EDS 103 – Theories of Learning

Unguided Thought on Critical Thinking

I’ve seen several photos of my parents, even photos of their parents while they were engaged in different community activities (nothing serious though) and then there were movies shown decades ago both here in the Philippines and in United States that I have watched several times; these images were full of simplicity, directness, there is also a sense to those images and films of being open – people seems to be approachable and trusting.

close mindedAs I spent time with my friends and talked with some acquaintances and even being around my colleagues’ I noticed that sarcasm has always been a part of our response regardless of what or who is the topic.  People would often tell me that I sounded defensive and close-minded at times that I should learn to compromise my thoughts and beliefs, learn to see situations through the eyes of other people. The prevalence of argumentative responses and arrogance in our statements whether we are aware or of it or not, whether we believe this or not can be ignored but cannot be denied.

How did we jump from being simple, approachable, trusting and spontaneous people to being skeptic, standoffish and cynical people?  What had triggered us to be so different from those people who lived generations before us? Could this be brought by our attempt to be prudent on the things that are happening around us? I’m really at loss here so please be patient to me while a try to make sense of my own thought bubble.

thoughts and wordsAt the moment I could only surmise one thing… we wanted to be better thinkers, we don’t want to be easily swayed by some opinions, we wanted to check and compare their thoughts with our own thoughts that were shaped by different factors before we could believe them. This innate reaction may not be noticeable to many and may be it is the imperfection in us that instead of demonstrating positive effects of being critical minded people we are showing the unguided effects of it.

“Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated. (The Critical Thinking Community. Defining Critical Thinking .” Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766)

Above quote corrects my assumption that it’s not natural of human being to be practicing critical thinking, every person has their own preconceived inaccurate ideas of what is happening around us. Thinking about this more, it is safe to say that it’s common for anyone to have unguarded opinions and thoughts that are not shaped by facts however, when we respond to conversations or reacts to any statement it’s as if we are very knowledge credible discerning person.

Reactions I mentioned early are not even about unguided effects of critical thinking. To exhibit critical thinking on any given topic or conversations is a laborious intentional deliberation conscious act of one person to direct his mind into having higher information by scrutinizing his own thoughts, carefully looking for mistake and constructing better knowledge. Asking or questioning something or someone are not enough to say a person is critically thinking. Just like how it was sent in the below quote,

“Critical thinking is that mode of thinking — about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.” . (The Critical Thinking Community. Defining Critical Thinking .” Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/411)

“Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one’s own, or one’s groups’, vested interest. As such it is typically intellectually flawed…” (The Critical Thinking Community. Defining Critical Thinking .” Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766)

buddiesThough critical thinking per se is not perfect and it has it’s own weakness depending on why it is being used, knowing how to practice it is very influential we should not use this as way to dominate a conversation or to act, speak or think, highly of ourselves and think to less of other people when we engage in a conversation or when just merely responding to a statement.

References:
Foundation for Critical Thinking. Retrieved from:

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/411)

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