Critical thinking is the ability to gather and assess evidence and information, and use clear reasoning methods to reach justified conclusions. It also implies to evaluate our thoughts, and learn to refine our thinking process. It is a key skill in the information age, valuable in all disciplines, professions and domains. Now that accessibility to information is not an issue, it becomes easier to apply a critical thinking process in order to reach the best solution to a problem or to take an informed decision. Moreover, even if accessing information is not an issue, data overflow is, so the steps of evaluating informatio, for instance based on its credibility and relevance, are crucial.
Despite its advantages, the explicit teaching of critical thinking is not widespread. The pace of change in our world is accelerating, things are becoming increasingly interdependents and complex. Learning to think critically is each time more a survival need if we want to be able to take informed decisions and steer the changes that will shape our future. We should rise awareness about it to make it popular and embrace it as a core social value.
Critical Thinking can be applied in any learning situation. At school, at work in front of any business decision, and also in the context of our democratic societies, in order to select the right political candidate.
I have to admit, after each election, I sometimes (usually) complain: ‘why people don’t think?’ (let’s read: why don’t they see the world as I do?). Obviously I know that critically thinkers may vote different from me :- ) but even knowing that, I would be happy if I knew they did think of all the issues before voting. So I decided to prepare a seminar on critical thinking, and I will try to deliver it to as many people as I can : – ) This is my ‘holiday resolution’.