The process of thinking is a common characteristic of every human being. It is a typical mental process, which is acquired by children in the process of upbringing. Nevertheless, it is not a correct opinion about critical thinking. In the modern world, there are many people, living within certain frames of prejudices. They cannot open their minds to evaluate weak and strong sides of the issue and formulate a personal decision and response. The task of education is to help them to cope with this problem. As Dr. Martin Luther King indicates, The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education. Nevertheless, it is necessary to underline that critical thinking is not only the domain of schools, colleges, and universities. That is why I want to accomplish the statement of King. The function of education is to teach one to think critically while the function of life is to show the way of its implementation.
The Components of Critical Thinking
According to King, critical thinking consists of two components: intelligence and character. I agree with this opinion and want to present my understanding of it. Intelligence can be associated with the thesaurus of knowledge. It is the accumulation of the gained information and skills. For instance, with the help of intelligence, a person knows that white is white and black is black. Nevertheless, in some situations, knowledge is not enough to support the opinion. For example, someone may persuade a person that black, in fact, is white. It is necessary to have such personal characteristics as persistence and prudence to evaluate the situation and find the grain of truth. For this reason, critical thinking is the combination of intelligence and character.
The Example of Critical Thinking
It is impossible to understand the nature of critical thinking only with the help of theoretical assumptions. Consequently, I want to employ the illustration to achieve this objective. The example deals with the personality of Nicolaus Copernicus and his breakthrough in the sphere of astronomy. He found that the solar system was heliocentric. Although the common knowledge in the outlook of his contemporaries was opposite to this statement, he managed to substantiate his theory. There were two helpers, assisting him in this issue. The first one was intelligence. Copernicus based the arguments not on the assumptions but on the scientific facts, proven with the help of researches. The second one was the character. As Copernicus lived during Inquisition, he should have possessed such traits as courage, persistence, and prudence to not be afraid to show the dissent.
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Critical Thinking in My Life
Critical thinking is not only the domain of famous philosophers or scientists. Everyone can employ it. I am not an exception. Critical thinking is an inseparable part of my education. It allows me finding the implied meaning in texts, conducting researches, and leading debates about some issues. The importance of critical thinking for my studying can be noticed through the example of my recent research project, dealing with the topic of animal experimentation. We were required to work in groups, consult theoretical sources, and take the position for or against testing on animals. The first part of my critical thinking was based on intelligence. With the help of literature, I found that animal experimentation could be regarded as effective practice because the cures for many diseases were found with the help of it. However, my friends refuted this argument. They stated that there were many cases when cosmetics, tested on animals, led to severe allergic reactions. With the help of negotiations, we came to the conclusion that animal testing should be employed only in the cases when it is impossible to replace it by other methods such as chemical testing. That is why my critical thinking was supported by the personal skills for collaboration and interaction.
Nevertheless, critical thinking is implied not only in education. It assists me in making decisions and performing daily tasks. The example of one of such experience deals with shopping. Some months ago, I encountered the problem of choosing a new laptop. I did not know exactly which operating system Windows or iOS would satisfy my requirements better. I read many blogs and reviews to gain general understanding of the issue. The profound research helped to define that OS Windows provided the users with more opportunities to download and setup free applications while iOS was characterized my enhanced stability and simplicity. As I planned to use the laptop for the entertainment purposes, OS Windows appealed to me better. However, critical thinking helped not only to analyze the information and evaluate the situation but also to formulate the opinion and get it across. For instance, I explained my choice to friends, who tried to persuade me that Apple laptop was a modern trend.
Expectations for Future
Although I employ critical skills for education and personal life, they still have many drawbacks. In other words, I experience many barriers to critical thinking. The first one is egocentrism. In some cases, it is very difficult to accept that my position is wrong. It leads to false conclusions. The second barrier is social conditioning. Sometimes, prejudices make me interpret evidence and facts within certain frames. Finally, I suffer from excessive schedule pressure. I experienced the situations when I sacrificed the quality of research to meet the deadline. Nevertheless, I believe that all these disadvantages can be eliminated. I hope that Loyola Marymount University (LMU) will help me with it.
To sum up, critical thinking is an essential mechanism which helps human beings to perform educational tasks and make the decisions in daily routine. Nevertheless, it is necessary to underline that it is not an inborn quality. That is why people should work hard to achieve it. Universities are the places where the mind can be polished and enhanced. That is why I hope that LMU will help me to eliminate the barriers on the way to effective critical skills.