writing and arithmetic were essential for entry-level to the job market. However, in todayÊs world, employers require more from employees, they require those who can solve problems, innovate, collaborate, and communicate more effectively. 6.1.2 A Working Definition of Critical Thinking We can find many definitions on critical thinking and they tend to be similar with considerable overlap. Fisher and Spiker (2000, as cited in Halpern, 2014) found that the terms, which are mostly used to define critical thinking, include judgement, reasoning/logic, reflection, questioning, metacognition and mental process. Here is a list of some generic skills of a critical thinker (Halpern, 2014): a) Seek out contradictory evidence; b) Make risk: benefit assessment; c) Recall relevant information when needed; d) Give reasons for choices as well as varying the style and amount of detail in explanations depending on who is receiving the information; e) Understand basic research principles; f) Present a coherent and persuasive argument on a controversial, contemporary topic; g) Determine credibility and use this information in formulating and communicating decisions The critical part about critical thinking denotes the component of evaluation, and it is sometimes conveyed as something negative, for example, when we say, „Karim is a critical person‰. However, the evaluation should and can be a constructive reflection of positive and negative attributes. ACTIVITY 6.2 Take a few minutes and think about your own definition of critical thinking. Discuss with your classmates.
trianglert TOPIC 6 CRITICAL THINKING AND REASONING SKILLS 118 6.1.3 Changing How People Think: Should It Be Done? It is scary to have the idea of influencing the way people think since it advocates terms like „mind control‰ and „propaganda‰. However, it is crucial to note that critical thinking is an antidote of mind control and it helps everyone to recognise propaganda so that we will not fall prey to it, analyse underlying assumptions in arguments, consider the credibility of an information source, and think of the best possible way to solve problems. There are countless examples of the need for critical thinking; some are as follows: a) Bullying cases among teenagers; Figure 6.1 Figure 6.1 Bullying case in a school Source Source Source: b) Citizens who believes in political campaigns; c) Employees who are being exploited by employers; d) People who are being rude.
TOPIC 6 CRITICAL THINKING AND REASONING SKILLS ⊳ 119 We have to be mindful of the need to educate people to think critically since their early age. Being critical thinkers will enable us to be more evaluative and make better decisions. EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE THAT CRITICAL THINKING CAN BE IMPROVED If you have been thinking critically about the idea of improving how you think, then you have probably begun to wonder if there is any evidence that thinking can be improved. Numerous research has found that various forms of thinking courses and curriculum provide substantial evidence that it is possible to use education to improve the ability to think critically.
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