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Enhancing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Bhoendradatt Tewarie Director, Institute of Critical Thinking UWI St. Augustine.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Bhoendradatt Tewarie Director, Institute of Critical Thinking UWI St. Augustine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Bhoendradatt Tewarie Director, Institute of Critical Thinking UWI St. Augustine

2 2 I Some basics to stimulate discussion © Institute of Critical Thinking

3 I think, therefore, I am René Descartes ( ) French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Father of Modern Philosophy In his Discourse on the Method (1637) he attempted to arrive at a fundamental set of principles that one could know as true without any doubt (a foundation of knowledge). To achieve this, he employed a method of systematic doubt, where he rejected any idea that could be doubted, i.e. everything he perceived through his senses. Descartes then arrived at the principle: Je pense, donc je suis or I think, therefore I am (Latin: cogito ergo sum) © Institute of Critical Thinking3

4 I become what I think © Institute of Critical Thinking4

5 High thinking and simple living – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 5© Institute of Critical Thinking

6 6 People, events, things, issues, ideas, concept – the mundane, material, the world around us, the meaning of things

7 The material, the philosophical, the spiritual © Institute of Critical Thinking7

8 Is there any relationship between the focus of ones thoughts and the quality of ones existence, the quality of life? © Institute of Critical Thinking8

9 9 II Logical thinking and lateral thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

10 Logical thinking A process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion The ability to understand and to incorporate the rules of basic logical inference in everyday activities Cause and effect © Institute of Critical Thinking10

11 Logical thinking examples 1.A doctor diagnosing a patients illness 2.An engineer trying to determine why a machine is not working 3.You have six pairs of black socks and six pairs of white socks in a drawer. In complete darkness, and without looking, what is the least number of socks must you take from the drawer in order to be sure you get a matching pair? 4.A milkman has two empty jugs: a three gallon jug and a five gallon jug. How can he measure exactly one gallon of milk without wasting any? © Institute of Critical Thinking11

12 Lateral thinking methods of thinking concerned with changing concepts and perception - (Edward de Bono) It is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic Thinking outside the box © Institute of Critical Thinking12

13 13 Lateral thinking examples Connect the nine dots below using four straight lines without lifting your pen from the paper. How could a baby fall out of a twenty-storey building onto the ground and live? A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink of water. The bartender thinks for a minute, pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, "Thank you," and walks out. What happened? © Institute of Critical Thinking

14 Deductive reasoning In deductive reasoning one arrives at a specific conclusion based on generalizations –All apples are fruit. Some apples are red. Therefore some fruit are red. –The houses in this area vary in size so that some houses may have more rooms or larger rooms than others. © Institute of Critical Thinking14

15 Inductive reasoning In inductive reasoning one makes generalizations based on individual instances –All observed corbeaux are black. Therefore: All corbeaux are black. –All known cases of human bleeding reveal that the colour of blood is red. Therefore the colour of human blood is red. © Institute of Critical Thinking15

16 Analysis – the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it Reason – to think in a connected, sensible, or logical manner; to find a rational motive for a belief or action Rationality – the state of having good sense and sound judgment Logic – the study of the principles of valid inference and argument Analysis Reason Rationality Logic © Institute of Critical Thinking16

17 17 III Strategic thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

18 Strategy A long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal –military strategy –marketing strategy –political campaign strategy –game strategy © Institute of Critical Thinking18

19 Strategic thinking Focuses on finding and developing unique opportunities to create value –facilitated by enabling a provocative and creative dialogue among people who can affect for example, a companys direction –solving a problem –finding new ways of doing something Strategic thinking in an organization, involves synthesis, using intuition and creatively forming a shared vision of where the organization should be heading if it is to survive and prosper in the current and future market place. © Institute of Critical Thinking19

20 Strategic thinking Systems perspective – see the system as a whole and the linkages between the individual parts Intent focus – convey a sense of direction and discovery Hypothesis driven – embrace hypothesis generation and testing as core activities Think in time – able to connect the past with the present and link it to the future Intelligent opportunism – open to new experiences © Institute of Critical Thinking20 Jeanne Liedtka. (1998). Strategic thinking; can it be taught?, Long Range Planning, 31, (1),

