13 1.3 What is Critical Thinking? WARNING: THIS MAN IS NOT THINKING CRITICALLY!!Source:
14 1.3 What is Critical Thinking? (2) “Critical thinking consists of a mental process of analyzing or evaluating information, particularly statements or propositions that people have offered as true. It forms a process of reflecting upon the meaning of statements, examining the offered evidence and reasoning, and forming judgments about the facts.”– Wikipedia“Critical thinking is 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. “- Michael Scriven & Richard PaulMore Definitions…
15 1.3 What is Critical Thinking? (3) Critical Thinking is the general term given to a wide range of cognitive and intellectual skills needed to:Effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments.Discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases.Formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions.Make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.
16 1.3 What is Critical Thinking? (4) Don’t need to memorize definitions! Just understand and practice the core critical thinking skills emphasized in this course.CriticalThinkingAnalyzingEvaluatingReasoningProblem SolvingDecision MakingAnalyzingComparing and contrastingClassification/definitionDetermining parts-whole relationshipsSequencingFinding reasons and conclusionsUncovering assumptionsEvaluationAssessing basic informationDetermining the reliability of sourcesDetermining the accuracy of sourcesWell-founded inferencesThe use of evidenceDeductionDecision MakingWhat makes a decision necessary?What are my options?What are the likely consequences of each option?How important are the consequences?Which option is best in light of the consequences?Monitor and review your decision and ask, are there any necessary adjustments?Problem SolvingWhat is the Problem?What Are the Alternatives?What Are the Advantages and/or Disadvantages of Each Alternative?What Is the Solution?How Well Is the Solution Working?ReasoningThe type of thinking that uses arguments - reasons in support of conclusions to decide, explain, predict, and persuade.RightLeft
17 1.3 What is Critical Thinking? (5) SKILLSAnalyzingReasoningEvaluatingDecision MakingProblem SolvingAnalyzing (Module 1-7)Comparing and contrastingClassification/definitionDetermining parts-whole relationshipsSequencingFinding reasons and conclusionsUncovering assumptionsEvaluation (Module 1-7)Assessing basic informationDetermining the reliability of sourcesDetermining the accuracy of sourcesWell-founded inferencesThe use of evidenceDeductionDecision Making (Module 2, 6 & 7)What makes a decision necessary?What are my options?What are the likely consequences of each option?How important are the consequences?Which option is best in light of the consequences?Monitor and review your decision and ask, are there any necessary adjustments?Problem Solving (Module 2 & 7)What is the Problem?What Are the Alternatives?What Are the Advantages and/or Disadvantages of Each Alternative?What Is the Solution?How Well Is the Solution Working?Reasoning (Module 1-7)The type of thinking that uses arguments - reasons in support of conclusions to decide, explain, predict, and persuade.
19 1.4 Critical Thinking Standards (CTS) The most significant critical (intellectual) thinking standards:ClarityAccuracyPrecisionRelevanceDepthBreadthLogicFairnessUniversal intellectual (Critical) standards are standards which must be applied to thinking whenever one isinterested in checking the quality of reasoning about a problem, issue, or situation. To help students learnthem, teachers should pose questions which probe student thinking, questions which hold studentsaccountable for their thinking, questions which, through consistent use by the teacher in the classroom,become internalized by students as questions they need to ask themselves. The ultimate goal, then, is forthese questions to become infused in the thinking of students, forming part of their inner voice, whichthen guides them to better and better reasoning. While there are a number of universal standards, thefollowing are the most significant:(Source:
20 Clarity is the gateway standard Could you elaborate further on that point?Could you express that point in another way?Could you give me an illustration?Could you give me an example?Clarity is the gateway standard. If a statement is unclear, we cannot determine whether it is accurate or relevant. In fact, we cannot tell anything about it because we don't yet know what it is saying.Help you I can, yes.Clarity is the gateway standardSource:
