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What is Critical Thinking?

My daughter-in-law passed me some of her old books from her Journalism courses. There are so many captivating segments to read. I have to come up for air and check my surroundings every once in a while.

I found one spot where the challenge of critical thinking was introduced.  What is critical thinking? It is defined as thinking about thinking. Being aware of what you are thinking.

You need to develop the ability to process contemplation and deliberation. Lynn Quitman Troyka mentions in her book Quick Access that the steps, although they intertwine and reverse or go sideways and back again, can still follow a guideline. The acronym SASE is used here.

S= Summarize – use only the information you see. Add nothing.

A= Analyze – Examine by breaking the material into segments. Consider the line of reasoning and the logic used. What is implied? Read between the lines. How does the writing style and choice of words set the tone.

S= Synthesize – Now pool what you have summarized and analyzed together, by applying it to your own experiences.

E= Evaluate – Now that you have completed the previous three steps, judge the quality of the material. Resist the urge to evaluate before you go through the steps.

I find that I speed read or half- listen too much. It has made a few people go – huh? – when I reply to a question asked whether written or spoken. I have to stop this and go back to using critical thinking skills. We were given a brain to use and need to keep it working to keep it healthy. Let’s put it to task everyday! Have you done any critical thinking today?

Sidebar: This is for women going through post menopausal times. I don’t know about you, but I sure find that it is getting harder to focus for any length of time.  Pushing through this is one of the challenges that I face, so I am thankful for the stimulation provided by the fellow bloggers and people in the groups that I visit.

 

 

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8 comments on “What is Critical Thinking?

  1. Boy I can relate to the half listening thing. It’s seems it is becoming more of the norm. I find myself doing it on occasion… sigh. By using critical thinking skills, it would help prevent that and a way to actually get the full meaning of what is being said… LOL.

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  2. My first Philosophy class in university was “Critical Thinking”, and I was surprised at how many elements were involved.

    I’m not postmenopausal yet however, I have struggled with the ability to focus since an injury a few years back. There are definitely many things we can do to keep developing our focus and striving to make it better, but at times it does feel like another job has been added to our already over-flowing plates. Ironically, these over-flowing plates we tend to deal with also contribute to the inability to focus! I wonder how related our busy lives are to many of the symptoms we face later in life?

    Thank you for sharing this post, Liz. It might do me well to go over some of the material I covered in that class! xo

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  3. Critical thinking is something I’ve never been good at. I may reread this several times to remind myself how! As for me menopause didn’t make difference on my ability to concentrate one way or the other.

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    • I hope this link works. It is a song to bring you to the quiet place, to let you stop the noise and just have a fun moment before tackling the critical thinking.
      I thank you for stopping by!

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  4. Besides suffering from my own personal sauna baths, I often find myself…now what was I going to say? 🙂

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