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Critical thinking

Thinking about thinking!

Alia Abu-Aisha

on 6 November 2014

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Transcript of Critical thinking

Critical Thinking

What is
Critical Thinking?

Definition :
Why critical thinking
is important?

“Critical thinking is the art of taking charge of your mind. Its value is simple: If we take the charge of our minds, we take charge of our lives.”
Real life
Gathering & assessing
relevant information
Think open-mindedly
Communicate effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems
Asking the Right Questions
Finding solutions and test them using relevant standards
How to think "critically"?
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” – Voltaire
“The Quality of our Thinking is given in the quality of our Questions”.
One methodology that is widely used by decision makers is : de Bono's 6 thinking hats
Look @ the big picture!
Think out-side the box!
Puzzel (2)
Which way is the bus going?!
Commercial (1)
Commercial (2)
Critical Thinking
Creative Thinking

Critical thinking and creative thinking go hand in hand. Creative thinking means generating ideas and processes; critical thinking evaluates those thoughts, allowing for rational decision.
The result is :
Create an effective solution to the problem
Critical Thinking Organization
Critical Thinking
in workplace

What dose their work mean to you?
Please watch this video about Critical thinking
It is essential when thinking critically to clearly distinguish three different kinds of questions:
So how do you think critically to think more creatively?
5 quick tips :
The Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique and the Foundation for Critical Thinking — two sister educational non-profit organizations — work closely together to promote educational reform. They seek to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fair-minded critical thinking.
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
Critical Thinking is simply a method, desire, and process of thinking which improve thinking processes and seek truth. Thinking about our thoughts and seeking to understand how and why we come up with arguments and conclusions is the preoccupation of those that think critically.


Self awareness




We are thinking critically when we
Rely on reason rather than emotion,
Require evidence, ignore no known evidence, and follow evidence where it leads, and
We are concerned more with finding the best explanation than being right analyzing apparent confusion and asking questions.
Weigh the influences of motives and bias,
Recognize our own assumptions, prejudices, biases, or point of view.
We are thinking critically when we:
Recognize emotional impulses, selfish motives, nefarious purposes, or other modes of self-deception.
Evaluate all reasonable inferences
Consider a variety of possible viewpoints or perspectives,
Remain open to alternative interpretations
Accept a new explanation, model, or paradigm because it explains the evidence better, is simpler, or has fewer inconsistencies or covers more data
Accept new priorities in response to a reevaluation of the evidence or reassessment of our real interests, and
Do not reject unpopular views out of hand.
Are precise, meticulous, comprehensive, and exhaustive
Resist manipulation and irrational appeals, and
Avoid snap judgments.
Recognize the relevance and/or merit of alternative assumptions and perspectives
Recognize the extent and weight of evidence
“An effective thinker must be
willing to think and
able to think”.
Critical Thinkers
Non-Critical Thinkers
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
•Critical thinkers are :
, not passive.
They ask questions
. They intentionally apply tactics and strategies to uncover meaning or assure their understanding.

2.Critical thinkers do not take an egotistical view of the world.
They are open to new ideas and perspectives
. They are willing to challenge their beliefs and investigate competing evidence.

3.Critical Thinkers are
naturally skeptical
. They approach texts with the same skepticism and
as they approach spoken remarks.
•Non-critical thinkers are:
. They fail to see linkages and complexities. They fail to recognize related elements.

2.Non-critical thinkers take an egotistical view of the world. They take their facts as the only relevant ones.
They take their own perspective as the only sensible one
. They take their goal as the only valid one.

3.Non-critical thinkers take a simplistic view of the world.
They see things in black and white, as either-or, rather than recognizing a variety of possible understanding
. They see questions as yes or no with no subtleties.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
- Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384-322 BCE)
"The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them."
-Sir William Bragg, Winner of 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics (1862-1942)
"Learning without thought is labor lost;
thought without learning is perilous."
- Confucius, Chinese philosopher (551-479 BCE)
“You are where you are right now because of your best thinking. If you want something different, change your thinking”.
-Tony Rush
Education in critical thinking offers an alternative to a drift toward postmodern relativism, by emphasizing that we can "
facts and opinions
or personal feelings,
judgments and inferences
inductive and deductive arguments
, and the
objective and subjective
." Critical thinking encourages us to recognize that our "rationally justifiable confidence" in
a claim can span a wide range
from feelings to fact and everything in between.
Critical thinking is an important element of all professional fields. Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of critical thinking involves the
careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach a well-justified conclusion.
Critical thinking can
whenever one judges, decides, or solves a problem; in general, whenever one must
figure out
what to believe or what to do, and
do so in a reasonable and reflective way
. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically.