21 1.4 – Accuracy Is that really true? How could we check that? How could we find out if that is true?This chicken weighs over 300 pounds.Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.A statement can be clear but not accurate, as in “This chicken weighs over 300 pounds."A statement can be clear but not accurateSource:
22 A statement can be both clear and accurate, 1.4 – PrecisionCould you give more details?Could you be more specific?Yao Ming is TALL!A statement can be both clear and accurate, but not precise, as in “Yao Ming is tall!" (We don't know howTall Yao Ming is. E.g. Precise = Yao Ming is 2.29 (7-6) meters tall. )Size matters not.A statement can be both clear and accurate,but not preciseSource:
23 1.4 – Relevance How is that connected to the question? How does that bear on the issue?I studied hard all semester, therefore I should get A+.You must unlearn what you have learned.A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise, but not relevant to the question at issue. For example,students often think that the amount of effort they put into a course should be used in raising their gradein a course. Often, however, the "effort" does not measure the quality of student learning, and when thisis so, effort is irrelevant to their appropriate grade.A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise,but not relevant to the question at issue.Source:
24 1.4 – DepthHow does your answer address the complexities in the question?How are you taking into account the problems in the question?Is that dealing with the most significant factors?A statement can be clear, accurate, precise, and relevant, but superficial (that is, lack depth). For example,the statement "Just say No" which is often used to discourage children and teens from using drugs, isclear, accurate, precise, and relevant. Nevertheless, it lacks depth because it treats an extremely complexissue, the pervasive problem of drug use among young people, superficially. It fails to deal with thecomplexities of the issue.Grave danger you are in. Impatient you are.A statement can be clear, accurate,precise, and relevant, but superficial.Source:
25 1.4 – Breadth Do we need to consider another point of view? Is there another way to look at this question?What would this look like from a conservative standpoint?What would this look like from the point of view of...?You got 0 marks for “Participation”, because you didn’t participate in the class discussion at all.Headache!!!A line of reasoning may be clear accurate, precise, relevant, and deep, but lack breadth (as in an argumentfrom either teacher or student standpoint which gets deeply into an issue, but only recognizes theinsights of one side of the question.)That is why you fail.A line of reasoning may be clear, accurate,precise, relevant, and deep, but lack breadth.Source:
26 1.4 – Logic Does this really make sense? Does that follow from what you said?How does that follow?But before you implied this and now you are saying that; how can both be true?Superman sees through anything.Superman sees through walls.Superman sees through You.When we think, we bring a variety of thoughts together into some order. When the combination ofthoughts are mutually supporting and make sense in combination, the thinking is "logical." When thecombination is not mutually supporting, is contradictory in some sense, or does not "make sense," thecombination is not logical.May the force be with you.When the combination of thoughts aremutually supporting and make sense in combination,the thinking is "logical.“Source:
27 Fair-mindedness is an essential attribute of a Critical Thinker. 1.4 – FairnessCritical thinking demands that our thinking be fair.Open-mindedImpartialFree of distorting biases and preconceptionsDifficult to achieve, but you must try!Fair-mindedness is an essentialattribute of a Critical Thinker.Source:
30 1.6 Barriers to Critical Thinking If Critical Thinking is so important, why is it that uncritical thinking is so common?Why is that so many people including many highly educated and intelligent people find critical thinking so difficult?The reasons are quite complex.
31 1.6 Barriers to Critical Thinking Common BarriersLack of relevant background informationPoor reading skillsPoor listening skillsBiasPrejudiceSuperstitionEgocentrismSocio-centrismPeer pressureMindless ConformismMindless non-conformismProvincialismNarrow-mindednessClosed-mindednessDistrust of reasonStereotypingUnwarranted assumptions and stereotypesRelativistic thinkingScapegoatingRationalizationWishful thinkingShort-term thinkingSelective perception / attentionSelective memoryOverpowering emotionsSelf-deceptionFace-savingFear of changeThe reasons are quite complex.
