Critical thinking is an independent way of thinking which takes into account various factor or elements of the matter in question. Decisions made under critical thinking undergo the full processes of evaluating causes and implications of any matter before arriving at any decision. Critical thinking is reflective mode of reasoning aimed at deciding on what to believe and what not to believe in. It is a process, which involves conceptualizing, analyzing, applying and synthesizing information available hence making a sound deduction based on facts. Critical thinking is a mode of reasoning which all learning institutions and organizations around the globe are expected to embrace.
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Using critical thinking skills has enhanced quality decision-making for a variety of reasons. Firstly, critical thinking have allowed me to accurately put together my problems that necessitates making a decision, and in doing so, I have been able to gather up significant data that is useful towards problem solving. With the problem clearly defined and relevant data on the same available for assessment, I am always able to reason intelligently and creatively to come up with the best quality decision as per the occasion.
Critical thinking allowed me to arrive at decisions impacts majorly on my life and those of people close to me. Critical thinking therefore, requires one to distinguish the premises upon which his/her predispositions lie. This level of thinking is achieved in the lineage of education where one advances thus intensifying the much information he/she has. Dr. Martin Luther King reflects this in his quote “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education” (King, Luker & Harlan, 1992). This enables one to unmask the errors of prejudice, withdraw emotional thinking and hence exercise intellectual habitual.
The learning environment is considered one of major beneficiaries of critical or areas where it is largely applied. This because all the information or knowledge passed to students of any level require high levels of evaluation to ascertain what is wrong or right. In any learning process, students are involved in arguments, which are expected to constructive enough to attain the intended purpose of such arguments.
Some of the fundamental critical thinking skills that are taught to learners in the early stage of education include the reading, writing and speaking skills. As the learner advances from the basic primary stage of education to the secondary and tertiary levels, the academic skills that they are expected to master are become more intricate in nature. In my study, I have had to muster several academic skills to ensure my success. Some of the most significant include academic thinking, creativity, media literacy and oral presentation. More often than not, some of these fundamental skills are not taught at higher levels of education since most tutors assume that learners have already acquired them in the earlier stages of learning. It is therefore up to the learner to find out their weak points and work towards improving them. My weaknesses include being egocentric, self-interested thinking, self-serving biasness, socio-centrism, and confirmation biasness.
I plan to move out of my current stage of development in critical thinking by eliminating the barriers. I will have to deal with the egocentrism, which is tendency to perceive reality as revolving around oneself. I normally tend to concentrate on my own interests and think that my values and ideas are superior to those held by other people. Another barrier to critical thinking that I have to eliminate is self-interested thinking that entails supporting conclusions because they fit into my interests. Self-serving bias is also another barrier to critical thinking, and it refers to tendency to overrate oneself. This is brought by the fact that I normally think that I am above average. Another barrier to critical thinking that I will deal with is confirmation bias, which refers to the practice of bending evidence in order to fit one’s beliefs. Socio-centrism is another barrier to critical thinking, and it made me to focus excessively on the group.
King, M. L., Luker, R. E., & Harlan, L. R. (1992). The papers of Martin Luther King, Jr: January 1929 – June 1951 / vol. ed. Ralph E. Luker, Penny A. Russell; advisory ed. Louis R. Harlan. Berkeley: University of California Press.
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