclusions that students like to think in this way and consequently their self-esteem improves as they are able to develop these skills (1). Her strong conviction that “critical thinking...

References: Craig, A.P. et. al. 1994. Conceptual Dictionary. Kenwyn, South Africa: Juta, University of Natal.
Kolb, D. 1981. Learning styles and disciplinary differences. In The Modern American College, ed. A. W.Chickerine & Associated, 232-235 and 251-252. San Francisco.
Krause, K. 2005. The Changing Face of the First Year: Challenges for Policy and Practice in Research-Led Universities. First year experience workshop. Brisbane: University of Queensland.
Marshall, A. Lorraine, and Frances Rowland. 2006. A Guide to Learning Independently. 4th edition. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.
Pavlovich, K. 2007. The development of reflective practice through student journals. Higher Education Research & Development Vol. 26, No. 3: 281-295
Rogers, R. 1967. “To be that self which one truly is” A Therapist’s View of Personal Goals. In On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy, 163-182. London: Constable.
Warren, K. 1995. The critical self. Perth: Murdoch University.
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