Importance Of Thinking Critically And Creatively

Educational institutions, accrediting bodies, students and employers all agree: students need to develop better critical thinking skills.

Modern-day access to instant answers means many of us are falling behind in our ability to ask the right questions or analyse the answers we get.

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal measures critical thinking ability by assessing a person’s ability to look at a situation, understand it from multiple perspectives and effectively separate facts from opinions.

This assessment is particularly suited to the recruitment of university graduates and managers and looks at comprehension, analysis and evaluation.

Ideally, critical thinking is to be done objectively—meaning without influence from personal feelings, opinions or biases—and it focuses solely on factual information.

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Educational institutions across the country are looking for solutions –new ways to teach critical thinking, measure student learning and demonstrate efficacy.The first step in the critical thinking process is to identify the situation or problem as well as the factors that may influence it.Once you have a clear picture of the situation and the people, groups or factors that may be influenced, you can then begin to dive deeper into an issue and its potential solutions.Critical Thinking is not just a “nice to have” skill in the 21st century, it is essential.We live in an age where we have more information at our fingertips than ever before and more opportunity to communicate with people across the globe.There is currently a gap in critical thinking teaching at schools and our ability to apply this skill at university or in the world of work.In a recent survey of organisations critical thinking/problem solving was identified as the top skills gap for job applicants.The good news is that there is substantial evidence showing that critical thinking can be improved with training.Research also suggested that improving critical thinking ability has a knock-on effect in improving problem-solving ability, openness, creativity, organisation, planning and making the right choices in life.The next steps involve identifying quality resources to support educators, reaching agreement on when and how to integrate critical thinking into the curriculum, and having much deeper discussions between corporations and educators on what critical thinking looks like in the work setting.These actions will enable students to become well-prepared employees and citizens.

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