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Critical Thinking Skills

What is critical thinking?

The aspect of critical thinking refer to reasoning and reflecting focused on what to do or believe, and these a set of skills that develop over time. However, critical thinking doesn’t necessarily to be negative, but rather involves exercising skilled observation and judgment to make own conclusion. An individual gathers information about something, and then reasoning and reflecting about the information to come up with their own views. In other words, critical thinking refers to being ale to question and evaluate information, solving problems, looking at the big picture and analyzing different viewpoints to form a conclusion. In this article, I describe standards, benefits and barriers, as well as characteristic of critical thinking.

What critical thinking is really about?

According to Angeli & Valanides (2009), there are six core critical thinking skills. Interpretation refers to understanding the information and being able to decode and clarifying it to understand the message. Analysis means that I will read different information to understand the intended purpose. Additionally, inference skills will help me understand elements I would consider making a conclusion on the information given. Evaluation is also crucial to know the credibility of the information to understand its validity. Explanation skill means that you have the ability to clarifying or give perspective to information to ensure it is understood. Lastly, self-regulation is thinking abilities and knowing elements that are necessary to find results.

Critical thinking skills have been crucial in my academic life. When reading a text, you need to ask questions about what you are reading. Asking questions help to keep you more focused, as well as develop an understanding of what you are reading. Also, when evaluating the argument, one should evaluate whether it make sense or well supported. When writing, I have to ensure the argument is clear and well structured. Critical thinking helps to evaluate other scholars’ argument and develop my own opinion. Nevertheless, the argument here is about the way in which ideas have been developed and organized to align a particular line of reasoning in a chronological order to the conclusion.

Critical Thinking Standards and why they are important in understanding this concept

An individual ability to discern and create a reasoned argument is what critical thinking is about. As a result, it persuades the listener that the point of view represented is valid. It about constantly evaluates how I think, hear, observe, or read. Thinking critically is crucial as it helps me to assess how well ideas, argument and findings are supported so that I can make a reasoned judgment about how they are convincing.

Critical thinking has eight standards. These standards are communication with clarity, precision when giving details, accuracy by giving true information, relevance information to the issue discussed, consistency to avoid giving contradictory messages, logical correctness by giving valid reasoning, completeness through thorough thinking, and fairness by being open-minded and free from bias. These standards are present in our thinking when thinking; it is about a purpose within a point of view that is based on assumptions that result in implications and consequences. We employ ideas, concept, experiences to form an argument, solve problems and issues.

However, understanding how to apply these standards is crucial to critical thinking and reasoning through all content. We should construct our thinking so as it is clear, accurate, logical, and so on. Furthermore, you need to be able to clarify others thinking, check for accuracy, whether the information is logical, and so on.

Use of critical thinking standards routinely is necessary to ensure than your thinking is within the issue discussed. All these standards are part of a much broader thinking drawn from our everyday life, school and workplace. Critical thinking helps students evaluate arguments of others and develop their own, perform the job better, and attain personal enrichment in life.

Improving Critical Thinking Skills

For critical thinking, more emphasis is not placed on self-assessment for both the teacher and students so that they can understand where they are coming from such as identifying barriers to critical thinking. Audience analysis should be conducted to ensure that the students are involved in acquiring knowledge and skills. Instruction methods should thus be changed to meet the learning needs of the students in a particular field. The educators may incorporate self-assessment at the beginning of the course so that they can discuss before critical thinking process within the course. This would help the students to beware of their personal frame of references as they attempt critical thinking process throughout the course. I believe instruction materials should also incorporate training of students in critical thinking if we recognize barriers to critical thinking such sociocentrism, unwarranted assumptions, wishful thinking, egocentrism, and relativistic thinking. Critical thinking is a process, and so is becoming a critical thinker. An effective way to horn critical thinking skills include having other confront your beliefs and argument and challenge your thought process. Also, asking questions to help evaluate sources of the information can help promote your critical thinking process.

Reflection Plan

Areas that I am strong

An area of critical thinking that I consider myself very strong is I tend to intellectual courage, therefore, I have the courage to revise the belief or viewpoint I hold to pursue the truth. As Martin (2007) indicates we have opposing minds inborn characteristics allowing us have conflicting ideas and use tension to think a way forward. I believe that it is always good to consider opposing views to come up with a conclusion.

Areas to Improve on

I think to excel in critical thinking; I should improve my thinking and communication process. For instance, sometimes I feel terrible when I realize that some beliefs I have held so long need to be revised making me defensive of my viewpoint. As a result, this makes it difficult to assess the legitimacy of opposing views.

How to Improve

I think I need to work on my intellectual perseverance; this would enable me to overcome any difficult and obstacles that I face, even if it means revising my beliefs in the search for the truth. Thus, I will feel like I have lost, rather learned something new.

Change would result in

I would not have to rationalize my beliefs to protect my viewpoint. Therefore, I can critically assess the legitimacy of their argument.

It would lead to a false conclusion, or failing to prioritize an issue completely that can lead to project failure and affect my career.

References List

Angeli, C & Valanides, N 2009, ‘Instructional effects on critical thinking: Performance on ill-defined issues’, Learning and Instruction, vol.19, no. 4, pp. 322-334

Martin, R 2007, ‘How Successful Leaders Think’, Harvard Business Review, vol. 65, no. 6, pp. 60.