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Your teachers in high school won’t expect you to remember every little fact about U. My high school teachers gave similar speeches when describing what would be expected of us in college: it’s not about the facts you know, but rather about your ability to evaluate them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my teacher was giving a concise summary of critical thinking.
While I venture that a lot of us did learn it, I prefer to approach learning deliberately, and so I decided to investigate critical thinking for myself.
What is it, how do we do it, why is it important, and how can we get better at it? In addition to answering these questions, I’ll also offer seven ways that you can start thinking more critically today, both in and outside of class.“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”– The Foundation for Critical Thinking The above definition from the Foundation for Critical Thinking website is pretty wordy, but critical thinking, in essence, is not that complex. If we had to think deliberately about every single action (such as breathing, for instance), we wouldn’t have any cognitive energy left for the important stuff like D&D. We can run into problems, though, when we let our automatic mental processes govern important decisions.
Despite hearing so much about critical thinking all these years, I realized that I still couldn’t give a concrete definition of it, and I certainly couldn’t explain how to do it.
It seemed like something that my teachers just expected us to pick up in the course of our studies.
Identifies one’s own position on the issue, drawing support from experience, and information not available from assigned sources.
Addresses more than one perspective including perspectives drawn from outside information. Analyzes the scope and context of the issue including an assessment of the audience of the analysis.Critical thinking is just deliberately and systematically processing information so that you can make better decisions and generally understand things better. Without critical thinking, it’s easy for people to manipulate us and for all sorts of catastrophes to result.The above definition includes so many words because critical thinking requires you to apply diverse intellectual tools to diverse information. Anywhere that some form of fundamentalism led to tragedy (the Holocaust is a textbook example), critical thinking was sorely lacking.Problem solving is the process of working through details of a problem to reach a solution.Problem solving may include mathematical or systematic operations and can be a gauge of an individuals critical thinking skills.In just one hour, you'll learn how to set up your to-do list, calendar, note-taking system, file management, and more — the smart way.Sometimes an explanation becomes so complex that the original question get lost.Clearly distinguishes between fact, opinion and acknowledges value judgments. Identifies and addresses the validity of key assumptions that underlie the issue. What they will expect, though, is for you to be able to think; to know how to make connections between ideas and evaluate information critically.And now that I’m in college, my professors often mention that the ability to think through and solve difficult problems matters more in the “real world” than specific content.