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Ex. 1Discuss the following questions with your colleagues to share experience in critical thinking.
2. Why do you think is it useful to sharpen critical thinking skills?
3. Is it difficult for you to ask questions?
4. Why is it so important to synthesize information from a variety of sources?
5. What is it necessary to do to interpret information?
8. What are the means of sharpening critical thinking?
9. Are you a critical thinker?
Ex.2 Listen to the tape and complete these extracts.
Why study critical thinking?
1. Critical thinking is a domain-general thinking skill. The ability to think …….. and …….. is important whatever we choose to do. If you work in education, …….. , finance, management or the legal profession, then critical thinking is obviously …….. . But critical thinking skills are not …….. to a particular subject area. Being able to think well and …….. …….. systematically is an asset for any career.
2. Critical thinking is very important in the new knowledge economy. The global knowledge economy is driven by information and technology. One has to be able to deal with changes quickly and effectively. The new economy places increasing demands on …….. …….. …….., and the ability … …….. information and …….. diverse sources of knowledge … …….. …….. . Good critical thinking …….. such thinking skills, and is very important in the fast-changing workplace.
3. Critical thinking enhances language and presentation skills. Thinking clearly and …….. can …….. the way we express our ideas. In learning how to analyze the …….. …….. of texts, critical thinking also improves …….. …….. .
4. Critical thinking promotes creativity. To come up with a …….. …….. to a problem involves not just having new ideas. It must also be the case that the new ideas being …….. are useful and …….. to the task at hand. Critical thinking plays a crucial role in …….. new ideas, …….. the best ones and …….. them if necessary.
5. Critical thinking is crucial for self-reflection. In order to live a meaningful life and to …….. our lives accordingly, we need to …….. and …….. on our values and decisions. Critical thinking provides the tools for this process of …….. .
Ex. 3 Listen to the tape and tick skills, which were not mentioned.
Critical thinking is an essential tool in both academic writing and reading. Good critical thinkers are able to do the following:
- understand the difference between facts and opinions
- evaluate information generated by observation
- understand a variety of viewpoints
- think logically
- detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning
- interpret information
- sort out general and specific points
- support and defend an opinion
- make judgments
- solve problems systematically
- make inferences
- draw conclusions
- understand the logical connections between ideas
- ask questions
- view a topic objectively (unbiased)
- synthesize information from a variety of sources
In 1956, Bloom developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior which is considered important in learning. Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract levels, to the highest level which is classified as evaluation. Most university level writing needs to involve writing at this high level.
The six categories are listed in below. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulty. That is, the first one must be mastered before the next one can be taken.
Therefore, in most academic writing it is important to analyze and evaluate or to write critically. Simple description is usually not enough. This means making connections between theory and practice, drawing links between theories, as well as evaluating theories and research. It means giving your opinions (positive and negative) on the work of others and your own opinions based on what you have learned. Critical evaluation requires you to evaluate arguments, weigh evidence and develop a set of standards on which to base your evaluation.
When writing critically, you need to:
- Analyze and categorize theories and research;
- Evaluate theories and research;
- Compare and contrast theories and research;
- Select from theories and research;
- Synthesise from theories and research;
- Make logical connections between theory and practice;
- Give opinions (positive and negative);
- Provide evidence for these opinions;
- Indicate gaps in theories and research;
- Weigh evidence and come to conclusions.
The following questions may be usefully asked about any text or author you refer to or make use of:
A Purpose and background
B The author and the text
C Evidence used
D Assumptions made
As always, all your points of view must be supported.
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