Blog Post: How Skilled are You as a Critical Thinker? A Checklist

Linda Elder
Feb 05, 2021 • 2y ago
How Skilled are You as a Critical Thinker? A Checklist

{"ops":[{"insert":"Many people think they are the ones who think critically, while it is everyone else who needs critical thinking. This is an intrinsic state of the human mind overcome only by cultivating intellectual humility – in one’s own mind, using one’s own thinking. It is natural for us to believe we know more than we do know, and to believe we are more skilled than we are skilled, as reasoners. This is why we need explicit critical thinking.\n \nThere are many ways to develop critical thinking skills, abilities and characteristics. We recommend that you spend time reading and viewing videos in our community library, as well as working through activities in our Academy. Also join us for real-time webinar Q&R’s in the community, which are engaging and enjoyable. In these webinars you can connect with us, and with one another, in real time focused on an important issue from the point of view of critical thinking.\n \nTo develop as critical reasoners, you will need to read, write, discuss and think your way into the theory of critical thinking.\n \nYou will know you are improving when…\n \n• You are better at communicating your ideas and understanding others.\n• You are better at sticking to issues and solving problems.\n• You pursue more rational goals and can better reach them.\n• You are better at asking productive questions.\n• You are less selfish.\n• You have more control over your emotions.\n• You have more control over your desires and behavior.\n• You can better understand the viewpoints of others.\n• You are more reasonable.\n• You are less controlling.\n• You are less submissive, less easily intimidated.\n• You no longer worry about things you can’t do anything about.\n• You are less likely to irrationally blame others.\n• You think through implications before acting.\n• You are more comfortable admitting when you are wrong, and you seek to correct your faulty beliefs.\n• You work to become a person of integrity, living up to a consistent, rational self-image, and you surround yourself with people of integrity.\n• You begin to question social conventions and taboos.\n• You begin to question what you read, hear, and see in the news media.\n• You are less easily manipulated by smooth-talking, self-interested politicians.\n• You are more aware of the ways in which you use words and how your understanding of reality is influenced by your word choice.\n• You are able to identify the assumptions that lead to your inferences and conclusions (so you can check your assumptions for justifiability).\n• You realize that all people see themselves as critical thinkers (and therefore not in need of improvement), which is one of the great barriers to the cultivation of critical societies.\n• You are less likely to use words in ways that are not justified given educated usage.\n• You are more concerned with the rights and needs of all people in the world, rather than the narrow vested interests of your country.\n• You are more likely to recognize the influence the media has in your life.\n• You are contributing to a more just world.\n• You are becoming better educated, reading more widely to broaden your historical sense and your worldview.\n• You understand intellectual growth as a long-term process and have designed a plan for continued development.\n• You understand that your development in critical thinking will occur along a continuum, or in stages, and you chart your development accordingly.\n \n[This blog piece was adapted from "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living"},{"insert":" by Linda Elder and Richard Paul, 2013, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, pp. 36-38].\n \n"}]}

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