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HUM 111 Critical and Creative Thinking Week 1

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Patti Reed

on 13 September 2015

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Transcript of HUM 111 Critical and Creative Thinking Week 1

Critical and Creative Thinking
HUM 111
Week 1

What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is
- not passive "daydreaming"
Critical thinking relies on
Critical thinking is the
by which we test claims and arguments and determine which have merit and which do not. The basic processes of critical thinking are
, and

Ruggiero, 2012
How can we become better critical thinkers?
It is possible to develop your thinking skills with daily practice! Here are nine strategies to get you started - which one will you try first?
Identify your current stage of thinking
Critical Thinkers:
Ask questions
Suspend judgement
Look for biases
Question assumptions
Recognize flaws in their own thinking and that of others
Reach conclusions based on logic and reason
Watch this brief video!
Use wasted time!
We all waste time every day - watching television, stuck in traffic, waiting in lines, etc.
Think about today. How much time did you spend on things of little importance?
That is wasted time that you can use to improve your critical thinking skills!
Elder, L., & Paul, R. (1996). Critical thinking: A stage theory of critical thinking.. Journal Of Developmental Education, 20(2), 34.
Stage One:
The Unreflective Thinker
Unaware of the important role that critical thinking plays in life
Does not see problems inherent in his/her own thinking
Believes that his/her thinking is "just fine"
Stage Two:
The Challenged Thinker
Becoming aware of the importance of thinking skills and problems that come from poor thinking
Begins to understand that his/her thinking is flawed, but cannot identify the problems
Begins to apply intellectual skills inconsistently in his/her thinking
Stage Three:
The Beginning Thinker
Understands that there are flaws in his/her thinking and is willing to commit to taking steps to improve thinking skills
Learning to see the importance of concepts, assumptions, inferences, implications and varied points of view in critical thinking
Beginning to monitor his/her own thoughts for flaws
Receptive to the idea of critiquing his/her own thought, but may be unsure how to do so
Why is Critical Thinking Important?
Stage Four:
The Practicing Thinker
Understands the need for ongoing, systematic practice in thinking skills
Recognizes egocentric thinking in himself and others
Actively monitors her own thinking and can articulate strengths and weaknesses
Begins to internalize good thinking habits
Stage Five:
The Advanced Thinker
has well-developed thinking habits
consistently monitors and critiques his/her own thinking and recognizes when egocentrism is clouding thinking
can identify areas of significant ignorance and prejudice and develop new habits of thought
knows how to assess his/her thinking for clarity, precision, relevance, logicalness and accuracy
Stage Six:
The Accomplished Thinker
Systematically and insightfully monitors and assesses his/her own thinking
Continually reviews thinking strategies and strives for improvement
Consistently demonstrates a high degree of the essential intellectual characteristics: intellectual humility, intellectual integrity, intellectual perseverance, intellectual courage, intellectual empathy, intellectual autonomy, intellectual responsibility and fair-mindedness.
A problem a day
Each day, decide on a problem to work on:
Define the problem
Gather information needed to work on the problem
Analyze and evaluate your options
Choose a strategy to try
Continuously monitor the strategy and be ready to revise it, if needed
Internalize universal
intellectual standards
Each week, work to become more aware of one of the intellectual standards:
Try to improve each of these standards in your reading, your writing, your verbal communication of your thoughts and notice them in those communications from others.
Keep an intellectual journal
Each week, go through the process of recording situations that you care deeply about
Describe the situation - what was going on?
Describe your response - be specific
Analyze your response - why did you respond the way you did? Dig deep beneath the surface
Assess the implications - what would you do differently next time? Why? What did you learn about yourself in the process?
Paul, R. (2000). Critical thinking: Nine strategies for everyday life, Part I. Journal of Developmental Education, 24(1), 40.
Elder, L. (2000). Critical thinking: Nine strategies for everyday life, Part II. Journal of Developmental Education, 24(2), 38.

Reshape your character

Intellectual Humility
Intellectual Courage
Intellectual Perserverance
Intellectual Empathy
Intellectual Integrity
Faith in Reason
For more information on the traits, please see the following resource:
Each month, spend time working to develop your intellectual character
by working on these valuable intellectual traits:
Deal with your Egocentrism
It is human nature to automatically think with a bias in favor of oneself - we all do it!

A good critical thinker learns to recognize when he or she is doing so and replaces egocentric thinking with rational thought.

Try to step outside yourself and view your thoughts from a different perspective

Ask yourself questions to determine if your thinking is rational or egocentric
Redefine the way you see things
Nearly every situation can be viewed in a variety of ways and defined in different ways

Learn to notice how you define situations in positive or negative ways and ask yourself why?

Look for alternative definitions - try to see positives over negatives in every situation

Look at mistakes as opportunities to learn, rather than failures
Get in touch with your emotions
Notice when you experience negative emotions about your thoughts
Ask yourself questions to determine the cause of the negative emotion
Try other ways to think about the situation - for example, try to see the humor in it or ask yourself if it will truly matter a year from now
Analyze group influences on your life
All groups impose some type of conformity on their members. Some "rules" are more obvious than others.
An easy example is the high school peer group - leaders of the group determine what is "cool" and "not cool". Those who do not conform are pressured to change or excluded from the group.
Think about groups to which you belong today - family, friends, political parties, etc. In what ways do these groups influence your thought? How can you make sure that group pressure is not shaping your thinking to the point that you are no longer thinking for yourself, but just "going along with the group"?
Where are you now? How will you begin to further develop your skills?

After viewing this presentation, and reading the assigned readings, I hope that you have a better idea of:
how to define critical thinking
the stage of thinking where you are currently operating
strategies to improve your thinking skills

Please post any questions to the discussion forum so that all students can benefit from the answers
Elder, L. (2000). Critical thinking: Nine strategies for everyday life, Part II. Journal of Developmental Education, 24(2), 38.

Paul, R. (2000). Critical thinking: Nine strategies for everyday life, Part I. Journal of Developmental Education, 24(1), 40.

Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). The art of thinking: A guide to critical and creative thought (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Longman.

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