CRITICAL THINKING is thinking about things in certain ways so as to arrive at the best possible solution in the circumstances that the thinker is aware of. In more everyday language, it is a way of thinking about whatever is presently occupying your mind so that you come to the best possible conclusion.
This is my last of FOUR posts on the subject of CRITICAL THINKING with the three previous posts accessible here, and entitled:
- Ways To Develop Critical Thinking Skills Among Our Children & Adults Alike
- How Can Critical Thinking Be Central And Beneficial To High School Students, And Adults Alike?
- Amazing Ideas On Training Reasoning Skills To Our Students & Children
Experts have come up with a range of critical thinking skills. These skills are used concurrently and there is no one linear process or correct sequence of thinking. The skills are applied in accordance with the nature of the thinking task. Some may well be used in a self-determined sequence, but this requires that students, and adults alike, are independently familiar and confident in the selection and use of these skills.
17 Characteristics Of Critical Thinkers
1. Critical thinkers ask pertinent questions independently.
2. Critical thinkers reason, analyse and weigh statements and arguments.
3. Critical thinkers have a sense of curiosity and wonder, being interested in finding out new information or solutions.
4. Critical thinkers can define criteria for analysing ideas and problems.
5. Critical thinkers are willing to examine beliefs, challenge assumptions and opinions, weigh them against facts (distinguishing between fact, opinion, bias and prejudice).
6. Critical thinkers listen open-mindedly, respectfully and carefully to others, even with opposing points of view so that they are able to give feedback as well as welcoming criticisms of beliefs and assumptions.
7. Critical thinkers suspend judgment until all facts have been gathered and considered.
8. Critical thinkers look for evidence to support assumptions and beliefs.
9. Critical thinkers are able and flexible enough to adjust opinions when new facts are found.
10. Critical thinkers examine problems closely and look for proof.
11. Critical thinkers have the courage to consider ideas that may challenge their own position or beliefs.
12. Critical thinkers are able to identify and reject information that is incorrect or irrelevant.
13. Critical thinkers think independently and are not afraid to disagree with the group opinion.
14. Critical thinkers make assertions based on sound logic and solid evidence. They also base their views on facts and evidence rather than on self-interest.
15. Critical thinkers are able to admit a lack of understanding or information.
16. Critical thinkers love truth and are curious about a wide range of issues.
17. Critical thinkers recognise that critical thinking is a lifelong process of self-assessment and development.
Surely, critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way. People who think critically, consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably and empathically.
You too can be a critical thinker or teach our young ones if you start observing some of the above-mentioned characteristics. Just try applying those characteristics and your mates, and even our students and children will be shocked by the transformation.
Good luck in all your endeavours,
As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL