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Critical thinking cannot be taught but rather learned. Critical thinking is similar to getting in shape. When beginning to exercise, the first day might be tough. You might feel sore, worn out, and even discouraged. Just like critical thinking, the first day is tough. It might be difficult to analyze topics without including your own beliefs. Just like exercising, with practice and time critical thinking becomes part of a routine. Paul and Elder (2012) argue, “The greatest thinkers make the study of thinking second nature” (pg. 10). My goal is to make critical thinking a habit in order to reach fair-minded thinking. This essay will assess my own critical thinking and how HUM 101 impacted my thinking.
Critical thinking can be applied to all aspects of life. Whether I am at school, work, or communicating with friends I can practice critical thinking. Critical thinking requires examination of your own thinking, identification of weaknesses in thinking, and reconstructing your thinking (Paul and Elder, 2011). In order to grow as a thinker, you must be able to identify which type of thinker you are and plan for future growth.
When I first started this class, I did not practice critical thinking in all aspects of life. For example, I would apply fair-minded thinking at work and school but not incorporate it into my everyday life. Practicing fair-minded thinking and identifying fallacies in my own assumptions, has allowed me to grow as a thinker. I now try to incorporate critical thinking into all aspects of life. In the first week of this class, I considered myself a beginning thinker. Similar to other beginners, I was trying to improve but without regular practice. I had to force myself to think in disciplined ways. (Paul & Elder, 2012). Identifying the type of thinker I was allowed me to become a stronger thinker. I now consider myself a practice thinker because I recognize the necessity of practicing critical thinking regularly.
Myself as a practicing thinker. Paul and Elder (2012) state, “The only way to move from beginning thinker to practicing thinker is to commit yourself to daily practice in thinking well and design your own plan for practice” (pg. 5). Creating a critical thinking journal has encouraged me to improve my thinking. I write down thoughts daily, and respond to the “Think for Yourself” prompts in the textbook. I then can utilize my journal to plan practice for the future.
Future growth. In the future, I will continue to utilize my critical thinking journal. This will allow me to monitor my thinking and plan for future growth. I plan to apply critical thinking to all aspects of life such as college, work, and my career. Research shows that educators, administrators, legislators and educators value critical thinking in learning and education (Geertsen, 2013). In order for me to reach my marketing career goals, I must be able to think critically. Being a critical thinker will also make me stand out from other potential applicants. Ultimately, being a true fair-minded thinker is my goal. In order to be a true fair-minded thinker I must identifying egocentrism tendencies in my thinking and practice ethical reasoning. Ethical reasoning requires ignoring selfish desires and doing what is right (Paul and Elder, 2009). I must be able to be unbiased in my thinking to become a true fair-minded thinker. This will allow me to succeed in college and my career.
HUM 101 impacted my thinking. To put it simply, HUM 101 taught me the importance of applying critical thinking to all aspects of life. Previously, I did not realize the importance of critical thinking. This class taught me identifying my own fallacies, generalizations, and bias assumptions will enable me to grow as a thinker. HUM 101 also taught me critical thinking is an ongoing process and there is not a single solution to achieve critical reasoning. This class could be improved by providing more exercises that require students to use critical thinking in the real-world. For example, if the critical thinking journal was mandatory to turn in a few times throughout the semester, students would be practicing their skills daily. I overall learned the importance of critical thinking from this class and think it was a success.
In conclusion, critical thinking can be practiced in all aspects of life and is an ongoing process like exercising. HUM 101 gave me the tools I need in order to grow as a critical thinker. Identifying fallacies, weaknesses, biasedness in my thinking will allow me to grow as a thinker. Practicing daily is crucial to be a true critical thinker. Overall, I have learned what type of thinker I am, and have a plan to grow as a critical thinker.
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