Applying Critical Thinking Processes To Professional Practice

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For example, strategies of inquiry are contingent upon the problem being investigated and the targeted concepts, so it is essential that they be integrated with the associated processes of inquiry in order for students to see how new knowledge evolves.

If the goal is for students to use critical thinking skills, then the following opportunities should constitute the majority of learning activities: a) Engaging in problem-based learning b) Analyzing case-based scenarios c) Engaging in debates, role-play, argument mapping, thinking aloud, and simulation among others The benefit of engaging students in learning experiences that utilize critical thinking skills is the public nature of their thinking.

Despite differences of opinion, many researchers agree that critical thinking is "Purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological or contextual considerations upon which judgment is based.

Critical thinking is also regarded as intellectually engaged, skillful, and responsible thinking that facilitates good judgment because it requires the application of assumptions, knowledge, competence, and the ability to challenge one's own thinking.

Ennis asserts that to help students develop critical thinking skills, teachers must understand the cognitive processes that constitute critical thinking and use instructional activities that will develop these processes.

He recommends instructors teach students how to define and clarify information, ask appropriate questions to clarify or challenge statements or beliefs, judge the credibility of sources, and solve problems by predicting probable outcomes through logic or deduction.It is important to remember that Piaget's stages of cognitive development are also linked to intellectual potential and environmental experiences.If the learning environment is crucial to the development of critical thinking skills, what instructional strategies can be used to promote critical thinking?He also suggested that because critical thinkers possess curiosity and skepticism, they are more likely to be motivated to provide solutions that resolve contradictions.For a number of years, dental educators thought teaching problem-solving skills was akin to teaching critical thinking skills.Critical thinking requires the use of self-correction and monitoring to judge the rationality of thinking as well as reflexivity.When using critical thinking, individuals step back and reflect on the quality of that thinking.Lipman describes critical thinking as a complex process based on standards of objectivity, utility, or consistency in which students can reflect upon the certainty of their thinking because critical thinking is self-correcting.In order words, students can defend their thinking with evidence.Simpson and Courtneay point out that critical thinking processes require active argumentation, initiative, reasoning, envisioning and analyzing complex alternatives, and making contingency-related value judgment.Brookfield asserts that identifying and challenging assumptions and analyzing assumptions for validity are essential to critical thinking skills.


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