21 Strategic thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking21 Taken together, these five elements describe a strategic thinker with a broad field view that sees the whole and the connections between its pieces. (Liedtka 1998)

22 © Institute of Critical Thinking22 Analytical thinking In analytical thinking, one uses a methodical step-by-step approach to break down complex problems or processes into their constituent parts, identifies cause and effect patterns and analyzes problems to arrive to an appropriate solution

23 Strategic planning Strategic planning is about analysis (breaking down a goal into steps, determining how the steps could be implemented, and identifying the possible consequences of each step) –An organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people © Institute of Critical Thinking23

24 Strategic implementation and the achievement of outcomes © Institute of Critical Thinking24

25 25 IV Creative thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

26 Creative thinking Creative thinking – generating new ideas by combining, changing, or re-applying existing ideas Schumpeter ( ) described an entrepreneur as an individual who carries out new combinations such as: –Introducing a new good –Introducing a new method of production –Opening a new market –Identifying a new source of supply of raw materials –Forming a new organization of any industry © Institute of Critical Thinking26 Joseph Schumpeter (1934). The Theory of Economic Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

27 Creativity Creativity – a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts © Institute of Critical Thinking27

28 The creative process One of the earliest models of the creative process is attributed to Graham Wallas (1926) who proposed that creative thinking proceeds through four phases: –Preparation (definition of issue, observation, study, information gathering) –Incubation (laying the issue aside for some time) –Illumination (emerging of the new idea) –Verification (checking it out) © Institute of Critical Thinking28

29 The creative process Several other models have been proposed, but one common theme is that the creative process involves: –Analysis (breaking down the problem/issue into smaller more easily understandable parts) –Evaluation (determining whether an item or activity meets specified criteria) –Imagination (forming images and ideas in the mind) –Synthesis (combining existing ideas/concepts into something new) © Institute of Critical Thinking29

30 The creative process at work Music Art Dance Inventions – airplane, telephone Innovations – Apple iPhone, Gateway (Dell personal computers) Creative problem solving – using a knife/letter opener to tighten a screw when a screwdriver is not available © Institute of Critical Thinking30

31 31 V Critical thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

32 32 Critical thinking the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action (Scriven & Paul, 1992) reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do (Ennis, 1992).

33 Blooms taxonomy of the cognitive domain © Institute of Critical Thinking33 Bloom, B., Englehart, M. Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green

34 Critical thinking, creativity and the critical/creative process Both creative and critical thinking involve the use of high order thinking skills In the creative process one uses: –creative thinking skills (synthesis and imagination) in the preparation and verification phases –critical thinking skills (analysis and evaluation) in the incubation and illumination phases © Institute of Critical Thinking34

35 Creative vs critical thinking Creative thinking is described as: making and communicating connections to think of many possibilities; think and experience in various ways and use different points of view; think of new and unusual possibilities; and guide in generating and selecting alternatives. Critical thinking is described as: analyzing and developing possibilities to compare and contrast many ideas improve and refine ideas make effective decisions and judgments, and provide a sound foundation for effective action. © Institute of Critical Thinking35 (Isaksen and Treffinger (1985), Creative Problem Solving: The Basic Course)

36 36 Creative vs critical thinking Creative thinking Divergent Right brain (global, parallel, emotional, subjective) Synthesis Critical thinking Convergent Left brain (analytic, serial, logical, objective) Evaluation © Institute of Critical Thinking

37 37 Scientific thinking – using the scientific method (1. Identify a problem you would like to solve; 2. Formulate a hypothesis; 3. Test the hypothesis; 4. Collect and analyze the data; 5. Make conclusions) to study or investigate nature or the universe Innovative/adaptive thinking – the ability to react to unexpected changes Problem-solving – the ability to analyze information related to a given situation and generate appropriate response options Judgment – the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation Decision-making – the process of choosing between alternative courses of action

