Friday, September 6, 2013

More on Critical Thinking

Education ---

[Painting on exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy]

The goal of Critical Thinking is understanding - to make sense of things.  In order to make sense of things we need to approach them with a certain attitude, be familiar with certain processes and concepts, and apply certain skills.  The underlying current of Critical Thinking is questioning.  

The Attitude Pre-supposed in Critical Thinking
  • tolerance
  • curiosity
  • open-mindedness
  • that conclusions we might arrive at are always subject to review

The Material of Critical Thinking 
  • the Proposition (including underlying assumptions & key terms)
  • the Argument (thesis, structure, logical relationship)

The Skills Associated with Critical Thinking
  • listening
  • identifying
  • comprehending
  • information gathering (who, what, where, when, why, how)
  • summarizing
  • restating
  • analyzing (assessing component parts and their relationships)
  • synthesizing
  • Refuting 
  • questioning
Note: Questioning is the basic under-current of Critical Thinking.  Asking the right questions is key.  These include questions of:
  • Essence
  • Cause & Effect
  • Purpose/Function
  • Form/structure/component parts/manifestation
  • Point-of-view/perspective
  • Necessity/Importance/Significance
  • Relationship
  • Alternatives
  • Application
[Photograph by Ric Couchman]

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