Critical thinking has a tendency to be thought of as a cold, dispassionate endeavor that rewards objectivism in the name of ultimate truths and facts. However, the rise of cultural pedagogy and critical theory tracks in higher education has created a new system for inquiry that favors a subjective interpretation specifically located in its relevant context. This brief essay will outline how emotional, creative and pessimistic learning styles affect critical thinking.
According to the University of Michigan’s Problem Solving page for Critical Thinking, there are four keys to developing critical thinking: Identifying and challenging assumptions, recognizing the importance of context, imagining and exploring alternatives and developing reflective skepticism (Critical). Although all types of learners utilize all four, emotional learners prioritize identifying and challenging assumptions, creative learners emphasize imagining and exploring alternatives, while pessimistic learners tend to value the development of reflective skepticism (Learning).
Critical thinking skills need to be cultivated and encouraged by educators according to each student’s particular learning style. No two students are alike and many times students change which type of approach they undertake depending upon the problem (Felder). Critical thinking is a vital component in creating thoughtful and inquisitive students and students need their learning style to fit into this equation. Works Cited Critical Thinking. (2009). The University of Michigan.
Retrieved 12 February 2009 from http://www. engin. umich. edu/~problemsolving/strategy/crthink. htm Felder, Richard and Rebecca Brent. Understanding Student Differences. (2005). Journal of Engineering Education. Retrieved 12 February 2009 from http://www4. ncsu. edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Understanding_Differences. pdf Treuer, Paul. Learning Styles. (2006). The University of Minnesota – Duluth. Retrieved 12 February 2009 from http://www. d. umn. edu/kmc/student/loon/acad/strat/lrnsty. html