Critical Thinking and Questioning the World around You
Critical thinking has become a major buzz term for many employers over the last few years; but it certainly isn’t a new topic. Critical thinking is the ability to “objectively analyze and evaluate an issue in order to form a judgement”; judgements that are logical and well thought out.
Questioning leads to great discoveries. Some of the greatest minds in history have used critical thinking skills to develop new, innovative, profound ideas that have resulted in great advancements in science, medicine, technology.
Critical thinking has many benefits. It can help you develop improved cognitive skills, became a better listener and allow you to become a better team player. It can be helpful in situations that are stressful by helping you remain calm, relaxed and rational, as critical thinking makes you focus on facts and evidence rather than emotions. It requires you to use your ability to reason instead of just reacting to a situation. Many of these benefits are essential skills to have for many jobs.
Some jobs that require critical thinking are:
Judges- they must assess all the information presented to them and make an informed decision. Judges must be fair, knowledgeable and objective.
Teachers- need to plan lessons, make decisions in class about the best methods to help students learn. They must have ways of dealing with behavioural issues and keep students attention and motivate them.
Journalists- need to keep an open mind and report on all sides of the story. They need to be able to distinguish facts from fiction.
Doctors- need to diagnose patients and find the best approach to treatment. They may need to make referrals if they are not qualified to treat specific issues/ illnesses. Surgeons often need to make critical choices on the fly. They need to quickly weigh all the options and do what is best for their patients.
Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Scouts- need to be able to make smart, knowledgeable choices. They often need to analyze statistics and incorporate them into their decision making process.
Many other types of jobs require critical thinking skills as well like: accountants, property appraisers, computer programmers, lawyers, writers, psychologists, counselors, engineers, scientists and many more. Most of these jobs require people to not see everything in black and white, but to look at the grey areas. Not only is it important to learn how to question everything (even your own opinions), it’s also important to have humility if the evidence shows your conclusions are wrong.
Critical thinking is also an important aspect of education. It is important to apply it when doing assignments, essays, presentations and exams. It helps you deliver your opinion in a logical manner, and know the strengths and weaknesses of your argument. You must also be sure to use credible sources and up-to-date information. The most important thing you can do for yourself and other is to not just accept things as they come to you. University can teach you how to become more critical of the world around you; knowledge can be a privilege and you must take advantage of it.