There are many definitions of “critical thinking.” We won’t present them here, because they all have a common problem: the fact that “critical thinking” is a kind of “thinking.” Accordingly, there is a universal characteristic that is inherent in any type of thinking, as well as specific types of characteristics which distinguish “critical” thinking from others of its species.
Why is it beneficial to think critically every day?
- It helps in professional self-determination.
- It allows you to set priorities.
- It helps to generate responsibilities for a certain choice.
- It gives you the opportunity to formulate your own conclusions.Develop the ability to forecast the consequences of your own actions.
- It helps to develop skills of cultural dialogue.
How to develop critical thinking? First we will present the sequence as it occurs. Its process consists of three stages:
- Call – this stage updates and summarizes the existing knowledge of the original question and the human will of being active.
- Comprehension – this stage provides new information to be understood and correlated with the available data.
- Reflection – this stage suggests holistic comprehension and summarization of the information received, and assigns it to expressed personal relation to the object.
Let’s describe the main critical thinking activities to improve the critical mind.
№1. The use of time that is usually spent on “doing nothing.”
It is now proposed to use as a self-examination – for example, at the end of the day. It is necessary to answer some questions:
What methods have I used today in order to develop a critical mind?
Were these methods effective?
What have I done to achieve my goals?
The best way to answer these questions is writing it down in the form of diary entries.
№2. Working through problems.
One day should be given for one problem. It is necessary to formulate it and determine how it relates to your life values and needs. It should be studied in order to understand whether it is possible to affect it and what actions you need to solve it. Mandatory requirement – the definition of its features, which will allow to solve the problem in the short and long term. After that, you need to choose a strategy for the solution and stick to it.
№3. Development of intelligence.
You should take time to work on the development of critical intelligence every few days. Namely you should prefer practical work – logical thinking, analysis, deduction, etc.
To effectively develop critical thinking, don’t just trust the authorities. Someone else’s perception often distorts information. That is why it’s so important to refer to the original source and become familiar with the matter.
№4. Fixing success in diaries.
Every week you should make records in your own diary: significant emotional situations, the description of reactions to them, and the analysis of their origins. It should answer the following questions: what new things about myself can I see through these situations? What could I have done in another way, and should I worry about them again?
№5. “Double diary.”
Such an exercise gives readers the opportunity to closely link the contents of the text with personal experience. It is especially useful to use double journals. Students are often given the task to read certain large texts at home, outside the classroom.
Making a “double diary.”
The sheet is divided in half. On the left side you record fragments of text that made the greatest impression and aroused some memories or associations with episodes from your own life. There may be a certain analogy of past experience. Something just puzzled and provoked strong protest in your soul. On the right side is an invitation to comment: what caused you to write this quote? What thoughts did it provoke? What questions arose?
Questions and comments
|Excerpts from the text||Questions and comments|
№6. Creating a table, which the authors call “I know, I want to know, I knew.”
This is one interesting way of organizing graphics and logical-semantic structuring material. The shape is convenient as an integrated approach to the content of the topic.
№7. “Plus, minus, interesting.”
In this case, the text is marked by three kinds of icons, an alignment logic which can be selected by a tutor. For example: test analysis from the perspective of a thesis. Then the icon “plus” indicates a strong argument to support the thesis, “minus” a weak argument or the argument in favor of the antithesis, and “interesting” is an occasion for reflection. These three icons can be used by readers to assess the significance and originality of the material for themselves.
So, while reading the text, a student must stop from time to time and do this kind of mark in the table. Of course, this technique forces the reader to be more attentive during reading, and the tutor can ask students about some specific number of statements to be made in the text.
It should be understood that thinking critically is not a gift, so it may take a long time to improve such skills and it’s better not to stop improving it throughout your whole life. At any case, if you need the help of professionals to complete your assignments while you are mastering your critical skills, ask WritingCheap.com to help you! Our service provides high-quality academic writing assistance 24/7 for your convenience.