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Skillzbook: Critical Thinking Masterclass


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We will review the concept of Critical Thinking and advise why it is important in the context of your life and where you are. The objective for you should be to use Critical Thinking as a way to evaluate your life, analyse the results of your current thinking and to come up with new ways of thinking that enable you to have a happier, fuller life, to earn more and to understand life better.

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Skillzbook: Critical Thinking Masterclass

  1. 1. Critical Thinking Masterclass
  2. 2. + What is Critical Thinking?  Critical thinking - the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe  It is the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking  Connect different ideas, to solve problems in a systematic manner and to constructively argue different ideas  Critical thinking - know how to focus on what is relevant  Thoughts create desirable / undesirable outcomes
  3. 3. + Learning Objectives  Define and understand critical thinking  Define and understand creative thinking  Define and understand analytical thinking  Identify and understand different worldviews  Develop contextual awareness of your life  Identify and use different thinking modes  Define and understand systems thinking  Define and solve problems using critical thinking  Making decisions using critical thinking
  4. 4. + Analysis  Analysis is identifying the intended and actual inferential relationships among statements, questions, concepts, descriptions or other forms of representation intended to express beliefs, judgments, experiences, reasons, information or opinions, and identify the sources of these propositions.
  5. 5. + Evaluation  To evaluate or assess is to consider a position or situation, in relation to a predetermined standard. Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of an argument with respect to the credibility of statements or other representations which are accounts, or descriptions of a person’s perception, experience, situation, judgments, belief or opinion; the relevance of these propositions, the logical strengths of inferential relationships among statements, descriptions, questions or other forms of representation and potential imbalance or bias in the cumulative argument (Dwyer, et al., 2015).
  6. 6. + Inference  Gathering of relevant information needed to induce the consequences flowing from data, statements, principles, evidence, judgments, beliefs, opinions, concepts, descriptions, questions or other forms of representation and draw reasonable conclusions or conjecture alternatives (Dwyer, et al., 2015). To infer means to deduct, to get “reason from” a set of facts, circumstances or concepts. To infer is to make decisions based on pre presented facts.
  7. 7. + Argumentation  Critical thinking means weighing up the particular arguments and evidence for and against an idea. You should be able to see why each author has arrived at a particular conclusion and argue why one view point is preferable to another. It involves questioning and reflecting upon ideas. Argumentation is how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning by using civil debate, dialogue, conversation, and persuasion. When arguing, you must support all your ideas with evidence. You cannot simply criticize an idea, concept, belief, you must be able to give the reasoning behind your view and ideas. One way of approaching argumentation is to remain in a “beginners mind” or a “learner mind”.
  8. 8. + Benefits of Critical Thinking  Global competitiveness:  Creativity:  Awareness:  Communication:  Democracy:
  9. 9. + Elements in Body Language  1. How close do they stand to me?  2. Eyes are looking down?  3. Restless hands?  4. Clenched hands?  5.Touching ?  6. Arms Crossed?  7. Closing your eyes?  8. Rubbing your eyes can send mixed messages?
  10. 10. + Self Awareness  What does it mean to be self-aware? Conscious of your own thoughts, both good and bad? Knowing that you have this unending stream of thoughts, emanating from you, but yet, the thoughts are not you? Are you aware of your own fears? Do you know what you are afraid of?
  11. 11. + VABES  Values  Assumptions  Beliefs  Expectations
  12. 12. + Analytical Thinking  Analytical thinking is the way of thinking where we break facts down. We analyse it to determine its strengths and weaknesses. It means to take a problem and break it down into smaller ‘chunks.’ Analytical thinking is handy when one has to solve a mathematical equation, for example.
  13. 13. + Worldviews  A worldview is a theory of the world, used for living in the world. A world view is a mental model of reality — a framework of ideas & attitudes about the world, ourselves, and life, a comprehensive system of beliefs — with answers for a wide range of questions:  What are humans, why we are here, and what is our purpose in life? What are your goals for life? When you make decisions about using time — it's the stuff life is made of:  What are your values and priorities?  What can we know, and how? And with how much certainty?  Does reality include only matter/energy, or is there more?
  14. 14. + African Worldview  The African traditional worldview characterizes itself based on how well the community operates. It is a system whereby the community is supposed to take care of itself, with a set of rules for conduct that are mostly managed by the elders and the chief. This system sees the relationship between community and the individual (Ubuntu) as important. The individual in the community is an essential constituent
  15. 15. + Ideology  An ideology is a set of beliefs that affects your outlook on the world. It is the most closely held set of values and feelings. It is the lens through which we see everything and everybody. In fact, these beliefs are often so close to us that we do not realise that they are there. We simply think that our beliefs are natural and obviously true. Religion is one type of ideology, and religious belief affects a person’s views.
  16. 16. + Contextual Awareness  Have you ever stopped and asked yourself “why am I here? “ I Bet you got no good answers? Do you think you are just here by coincidence? What about the other, more than 6 billion people on the planet? Are we all here by some big coincidence? Ever stopped and wondered, what is it that you are meant to do?
  17. 17. + Think about Thinking  When you think about thinking, it means you become aware of what you are thinking. Are you spending your days worrying? Do you think about people that you hate? Do you think about people that made you angry, stood in your way, did not help you, abused you etc.? If you are, you had better stop it. Yes, stop it, you are wasting time.
  18. 18. + Define the problem…  First of all you have to decide if a problem is really a problem. You need to consider that, maybe the problem is only a problem in your mind? If it is a problem, the first step is to be absolutely clear about what the specific problem is. You need to define the problem in writing.
  19. 19. + Prioritize  In real life, we are encountering many problems at the same time. It is therefore important to prioritise which problem needs your attention first. Do the biggest tasks first and getting it out of the way
  20. 20. + Analyse the problem  Once you have defined the problem, you need to think about it from different perspectives to insure that you understand all the dimensions of the problem. You also need to consider the stakeholders involved and the impact of the problem on them. The best solution is the one that satisfies everyone's interests
  21. 21. + Smart Goals  Set goals for yourself to achieve the ideal situation once you have looked at the problem from different perspectives. S.M.A.R.T. goals are defined as specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound.
  22. 22. + Brainstorming  Brainstorm as many possible solutions as you can. Do not analyse or eliminate any of these solutions now, even if it sounds unrealistic. Identify actions that have been done in the past when faced with similar problems, and how other people you know have dealt with similar situations. Use various sources to brainstorm solutions.
  23. 23. + Analyse the situation  Now that you have brainstormed a list of solutions, you now have to examine each one by identifying the advantages and disadvantages, risks, consequences and likelihood of getting to the ideal situation. Will the solution affect others and how will it affect others?
  24. 24. + Implement  The last step is to implement the solution you have chosen. The important part of this step involves the on-going monitoring of the effectiveness of the solution. Did it solve the problem, has it cause other consequences, etc. If the problem has not been solved, then you start the process again.
  25. 25. + Innovation  Innovation is a new idea, more effective device or process. Innovation can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society.
  26. 26. + Success  Success is achieving personal, financial or career goals. It can also be seen as an individual that has more objects (money or any other desirable item) relative to another individual. Success however, means that an objective was set, and the same objective was reached.
  27. 27. + Habits of Successful people  Rise early - Successful people wake up early to be able to accomplish more in a day  Plan – Successful people plan, have goals, monitor, adjust goals, achieve their goals  Plan is written down  Healthy body, healthy mind – Successful people exercise daily  Don’t procrastinate – Do what you set out to do  Don’t accept everything that is being ‘fed’ to you, learn to question things  Balance – work hard, but play hard. Reward yourself for the hard work  Believe in yourself – Think success, don’t think failure