Critical Thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation i.e., a skillful, reasonable, responsible, independent, and reflective thinking of an issue or subject matter to form an opinion or judgment in order to make an informed decision.
Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way with the aim of maintaining an objective position about the subject matter. Critical thinking requires the development and use of foresight as far as possible.
“Critical Thinking is thinking about your thinking while you are thinking, in order to make your thinking better.”
– Richard Paul
Even when you have a system or idea that is working well or functioning properly, critical thinking helps you to try and identify new and better solutions compared with what is the given (the norm). When you think critically, it will always help you to challenge what is obtainable.
CRITICAL THINKING PROCESS/SKILLS
- Self – Regulation
- Open – Mindedness
- Problem Solving
FEATURES OF CRITICAL THINKING
- It is Reflective.
- It must be Reasonable – It may not always be successful but it must be reasonable.
- It has to be Authentic i.e., Real life.
- It Involves Standard – Must measure up to a certain criterion, must have depth. A question of how accurate?
IMPORTANCE OF CRITICAL THINKING
- It is a general–field thinking skill.
- It promotes Creativity.
- It improves Idea creation.
- It is crucial for self- reflection.
- It forms the foundation of Science, Governance and all.
A great critical thinker:
- Consistently attempts to live rationally, reasonably, empathically.
- Is strongly aware of the inherently flawed nature of human thinking when left unchecked.
- Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely.
- Gathers and assesses relevant information, using intellectual ideas to interpret it effectively.
- Comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards.
- Realizes that no matter how skilled you are as a thinker, you can always improve your reasoning abilities. And may at times fall prey to mistakes in reasoning, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest, and vested interest.
- Thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, identifying and assessing, as needs be, their assumptions, inferences, and practical consequences
- Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING
- Don’t believe everything you are told.
- Don’t believe everything you think (assumptions and beliefs).
- That you have always used a method to get something done does not always mean that is the most efficient or right way to do it.
- Research Deep and Broad
- Dig Deeper
- Ask Questions sincerely, it is a catalyst to intelligent discussions and reasonable decisions.
- Always evaluate your result/reasoning and implement changes where necessary. There is room for improvement.
- Critical Thinking is aimed at achieving the best possible results in any situation.
- In order to achieve this, it must involve information gathering and evaluation from as many different sources possible.
- Critical Thinking requires a clear assessment of one’s personal strengths, weaknesses and preferences and their possible impact on decisions one may make.
- Critical Thinking requires the development and use of foresight as far as this is possible.
- In implementing the decisions arising from Critical Thinking, one must take into account the assessment of possible outcomes and ways of avoiding potentially negative outcomes or at least lessening their impact.
- Critical thinking involves reviewing the results of the application of decisions made and implementing change where possible.
Pastor Wole Oladiyun is the Senior Pastor of the Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Omole, Lagos, Nigeria. He can be reached at [email protected] Visit www.woleoladiyun.com to purchase his books.