Role of English
How to Solve It
|Introduction to Critical Thinking:
“Open the door to Thinking Critically”
Learning in a Conceptual Context:
concept: the basic element of thought; an idea; often used specifically for philosophical ideas
context: facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event; overal situation in which learning occurs
Learning as Logical Inquiry:
logical: capable of or reflecting the capability for correct and valid reasoning; based on known statements or events or conditions;
inquiry: a search for knowledge
This course is aimed to help us all become more aware of critical thinking and to practice some of the basic skills needed to practice it well.
Critical Thinking is essential for:
An Introduction to Critical Thinking by Steven D. Schafersman, January, 1991
There is an old saying in English; "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." and so it is in education... To put it another way, all the information I have found on critical thinking has said that a teacher or guide can lead someone to where there was last known to be a water source, and give that person some clues about where it might be found now, but, then that person would have to figure out how to find it and also how to drink from it.
Comments on Critical Thinking
Your objective in this class should be critical thinking using English which will apply no matter what you do in school or your later life. Atatürk was the most notable example of a great Turkish critical thinker. He stressed education because he knew this was the way out of ignorance.
Today, there seems to be a shortage of critical thinkers world wide. Unfortunately, higher education has become a diploma or “paper chase.” Education no longer seems to teach “how to learn” nor does it do a good job of helping young people make the transition from dependent child to independent adult.
I encourage you to ask questions in these classes, to yourself, to your classmates, to me and to your other teachers. Accept nothing we say at face value, ask where did we find this information?, why do we choose to believe what we believe?, how do we come to our conclusions? …and so on
You are the lucky ones. You have an opportunity to take advantage of this time to have fun AND to learn new things, to learn to think better, to learn to be the unique YOU by critically thinking about yourself, your life and all that goes on around you.
However, be careful, critical thinking is dangerous. It forces us to question all of our assumptions including those about our family, our friends, our country, our culture and other important issues we formerly thought were “the truth.” It can be scary or even physically dangerous to engage in serious critical thinking. If you are in tune with yourself but out of step with everyone else you may find rejection rather than acceptance, it is very difficult to be true to oneself.
A critical thinker is a potential threat and may even be considered dangerous to a society. Critical thinkers ask why and are skeptical about...everything! It may be that a workable society or culture can tolerate only a small number of critical thinkers and that learning, internalizing, and practicing scientific and critical thinking may be discouraged by that society.
Critical thinking is the ability to think for one's self and reliably and responsibly make those decisions that affect one's life. Critical thinking is also critical inquiry, meaning that critical thinkers investigate problems, ask questions and pose new answers that challenge the status quo. They discover new information that can be used for good or bad, they question authorities and traditional beliefs, challenge received dogmas and doctrines, and often end up possessing power in society greater than their numbers.
Most people are followers of authority: most do not question, are not curious about, nor do not challenge authority figures who claim special knowledge or insight. Most people, therefore, do not think for themselves, but rely on others to think for them. Most people indulge in wishful, hopeful, and emotional thinking, believing that what they believe is true because they wish it, hope it, or feel it to be true. Most people, therefore, do not think critically.
Our cultures can hold us back from examining too closely many things often thought to be “true” in that culture-for what is “truth”? Socrates is said to have commented: “The unexamined life was not worth living.” Critical thinking forces us to seriously examine our lives..."am I doing the right thing"?
“At his trial in 399BC by the citizens of Athens, Socrates declared that from his incessant questioning, he found his contemporaries spend their lives pursuing various goals -- money, ambition, pleasure, physical security -- without asking themselves if these were important. Unless they raised such a question and seriously sought the answer -- through careful reflection, alert observation and critical arguments -- they would not know if they were doing the right thing. They might be wasting their energy, time and money in useless or even dangerous pursuits.”
For us to help each other we have to be willing to practice critical thinking. This means we need to learn to give and take something called constructive criticism. Criticism, when constructive, is to have good communication, understanding and empathy (concern and understanding for another's situation or feelings)
Once you started to disagree with your parents, openly or not, about ANYTHING you started to become a critical thinker. Being critical does not mean that we have the right to hurt or embarrass someone with sarcasm (often witty language used to convey insults or scorn such as sneering, jesting, or mocking a person, a situation or thing) or destructive words. Cynicism and sarcasm are pessimistic, negative terms.
If you believe in fate or god you might also appreciate that you have been given a brain, free will and the ability to think critically. This great power called critical thinking is meant to be used to probe, to question, to be skeptical about everything so as to find the truth in the best way it can be found. Practicing critical thinking is the only path to the freedom of your mind, without it we might as well be sheep. with our criticism. Being critical is a way of questioning so as to have a better understanding of someone else's point of view, it is trying to see what they see and what they know or believe. Being critical gives you new knowledge through someone else and by practicing criticism and empathy you can come to know yourself better and help you decide if you agree or disagree with other points of view or opinions.
What is it?
Arguments & Claims
Modeling & Questions
*6 Basic Mistakes
*7 Rules Thinking Skills
*Knowledge for Business