4 - MPM732 Critical thinking Assessment 1 Critical thinking...

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MPM732: Critical thinking – Assessment 1 “Critical thinking”; observing both the terms discretely, what exactly comes to our attention? When we listen to the word “critical” we constantly associate it to be something very negative and “thinking” or analysis looks somewhat to be very difficult to do. We tend to associate critical thinking to be something that is not so laidback and entails plentiful skills to attain but critical thinking is not something that we can cultivate in a day or that we are born with. Yes, we can say that some people are gifted with the ability to think fast but that does not mean that we can’t reach to that level. Critical thinking just requires hard work. We need to have logic about almost everything while working with critical thinking. We can take the example of Sir Isaac Newton, who was supposedly sitting under a tree and an apple fell on his head. Now what he applied to it was the concept of “Critical Thinking”. He looked at the whole situation and “questioned” that why exactly did this happen which gave birth to the law of gravity since he pooled his observation with logic and knowledge. Example of Isaac Newton may sound to be something unreachable for someone ordinary but it is correct that everybody can think like him or for that matter someone great; we just need to be perceptive and question ourselves about everything. Critical thinking can be done in four broad steps viz. assembling information, evaluating the information, conclusion and evaluating the conclusion. A “thinker” would just look at the data and reach to a decision based on that evaluation, whereas a “critical thinker” would combine logic with that assessment. We practice critical thinking in our day to day lives; from buying a car to travelling from one place to another. While buying a car we don’t just look at its color, size, shape and price but also other important features like mileage, resale value etc. We estimate all this based on our prerequisites that whether we can afford it and furthermore would it satisfy my family needs. We just need to have an open-mind while thinking critically along with knowledge, meticulousness, depth and clarity. We should ask ourselves questions like who, what, when, where and how for weighing the data and also when we have touched a conclusion based on that. Asking pertinent and valid questions are very crucial to reach to a well assessed conclusion. We should also consider assumptions whether subjective or objective. Amalgamating incongruent information is the key to critical thinking. Hence, critical thinking was defined by Scriven and Paul (1987) as 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. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
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