I have learned a lot of important information throughout this course of Critical and Creative Thinking. I have learned mainly what critical thinking is and how it works. I think that it is important to be a critical thinker. I am going to share with you some information that I learned during this course that helped me use critical thinking more effectively.
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. When you use critical thinking you can examine and analyze questions, issues, situations, and information of all kinds. It is important to use critical thinking because it helps you evaluate all decisions. When you are using critical thinking you are using different combinations of skills. By using critical thinking, it helps you gain a better understanding, concentrate, and deal with frustrations that are blocking your thinking.
There are six different stages of critical thinking. These stages are the unreflective thinker, challenged thinker, beginner thinker, practicing thinker, and advanced thinker. It is important to know what stage you are at. By knowing what stage you are at it will help you distinguish what you need to do in order to move to the next stage.
In the beginning of this course I placed myself as a stage one thinker, the unreflective thinker. I placed myself here because I was deceiving myself about the effectiveness of my thinking. I always thought that my thinking was fine. I had not identified the problems that were affecting my thinking.
Since taking this course I would have to identify myself as the practicing thinker. I know that I am still not where I need to be but I am continuing to push myself to practice. I have realized that practice is a must and I am not giving up. In order to move to the next stage, the advanced thinker, I have got to see that practicing has made me a better thinker. I also have to keep at practicing even when I get tired of practicing and lose my motivation.
One important thing that I learned during this course is the difference between an issue and a problem. A problem is a situation that you regard as unacceptable, and an issue is a matter in which people disagree on to some extent. I always looked at everything as a problem. It is important to distinguish between the two so that you know how to approach it and solve it. You have to use your critical thinking in order to identify the problem or issue and know how to come up with a solution. To solve a problem you have to figure out what action to take that is the best way to change the situation. When you are resolving an issue you have to decide what viewpoint is more reasonable.
I also learned three key strategies that can help stimulate my imagination. These three key strategies are use free association, visualize the solution, and construct pro and con arguments. There are other strategies but these are the three that best suite me. It is important to use imagination because it helps you to be more open minded. In order to be a critical thinker you have to be open minded. By being open minded it helps you to look at all possibilities. It also helps you considered other people’s thoughts and opinions. It is always important to consider other people’s ideas and opinions because there is always room for improvement. I had to realize that I am not always right and that I do not know everything in order to be more open minded.
I have learned a lot in this course as you can see. This is just a summary of what all I have learned. I think this course will help me be a more effective writer and thinker. I am going to keep on practicing until I reach the stage of master thinker. Even when I have reached that final stage I am going to continue to practice and use critical thinking. As we learned in this course, “We can always use room for improvement.” I think that this course is an important course to help you be able to succeed. I have really enjoyed this class and I have learned a lot.
The Art of Thinking: A guide to Critical and Creative thought, Tenth Edition, By Vincent Ryan Ruggiero