Define Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinkers are as equally aware and accepting of themselves as they are of others.

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As such, those who think critically also tend to be instinctual Many situations that call for critical thinking also call for quick and decisive action.

When we think critically we weigh our options and imagine the outcomes in the moment with speed and clarity, and are able to put aside fear when it comes to making decisions.

It’s also thinking in a self-regulated and self-corrective manner—essentially, thinking on purpose.

Critical thinking involves mindful forms of communication, problem-solving, and a freedom from any bias or egocentric tendency.

They bring assumptions and implications of ideas and actions to the surface, and challenge them if needed.”—In the Critical Thinking Teacher’s Companion, we define critical thinking as clear, rational, logical, and independent.

It’s about improving thinking by analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing how we think.

What we want is for you to be able to reflect independently on the exploration we’re about to take on critical thinking, and decide what it means for yourself. “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.”—“Critical thinking is a widely accepted educational goal.

We’ll provide you with the insights, tools, and resources to help you make your own decisions about how to define it and how to develop it—in yourself, your children, and your learners. Its definition is contested, but the competing definitions can be understood as differing conceptions of the same basic concept: careful thinking directed to a goal.”—“Thoughtful people ponder the meaning of what they learn and the consequences of what they do.

Critical thinking also means not taking anything at face value.

It means always asking questions and exploring all sides of an issue, and appreciating the deeper facts hiding in everything.

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