In this article, we will explore the basics of critical thinking skills. We will examine both what it is and how to apply it to various situations. I base my definition of critical thinking on observations I have made while delivering instruction to university students, both in classroom settings and one-on-one consulting with clients. I find that when I present a case study, a topic, or an argument to students, their initial response is to doubt, challenge, or doubt themselves. Rather than engage in a dialogue about the topic, they seem more inclined to defend against the challenge, rather than to test, prove, discuss, or debate the argument.
What does this mean for students? While critical thinking is not logical in nature, it can lead to logical reasoning or the ability to apply logic to data and situations. However, many critical thinkers lack a proper balance between critical thinking skills and reasoning skills, so they cannot consistently arrive at an accurate answer based solely on logic. Rather than relying on logic alone, they need to use other methods, such as inductive reasoning, which allows them to draw inferences, which support their argument, as well as other logic-based methods.
An example of a problem-solving approach to critical thinking would be using problem-solving games, for example, instead of simply reciting the name of a product or a website. Students would be asked to look at a problem from several angles, to form different possible solutions, and then decide what method will work best to solve the problem. Problem-solving games allow students to develop problem-solving skills and also the ability to apply that method to real-life situations. In addition, problem-solving games are fun, engaging, and easy to play.
During their A-Level critical thinking skills program at school, students will have the opportunity to work with professors who design problem-solving approaches, such as those used in Problem-Solution games, that take into account aspects of both logic and critical thinking. The professor will ask students to assess a problem, analyze the possible solutions, and write a paper detailing their results. If a student chooses to participate in a hands-on learning exercise based on an area of study within their coursework, such as for their A-Levels, they may also be allowed to carry out laboratory work. This will provide them with experience in a real-world situation, and they may even decide to carry out this lab after their degree has been awarded.
Although students can expect to have the opportunity to conduct hands-on problem-solving exercises and laboratory work during their A-Levels, they will not be given the opportunity to carry out a similar set of exercises while they are studying for their degree. Instead of critical thinking exercises, they will be required to read a number of scientific articles and treat the information accordingly. Although this may seem counterproductive, logic is not discounted; it is merely ignored during these types of exercises. Therefore, if students wish to excel at reasoning, they must engage in logical thinking exercises.
In order to learn how to critically think, students must be taught the basics of cognitive critical thinking, which are usually taught during the introduction to A Levels. This includes basic common sense, inductive and deductive logic, as well as various other methods of arriving at a correct answer. Most courses will also include some reading, as well as some interesting discussions of current issues, and students will therefore need to have some background in literature before they can engage in meaningful critical thinking.
The process of critical thinking can be taught to students in any traditional classroom setting. However, it does require that students have a background in a relevant area of study, such as mathematics. There are numerous resources available on the Internet which can provide for the development of reasoning skills. For example, anyone can download an online calculus course. These courses can be taken for as little as fifteen minutes a day and will help develop a wide-range of critical thinking skills. As they progress in their learning, they will be able to apply their reasoning skills in a much more focused and efficient manner.