The 21st Century will be driven by information and technology. To survive and thrive will require an ability to adapt to a rapidly and radically changing environment. It will require an ability to accurately analyze information while guarding against false or misleading information.
Success and survival will require an ability to acquire, analyze and integrate diverse sources of knowledge to solve problems. And this will require critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly, rationally and deeply about what to do and what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. Someone with critical thinking skills is able to understand the logical connections between ideas. They are able to identify, construct and evaluate arguments. They are able to detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning while solving problems systematically. They are able to identify the relevance and weigh the relative importance of competing ideas. And they are always conscious of how their own beliefs, biases, perceptual limitations and values may influence their perception.
A CRITICAL THINKER
APPROACHES PROBLEMS WITH
AN INSATIABLE THIRST FOR
INFORMATION AND A CRITICAL,
CREATIVE AND CURIOUS MIND.
Thinking critically requires that you actively seek to acquire information and to improve your understanding in your search for the truth. Critical thinking includes “outside-the-box” thinking.
IT REQUIRES CONSIDERING ALL
FORMS OF INPUT INCLUDING
INTUITION AND EMOTION.
It may also require challenging consensus and pursuing less popular views.
Thinking critically plays an important role in cooperative reasoning and collaborative problem solving. It complements creativity by evaluating new ideas, selecting the best ones and modifying them if necessary. Finally, it provides the tools for self-evaluation and reflection, allowing us to recognize and overcome our inherent biases and prejudices.
A liberal democracy requires citizens who can think critically about social, political and economic
issues. Critical thinking will allow you to make informed judgments about those important issues.