38 © Institute of Critical Thinking38 Summary of elements of critical thinking Critical thinking involves using the following skills to make a decision, come to a conclusion or solve a problem. –Conceptualization: forming ideas –Application: using information in new situations –Analysis: breaking down problems/issues into smaller more easily understandable parts –Synthesis: combining existing ideas/concepts into something new –Evaluation: determining whether an item or activity meets specified criteria

39 12 pillars of economic competitiveness 1.Institutions 2.Infrastructure 3.Macroeconomic stability 4.Health and primary education 5.Higher education & training 6.Goods market efficiency 7.Labour market efficiency 8.Financial market sophistication 9.Technological readiness 10.Market size 11.Business sophistication 12.Innovation 39© Institute of Critical Thinking

40 Global Competitiveness Index (Ranks 1-20) 40© Institute of Critical Thinking Country/Economy GCI rank Country/Economy GCI rank Switzerland1Hong Kong SAR11 United States2Taiwan, China12 Singapore3United Kingdom13 Sweden4Norway14 Denmark5Australia15 Finland6France16 Germany7Austria17 Japan8Belgium18 Canada9Korea, Rep.19 Netherlands10New Zealand20

41 Global Competitiveness Index (Ranks 21-40) 41© Institute of Critical Thinking Country/Economy GCI rank Country/Economy GCI rank Luxembourg21Czech Republic31 Qatar22Brunei Darussalam32 United Arab Emirates23Spain33 Malaysia24Cyprus34 Ireland25Estonia35 Iceland26Thailand36 Israel27Slovenia37 Saudi Arabia28Bahrain38 China29Kuwait39 Chile30Tunisia40

42 Global Competitiveness Index ranks in Latin America and the Caribbean CountryGCI RankCountryGCI Rank Chile30Argentina85 Puerto Rico42Trinidad & Tobago86 Barbados44Honduras89 Costa Rica55Jamaica91 Brazil56Dominican Republic95 Panama59Suriname102 Mexico60Guyana104 Uruguay65Ecuador105 Colombia69Venezuela113 El Salvador77Nicaragua115 Peru78Bolivia120 Guatemala80Paraguay124 42© Institute of Critical Thinking

43 Global Competitiveness Index ranks in some small states CountryGCI Rank Population (in millions) CountryGCI Rank Population (in millions) Denmark55.52Botswana Finland65.34Estonia Singapore34.84 Trinidad & Tobago Norway144.83Mauritius United Arab Emirates Cyprus Ireland254.42Guyana Puerto Rico423.98Suriname Panama593.45Luxembourg Uruguay653.36Iceland Jamaica912.72Barbados © Institute of Critical Thinking

44 T&T Global Competitiveness Index ranks from 2001 to 2009 YearGCI rank © Institute of Critical Thinking

45 Trinidad & Tobago economy GDP (ppp): $24.2 billion GDP per capita (ppp): $18,087 [source: ECLAC (2008 preliminary figures)] 45© Institute of Critical Thinking

46 T&T – Share of GDP SectorShare of GDP (at current prices, 2008) Manufacturing19.8% Oil & Asphalt including Mining & Refining27.8% Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing0.3% VAT3.6% Electricity, Water and Construction10.0% Distribution and Restaurants & Hotels14.0% Transport, Storage and Communication4.7% Other activities including Government19.8% [source: CSO Pocket Digest 2008] 46© Institute of Critical Thinking

47 T&T – Labour force AgePopulation (2008)Economically active population (2008) (thousands)(% of total pop.)(thousands)(% of total pop.) Total1, [source: LABORSTA (ILO database on labour statistics) ]http://laborsta.ilo.org/ (2008 projections) 47© Institute of Critical Thinking

48 T&T – Employment by economic activity Agriculture: 3.8% Mining and quarrying (incl. petr. & gas extraction) : 3.5% Manufacturing: 9.2% Construction and utilities: 19.5% Services and other: 64.0% Public sector: 26.5% –General government sector:23.1% –Publicly owned enterprises: 3.4% Private sector: 73.5% [source: LABORSTA (ILO database on labour statistics) (2008 figures) 48© Institute of Critical Thinking

