The Importance Of Critical Thinking

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A useful definition of critical thinking is that provided by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking: ‘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. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness’ (Criticalthinking.org, 2013). Critical thinking is what enables people to identify weaknesses in an argument and resist groundless ideas. However, critical thinking is not merely a negative activity, as it also has a creative and constructive function—for example, it confers the ability to give more explanations of the significance of a study’s results, and it allows people to solve complex social and personal problems. The immediate objective of critical thinking education is to cultivate a variety of critical thinking skills and teach students to use them effectively. Core critical thinking skills include: • Interpretation: Deriving the meaning or significance of extremely diverse experiences, scenarios, data, events, judgments, customs, beliefs, rules, procedures or norms. Sub-skills include classification, understanding the meaning, and
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