Learning by imitation

Critical thinking is coming to understand a complex thing worthy of study, bringing judgment upon it, and be willing to be judged in turn.

By analyzing and critiquing the work of others, especially experts, students combine their thoughts with them. In doing so, they learn by imitation and learn to act as pacesetters.

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Describing critical thinking

Critical thinking is described as a mode of thinking where the thinker improves the quality of their thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it.

Another definition describes critical thinking as a way to examine assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence, and judge conclusions.

Critical thinking is a constant interaction with changing ideas and knowledge.

  1. First, the thinker considers the background knowledge of the idea and the sense of identity.
  2. Then the thinker can analyze it. The thinker has to see its parts, its form, its function, and its context.
  3. Then comes evaluating it by bringing your unique thinking to it so you can point out flaws, underscore bias, and empathize merit. It means getting inside the mind of the author, or creator, and critique his work.

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...feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success.

But only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.

  • Create contexts that enable smart decisions: recognize what you’re actually doing when you’re reasoning about things and use this knowledge to try to avoid making common mistakes
  • Absorb lots and lots of knowledge about the world and integrate it through practice making decisions:  more you know about things, the better you can reason about them.
  • Six levels of critical thinkers

    Researchers identified six predictable levels of critical thinkers:

    • The unreflective thinker
    • The challenged thinker
    • The beginner thinker
    • The practicing thinker
    • The advanced thinker
    • The master thinker

    Using your mind more effectively is not automatic. Moving up on this pyramid of thinking is dependent on developing your critical thinking skills.

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