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What we want is for you to be able to reflect independently on the exploration we’re about to take on critical thinking, and decide what it means for yourself. “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”—“Critical thinking is a widely accepted educational goal.We’ll provide you with the insights, tools, and resources to help you make your own decisions about how to define it and how to develop it—in yourself, your children, and your learners. Its definition is contested, but the competing definitions can be understood as differing conceptions of the same basic concept: careful thinking directed to a goal.”—“Thoughtful people ponder the meaning of what they learn and the consequences of what they do.
Learning how to think in this manner it isn’t easy—otherwise, everyone would do it.
Nevertheless, it remains one of the most beneficial skills we can impart to our learners.
That’s why critical thinkers act as much with their hearts as they do with their minds.
Opportunities to apply critical thinking skills are all around us every moment.
Developing and improving critical thinking skills is a life study, and one that’s definitely worth pursuing.
In fact, according to all the educators we speak with in our travels, critical thinking skills rank among what they believe to be the most necessary skills for our learners to have for life beyond school.In essence, critical thinkers like to move things forward rather than moving backward or procrastinating.In addition to this, often choices have to be made even when we don’t have all the information we need to make them with confidence.Effective critical thinkers remain tuned into this and are always alert for chances to apply their best thinking habits to any situation.A desire to think critically about even the simplest of issues and tasks indicates a desire for constructive outcomes.Critical thinking also means not taking anything at face value.It means always asking questions and exploring all sides of an issue, and appreciating the deeper facts hiding in everything.As such, those who think critically also tend to be instinctual Many situations that call for critical thinking also call for quick and decisive action.When we think critically we weigh our options and imagine the outcomes in the moment with speed and clarity, and are able to put aside fear when it comes to making decisions.The practice of honesty in critical thinking also extends to how one looks within oneself to embrace what resides there.It takes into account the processes behind managing our emotions, controlling our impulses, and recognizing any attempts at self-deception.