Expressed most generally, critical thinking is
a way of taking up the problems of life
"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."
- Socrates, Greek philosopher (469-399 BCE)
Thank you!
Basic Recall

These are questions that don’t require much thought in answering. Or if you don’t know the answer it can be figured out quickly.

How many calories are in one scoop of Rocky Road ice cream?
What year to Christopher Columbus sail to North America?
What does DNA stand for?

They also have a clearly correct answer and millions of possible incorrect answers…..They function very well to assess
Personal Opinion

These questions are all about how you feel. It can’t be wrong because no one can challenge you with your answer.

What is your favorite ice cream?
What do you love best about your town?
Who was your favorite character?

These are great motivators for discussions because they reflecs
Critical Response

These questions not only require a judgement of some kind, they are also going to require support for that judgement if you are to be taken serious in your response.
What’s really important to understand is that in order to have a TRUE CRITICAL THINKING question, the question itself cannot have a pre-determined “correct answer”.

Did Romeo and Juliet experience true love?
Who was a more influential Renaissance character: Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo? Which historical disease had the most devastating impact on humanity?
How can we best address the most basic and significant economic problems of the nation today?

This kind is a matter of
reasoned judgment
— we can rationally evaluate answers to the question (using universal intellectual standards such as clarity, depth, consistency and so forth).

There is no correct answer
. You cannot say that “No, Romeo and Juliet did not experience true love,” and be wrong. The idea is that you pick a side based on criteria that was set as to what “true love” really is.

Each question needs an element that will require a set of criteria to be established first before you can answer it
. What is true love? What does it mean to be influential? What constitutes a devastating impact? What goes into an economic decision?

The final answer must be JUSTIFIED according to the criteria that was set out to come to an appropriate conclusion.
You can’t just say, “Yes Romeo and Juliet were truly in love,” and leave it at that. You have to explain WHY you think that based on the criteria.
To sum up

In order to have a critical thinking question you need to have the following elements:
Can you find the hidden Tiger in the picture?
How many girls must be there if all but 2 are named Jana, all but 2 are named Sara, and all but 2 are named Laura?
Think about it!
is : 3

The Six Thinking Hats method could then be used in a sequence to first of all
explore the problem
, and then
develop a set of solutions
, and finally
agree on an approach

For instance, a meeting may be called to review a particular problem and to develop a solution for the problem.
Here is an example agenda for a typical six hats workshop:
Step 1: Present the facts of the case.(white Hat)
Step 2: Generate ideas on how the case could be handled (green hat).
Step 3: Evaluate the merits of the ideas:
List the benefits (yellow hat);
List the drawbacks (black hat).
Step 4: Get everybody’s gut feelings about the alternatives (red hat).
Step 5: Summarize and adjourn the meeting (blue hat).
Answer of
Answer of
Puzzle (1)
Little Details Matter
Pay attention to words like ‘may’, ‘can’, and ‘will’.
Question the Authorities
If a piece of content quotes an expert to help support the argument or conclusion, ask questions.
Sweeping Away Statements
Knock down sentences that use words like ‘all’ and ‘everyone’. Not all people do, and not everyone knows. More careful wording such as ‘most’ and ‘some’ pass muster more easily.
Scarecrows and Straw Men
Watch out for fallacies. Fallacies are the tricky smoke and mirrors that divert attention from true critical thinking. There are a ton of fallacies, all built to deflect, detract, divert and discredit arguments without really doing so.
Let Down Your Guard
Your values, emotions, desires and experiences influence your beliefs and your ability to have an open mind. Set them aside and take the time to ponder information you receive wholeheartedly.
“Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better.”
― Richard Paul
Full transcript