32 1.6 Barriers to Critical Thinking Five Powerful Barriers to Critical Thinking:I am probably the greatest thinker since Socrates!Self-centered thinkingself-interested thinkingself-serving biasGroup-centered thinkingGroup biasConformismBeliefs that are presumed to be true without adequate evidence or justificationAssumptionStereotypingBelieving that something is true because one wishes it were true.The truth is “just a matter of opinion”RelativismSubjectivismCultural relativismEgocentrismSociocentrismUnwarrantedAssumptionsWishfulThinkingRelativisticThinking
34 1.7 Characteristics of a Critical Thinker Are you OPEN MINDED about other people’s view?Are you HONEST to yourself (or others) when you are wrong?Do you have the COURAGE and PASSION to take initiative and confront problems and meet challenges?Are you AWARE of your own biases and preconceptions?Do you WELCOME CRITICISM from other people?Do you have INDEPENDENT opinions and are not afraid to disagree?The Force,I sense is with you.
35 1.7 Characteristics of a Critical Thinker Critical ThinkersUncritical ThinkersHave a passionate drive for clarity, precision, accuracy, relevance, consistency, logicalness, completeness, and fairness.Often think in ways that are unclear, imprecise, inaccurate, etc.Are sensitive to ways in which critical thinking can be skewed by egocentrism, sociocentrism, wishful thinking, etc.Often fall prey to egocentrism, sociocentrism, wishful thinking, etc.Are intellectually honest with themselves, acknowledging what they don’t know and recognizing their limitations.Pretend they know more than they do and ignore their limitations.Listen open-mindedly to opposing points of view and welcome criticisms of beliefs and assumptions.Are close-minded and resist criticisms of beliefs and assumptions.Base their beliefs on facts and evidence rather than on personal preference or self-interest.Often base their beliefs on mere personal preference or self interest.Are aware of the biases and preconceptions that shape the way they perceive the world.Lack awareness of their own biases and preconceptions.Think independently and are not afraid to disagree with group opinion.Tend to engage in ‘group think’, uncritically following the beliefs and values of the crowd.Are able to get to the heart of an issue or problem, without being distracted by details.Are easily distracted and lack the ability to zero in on the essence of a problem or issue.Have the intellectual courage to face and assess fairly ideas that challenge even their most basic beliefs.Fear and resist ideas that challenge their basic beliefs.Love truth and curious about a wide range of issues.Are often relatively indifferent to truth and lack of curiosity.Have the intellectual perseverance to pursue insights or truths, despite obstacles or difficulties.Tend to preserve when they encounter intellectual obstacles or difficulties.
36 Group ActivityBreak into groups of 4-5, and then discuss, identify and rank the Top 10 characteristics/traits/behaviours of an EXCELLENT:LECTURERSTUDENTChoose one member of your group to take notes and be the group reporter.Dr. Yoda was an excellent teacher, because he engaged our mind, had activities, etc.10 minBrainstorm together and identify 10 characteristics for each item above.(e.g. try to remember the best lecturer(s) you have ever had and then identify their characteristics…). .5 minPrioritize and rank the chosen characteristics of each item above according to importance (e.g. Top 10).15 minGroup presentation & discussion-The Group reporter must submit their findings in hard copy format after the class.
37 Summary 1. What is Thinking? Thinking is a purposeful, organized cognitive process that we use to make sense of our world.2. Types of ThinkingCreative & Critical Thinking3. What is Critical Thinking?Critical Thinking is the general term given to a wide range of cognitive and intellectual skills needed to: Effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments; Discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases; Formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and Make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do. Critical thinking skills emphasized in this course, include: Reasoning, Analyzing, Evaluating, Decision Making and Problem solving.4. Critical Thinking StandardsClarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, Logic and Fairness5. Benefits of Critical ThinkingAcademic performance, workplace and daily life.6. Barriers to Critical ThinkingExamples include Egocentrism, Sociocentrism, Unwarranted Assumptions, Wishful Thinking, and Relativistic Thinking7. Characteristics of a Critical ThinkerOpen-mindedness, independent thinking, self-aware, passionate, insightful, honest and intellectual humility, intellectual courage, and welcome criticism, etc.