Critical Thinking in 5 Words



hello I'm Edward dishes L from Jurassic academic and this presentation is on critical thinking critical thinking in five words we hear a lot about critical thinking but actually what is it where does it come from is it new who owns it well I think the answer is it's very old and it's global and to examine this we can go back a long way let's go back to two-and-a-half thousand years to China the great thinker of his day was Confucius and he expected a lot of his pupils he lived two and a half thousand years ago and he said I will show my pupils at the corner one corner of a subject and from that I expect them to work out the other three in other words he expected a lot of his students he expect them to think cognitively to make connections to make inferences in other words they were critical thinkers interestingly at the same time but in a completely different location in ancient Greece we have three people who are connected as teacher pupil first Socrates his pupil Plato and his pupil Aristotle and Aristotle said of his teacher Plato is dear to me but dearer still is the truth he loved a teacher but he was critical of him he wanted the truth which lies beyond it's greater than any individual however good they are as a teacher more recently in the United States of America in 1956 a team of researchers in education net by Blum published a taxonomy in the cognitive domain known as Bloom's taxonomy now they came up with six steps and they go up in complexity in cognitive complexity we start with what we know that's knowledge can I understand it that's comprehension what can I do with it that's application how can I take this knowledge apart and work out how all the little pieces fit together that's analysis how can I use knowledge from different sources and put them together into something new that synthesis you could call that creativity as well and finally evaluation at the top of the hierarchy evaluation is where we answer the questions so what is it significant is it influential what can we do with it so increasing in this taxonomy the activities cognitively become more challenging more critical if you like so we have a text we have a person this leads potentially to critical thinking this brings me to my five letters my five words they begin a II I owe you the five vowels in English they are analyze evaluate interpret observe understand let's look at each of these in turn starting with a for analyze so let's go through them analyze evaluate interpret observe understand to put these into practice let's look at an example this slide here I'll read out the text says China will soon become the number one english-speaking country in the world and it has an image of some chopsticks and some rice now this was in a lecture at a university where I taught and asked my students react to that critically and they came up with some brilliant questions like when how soon is soon why not India why China how do you know what are your sources where's your evidence for this statement for this claim next question how well will they speak English what level would it be Chinese English like we have American English Indian English another question is it desirable that this should happen who and why should they who thinks they should be English and why many other questions like this so they came up with at least 30 critical questions in response to this simple slide in a lecture now let's look at each of these five activities in turn analyze evaluate interpret observe and understand a for analysis verb analyze adjective analytical what does it mean five things focus really focus on the material deconstruct it and reconstructed take it apart put it back together apply criteria such as perspectives we can explore perspectives and make connections between the parts how do they connect is it a cause and an effect a situation and a problem an association between two events what's the connection that's analysis evaluation the verb evaluate evaluative is the adjective first consider the evidence weigh it up is it sound is it believable is it useful reliable relevant assess the material compared it with other material evaluation is inherently comparative we don't look at a shirt or a car or an idea in abstract isolation we look at it in relation to other shirts cars and ideas and we compare it we then formulate our opinion our stance how we stand in relation to that and finally we can do something with it we can evaluate and then do something perhaps include that in a test of our own eye for interpret now an interpretation adjective interpretive we work out and explain the meanings the best way to understand something is to explain it to someone else to teach it to someone else that's what children do that's how they learn speculate what if what about what does it mean we can generalize does it apply to other contexts we can relate it to other contexts and we can respond to it oh observe now an observation at observable notice really notice what's included what's excluded reflect personalize take it personally what does it mean to you and your knowledge we can then draw conclusions and inferences you understand understanding understanding the best way is to experience something that's when we really understand something engage with it internalize it connect it to what we already know our existing knowledge our schemata and finally learn from it so a analyze e evaluate I interpret o observe you understand these are my five main activities in critical thinking I'm Edward – rahzel from Jurassic epidemic this was critical thinking in five words thank you very much for watching

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