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Why is critical thinking important

By sarahlicious666 Apr 12, 2014 1406 Words
Why is critical thinking important?

1. What is critical thinking?
2. Who should learn critical thinking?
3. Why is critical thinking important?
4. How to help people think critically?
5. What is the most important lesson that you’ve learnt in critical thinking class? 6. What are the goals of critical thinking?
7. Finally, give an example of a real case/event when people failed to think critically. What were the consequences? How could have these been avoided?

1.Critical thinking is a collection of skills that we use everyday for our full intellectual and personal development. The word critical comes from the Greek word kritikos, meaning to question or to analyse. It is really thinking about your thinking. The ability to think clearly and rationally, as well as to engage in reflective and independent thinking. It is a guide to belief and action. Critical thinking can also play an important role in cooperative reasoning and constructive tasks. Critical thinking can help us acquire knowledge, improve our theories, and strengthen our arguments. It is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and biases.

2. Everyone should learn how to critically think, from children to old age pensioners. From a young age we are curious and ask why to everything in order to heighten our intellect. Critical thinking is needed in all aspects of daily life from choosing what shampoo to buy, what kind of loan to take, and even whether or not to stay in a relationship with somebody. Critical thinking is a domain-general thinking skill. The ability to think clearly and rationally is important whatever we choose to do. If you work in education, research, finance, management or the legal profession, then critical thinking is obviously important. But critical thinking skills are not restricted to a particular subject area. Being able to think well and solve problems systematically is an asset for any career if it’s designing a new logo or diagnosing a patient. Therefore everyone should pick up this habit as it aids us in everyday decision making as well as in vital matters.

3. Today’s world is filled with fear and insecurity, which can lead us to follow leaders who divide the world into good and evil or use force and violence to enforce their views. To think critically is to have criteria, a set of standards, for judging the truth or falsehood of claims about what we should believe or do. This is a matter of utmost importance, because the quality of our thinking determines the quality of our beliefs, and our beliefs determine our behavior, and our behavior profoundly affects our lives and the lives of those around us. In a world where different ideas compete for our allegiance, critical thinking is an important survival skill with moral implications. Critical thinking is very important in the new knowledge economy. The global knowledge economy is driven by information and technology. One has to be able to deal with changes quickly and effectively. The new economy places increasing demands on flexible intellectual skills, and the ability to analyse information and integrate diverse sources of knowledge in solving problems. Good critical thinking promotes such thinking skills, and is very important in the fast-changing workplace. Critical thinking enhances language and presentation skills. Thinking clearly and systematically can improve the way we express our ideas. Critical thinking promotes creativity by helping generate ideas that are useful and relevant to the task at hand. Critical thinking plays a crucial role in evaluating new ideas, selecting the best ones and revising them if necessary. Critical thinking is crucial for self-reflection provides the tools for this process of self-evaluation. In order to live a meaningful life and to structure our lives accordingly, we need to justify and reflect on our values and decisions. As Plato said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Critical thinking. Good critical thinking is the foundation of science and a liberal democratic society. Science requires the critical use of reason in experimentation and theory confirmation. The proper functioning of a liberal democracy requires citizens who can think critically about social issues to inform their judgments about proper governance and to overcome biases and prejudice.

4. Learning to think critically is a life long process. It takes practice to help someone develop these skills and take abstract thinking up a few more notches. The main principles can be taught, in places such as classrooms and workshops. However by nurturing a childs curiosity, we can help them develop critical thinking skills from an early age. Instead of just saying “you can’t because I say so” give them a real answer, let them absorb the information as building blocks to help them get use to questioning and looking at all sides of a situation. Examine information for accuracy, assumptions, biases, or specific interest

5. learning to distinguish and recognize between types of fallacies was the most important lesson I have learn. I always try to be skeptic and keep an open mind, however, without knowing if an argument is sound I can easily make a foolish decision. It made me look at things in a different light. Now when I see an advert with a celebrity marketing a product, I think to myself “they have no authority here” whereas before I would think it must be a good product.

6. The Traits
The ultimate goal of critical thinking is to foster the development of intellectual traits and dispositions Fair-mindedness
Intellectual humility
Intellectual courage
Intellectual autonomy
Intellectual empathy
Intellectual perseverance
Intellectual integrity
Confidence in reason

Someone with critical thinking skills is able to do the following: Understand the logical connections between ideas
Identify, construct and evaluate arguments
Detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning
Solve problems systematically
Identify the relevance and importance of ideas
Reflect on the justification of one's own beliefs and values­ Can be seen that clarity and rationality constitute the common core across the different conceptions on critical thinking.

To separate what is true from what is false, or partially true, or incomplete, or slanted, or based on false premises, or assumed to be true because "everyone says so." To consider the context and history of issues, problems, or situations. To understand the assumptions and purposes behind information or situations. To create ways of approaching problems, issues, and situations that address the real, rather than assumed or imagined, factors that underlie or directly cause them -- even when those factors turn out to be different from what you expected.

8. The U.S and it’s counterparts wouldn’t have invaded Iraq if more people in the CIA/Congress had been thinking critically and asking, “What’s the evidence? You claim Saddam Hussein is doing things that will hurt our national interests. Now tell me exactly: what is he doing? Does he have chemical weapons, nuclear weapons? Where’s the evidence?” However they didn’t, and this resulted in the total destruction of a nation. 650,00 people have died in a war that was not justified. Millions of children have been orphaned on the streets, and yet this could have all been avoided.

Characteristics of
a good critical thinker
Critical thinking is not a single skill. Rather, it is a collection of skills that enhance and reinforce each other. These skills include: Analytical skills—your ability to analyze and provide logical support for your beliefs Communication and literacy skills—your ability to listen, speak, and write effectively, and the awareness of your own communication style Research and inquiry skills—your ability to gather, evaluate and synthesize supporting evidence Flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity—the ability to flexibly adapt to changing situations and to recognize the inherent ambiguity of human existence Open-minded skepticism—the ability to overcome personal prejudices and biases and critically examine all sides of an issue before coming to a decision; often this involves the method of doubt, first proposed by French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650), which involves setting aside our preconceptions and adopting a default position of skepticism Creative problem solving skills—the ability to view problems from multiple perspectives and to come up with original solutions to complex problems Attentiveness, mindfulness, and curiosity—the ability to remain curious and attentive to the world, and to respect diversity and consider multiple opinions Collaborative learning skills—the ability to recognize and anticipate the reactions of others, and a willingness to collaborate with others to share and gain knowledge

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