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Problems in everyday life vary from being simple to complicated; hence we can become overwhelmed and forced to make critical decisions. Critical thinking is essential in seeking a deep, rigorous understanding of our challenges, but it happens to run away from us when we require it most. The common but troublesome issues can only be solved through critical thinking as illustrated in the course work. From the course, the three lessons that are meaningful to me are, replacing and modifying barriers that stop the critical thinking process, the five-step problem-solving process, and determining the reliability and credibility of a message and the source.
External barriers such as family, friends, teachers, and the media can either be replaced using the self-directed method or the societal-directed method. Self-directed replacement is initiated by an individual; one purposefully decides to escape the barriers. The societal-directed replacement is initiated by the social movements which changes the way we think (Ridel, 2015 p. 56).
Internal barriers such as rationalizing, emotions, stubbornness, and biases can be modified to minimize their impact on our critical thinking. Each of the four internal barriers can be adjusted separately for the benefit of individuals who aspire to be critical thinkers. The replacement and modification of barriers to critical thinking are useful in everyday life as individuals learn how to cope with tough situations that tend to inhibit their critical thinking. Replacing and modifying barriers as a subtopic in the course is meaningful as it gives a solution to the barriers in critical thinking.
From the course, the five-step problem-solving process is clearly explained. In the first place, a problem has to be identified; otherwise it would be useless trying to solve the problem. When dealing with a problem, defining the issue should be given much attention before finding the solution. Secondly, the course identifies discovering the cause of the problem as the next step. The step is meaningful since a problem cannot be solved without understanding its cause. The third step is creating options to solve the problem. It is in the step that creative thinking is also utilized.
Step four of the process involves evaluation of the best options to solve the problem. As highlighted, the course is meaningful in enabling learners differentiate between creative and critical thinking. Step four of the process explains the need to think critically in evaluating the options after creative thinking. Lastly, acting, monitoring, and modifying the selected options in the final step. The course is of meaning in the final stage as learners are informed of the sub-steps involved for the best solution to a problem. In everyday life, the course is significant as we acquire the knowledge needed for an organized problem-solving process (Ridel, 2015, p. 137).
Due to the constant fraudulent and unsubstantiated ideas we are exposed to, there is the need find out whether or not the information is reliable. The credibility of the messenger is also worth finding out. A message that is spread to an enormous number of people may be inaccurate; hence expose the people handling it to a lot of harm. It is thus worth guarding our reservoir of knowledge before it gets contaminated. In determining the accuracy and reliability of messengers, we may be misinformed and uninformed by the traditional media, the government, and even the social media. Assessing the reliability and credibility of a message and the source is significant in real life in avoiding conflicts. Political conflicts arise due to unreliable information and incredible messengers (Ridel, 2015, p. 74).
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