What does it mean to have CRITICAL THINKING? (part 1)

Hello everyone, in this post, I would share my experience in learning an interesting topic for many educators around the world: CRITICAL THINKING. This is some summary and reflection what I have been studied about critical thinking. I try to simplify the meaning, aspects, and everything so that you can really understand and easily read the concept of critical thinking.

Critical Thinking is often identified as higher level thinking process which are needed in our 21st century era.

Critical thinking is the ability to gather and assess information in a logical, balanced and
reflective way to reach conclusions that are justified by reasoned arguments.

I think the goal of having critical thinking is that we can make a judgement which are relevant, important, and accurate information that has meaning for us. This is really important skills for everyone of us to be critical in such an era, full of many facts, opinions, information around us.

We live at an exciting time where information on virtually any subject is widely and easily
available in many different ways. It is crucial to be able to evaluate and assess all this information to think for ourselves and  think independently

The crucial concept of critical thinking lies in our ability to differentiate these three fundamental blocks of critical thinking.

1. Fact: Something which can be demonstrated to be true.

2. Assertion: Something that is held to be true but which has not been, can not be, actually demonstrated to be true.

3. Opinion: Something that is believed to be true by the speaker but which may or may not be shared by others.

Concepts of Critical Thinking:

Many people often learn a lot of theory around them  without really knowing what it means to have theory.

A theory is our best attempt to explain something in the natural world, based on our current
knowledge and understanding.

Valid theory should be based on evidence and can be tested against reality.

An argument is a series of logical statements, which persuade you to follow in a reasoned way to a
fair conclusion.
The conclusion should be supported by the reasons given in the argument, and it should be a logical
deduction or inference that follows from the argument.

Evidence is information that provides the basis for a point of view

Evidence can be divided into 2 categories:
Primary sources are original materials or the source where the ideas and evidence were first
communicated.
Secondary resources are sources that re-use information from primary sources

Evidence can be facts, experimental results or observations from nature.
To support an argument, Evidence should be Reliable and Valid.  

This is an effective strategy to evaluate evidence’s credibility and relevance:

critical thinking

So if you want to assess the credibility and relevance of the your argument’s evidents, just look at these:

1. Authorship: Who say it? Professor? Expert? Journalist? Politican.

2.Provenance: Is this primary or secondary resources?

3. Nature: Is it really a facts or opinions?

4. Context:  When? Focus? Represenative?

5.Accuracy: Is that accurate?

6. Authority: Who is the author?

By looking at these aspects, you can really understand whether your arguments are credible and relevance.

Finally, for now, I conclude that what does it mean to have critical thinking are:

1. You can differentiate between facts, opinions, assertions

2. You can understand the meaning and validity of theories, arguments, and conclusion based on credible and relevant evidence.

3. You can assess the credibility and relevancy of evidence.

I believe many more standards that can be used to say you are really have critical thinking. Well… I think the most important thing as an educator we can build that ability to our students with many strategies by training students to differentiate facts, opinions, facts, and asking them to find credible and relevant evidence.

Next, we will explore more insight about critical thinking next week!

 

Sources:

Critical Thinking & Global Challenges.

by Celine Caquineau, Mayank Dutia John Menzies,

Kim Picozzi and Richard Milne

 

 

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