On Critical Thinking

You cannot have critical thinking without the need and awareness to ask questions. Essentially, critical thinking is our ability to take information, know when to question it and how to use those questions to learn and gather more information (Browne, & Keeley, 2013). As individuals we all learn in different ways, some individuals are visual learners where others are capable of reading something and retaining that knowledge. Although these methods of learning are good, without our ability to think critically and ask questions we can be missing a deeper level of learning. Regardless of how we are attaining information we are presented with a theory or idea and hopefully the data to back up that theory. However, just because there is supporting data for a position additional questions should be asked. We should want to know what the agenda of the author is for the position they took, what elements are missing, is the research misleading, who is the author writing to, and why do I care (Browne, & Keeley, 2013). By using critical thinking we are taking our opinions on a topic to the next level of understanding. When all aspects of a topic have been questioned we become more confident in our position on a topic.

Thoughts?

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... take what I say as if I were merely playing, for you see the subject of our discussion—and on what subject should even a man of slight intelligence be more serious?—namely, what kind of life should one live..." When Socrates asks his students questions - he does so to push them to think about the many issues, related ideas and concerns about a subject. It is a thought-provoking exploration of ideas, a discussion. For Socrates, students must learn to think and when they do, they have to be able to apply their method of analysis (that is - thinking dialectically so that various arguments are formed and answers are sought) to know more about a subject - to arrest it in every angle. To Socrates, simply knowing facts or being told information about something is not learning. Engaging with a subject by dissecting it with the use of reason and logic is how one makes sense of a subject of study.

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