Critical Thinking Analysis
Critical thinking can be defined as the ability to look at problems or situations from point of view to generate new solutions. Creative thinking encompasses analysis, examination, and synthesizing of facts, ideas, opinions, and theories(Themes, 2020). A critical thinker can logically and creatively make decisions and judgments. Their capability to work effectively in many complex ideas differentiates them from mere thinkers. A mere thinking student might offer personal judgments and life experiences to tackle a topic when they are expected by the instructor to apply critical thinking in handling a topic. A critical thinker usually researches on a given topic and responds by quoting experts’ ideas and theories concerning the topic(The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), Stanford University, 2020). On the other hand, copying and reproducing other people’s thoughts does not amount to critical thinking. An instructor should focus on providing a learning environment that enables students to apply critical thinking in their school work.
One example of critical thinking is problem-solving(University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2020). In a case scenario where a situation occurred in our study group, I first analyzed the problem, conducted research, and gathered as much information as possible. Also, I took some time to ask other members who were involved to give me their opinions and how the situation affected them. As a critical thinker, my decision was not based on the first solution but tried to come up with a variety of options to help me make the final judgment. Applying critical thinking skills when solving a problem is essential since the decision one makes could affect many people and also the running of a business.
Students might give personal opinions that sound relevant and open doors for further discussion when they are required to justify and explain their views. For instance, what a student learns if the only way to tackle a given assignment is to read textbooks and give a detailed explanation of what the author is talking about. To teach a critical thinking process, an instructor should respond to students with research-supported responses. Thus, setting an example to students which will give them a chance to perceive a reflective and evaluative replies.
An asynchronous online classroom facilitator can apply several methods to enhance critical thinking skills in his or her students. Asking students to write explanations and discussions encourages deeper thinking than just a reactionary verbal reply. Online students are given a chance to think and organize their ideas before answering a given question. Facilitators should withdraw any communication barriers to enable students to be comfortable in asking questions and giving responses. An instructor aiming at building creative thinking skills in students needs to constantly pose challenging questions to students and encourage them to provide problem-solving solutions rather than personal opinions.
Critical thinking is not only essential in academics and businesses but also in personal life too. Critical thinking helps people succeed in all areas of life(The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), Stanford University, 2020). It includes factors such as decision making, maintaining good personal and professional relationships, problem-solving capability, and having a deeper and thoughtful perception over any situation or problem. Critical thinking can be enhanced through learning, training, and development programs as well as meditation.
There are several barriers to critical thinking which hinder people to effectively operate in a business environment and academics. Some of these barriers include the following:
Egocentric nature and thinking patterns
Egocentric nature is a natural tendency which is usually challenging to overcome(Cottrell, 2017). Egocentric people only think about themselves making them not sympathize with others to understand their problems and situations. These people are unable to assess the views and emotions of other people and make it hard for other people to operate in the same environment with others.
Group thinking is another important barrier to critical thinking. In this case, a person does not have his or her own opinion, decision, or perception in any specific problem or situation. The saying of “too many cooks spoil the soup” applies to this barrier as individuals do not have any personal actions. People in a group need to stand separately and question and organize their thoughts, opinions, and perceptions(Cottrell, 2017).
Drone mentality and social conditioning
Drone mentality is explained when one does not pay attention or contribute during business meetings and discussions(Cottrell, 2017). It can occur to anyone thus hindering critical thinking. Managers should keep their workers busy by giving them challenging work and motivating them. Many people mostly think within their comfort zones and do not engage in critical thinking as they are taught to think in a specific way due to social conditioning.
Risk assessment is another example of critical thinking. For instance, a construction company needs to analyze all possible risks on a building site to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment. Secondly, organizations in the finance industry need to examine the possible effects of new legislation and regulation on their work and clients. Doing this requires the application of critical thinking skills such as analysis, creativity, and problem-solving.
In conclusion, critical thinking is essential in every aspect of life. Teachers and facilitators should provide an environment that encourages pupils to think critically before providing solutions for any tasks. They should encourage students to read textbooks and research on a given issue before providing a solution to any situation.
Cottrell, S. (2017). Critical Thinking Skills: Effective Analysis, Argument, and Reflection. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), Stanford University. (2020). Critical Thinking. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/index.html
Themes, M. (2020). Critical Thinking. Retrieved from THE PEAK PERFORMANCE CENTER: https://thepeakperformancecenter.com/educational-learning/thinking/critical-thinking/
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. (2020). Critical Thinking. Retrieved from CHATTANOOGA: https://www.utc.edu/walker-center-teaching-learning/teaching-resources/ct-ps.php
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