Can I learn these skills? Yes, you can!
Critical thinking is one of the most crucial skills to have in today’s world. It’s what every excellent University and employer want. I know, you will tell that you were taught at school this skill, and guess what? I have a good new for you, so that you can stop complaining and shifting responsibility to a system – You can learn to think critically! If you’re interested in it, you’re on the right place because I will discover you the key step in your journey towards a critical thinker!
To become a critical thinker bear in mind that it’s about learning process that takes time, practice, and patience. However, something you can start doing right now in order to improve your critical thinking skills, is to apply the key steps of critical thinking to every problem you tackle whether in your everyday life or at work.Critical thinking skills are the cornerstone of self-development and improvement. That’s why they’re so critical to have in today’s job market.
The most required CT Skills :
– Open-Mindedness: taking into account other possibilities and points of view.
– Problem-Solving: the ability to tackle unexpected problems and resolve conflicts.
– Interpretation: concluding what the meaning of processed information is.
– Analysis: the ability to collect and process information and knowledge.
– Evaluation: the ability to make decisions based on the available information.
– Inference: assessing whether the knowledge you have is sufficient and reliable.
– Explanation: communicating your findings and reasoning clearly.
– Self-Regulation: the drive to constantly monitor and correct your ways of thinking.
Before I jump into defining critical thinking skills, let me quickly share with you an experiment.
Let’s see if drinking a tea or coffee (with creams&sugar) is good for you. Let’s examine some pros&con’s ”not (to) consume tea” – could be healthier teeth, weight loss, decreased anxiety
OK – what about those ”pros” – better mood, memory boost, good for your heart…
How do we now reconcile these contradictory claims? Simply! By thinking critically. ”OK, I agree but what do you mean when you say thinking critically?”
I mean the ability to think in an organized and rational manner in order to understand connections between ideas and/or facts. It helps you decide what to believe in. In other words, it’s “thinking about thinking”—identifying, analysing, and then fixing flaws in the way we think.
Whys so important? Number one: every employer seeks, excellent universities too. Number two: in the era of contrasting data, false news and generally million of information we ought to process on a daily basis, critical thinking remains as the most righteous way to make sense of the world.
Follow these steps on your path towards a Critical Thinker
Now, let’s examine step by step that are required to become a ”proficient” critical thinker:
Firstly, you’ll need to detect or properly identify the issue or question. Be as precise as possible: the narrower the issue, the easier it is to find solutions or answers.
Secondly, you need to gather data, opinions, and arguments in a way that you find several sources that present different ideas and points of view.
Thirdly, go to analyse and evaluate the data. Beforehand, ask yourself ”if my available sources are fully reliable”? Are their conclusions data-backed or just argumentative? Is there enough information or data to support given hypotheses?
The next step is identification of assumptions which means again to re-examine if you’re sure that your sources are unbiased? Are you sure you weren’t biased in your search for answers too?
Based on these answers, go to establish significance, in other words, ask yourself what piece of information is the crucial; is the sample size sufficient; are all opinions and arguments even relevant to the problem you’re trying to solve?
Now you can proceed into decision making or to a conclusion whereas you need to identify various conclusions that are possible and decide which (if any) of them are sufficiently supported. Weigh strengths and limitations of all possible options.
And, last but not least, once you’ve reached a decision or a conclusion, present it to ”whom it may concern”! In case of our a.m. Example the conclusion may be that it is really tough to be positive of something.
These skills are necessary for us to accept the flaws in our reasoning and gaps in our knowledge, as well as to take advantage of them! When you think critically, you’ll constantly challenge what seems given. Say, in your job, even if you think that in principle everything’s OK, critical thinking can help you try and identify new, better solutions.
Learning or teaching these skills your kids or students at schools do not require countless lesson planning, neither special equipment or guest.
What you need primarily are :
Curiosity + Open Mind + Good Strategy = Well defined outcome!
These are the simplest approaches designed to help you on your path of becoming or improving your current critical thinking skills in order to become an unconscious daily process for a lifetime of learning.
Hence, go step by step, slow, take your time, and absorb what’s needed carefully. You’ll see, as you begin to incorporate these ideas, things will get more and more comfortable until they finally turn into your unconscious habit – so that you do not have to think consciously!