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Nov 27, 2012

Critical Thinking - Required Skills and their Importance

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Critical thinking is an important element of all professional fields and academic disciplines. The process of critical thinking involves the careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach a well-justified conclusion. The concepts and principles of critical thinking can be applied to any context or case but only by reflecting upon the nature of that application.

Critical thinking forms, therefore, a system of related, and overlapping, modes of thought such as anthropological thinking, sociological thinking, historical thinking, political thinking, psychological thinking, philosophical thinking, mathematical thinking, chemical thinking, biological thinking, ecological thinking, legal thinking, ethical thinking, musical thinking, thinking like a painter, sculptor, engineer, business person, etc. In other words, though critical thinking principles are universal, their application to disciplines requires a process of reflective contextualization.

Critical thinking is considered important in the academic fields because it enables one to analyze, evaluate, explain, and restructure their thinking, thereby decreasing the risk of adopting, acting on, or thinking with, a false belief. Critical thinking includes identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, misinformation, etc.

Check List of Skills for Critical Thinking Competency:

1. Accessing and Collecting Information: One needs to locate and collect relevant data, facts and figures also information and knowledge.

2. Observing: One needs to gain information by training and using various senses.

3. Taking Effective Notes: One needs to record significant information in written form.

4. Managing Attention: One needs to focus on multiple observations. And needs to retain and recall.

5. Attributing: One needs to recognize characteristics or properties of any idea, object or situation.

6. Evaluating Evidence: One needs to check, if the data/information is valid or correct.

7. Organizing in Advance: One needs to create a framework in which information can be arranged, learnt, remembered and used.

8. Classifying: One needs to group the entities based on common characteristics or properties.

9. Comparing/Contrasting: One needs to examine two or more ideas, objects or situations to uncover or discover similarities or differences between them.

10. Determining Cause(s) and Effect Connection: One needs to recognizing and determining relationships between two or more events.

11. Recognizing Patterns: One needs to Recognize and understand the patterns of events from data, information and knowledge.

12. Sequencing: One needs to arrange events, items, relationships or objects in a predetermined order.

13. Remembering: One needs to retain and recall information and knowledge when needed.

14. Prioritizing: One needs to establish an effective order of preference.

15. Developing Ideas/Concepts: One needs to work out idea(s) or concept(s) by using investigation/study and analysis.

16. Elaborating: One needs to enrich an idea/concept or process to make it better, meaningful and useful.

17. Check List of Skills for Critical Thinking Competency: One needs to formulate a proposition, test its effectiveness and analyze results.

18. Paraphrasing: One needs to reword accurately the written or spoken information.

19. Critically or Strategically Questioning: one need to intensify quantity and quality of collected information through enquiry and open dialogue.

20. Inferring: One needs to deduce conclusions from the collection and analysis of information.

21. Thinking Flexibly: One needs to generate variety of thinking categories, shift categories and detour in the direction of thought.

22. Thinking Fluently: One needs to generate free flow of ideas quickly resulting in multiple ideas.

23. Thinking Originally: One needs to think originally or uniquely to produce non-obvious and unusual thoughts/ideas.

24. Thinking Systematically: One needs to accommodate all the factors that influence an event or a situation and all its effects, impacts or results in an orderly manner.

25. Decision Making: One needs to work out the alternatives and decide which one to choose among them.

26. Predicting: One needs to think what will happen in the future.


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