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Thinking Effectively & Critically


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Thinking Effectively & Critically

Do you wonder what it means to be a critical thinker?

Many of your assignments will require you to use higher level thinking skills. This workshop will help you rewire your brain and more effectively use new information and your current knowledge to maximize your success as a student.

Published in: Education

Thinking Effectively & Critically

  1. 1. What does it mean to be a critical thinker? Thinking Effectively & Critically Presented by Kate Stockton, Learning Coach at NEC
  2. 2. AGENDA •Academic Support - Services & Resources •Understand the complexity of thinking critically •Improve critical thinking skills •Learn to apply critical thinking in everyday life •Questions? (Stop me and ask throughout) •Upcoming Workshops
  3. 3. Learning Coaches & Content Tutors • One-to-one appointments in person or via phone, e-mail, Internet, etc. • Workshops (online & onsite) • Small group assistance (online & onsite) • Online Content Area Tutoring – Smarthinking ( Online Support •For Academic Support Information & Materials Available 24/7 Online go to •A self-paced or credit-bearing study & resources - • On Facebook - NEC Academic Support & Student Services Academic Support @ NEC Services & Resources Helping You Connect the Pieces for Academic Success
  4. 4. What is a learning coach? A learning coach is someone who provides academic support to students in one-on-one or small group settings in all areas of the writing process and related study skills strategies including time management, organization, reading efficiency, developing a study plan, goal setting, critical thinking, library research skills, note-taking, and learning styles. Sarah Spence-Staulters is located in Latham working with Schenectady & Latham/Albany students Her hours are: Mondays – 3pm- 7:30pm Wednesdays – 3:00pm-7:30pm Fridays - 9am- 4pm Contact Sarah to make an appointment : (518) 783-6203 ext 5992 or ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kate Stockton is located in Latham working with Johnstown & Latham/Albany students Her hours are: Mondays - 4:00pm-7:30pm Wednesday - 4:00pm-7:30pm Thursdays - 4:00pm-8:00pm Contact Kate to make an appointment : (518) 783-6203 ext 5992 or Mary Sanders-Shartle is located in Saratoga working with Saratoga & Queensbury students Her hours are: Mondays – 12pm-2pm Wednesdays – 3pm-6pm Thursdays 4pm-6pm Contact Mary to make an appointment : (518) 587-2100 ext 2827 or ________________________________________________________________ Meet the Learning Coaches
  5. 5. The Pieces of Academic Success Time Management Effective Thinking Goal Setting Understanding Learning Styles Developing a Study Plan Active Reading WritingCritical Thinking Academic Research Stress Management
  6. 6. Critical Thinking Purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which manifests itself in reasoned consideration of evidence, context, methods, standards, and conceptualizations in deciding what to believe or what to do. The Delphi Report: Executive Summary: (1990), The California Academic Press, or ERIC Doc ED315 423
  7. 7. Critical Thinking Everybody “thinks” – it’s just that some people think “better” than others; their thinking is more insightful, sophisticated, and profound…Critical thinkers are people who have developed thoughtful and well- founded beliefs that guide their choices in every area of their lives. In order to develop the strongest and most accurate beliefs possible, you need to become aware of your own biases, explore situations from many different perspectives, and develop sound reasons to support your points of view. These abilities are the tools you need to become more enlightened and reflective – a “critical thinker.” Chaffee, J. (1998). The Thinker’s Way: 8 Steps to a Richer Life. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company.
  8. 8. Critical Thinking Thinking is an art, with its own purposes, standards, principles, rules, strategies, and precautions. And it is an art well worth learning, for every important thing we do is affected by our habits of mind. Thinking is a purposeful mental activity over which we exercise some control. Control is the key word…Thinking is any mental activity that helps formulate or solve a problem, make a decision, or fulfill a desire to understand. It is a searching for answers, a reaching for a meaning. - Vincent Ryan Ruggiero, The Art of Thinking: A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought
  9. 9. Critical Thinking Critical thinking: • A productive and positive activity • Includes identifying and challenging assumptions • Exploring and imagining alternatives • A process, not an outcome • It is not passive. • Manifestations depend on context • Triggered by positive as well as negative events • Involves alternating phases of analysis and action • Combines reflective analysis and informed action • Is emotive as well as rational COMPONENTS of Critical Thinking • Identifying and challenging assumptions • Challenging the importance of context • Imagining and exploring alternatives • Reflective skepticism -Brookfield, Stephen D. (1987). Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting
  10. 10. Skills Dispositions Critical Thinking is about being Able & Willing to THINK CRITICALLY
  11. 11. Thinking as a SKILL & DISPOSITION Thinking is a skill that can be improved by training, by practice, and through learning how to do it better. Thinking is no different from any other skill and we can get better at the skill of thinking if we have the will to do so. - Edward DeBono, Thinking Course
  12. 12. A THINKING METAPHOR The performance of a car does not depend on the horsepower of the car, but upon the skill with which the car is driven by the driver. So, if intelligence is the horsepower of the car, then “thinking” is the skill with which that horsepower is used. Intelligence is a potential. Thinking is an operating skill. Thinking is the operating skill through which intelligence acts upon experience - Edward DeBono Thinking Course, p. 2
  13. 13. Characteristics of Strong Critical Thinkers (from Vincent Ruggiero, Beyond Feelings, A Guide to Critical Thinking): • Critical Thinkers... "Are honest with themselves, acknowledging what they don't know, recognizing their limitations, and being watchful of their own errors." • Critical Thinkers... "Regard problems and controversial issues as exciting challenges." • Critical Thinkers... "Strive for understanding, keep curiosity alive, remain patient with complexity and ready to invest time to overcome confusion." • Critical Thinkers... "Set aside personal preferences and base judgments on evidence, deferring judgment whenever evidence is insufficient. They revise judgments when new evidence reveals error." • Critical Thinkers... "Are interested in other people's ideas, so are willing to read and listen attentively, even when they tend to disagree with the other person." • Critical Thinkers... "Recognize that extreme views (whether conservative or liberal) are seldom correct, so they avoid them, practice fair-mindedness, and seek a balanced view." • Critical Thinkers... "Practice restraint, controlling their feelings rather than being controlled by them, and thinking before acting."
  14. 14. Critical thinking is about understanding, analyzing and evaluating “texts” in order to comprehend, judge accuracy, & relevancy. UNDERSTANDING ANALYZING EVALUATING
  15. 15. Mental Muscle Activity #1 Making Pictures
  16. 16. What Do You See
  17. 17. How Old Is this Woman?
  18. 18. NOSE EYE
  19. 19. CHIN EAR
  20. 20. Processing INFORMATION - Ink Blot Picture
  21. 21. QUADRANTS
  22. 22. DON QUIXOTE Pablo Picasso's black on white drawing of Don Quixote
  23. 23. DALMATION
  25. 25. SNOWMAN
  26. 26. ARCHIPELAGO - ISLANDS The Dahlak Archipelago is an island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea. The Archipelago of Albion
  27. 27. Input & Mathematical Schema Each numeral is made up of small line segments. MOVE ONLY ONE SEGMENT to make the math correct.
  28. 28. Input & Mathematical Schema Each numeral is made up of small line segments. MOVE ONLY ONE SEGMENT to make the math correct.
  29. 29. Bloom’s Taxonomy KNOWLEDGE - Student recalls or recognizes information, ideas, and principles in the approximate form in which they were learned. COMPREHENSION - Student translates, comprehends, or interprets information based on prior learning. APPLICATION - Student selects, transfers, and uses data and principles to complete a problem or task with a minimum of direction. ANALYSIS - Student distinguishes, classifies, and relates the assumptions, hypotheses, evidence, or structure of a statement or question. SYNTHESIS - Student originates, integrates, and combines ideas into a product, plan or proposal that is new to him or her. EVALUATION - Student appraises, assesses, or critiques on a basis of specific standards and criteria.
  30. 30. Critical Thinking Process Analysis Evaluation Understanding Outcome Input