49 T&T Exports Exports: $15.9 billion Oil and gas account for 80% of exports [source: World Factbook (2008 estimates)] 49© Institute of Critical Thinking

50 Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) Main objective is to provide short term employment relief while enhancing the skills of individuals in the community Work is provided on a rotation basis, every two to three fortnights (four to six weeks) URP workers are not entitled to any employment benefits or vacation leave Labourers are paid a stipend of about $650 a fortnight (about $1,300 per month) URP employs 50,000-60,000 people 50© Institute of Critical Thinking

51 Community Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) Designed to facilitate social transformation in the national community through empowering communities to improve their living standards by increasing employment opportunities; enhancing and improving the environment; and developing a cadre of entrepreneurs CEPEP has over 100 contractors who employ over 5,000 contract workers In 2008/2009 national budget, TT$300 million allocated to CEPEP 51© Institute of Critical Thinking

52 CEPEP – For $300m shared among 100 contractors and 5,000 workers ContractorsWorkers $100m to contractors, $200m to workers $100m/100 = $1m per contractor $200m/5,000 = $40,000 per worker $200m to contractors, $100m to workers $200m/100 = $2m per contractor $100m/5,000 = $20,000 per worker $300m shared equally$58,824 per contractor$58,824 per worker 52© Institute of Critical Thinking

53 T&T – Tertiary education Gross Enrolment Ratio (tertiary)*: 11% Total tertiary enrolment*: 17,000 Enrolment in science and technology**: –Science: 13.7% –Engineering, manufacturing and construction: 22.6% [source: UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2009] *2005 data; **2004 data 53© Institute of Critical Thinking

54 Productivity 54© Institute of Critical Thinking

55 55 VI Non-critical thinking DAY 2 © Institute of Critical Thinking

56 Non-critical thinking Prejudicial thinking – gathering evidence to support a particular position without questioning the position itself Habitual thinking – thinking based on past practices without considering current data Group thinking (groupthink) – A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action (Janis, 1972) © Institute of Critical Thinking56

57 57 VII The Art of Deception and the Role of Critical Thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

58 58 How to gain audience sympathy Appeal to pity, appeal to emotions Appeal to authority, experts Appeal to tradition – ideals, accepted norms Appeal to precedent

59 © Institute of Critical Thinking59 Presenting facts Use of statistics –Is the source reliable? –What is and isnt being said? e.g. More people choose brand X than Y How much is more? –How is the data being interpreted/represented? –Dont be fooled by large numbers, dont overlook small numbers Organizing/classifying information – use of all or some, or implicit use of all Definition of terms

60 © Institute of Critical Thinking60 The role of critical thinking Critical thinking can be used to help make more well thought-out evaluations and judgements in tasks such as reading reports, listening to interviewee responses and mediating conflicts.

61 © Institute of Critical Thinking61 Critical reading skills What is the problem? –How is the problem formulated? –Why is this problem important? –What is the history of this problem? –Which prominent personalities have been interested in this problem?

62 © Institute of Critical Thinking62 Critical reading skills What solutions to the problem are there? –What are the conclusions reached? –By what argument(s) is the conclusion reached? –What facts or assumptions serve as premises? –When a prominent personality offers a solution, does he also argue for or against other prominent personalities? Does he raise objections to alternative solutions? Does he consider objections to his own solutions?

63 © Institute of Critical Thinking63 Critical reading skills Evaluation –What are the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative formulations to the problem? –Has the importance or history of the problem ever been misrepresented? –Are the solutions logically related to the premises? –Are the facts true? Are the assumptions acceptable? Are the objections answerable?

