Presentation on theme: "CRITICAL READING AND THINKING BBI 3420 Semester 1 2008/09 Dr. Zalina Mohd. Kasim."— Presentation transcript:
CRITICAL READING AND THINKING BBI 3420 Semester 1 2008/09 Dr. Zalina Mohd. Kasim
Critical Reading and Thinking Critical Thinking (CT) - CT is mainly concerned with critical analysis of examination and evaluation of actual or potential beliefs, action or information. - For example, according to history Yap Ah Loy discovered Kuala Lumpur. If we were to apply some CT skills, we may ask: 1. How do we know? 2. What are the grounds for believing that? 3. If there are documents to substantiate the claim, what evidence is there? Are they relevant or sound?
Let’s look at another example: Should all school principals be allowed to serve for more than 5 years in any school? 1. What are the arguments for and against? 2. Are there ethical issues involved? 3. If so, what are they? These examples illustrate the fact that when we think critically, we: 4 Aim at critical judgement about what to accept as reasonable or what is it we should do. That is, how do we explain our reaction; 4 Use standards that themselves are the results of critical reflection in making these judgements;
Critical Thinking skills are the skills of processing information in a productive way to get useful results. 4 If you merely possess a great deal of information but can’t handle it effectively and get useful results from it, you’re nothing more than a database. 4 What humans can do and machines still cannot do is reason intelligently. That skill is what will make you a valuable asset in any capacity other than performing mindless, mechanical tasks.
The skills we will develop are general- purpose, interdisciplinary skills. 4 They are expected or required in most disciplines and in virtually any job or career that requires a college degree. They are not specifically designed for social sciences, physical sciences, art, the humanities, business, medicine, or law. Rather, these skills are highly valued in all these areas, because they are the basic skills of creative problem-solving and effective decision-making.
Learning from your mistakes is definitely part of critical thinking. 4 Failing to learn from your mistakes (making the same mistake over and over) is surprisingly common among us wacky humans and is definitely a lapse in critical thinking. 4 A master critical thinker will not only learn from his or her own mistakes but will also learn from careful observation of other people’s mistakes and, of course, from instruction.
A Critical Thinker values the following intellectual standards 4 Clarity 4 Precision 4 Accuracy 4 Relevance 4 Consistency 4 “Skeptical” habits of mind (i.e., a cautious approach to belief and evidence) 4 *Intellectual integrity 4 *Finding Common Ground (for argument to progress) 4 You can probably think of some other terms that belong on this list
Uncritical thinkers 4 reject the values of critical thinking, 4 fall prey to the obstacles to critical thinking, 4 see little value in critical thinking, pretend they know more than they do, 4 ignore or lack awareness of their limitations, 4 are closed-minded and resist criticisms, are easily distracted from the essence of an issue or problem, 4 fear and resist challenging ideas, 4 are relatively indifferent to the truth, 4 lack curiosity, 4 and are intellectually lazy.
Critical Thinking Analysing Justifying Arriving at some conclusions
So then, what is a critical thinker? According to Diestler (2001: 1), ‘a critical thinker understands the structure of argument, whether that argument is presented by a politician, a salesperson, a talk show host, a friend, or a child.
In addition, a critical thinker ‘recognises the issue under discussion and the varying conclusions about the issue.’ She goes on to add that a critical thinker must also be able to ‘examine the reasons given to support conclusions.’ - Seek and gather reliable information to use as evidence or reasons in supporting these judgements. (Source: Swartz and Perkins, 1990: 37 - 38)
Is critical thinking similar to creative thinking?
Thinking creatively 4 Thinking creatively means viewing problems or questions in novel, unusual, or untypical ways. 4 It means looking at things from a different perspective, "seeing" in ways that are not bound by custom, norms, or habit.
Thinking creatively 4 Draw a circle ( or a square, or a triangle, or a squiggly line, etc.) on a piece of paper or a blackboard. Given five minutes, list all the things that you can think of that this picture could represent. 4 Imagine that you own a very valuable diamond that you refuse to turn over to a bank or other agency for safekeeping. Where would you hide it so that it is difficult for anyone to find it?
4 What kind of information am I seeking from you? 4 How do you prepare or devise your questions based on what you read? 4 Are you a passive reader, a reflective reader, a critical and interactive reader? THINKING CRITICALLY
In other words, do you read, think, reflect, question, interact with the text? Do you use an in depth approach to reading? Or do you just read the text straight through? Thus, using the ‘on the surface’ reading strategy.