Critical Thinking Skills In Higher Learning Institutions Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Critical Thinking Skills in Higher Learning Institutions.

Answer:

Critical thinking concept started in the mid-20th century. The idea of critical thinking has developed continuously for more than 2000 years. According to (Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder, 2008), critical thinking can be defined in two ways. The first definition is that critical thinking requires the application of high-order cognitive skills which includes skills such as analyzing. The second definition is wide and comprises several skills which includes establishment of inference’s basis, and decision making skills (Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder, 2008). Cultivating the ability to read and comprehend critically is a significant factor of higher learning institutions and many professions. This essay looks at how critical thinking should be learned and demonstrated in higher learning institutions. The essay suggests problem-solving skills, peer groups, and enhancing learning atmosphere as methods that can be employed in teaching of critical thinking in higher learning institutions.

Students can learn and demonstrate critical thinking abilities by using problem-solving approach. This can be done by using the following ways: Firstly, they can be thought how to compare and contrast (Robert Duron, 2006). Just like classifying, students are required to analyze carefully every topic and subject; they are supposed to compare and think critically about the relevance of the topic. Students can compare and contrast the weather condition for today and yesterday. They can also relate the management lesson learned in this week with the last weeks one. In his research paper (Robert Duron, 2006), provides another way of learning critical thinking. According to him classification and categorization is key in enhancing critical thinking. Classification serves as a crucial role in the acquisition of critical thinking skills because it needs the students to comprehend and employ the set standards. This skill can be achieved by the lecturer offering student several different items on various subjects and ask them to distinguish them based on their issues and place them in their specific categories (Hughes, 2014). This distinction is an important activity since it assists the students to be able to think and self-question themselves regarding the object categories and where each object should fall.

Additionally, students can acquire critical thinking skills is through peer learning. Having a group discussion is an appropriate way to allow the students to think. When students are with their classmates having a discussion or working in groups they are exposed to thinking processes of their mates (Schafersman, 1991). This process allows them to learn and understand how their fellow mates think, hence being able to explore other thinking approaches (Hove, 2011). Critical thinking should be introduced to students promptly in the education process to enable students to be capable of handling issues as they arise in their education process and be better problem solvers in case of any difficulty. Although, it is of the great essence for students to have various skills and use them effectively.

To support critical thinking in a classroom setting, it does not need a pin-drop silence in the classroom. Learning should be carried in such a way that thinking and sharing are encouraged and harnessed in a classroom. This kind of approach ensures that there is a critical, reasonable, and reflective thinking that results in a sound and objective decision making (Crockett, 2015). To enhance this type of critical thinking in undergraduate class, each learning session should begin with a particular topic. Then the dialogue and discussions among learners can be initiated. This initiation can be done by through a process where lecturers raise critical questions, engages the students with appropriate solutions, and justifies them in a way that they will be encouraged to take part in more discussions (Manns, 2013). Critical thinking is both a strategy which comprises deep thinking. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know how to apply critical thinking in a class setting and also to reflect it as a significant subject. Currently, critical thinking assists learners to think and develop confidence ultimately. In situations where a tutor offers critical explanations, critical thinking acts as a process of detecting errors (Schafersman, 1991). In class, critical thinking is significant especially in circumstances where the lecturer seems to be a beginner in the utilization of reasoning, questioning, and providing time for thinking.

To enhance critical thinking in an undergraduate class, there is a need to enhance the learning atmosphere (Crockett, 2015). In class, critical thinking is provided with both intellectual and physical atmosphere, which encourages discovery spirit. For instance, chairs can be arranged in a system that both students and teachers share same stage so that they can interact. This in some ways it will help in reduction of the passive teaching, which is faced by students nowadays. There should be encouragement on visual aid in class too. Signs posting for example ‘is this a fact or opinion?', ‘why do I think so?' or what would happen if?' (Crockett, 2015). This will help students to remember how they are supposed to answer questions. More significantly, attentions of students have to be channeled towards a specific position that is periodical to the signs. Signs also possess the meaning, that emphasizes the idea of showing and transferring various strategies of thinking and skills that relate to various topics and problems as well. These strategies are key in ensuring that the students develop critical thinking skills which are essential for the problem solving skills in their future careers and in their daily living.

For a very long time, different meanings of critical thinking have been passed down to generations. According to various authors, the best method to enable students develop critical thinking is by assigning students things that make them think. It is essential for institutions to dedicate teachings in a form that support critical thinking skills. In any academy setting, critical thinking has to be a major requirement. Just like others, instructors have to go through various professional development then come up with consultation on experiences of learning to enhance their teaching repertoires. Teaching students to employ critical thinking requires careful planning and choosing proper instructions that should be in line with the expected learning results. Various faculties fear imperfections and state that changes create discomfort. Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that encouraging students to learn critical thinking is not just about the effects it has on their education but also a chance for them to think loudly and demonstrate what they have learned and their understanding. Therefore, it very vital to any institution of learning to apply problem-solving skills, peer discussions and sketches to enhance critical thinking. This will make very student to appreciate and make an informed decision per their contemporary frames of reference.

References

Crockett, L. W. (2015, 7 24). The Importance of Teaching Critical Thinking. Retrieved from globaldigitalcitizen.org:

Hove, G. (2011). Developing Critical Thinking Skills in the High School English Classroom. Menominee: University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Hughes, J. (2014). Critical Thinking in the Language Classroom.

Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder, a. M. (2008). Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills. The Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 90-99.

Manns, M. L. (2013). Critical Thinking in your Classroom.

National Center on Universal Design for Learning. (2015, 7 15). National Center on Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from www.udlcenter.org:

Robert Duron, B. L. (2006). Critical Thinking Framework For Any Discipline. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 160-166.

Schafersman, S. D. (1991). An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Retrieved 8 23, 2017, from

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