It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
“Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improve it”. (Dr. Richard Paul, 2006) Critical thinking involves delving deeply into questions or statements to find out all aspects of it, not just “the meat of the matter” but down to the bone as well, figuratively speaking. It involves excluding all dogma, myopic, subjective and ideological views hence, beginning to see things objectively, not just black and white, but in all the colours of the intellectual spectrum. In order to achieve this intellectual enlightenment, questions need to be asked constantly, if one does not interrogate all aspects of information given to them, then critical thinking is not taking place.
What? When? Where? Why? How?
When research is conducted, one shouldn’t simply gather information and accept it as is, not just because something in print does not mean it is true, skepticism is the key. Question the context of the work, when, where and by whom was the writing published. One should question not only the information but the source of it. Who is the author? Is he authorized to speak on the topic? Has the author written other articles about the subject? What are the author’s credentials? Is he/she biased? Asking these key questions will lead anyone to a wealth of information hence increasing your knowledge bank. In doing so, it facilitates our self-development as university students.
How critical thinking facilitates self-development
Sharpening your ability to think critically and to express your views effectively is the main purpose of undergraduate stud, it is essential to all tertiary work and life in a democratic society. Critical thinking improves problem solving skills as impartial research methods opens the mind to a multitude other solutions rather than just those which would be found by a modus operandi or subjective researcher. It aids in effective communication. An increase in knowledge in that, we are able to divulge a myriad of information about a given topic.
It prevents ones knowledge base from becoming stagnant. Critical thinking also aids in self- development by allowing individuals to realize that no matter how efficient believe our thinking to be, there is always room for improvement in the area of thinking and overall.
Critical Thinking aids in the in the acceptance of constructive criticism. One is able is able to accept criticism without taking it personally due to the fact you no long hold on to partiality and subjectivity and have come to the realization that everyone is entitled to their opinions.
Finally, an increase in knowledge also leads to scholarly development; analyzing and summarizing information becomes easier,
Despite our attempts to become critical thinkers, no one can be truly objective, we are humans defined by emotions and hence we are still idiosyncratic in our approach. Nonetheless, practicing critical thinking will contribute to self-development if it is practiced continuously.
Critical Thinking Organization. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2013, from Critical Thinking Organization : http://www.criticalthinking.org/aboutCT/define_critical_thinking.cfm
Dr. Richard Paul, D. L. (2006). The Minature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools. Fondation for Critical Thinking .
Elaine P. Maimon, J. H. (2003). A Writer’s Resource A Handbook for Writing and Reserch . New York: McGraw-Hill.