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Critical thinking I

| Thinking | December 8, 2011

Strategies for critical thinking in learning and project management

Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the first stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic. You will:

    • Develop a statement of the topic
    • List what you understand, what you’ve been told
      and what opinions you hold about it
    • Identify resources available for research
    • Define timelines and due dates
      and how they affect the development of your study
    • Print the list as your reference

Here is more on the first stage:

Define your destination, what you want to learn
Clarify or verify with your teacher or an “expert” on your subject

Topics can be simple phrases:
“The role of gender in video game playing”
“Causes of the war before 1939”
“Mahogany trees in Central America”
“Plumbing regulations in the suburbs”
“Regions of the human brain”

    • Develop your frame of reference, your starting point,
      by listing what you already know about the subject
    • What opinions and prejudices do you already have about this?
      What have you been told, or read about, this topic?
    • What resources
      are available to you for research
      When gathering information, keep an open mind
      Look for chance resources that pop up!
      Play the “reporter” and follow leads
      If you don’t seem to find what you need, ask librarians or your teacher.
    • How does your timeline and due dates affect your research?
      Keep in mind that you need to follow a schedule.
      Work back from the due date and define stages of development,
      not just with this first phase, but in completing the whole project

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