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Why be critical?

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Derek Jenkins

on 22 September 2014

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Transcript of Why be critical?


1. The vicissitudes of what economists are calling the Knowledge Economy (technical and scientific advances + shorter shelf life).
2. Pressing political concerns. (globalization, recession, war, climate change, etc.)
3. The increasing complexity of interpersonal relationships.
Against the backdrop of a challenging and ever-shifting world, critical thinking skills increase our agency, or ability to understand and affect change, in our professional, political, and personal lives.
What new challenges?
We tend to conflate being critical with being negative, but critical thinking requires more than qualitative feedback, i.e. deciding which movie rules and which movie sucks. Contrary to what passes for criticism, critical thinking is "higher-order" analysis applied to all manner of problems in the world.
Photo by flickr user nerovivo
Critical Thinking...
is unspecified
involves self-regulation
is complex
involves nuanced judgement
finds multiple solutions
uses multiple criteria
is effortful
involves imposing meaning
(Paul, 1995, pp. 282-83)
Works Cited
Powell, W. W., & Snellman, K. (2004). The knowledge
economy. Annual review of sociology, 30, 199-220.
Paul, R. W. (1995). Critical thinking: how to prepare
students for a rapidly changing world. (pp. 282-83).
Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.
Full transcript