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Introduction to Critical Thinking Skills

Definition of critical thinking, core critical thinking skills, asking questions, characteristics of critical thinkers, standard for critical thinkers and exercises.

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Introduction to Critical Thinking Skills

  1. 1. Introduction to Critical Thinking Skills Dr Fariza Hanis Abdul Razak
  2. 2. Learning Outcomes • By the end of the lecture, you will be able to: – Explain the meaning of critical thinking – Describe the process of critical thinking – Apply brainstorming techniques to thinking process – Describe the characteristics of a critical thinker – Highlight the importance of critical thinking for a student
  4. 4. How many triangles are there?
  5. 5. How many squares are there?
  6. 6. Egyptian Maze Start Finish
  8. 8. Exercise 1 • On your way to classes this morning, you saw an accident. What would you do?
  9. 9. Critical Thinking Tools • Blogs and wikis • Comic strips • Mindmapping & brainstorming • Infographics • Videos and audios • Games • Digital storytelling • Creative writing
  10. 10. Free Mind Map Tools FreeMind
  11. 11. 10 Best Free Infographic Makers • Pictochart • • Many Eyes • • • Tableau • TimeLineJS • ChartsBin • Kinzaa • Google developers
  12. 12. Exercise 2 • Imagine that you live in a world that has only 20 words. What are those words? • Instructions: – You can only use these words to express yourself. – You can repeatedly use these words, but not other words that you did not suggest earlier.
  13. 13. Exercise 3 - Tour Guide for an Alien • Pretend that you have been assigned the task of conducting a tour for aliens who are visiting earth and observing human life. You're riding along in a blimp, and you float over a football stadium. One of your aliens looks down and becomes very confused, so you tell him that there is a game going on.
  14. 14. Try to answer these questions: 1. What is a game? 2. Why are there no female players? 3. Why do people get so passionate watching other people play games? 4. What is a team? 5. Why can't the people in the seats just go down on the field and join in?
  15. 15. What is Critical Thinking? • Thinking and judging for yourself • You will learn to evaluate information that you hear and process information that you collect honestly and without the assumptions that we carry around. • You will analyze the evidence that is presented to you in order to make sure it is sound.
  16. 16. Skill #1: Interpretation • What it Means: Having the ability to understand the information you are being presented with and being able to communicate the meaning of that information to others.
  17. 17. Exercise Skill #1 • Write down 10 emotions you feel can be paired with facial expressions, e.g. smiling equals happiness. • Then give your list to a friend and ask them to randomly recreate each facial expression as you attempt to interpret the correct emotion simply by looking at their face. • How many can you correctly identify? • The answers: cial_emotions.htm
  18. 18. Skill #2: Analysis What it Means: Having the ability to connect pieces of information together in order to determine what the intended meaning of the information was meant to represent.
  19. 19. Exercise Skill #2 • Try to determine the meaning behind this Malay Proverb: “Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi.”
  20. 20. Skill #3: Inference • What it Means: Having the ability to understand and recognize what elements you will need in order to determine an accurate conclusion or hypothesis from the information you have at your disposal.
  21. 21. Exercise Skill #3 • Try watching an episode of a weekly crime show. Focus on absorbing the clues in an effort to determine the mystery of who completed the crime during the episode.
  22. 22. Skill #4: Evaluation • What it Means: Being able to evaluate the credibility of statements or descriptions of a person’s experience, judgment or opinion in order to measure the validity of the information being presented.
  23. 23. Exercise Skill #4 • cise.cfm
  24. 24. Skill #5: Explanation • What it Means: Having the ability to not only restate information, but add clarity and perspective to the information, so it can be fully understood by anyone you are sharing it with.
  25. 25. Exercise Skill #5 • Explain what is IT to: – A 4 year-old kid – A 70 year-old grandma
  26. 26. Skill #6: Self-Regulation • What it Means: Having the awareness of your own thinking abilities and the elements that you are using to find results. • It’s important to be able to separate your own personal biases or self-interests when making decisions at work.
  27. 27. Exercise Skill #6 • List 5 reasons why you deserve to get an A+ for this course. • After you complete your reasons, read through each and focus on identifying your own potential biases that may impact your argument.
  29. 29. Critical Thinking Standards (CTS) • Clarity • Accuracy • Precision • Relevance • Depth • Breadth • Logic • Fairness
  30. 30. CTS - Clarity • Could you elaborate further on that point? • Could you express that point in another way? • Could you give me an illustration? • Could you give me an example?
  31. 31. CTS – Accuracy • Is that really true? • How could we check that? • How could we find out if that is true?
  32. 32. CTS – Precision • Could you give more details? • Could you be more specific?
  33. 33. CTS – Relevance • How is that connected to the question? • How does that bear on the issue?
  34. 34. CTS – Depth • How does your answer address the complexities in the question? • How are you taking into account the problems in the question? • Is that dealing with the most significant factors?
  35. 35. CTS – Breadth • Do we need to consider another point of view? • Is there another way to look at this question? • What would this look like from a conservative standpoint? • What would this look like from the point of view of...?
  36. 36. CTS – Logic • Does this really make sense? • Does that follow from what you said? • How does that follow? • But before you implied this and now you are saying that; how can both be true?
  37. 37. CTS – Fairness Critical thinking demands that our thinking be fair. • Open-minded • Impartial • Free of distorting biases and preconceptions
  38. 38. Some Barriers to Critical Thinking • Lack of relevant background information • Poor reading skills • Poor listening skills • Bias • Prejudice • Superstition • Egocentrism • Socio-centrism • Peer pressure • Distrust of reason • Stereotyping • Relativistic thinking • Wishful thinking • Short-term thinking • Selective perception / attention • Selective memory • Overpowering emotions • Self-deception • Fear of change
  39. 39. Why is critical thinking important to students?
  40. 40. Benefits of Critical Thinking • Academic Performance – understand the arguments and beliefs of others – Critically evaluating those arguments and beliefs – Develop and defend one's own well-supported arguments and beliefs. • Workplace – Helps us to reflect and get a deeper understanding of our own and others’ decisions – Encourage open-mindedness to change – Aid us in being more analytical in solving problems • Daily life – Helps us to avoid making foolish personal decisions. – Promotes an informed and concerned citizenry capable of making good decisions on important social, political and economic issues. – Aids in the development of autonomous thinkers capable of examining their assumptions, dogmas, and prejudices.