  31. 31. INPUT The actual “text” and purpose for “reading” & What you bring to the critical thinking process The Text • “The Assignment” • “The Reading” • “The Lecture” • “The Movie” • “The Conversation” Personal Characteristics • Your Learning Style • Your Experience • Your Attitude • Your Filter • Your Schema/Prior Knowledge
  32. 32. Analysis Evaluation Understanding Outcome Input
  33. 33. UNDERSTANDING The meaning you gain/make as you “read” the “text” Your comprehension -of the “text” What is “understanding”? • Knowing what needs to be known and why/what will be done with the information • Activated Schema • “Thinking” • Comprehending – Key Issues/ Main Points • Summarizing in your own words Strategies for how to get it Activating Schema SQ3R Says/Does Summarizing Note Taking Graphic Organizing
  34. 34. Analysis Evaluation Understanding Outcome Input
  35. 35. How you piece together the significance and organization of the parts of the text ANALYSIS What is “analysis” • Identify the Elements, Relationships and Organization of the “text” • Know the Parts of the “text” • Look for the relationships between ideas • Interpretation Strategies for how to do it Context Clues Association with Schema Says/Does Outlining Graphic Organizing/Mindmapping PTR2 Interpretation of Intent/Facts
  36. 36. Analysis Evaluation Understanding Outcome Input
  37. 37. How you judge the quality and make decisions based on the evidence, structure, and logic of the reading EVALUATION What it is • Assess merits of the argument • EFFECTIVENESS • Draw conclusions • Critique the structure, content, or implications • Generate possible solutions • Look for logical fallacies Strategies for how to do it Outlining Graphic Organizing PTR2 Interpretation of Intent/Facts
  38. 38. EXAMPLES of Ways to Read and Discuss Text From: Consider the following nursery rhyme... Mary had a little lamb, Its fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went The lamb was sure to go. What A Text Says talks about the topic of the original text, Mary and the lamb. Mary had a lamb that followed her everywhere. What A Text Does talks about the story. The nursery rhyme describes a pet that followed its mistress everywhere. What a Text Means talks about meaning within the story, here the idea of innocent devotion. An image of innocent devotion is conveyed by the story of a lamb's close connection to its mistress. The devotion is emphasized by repetition that emphasizes the constancy of the lamb's actions ("everywhere"…"sure to go.") The notion of innocence is conveyed by the image of a young lamb, "white as snow." By making it seem that this connection between pet and mistress is natural and good, the nursery rhyme asserts innocent devotion as a positive relationship.
  39. 39. Mental Muscle Activity #2
  40. 40. Flower Show Jasmine, Rose, and Lily each had an entry in the county fair's flower competition. Coincidentally, the flowers they entered were a jasmine, a rose, and a lily, but not in that order--in fact, none of the three competitors entered her namesake flower. If, in addition, you know that Jasmine did not enter a rose, can you figure out which flower each woman entered?
  41. 41. Flower Show -- ANSWER KEY Person Flower Jasmine Rose Lily Jasmine yes Rose yes Lily yes
  42. 42. Raining Cats and Dogs Belly Button
  43. 43. Sunny Side Up Talent Show
  44. 44. PTR2 roblem hesis easons esults P T R R INTRO= = BODY = Conclusion
  45. 45. Summary of Critical Thinking • It’s a process • You can improve it • Embrace the challenge Input Understanding Analysis Evalutation Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge 1. Consider the problem 2. Evaluate your options 3. Gather more information 4. Determine your answer
  46. 46. Fun Websites to Boost your Brain Power • • •
  47. 47. Fall 2010 Workshop Schedule Sept. 20 Start the Term Right 27 Time Management 29 Start the Term Right Oct. 4 Navigating the ESC Websites 6 Critical Thinking 8 Introduction Library Skills ( 10am-11am ) 13 Navigating the ESC Websites 14 Time Management 18 Critical Thinking 20 Reading More Efficiently 25 Leveraging Your learning Style 28 Unblock the Writing Experience Nov. 1 Reading more Efficiently 3 3 Introduction to Library Skills 8 Unblocking the Writing Experience 17 Stress Management 19 Time Management (10am-11am) 22 Resume and Cover Letter Writing Dec. 1 Stress Management 6 Ending the Term Right 8 Ending the Term Right 9 Writing a Rational Essay 13 Stress Management 20 Resume and Cover Letter Writing
  48. 48. Please give us your feedback at: Thank you for attending tonight's workshop If you would like to view this worship again to refresh your memory or just for fun please visit: