Critical thinking is the careful and thorough evaluation of information using a variety of tools, including decision making and problem-solving processes, criteria matrices, statistics, and others. This course introduces participants to key critical thinking tools and provides them with guidelines, so they can choose the right tools for each situation. Course activities include cases, games, short lectures, and individual and small group exercises and discussions. The focus throughout the course is on application to situations that participants regularly encounter at work.
* Identify and adopt the characteristics of an effective critical thinker
* Recognize and avoid critical thinking barriers, including biases and faulty logic.
• Examine a situation from multiple perspectives. Identify the issue and collect information.
• Explore the issue. Interpret information and uncover assumptions. Distinguish between fact and opinion.
• Evaluate information accurately and thoroughly. Assess assumptions, reasoning, and all available information. Reach a conclusion.
Course Length: 1 day
I. . Introduction
A. What is critical thinking?
B. What are the key characteristics of a critical thinker?
• Open-mindedness – The Koosh Game
• Common Sense
II. Barriers to Critical Thinking
• Emotional thinking and language
• Faulty logic
• Tunnel vision
• Statistical confusion/Mathematical errors
III. Tools for Thinking Critically – How to overcome barriers
• Situation Analysis
• Thoughtful and rigorous questioning
Game: Developing an Open Mind
• Accurate and thorough information gathering
• Logical precision
• Mathematical analysis
IV. Critical Thinking Skills and Processes
1. Identify the issue or problem
2. Collect information
1. Interpret Information
• Fact or Opinion?
• Clarify Numbers
2. Uncover Assumptions
3. Generate Alternate Explanations
1. Assess explanations or solutions
2. Reach a conclusion
V. Critical Thinking Practice
VI. Summary/Action Planning/Next Steps
VII. Job Aid – Critical Thinking Step-by-Step
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