UNIT 6 CRITICAL THINKING At the end of this session: YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF CRITICAL THINKING AND APPLY THOSE PRINCIPLES TO DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING ORIENTATION AND ABILITY BOTH IN THE CONTEXT OF LEARNING AND WORKING SITUATIONS UNDERSTAND THE STYLE AND PROCESS OF PROBLEM SOLVING AND USING A PROBLEM SOLVING CYCLE FRAMEWORK TO IMPROVE PROBLEM SOLVING EFFECTIVENESS THINKING ABOUT OUR THINKING MUCH OF OUR THINKING LEFT TO ITSELF IS BIASED, DISTORTED, UNIMFORMED, OR DOWNRIGHT PREJUDICED! THE QUALITY OF OUR LIFE AND THAT WE PRODUCE, MAKE OR BUILD DEPENDS ON THE QUALITY OF OUR THINKING SHODDY THINKING IS COSTLY, BOTH IN MONEY AND OUR QUALITY OF WORK AND LIFE DEFINITION OF CT Critical thinking is that mode of thinking about a subject, or problem in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them ABILITIES OF A CRITICAL THINKER According to Ennis, a competent critical thinker will do the following: Judge the credibility of sources Identify conclusions, reasons, and assumptions Judge the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its reasons, assumptions, and evidence Develop and defend a position on an issue Ask appropriate clarifying questions Define terms in a way appropriate for the context Be open minded Try to be well informed Draw conclusions when warranted, but with caution GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING CT The following 8points should be observed: Avoid making inaccurate generalisations, such as women are too emotional Avoid oversimplifying complex problem Accept that diversity of opinions exists Remain open to new or stronger ideas Withhold judgement until you are sure Evaluate for yourself the opinions of authorities Ask questions for clarification when speaking with someone who holds opposing views Avoid stereotyped thinking PROBLEM SOLVING STYLE Your problem solving style is influence by two dimensions namely TIMING and ANALYSIS Arising from the TIMING dimension your style is either REACTIVE or ANTICIPATORY / PROACTIVE Arising from the ANALYSIS dimension your style is either REFLECTIVE or IMPULSIVE PROBLEM SOLVING STYLE GRID TIMING Reactive Anticipatory Extinct by Instinct Burning Bridges Impulsive Ahead of You ANALYSIS Creative Creative Procrastination Procrastination Paralysis By Premature Reflective Analysis Panic Your problem solving style The Four general extremes of problem solving styles are: When you are overly REACTIVE, you tend to be PARALYSIS by ANALYSIS and EXTINCT by INSTINCT When you are overly ANTICIPATORY, you tend to be PREMATURE PANIC and BURNING BRIDGES AHEAD of YOU CREATIVE PROCRASTINATION THE EFFECTIVE COMBINATION AND BALANCE OF TIMING AND ANALYSIS IS CRITICAL TO EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING. DECISION MAKING SHOULD BE PREMEDIATED RATHER THAN ACCIDENTAL DECISION MAKING ACTIVITY EXAMINE THIS MODEL THAT HAS JUST BEING PRESENTED AND ASSESS YOUR OWN PROBLEM SOLVING STYLE. WHERE DOES YOUR GENERAL APPROACH TO SOLVING PROBLEM AND DECISION MAKING FIT IN THE GRID? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR EFFECTIVENESS IN THIS CRITICAL AREA OF FUNCTIONAL THINKING? WHAT AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT DO YOU FEEL YOU NEED? PROBLEM SOLVING & THOUGHT PROCESSES Psychologists have identified two distinctive thought processes associated with problem solving namely: DIVERGENT THINKING and CONVERGENT THINKING DIVERGENT THINKING STATING THE PROBLEM IN VARIOUS FORMS LOOKING AT IT FROM VARIOUS VIEW POINTS QUESTIONING & REQUESTIONING BASIC FACTS IDENTIFYING KEY FACTORS GATHERING MORE FACTS AND IDEAS GENERATING VARIOUS OPTIONS FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEM CONVERGENT THINKING NARROWS DOWN THE PROBLEM CASTS OUT VARIOUS OPTIONS, SELECT FEW ZEROS IN ON KEY FACTORS AND ANALYSES THEM EVALUATES OPTIONS TO MAKE CHOICES PROBLEM SOLVING CYCLE Problem Stating Problem Option Finding Finding Evaluating Results Deciding Taking Action REFLECTION In your problem solving process, do you have a Framework that you systematically work through in order to reach a convince state of mind that you have thoroughly investigated and dealt with the problem and resolved it? What are some of the processes and steps in the above model that you are already practicing? Which are the areas that you need to focus on and improve further? De Bono’s SIX THINKING HATS A powerful and effective tool used to examine decisions from a HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE. It forces the user to move away from ‘in the box’ habitual thinking to the ‘out of the box’ and more rounded view and thinking of a situation under consideration 6 THINKING HATS FOCUS ON FACT AVAILABLE USING FEELINGS& EMOTIONS CONSIDER THE NEGATIVE POINTS 6 THINKING HATS THINK POSITIVELY, SEE BENEFITS THINK FREELY, CREATIVITY, BRAIN STORM IDEAS PROCESS CONTROL EXERCISE BY THE CHAIR SEQUENCE? INITIAL EACH OPTION SEE IF THERE ARE MORE OPTIONS FINAL WHICH OPTION ROUND UP IS THE BEST ACTIVITY Using 6 Thinking Hats technique attempt to problem Solved the following case: The directors of a pharmaceutical company are looking at whether they should withdraw from the market a best selling drug due to a major defect in the packaging which may have serious side effects on the users.