In the book elements pedagogy of critical thinking

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In the book Elements & Pedagogy of Critical Thinking, (2007) I define critical thinking as a tool, skill and process. I argued that as a tool, critical thinking is a catalyst to problem solving. It is evident that the relevance critical thinking bears to the endeavour of the human mind to evaluate knowledge is that knowledge must be brought to answer to his daily encounter with existential challenges which are evident in the world he inhabits. Hardly does a day pass in once life without the question "why?" arising. In fact, the question has become so prevalent that it has become a buzzword. Why am I unwell? Why did I come to Kenya? Why is my supervisor slow with my work? Why do I have problems with my friends? Why do I have a retake? why, why and why is this or that. In fact, life has become full of "why’s" that the very purpose of harmony, trust and inter-personal confidence has become a thing of the past and therefore compromised by the WHY-FOBIA. How, then, is critical thinking instrumental to problem solving? I believe that the rules of logic prove important in the domain of critical thinking at this point. Problem solving entails, as an end result, the formation of a decision that answers to the purported problem. In fact, this proves to be the game of dialectics, the result of which is to resolve the negations inherent in the contradiction. The general procedure for applying critical thinking to any problem can be described as a cycle with five phases. This cycle should however not be treated as a rigid procedure in which each phase must be complete before the next is begun. In practice, you may have to go back to the earlier phase or work on several phases simultaneously. But if you have to have any real assurance that your ultimate decision is sound, then all phases must be complete. PHASES OF DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING. The first phase of problem solving involves recognition and definition of the issue at stake. Generally speaking, a typical process of decision-making begins with the recognition of a problem. And for the purposes of this book, the word “problem” will be used in the broad sense: one has a problem when one has a need or question but no obvious answer to it. In this case, all mental insatisfaction and the quest to grasp the essence of the unknown; be it physical or psychological all counts and falls within what is rightly defined as a “problem”. In other words, the quest for knowledge in its totality signifies mental comprehension of the physical and mental phenomenon definitive of human existence. It is commonly true, that
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many problems are never solved because they are not recognized soon enough or not recognized at all. For example, some freshmen fail in college because they do not recognize soon enough that their study habits are inadequate or that they are in an unsuitable curriculum.
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