64 64 VIII Some important things to appreciate © Institute of Critical Thinking

65 Brain – the portion of the vertebrate central nervous system enclosed in the skull Intellect – capacity for knowledge Mind – the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons Imagination – the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality; a creation of the mind © Institute of Critical Thinking65

66 © Institute of Critical Thinking66

67 © Institute of Critical Thinking67

68 The creative process at work Models of creativity © Institute of Critical Thinking68

69 69 IX Developing your thinking skills, your creativity and your mind © Institute of Critical Thinking

70 70 CREATE

71 © Institute of Critical Thinking71 Multiply vs divide – striking the balance

72 © Institute of Critical Thinking72 Body, mind, spirit – Harmony

73 © Institute of Critical Thinking73 A sunny virtual space for self immersion

74 © Institute of Critical Thinking74 Using humor to undermine fear Transforming fear into directed energy

75 © Institute of Critical Thinking75 Triumph over cynicism

76 © Institute of Critical Thinking76 Learn to live free by breaking free and persisting

77 © Institute of Critical Thinking77 Take control of your life Make the obvious more obvious Jump steps to success Travel the clear-unclear road to happiness Get unstuck Relax the big squeeze of life

78 © Institute of Critical Thinking78 Maintain the essential tension Resist the slides of boredom and indifference Never pass on your passion Call it like you see it, honestly Remake your self-image Take your time … and your space

79 © Institute of Critical Thinking79 Hmmm…find new ideas in the paradox Simplexity: See the simple in the complex Cut the stress lines Hunt for satisfying work Remove the walls of your mind Envision your creative process

80 © Institute of Critical Thinking80 Fish for the bigger meaning Add to invention Shift your social solar systems

81 © Institute of Critical Thinking81 See the whole of your creativity

82 82 X Complex thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

83 Complex thinking Complex thinking combines the basic learning and recall of accepted information, critical thinking, and creative thinking into larger, action-oriented processes. Cohen (1971) and Presseisen (2001) described four specific complex thinking processes: –problem solving (resolve a known difficulty) –decision making (choose the best alternative) –critical thinking (understand particular meaning) –creative thinking (create novel or aesthetic ideas or products). © Institute of Critical Thinking83

84 © Institute of Critical Thinking84 Complex thinking for public sector leaders Although different in many aspects, public and private sector leaders focus on value for their customers/clients The customers of the public sector are the citizens to whom services are provided

85 © Institute of Critical Thinking85 Complex thinking for public sector leaders Complex thinking can be used to: –Systematically solve problems by sensing, researching information, scanning the global environment, formulating the problem, finding alternatives, choosing a solution and building acceptance

86 © Institute of Critical Thinking86 Complex thinking for public sector leaders Complex thinking can be used to: –Produce new ideas by designing, imagining and formulating goals –Invent, assess and revise a product

87 © Institute of Critical Thinking87 Complex thinking for public sector leaders Complex thinking can be used to: –Make decisions –Systematically selecting between alternatives by identifying issues, generating alternatives, making choices and evaluating

88 88 XI Learning Community © Institute of Critical Thinking

89 89 Communication for a learning community The defining quality of a learning community is that there is a culture of learning in which everyone is involved in a collective effort of understanding. Chris Dede, Technical Horizons in Education (2004)

90 © Institute of Critical Thinking90 Communication for a learning community The use of technology enhances the capability of complex thinkers to solve problems, formulate new ideas and make sound decisions Learning communities in the educational environment are exposed to knowledge sources embedded in real world settings

91 © Institute of Critical Thinking91 Communication for a learning community The University of the West Indies is presently utilising Moodle as a communications tool to expand the Universitys learning community with on- site academics and students as well as with international scholars.

92 © Institute of Critical Thinking92 Communication for a learning community Facilitates the transfer from the traditional behaviourist model of learning to broader more action-oriented learning Allows the learner to actively participate in the analysis and synthesis of data information, information knowledge and knowledge power

93 © Institute of Critical Thinking93 Communication for a learning community Members of the learning community are masters and creators of their knowledge The transfer of knowledge is creative and assists in the formulation of innovative ideas Technology can be used easily to create, communicate and innovate

94 © Institute of Critical Thinking94 Communication for a learning community The learning community, through the exchange of ideas becomes a tool for development

95 95 XII Motivation, inspiration and team achievement © Institute of Critical Thinking

96 96 XIII Where do we go from here? © Institute of Critical Thinking


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