Developing Critical Thinking Through Web Research Skills

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Rationality and logic are still widely accepted in many circles as the primary examples of critical thinking. Walters (Re-thinking Reason, 1994) argues that rationality demands more than just logical or traditional methods of problem solving and analysis or what he calls the "calculus of justification" but also considers "cognitive acts such as imagination, conceptual creativity, intuition and insight" (p. These "functions" are focused on discovery, on more abstract processes instead of linear, rules-based approaches to problem-solving.It followed a philosophy where the thinker was removed from the train of thought and the connections and the analysis of the connect was devoid of any bias of the thinker.Kerry Walters describes this ideology in his essay Beyond Logicism in Critical Thinking, "A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective.Aristotle and subsequent Greek skeptics refined Socrates' teachings, using systematic thinking and asking questions to ascertain the true nature of reality beyond the way things appear from a glance. The "first wave" of critical thinking is often referred to as a 'critical analysis' that is clear, rational thinking involving critique. During the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned, well thought out, and judged.Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking, namely, to reflectively question common beliefs and explanations, carefully distinguishing beliefs that are reasonable and logical from those that—however appealing to our native egocentrism, however much they serve our vested interests, however comfortable or comforting they may be—lack adequate evidence or rational foundation to warrant belief. defines critical thinking as the "intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action." In the term critical thinking, the word critical, (Grk.Traditionally, critical thinking has been variously defined as follows: Contemporary critical thinking scholars have expanded these traditional definitions to include qualities, concepts, and processes such as creativity, imagination, discovery, reflection, empathy, connecting knowing, feminist theory, subjectivity, ambiguity, and inconclusiveness.Some definitions of critical thinking exclude these subjective practices.But so is the ability to be flexible and consider non-traditional alternatives and perspectives.These complementary functions are what allow for critical thinking to be a practice encompassing imagination and intuition in cooperation with traditional modes of deductive inquiry.Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight.He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational.


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