too often, people don’t think critically (logically) but let their emotions govern their actions. In college, that can lead to trouble!
of the main ingredients in a college education is learning how to think critically.
And if you believe that college is a path to a higher paying job, remember that a good critical thinker is a good job
Kalikow, president of the University of Main lists several characteristics
students should have in order to receive a good college education - which demands above all else critical thinking.
are some of the characteristics:
· A lithe mind, able to move rapidly in new directions
· The ability to analyze a problem
· The ability to imagine solutions, weigh them by rational criteria and
commit to one of them
· A tolerance for ambiguity and complexity
· An ability to imagine and share the perception of different individuals,
cultures, and times
GOING FROM CERTAINTY TO HEALTHY UNCERTAINTY
instructor feel they have all the answers and want to fill your mind with dates, times and facts then expect you to recite
these facts back to them when you take a test. On the first day the instructor
might say, the only important thing in my class is how well you learn the material and how frequently you choose the right
answers. “Remember, while there are lots of wrong answers, there is only
one answer that is always correct.
instructors fill the most important aspect of education is for an individual to know how to use what he or she has learned
to solve problem they face. Each time new students begin a course, they bring
their own values, ideas, and past knowledge to the material. What most important
is that you learn to analyze facts, decide which facts are supportable by evidence, and know how to convince others of your
belief. And remember, while there are lots of wrong conclusions, there also may
be more than one right conclusion. (knowing
where to go to get information and how to use it when you need it is more important than just rote memorization)
It might be an awakening experience to discover that some of your instructors trust
you to find valid answers too many of you own questions.
A HIGHER-ORDER THINKING PROCESS
thinking is a process of choosing alternatives, weighing then, and considering what they suggest. It involves understanding why some people believe one thing rather than another – whether you agree
with those reason or not.
thinking is learning to ask pertinent questions and testing your assumptions against hard evidence.
INVOLVED IN THE FOLLOWING HELPS TO FOSTER CRITICAL THINKING:
· Collaborative learning (more than one student is involved in the learning process which generates a number of thoughts instead of just one. In a group, you learn to agree on the most reliable thoughts, which moves you
closer to a surer solution.
Walking through the process of several choices (good critical thinkers consider questions such as:
(A) Is the information given in support of the argument true?
(B) Does the information really support the conclusion?
(C) Do you need to withhold judgment until better evidence is available?
(D) Is argument based on good reasoning, or does it appeal mainly to emotions?
thinking is at the core of liberal education. In Liberal education, students
are taught to investigate all sides of a question and all possible solutions to a problem before reaching a conclusion or
planning a course of action.
FOUR AS PECTS OF CRITICAL THINKING
thinking cannot be learned overnight. However, critical thinking processes can
be divided into four basic steps. Practicing these basics ideas can help you
become a more effective thinker.
· Abstract Thinking: Using Details to discover some
· Creative Thinking: Seeking connections, finding
new possibilities, rejecting nothing
· Systematic Thinking: Organizing the Possibilities, tossing out the rubbish
Precise Communication: Being prepared to present your ideas convincingly to others
AVOID LOGICAL FALLACIES
may believe you’ve solved a problem logically, but later you find yourself a victim of faulty reasoning.
following suggestions should help you avoid fallacies:
Attack the Argument, not the Person
· Don’t Threate4n in Order to Win an Argument
· Don’t Beg
· Avoid Appealing to Authority
· It’s Not a Popularity Contest
· It Isn’t True Simply Because It Hasn’t Been Proven False
· Don’t Fall Victim to False Cause
Avoid Hasty Generalization
HOW COLLEGE ENCOURAGES CRITICAL THINKING
college students believe that their teachers will have all the answers. You must
be willing to challenge assumptions and conclusion, even those presented by experts.
challenge how you think, a good college teacher may insist that how you solve a problem is as important as the solution and
even may ask you to describe the problem-solving process.
promote critical thinking, your instructor may ask open-ended questions that have no clear-cut answers, questions of “Why”? or “How”? or “What if”?
best way to learn and develop critical thinking skills is to take demanding college courses that provide lots of opportunity
to think out loud, discuss and interact in class..
courses that use essay examination as opposed to multiple choice, true/false, short answer: the latter three are much less
likely to develop your critical thinking skills.
CRITICALLY EVALUATING INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
can put anything on the Internet. It is often difficult to tell where something
on the internet came from, how it got there or who wrote it. In other words,
the lack of a proper citation makes it difficult to judge the credibility of the information.
thing to do is to look for a citation. Then, using the citation, do a search
for the original source and evaluate its authenticity. I there is no citation,
chances are you should avoid the site.
OTHER QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT INTERNET SITES:
Is It Credible?
Who Is the Author?
Does It Reflect Mainstream Opinions?
University of Wisconsin
offers these Nine C’s for evaluating Internet Source:
Credibility, Critical Thinking, Copyright, Citation, Continuity,
Censorship, Comparability and Context.
5.3 The Challenge of Classroom Thinking: Individually, think about your experiences
in each of your classes so far this term.
Have your instructors pointed out any conflicts
or contradictions in the ideas they have presented? Or have you noted any contradictions
that they have not acknowledged?
Have they asked questions for which they sometimes
don’t seem to have the answer?
Have they challenged you or other members
of the class to explain yourselves more fully?
Be prepared to present your response to each of these questions orally to the Class.