Presentation on theme: "KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS LESSONS IN CRITICAL THINKING."— Presentation transcript:
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS LESSONS IN CRITICAL THINKING
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Critical thinking skills are vital to well-educated individuals and acquiring this ability should be one of your most important goals inside and outside the class room.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS A broad framework of intellectual rigor is called critical thinking.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Critical thinking skills enable people to evaluate, compare, analyze, critique, and synthesize information.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Knowledge is not a collection of facts, but rather an ongoing process of examining information, evaluating that information, and adding it to your understanding of the world.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Critical thinkers know to keep an open mind- and frequently end by changing their views based on new knowledge.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS You should attempt to consider alternate positions and theories, to participate in class discussions and debates, to interpret what you read and learn, and learn to form your own logical, informed views, even if they are counter to the prevailing views of the moment.
EXAMPLES OF NON-CRITICAL THINKING “I never heard of that before so it must not be true.” “I don’t believe it, therefore it isn’t true.” “That’s not my opinion, so it can’t be right.”
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS The most important goal of most professors for their students is to impart the ability to think critically.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS We know you will probably not become an anthropologist or a biologist, but we want you to be able to critically apply knowledge in your professional and personal life. Yes, really, it’s true!
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS In science, statements can be tested and falsified but they are never proved "true." Rather they can be substantiated by further research and retesting of the data in equal or similar ways. In time, the original relationship of an innovative hypothesis with further testing can lead to an established theory, such as Charles Darwin's theory of descent with modification or Gregor Mendel's law of independent assortment.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Usually, advances in other areas of inquiry will also aid to substantiate the value of a new hypothesis or larger theory. Inadequate hypotheses that do not pass the test of replication, or which are replaced by a more explanatory hypothesis, end by being rejected, such as Jean Baptiste Lamarck's theory of acquired characteristics.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS QUESTIONS TO ASK IN MAKING CRITICAL EVALUATIONS ABOUT ISSUES OR ANY ACADEMIC TOPIC:
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 1. What data are presented? 2. What conclusions are presented, and how are they organized (as tentative hypotheses or as more dogmatic assertions)?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 3. Are these views the individual opinions of the authors, or are they supported by a larger body of research? 4. What are the research findings? Are they adequately documented?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 5. Is the information consistent with information that you already possess? If not, can the inconsistencies be explained?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 6. Are the conclusions (hypotheses) testable? How might one go about testing the various hypotheses that are presented?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 7. If presentation of new research findings is at odds with previous hypotheses (or theories), must these hypotheses now be modified (or completely rejected)?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 8. What were/are the biases of the time when the research was conducted? 9. Are these likely to affect what was/is studied and how it was/is interpreted?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 10. How do your own personal views bias you in interpreting the results? 11. Once you have identified your own biases, are you able to set them aside so as to evaluate the information objectively?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS 12. Are you able to discuss both the pros and cons of a scientific topic in an evenhanded manner?
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS What if you are a poet and not interested in science? Critical thinking skills are used in every life endeavor, work and leisure.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Oh no! There is no escape!
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Those who know how to research the “truth” and substantiate their ideas will succeed over those who lack these skills.
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS For those of you taking Writing Intensive classes or those interested in anthropology, you may want to visit the “Learning Links” on my web page: www.people.vcu.edu/~cturner
KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS A final word of wisdom for critical thinkers- What people think about things depends on where they are sitting.