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Critical Thinking

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joel sumnall

on 18 December 2014

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Transcript of Critical Thinking

Applying CT to sport coaching
Ultimately, the best coaches are those who are able to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of players and communicate this knowledge effectively.
" Ryall 2010. Coaches need to think critically in order to improve their athlete/team, leading to greater success. here are a few ways in which a coach should be critical;
Understanding critical thinking
Within critical thinking, there are identifiable skills that can be taught and learned. If academic students learn these skills, and apply them appropriately, they can become better thinkers (Halpern, 1999).
However, there are different thinkers with different methodologies when it comes to learning and understanding critical
Critical thinking can be defined in a number of different ways. Therefore, we should not put a lot of weight on any one definition. However, to get an idea of the concept, here are a few definitions;
Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the intellectual process of skillfully applying, analysing, synthesising, and/or evaluating information gathered from observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, to create a set of evidence and arguments that lead to an action. The quality of the information is based upon values such as; clarity, accuracy, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, depth, and fairness, (Hildenbrand & Schultz 2012).
Critical thinking is an academic style of thought about any subject, content, or
problem, in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her philosophy.
Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better. However, This thought must entail self-improvement in order for it to be classed as intellectual.
"Critical thinking is the art of analysing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it."
Dr. Richard Paul
Halpern, D.F. (1999, Winter). Teaching for critical thinking: Helping college students develop the skills and dispositions of a critical thinker. New Directions for Teaching & Learning, 1999(80), 69-74.

Dr. Richard Paul

Teaching Critical Thinking: Some Lessons From Cognitive Science, Tim van Gelder, College Teaching; Winter 2005; 53, 1

Hildenbrand, K. J., & Schultz, J. A. (2012).
Development of a Rubric to Improve Critical Thinking. Athletic Training Education Journal, 7, 86-94

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2002). Critical thinking: Teaching students how to study and learn (part
II). Journal of Developmental Education, 26(2), 34-35.

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2003). Critical thinking: Teaching students how to study and learn (part
IV). Journal of Developmental Education, 27(1), 36-37.

Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008

Yanchar, S.C., & Slife, B.D. (2004). Teaching critical thinking by examining assumptions.
Teaching of Psychology, 31(2), 85-90.

Critical thinking for sports students by Ryall, Emily. 2010
Learning Matters, (Exeter :) viii, 132 p. 53

Critical thinking, according to Halpern (1999), refers to “
the use of cognitive skills or strategies that increase the

probability of a desirable outcome

Critical thinking accolades
According to
Paul and Elder 2008,
A well cultivated critical thinker will execute these four things;
Raise vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely.
Gather and assess relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively, come to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards.
Think open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences.
Communicate effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
Other theories
To become an effective critical thinker one must consistently practice the skills of critical thinking (De Bono, Van Gelder 2005). Knowing that one should think critically is not enough, and not the same, as actually practicing and improving the skill of critical thinking. For people to improve, they must engage in critical thinking itself. It is not enough to learn about critical thinking alone, just like it is not enough to be exposed to good critical thinking E.g reading or watching, hoping that one will learn from imitation. "These strategies are about as useful as working on your tennis by watching Wimbledon." (Van Gelder 2005)
Yanchar and Slife (2004) believe that students need to be taught the difference between the theoretical and practical and combine the two in a way that allows them to arrive at a solution which they can logically defend.
In contrast to Van Gelder, Halpern (1999) pointed out that students can learn how to think through the use of multiple examples. Students can also practice and refine their critical thinking
skills through the use of case studies (Stier, 1998). McDade (1995) discussed in further detail how case studies contribute to critical thinking.
Setting Goals
Simply wishing for improvement is not enough. the coach and athlete/team must be critical to determine a specific performance objective that is appropriate. This might include gathering relevant information and making conclusions based on previous objectives. Conclusions should also be well reasoned, for example; 'It might be too demanding to push for champions league football this season, considering we only just survived relegation.' By taking past experiences into account and analyzing them in order to make a decision, is critical thinking (Hildenbrand & Schultz 2012).
Improving Performance
To improve an athletes performance, as a coach, one would have to reflect and analyse a/several past performances. In doing so, the coach will identify the problem areas and try to create methods to resolve the issue. Once a conclusion is reached, the theory should be practiced and tested in training. Furthermore, the coach must communicate with the athlete to ensure that they understand the problem and know how to amend it.
The Opposition
Although a sports coach, primarily, is supposed to help an athlete reach their maximum potential. They also have to take the opposition into account, this is what most people forget. Some of the best coaches are the ones that can critically create a strategy that has evolved around the opposition and their weaknesses. Once again the coach must evaluate past performances and try to exploit any weaknesses that the opposition has shown. E.g. 'we should practice playing in a 4-4-2 formation for the upcoming game, the opposition have lost 5 games in a row against this style of play'.
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