The world is becoming more competitive thus, there is an need to make decisions that would matter. In formulating intelligent decisions, the individual should not only think individually but holistically. It is through collective thinking that he is able to see the real impact of a certain act. In this day and age, there are is a need to look beyond the facts and analyze things deeper. As much as possible, all details should be taken into consideretion. The paper contains a discussion of critical thinking and how it could help in the formulating intelligent decisions.
It enumerates the characterisitics of a critical thinker and the instances whhere this form of thinking can be applied. A World of Critical Thinkers Many educators are concerned with the way their students process information. There are those who exhibit confusion and doubt their understanding of the lessons while there are those who feel confident about it and can answer any question related to the topic. This variance that educators get from their students places them in doubt whether or not they are able to reach out to the needs of their students.
In most instances, the teacher is the provider of the information while the student is the receiver; seldom does it happen that process is reversed. This is the reason why many students exhibit dependence to their teachers. However, this should not be the case as it is like spoon feeding them. Learning is not merely about absorbing the information that are provided, it is about understanding, analyzing and thinking critically the subject matter presented. The level of understanding of the students do not actually depend on their mental capacity but on their capability to think critically.
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Critical thinking is a form of reflective, skillful and responsible thinking. It is going beyond the facts and finding reason for the existence of those facts. It is the ability of an individual to take charge of his own thinking by developing criteria and standards for assessment (Elder and Paul,1994). Critical thinkers are not contented with what are merely presented to them, they exert effort to understand and reason out through gathering additional information. They analyze holistically and not individually. Through this collective analysis, one can interconnect the details and see the real impact thereof.
Good conclusions are not simply formulated from a simple set of facts; they are based on research and critical analysis. A good critic ignores his biases and tries to understand things as they appear. He uses evidence impartially and skillfully. He is someone who is willing to let go of his hypothesis and formulated conclusions in case the results do not come out right. He is open minded and expects a lot of possibilities. He does not limit himself with what he knows; instead he explores to understand and learn.
He also understands the difference between logically valid and invalid inferences and can distinguish the variance betweem reasoning and rationalizing. Most of the designers of critical thinking programs are social scientists. They create these designs mainly to improve thinking in the fields of social studies and the humnanities (Schafersman, 1991). Critical thinking can be applied in lectures, laboratories, making of homeworks, quantitative execises such as solving mathematical and word problems, making of term papers and most importantly answering questions during examinations.
These activities encourage the students to understand better and apply inquisitive and reasoning skills (Schafersman, 1991). Critical thinking skills should be developed as early as possible because once this is established, it will be easier for the individual to make intelligent choices. The reason why many people commit mistakes is not because of mere ignorance or frailty of mind. They commit mistakes because they fail to think intelligently and analyze the facts involved before they act or make decisions.
Hard decisions in life are made after careful thinking and analysis. All aspects of the issue is viewed and all possible effects are expected. A critical thinker is able plan ahead and provide remedy for any anomaly that may happen in the execution of his task or in the realization of the decision that he made. At work, the application of critical thinking is inevitable. Proper decisions must be made in order for the company to function better. Any unintelligent decision may create serious repurcussions.
Every move must count and the effects thereof be combatted easily. I was once assigned to make a proposal regarding the expansion of the market of the company that I work for. In making the proposal, I did not simply rely on what I know instead I conducted research and surveys. First I listed the interests of the company and its main goals then I made a list of competitors and analyzed their profile. I studied their strengths and weaknesses as well as the business interetsts that they have.
Through this process, I was able to figure out on which aspect can the company can develop an edge over the others. When I have determined the aspect to concetrate on, I researched for possible markets for the new undertaking. I conducted surveys to determine its profitability and the people who will patronize it. Knowing the class of people who are interested in the undertaking will help the company in creating products and giving services that they need and want. A company exists to provide services and products for the consumption of the people.
They exist to serve and gain profit thus, in formulating decisions, they make sure that the needs of their clients are addressed. After generating data for the new business and the market thereof, I also made an analysis on how to go about with it. The advantages and disadvantages were laid out as well as the probability of the success of the business. Analyzing the data as well as the results of the surveys was a difficult task since these were not seen as they are. There was a holistic analysis of the issues presented to better understand the impact of the project.
Taking them piece by piece may not necessarily yield to the results that the company needs. I had to look beyond the facts and think for the future. I also opened my mind to several possibilities that may happen and prepared back up plans in case the initial plan fails. The result generted from all of these facts were collated to form the proposal. It was after completing the job that I realized the importance of critical thinking. There is a need to think out of the box to be able to list down endless possibilities and ways of exploring those possibilities.
Through the activity,i realized that critical thinking is a tedious process, however the results generated from it makes the effort worthwhile. Through critical thinking, the world becomes more colorful and exciting. References Elder, L. and Paul, R. “Critical thinking: why we must transform our teaching. ” Journal of Development Education, Fall 1994. Schafersman, S. (1991). An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Free Inquiry. Retrieved 14 October 2008 from, http://www. freeinquiry. com/critical-thinking. html
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