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A way of thinking about particular things at a particular time; it is not the accumulation of facts and knowledge or something that you can learn once and then use in that form forever, such as the nine times table you learn and use in school.The skills that we need in order to be able to think critically are varied and include observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, inference, explanation, problem solving, and decision making.
Once you have clarified that aim for yourself you should use it as the starting point in all future situations requiring thought and, possibly, further decision making.
Where needed, make your workmates, family or those around you aware of your intention to pursue this goal.
Critical thinking might be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.
In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason.
After all, almost no information we have available to us, either externally or internally, carries any guarantee of its life or appropriateness.
Neat step-by-step instructions may provide some sort of trellis on which our basic understanding of critical thinking can blossom but it doesn’t and cannot provide any assurance of certainty, utility or longevity.It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value.You must then discipline yourself to keep on track until changing circumstances mean you have to revisit the start of the decision making process.However, there are things that get in the way of simple decision making.It’s also an over-used and rather nebulous phrase — how do you teach someone to think?Of course that’s the purpose of education, but how do you effectively optimize that concept into lasting knowledge and the ability to apply it broadly?We all carry with us a range of likes and dislikes, learnt behaviours and personal preferences developed throughout our lives; they are the hallmarks of being human.A major contribution to ensuring we think critically is to be aware of these personal characteristics, preferences and biases and make allowance for them when considering possible next steps, whether they are at the pre-action consideration stage or as part of a rethink caused by unexpected or unforeseen impediments to continued progress.On the other hand, the good news is that, since our critical thinking ability varies according to our current mindset, most of the time we can learn to improve our critical thinking ability by developing certain routine activities and applying them to all problems that present themselves.Once you understand the theory of critical thinking, improving your critical thinking skills takes persistence and practice.