Thinking Effectively & Critically

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Critical Thinking Process

What does it mean to be a critical thinker?Thinking Effectively & CriticallyPresented byKate Stockton, Learning Coach at NEC


AGENDAAcademic Support - Services & ResourcesUnderstand the complexity of thinking criticallyImprove critical thinking skillsLearn to apply critical thinking in everyday lifeQuestions? (Stop me and ask throughout)Upcoming Workshops


Learning Coaches & Content Tutors One-to-one appointments in person or via phone, e-mail, Internet, etc. Workshops (online & onsite) Small group assistance (online & onsite) Online Content Area Tutoring Smarthinking ( Online Support For Academic Support Information & Materials Available 24/7 Online go to A self-paced or credit-bearing study & resources - On Facebook - NEC Academic Support & Student ServicesAcademic Support @ NEC

Services & ResourcesHelping You Connect the Pieces for Academic Success


What is a learning coach?

A learning coach is someone who provides academic support to students in one-on-one or small group settings in all areas of the writing process and related study skills strategies including time management, organization, reading efficiency, developing a study plan, goal setting, critical thinking, library research skills, note-taking, and learning styles.Sarah Spence-Staulters is located in Latham working with Schenectady & Latham/Albany students Her hours are: Mondays 3pm- 7:30pmWednesdays 3:00pm-7:30pmFridays - 9am- 4pmContact Sarah to make an appointment : (518) 783-6203 ext 5992 or


Kate Stockton is located in Latham working with Johnstown & Latham/Albany students Her hours are: Mondays - 4:00pm-7:30pmWednesday - 4:00pm-7:30pmThursdays - 4:00pm-8:00pmContact Kate to make an appointment : (518) 783-6203 ext 5992 or

Mary Sanders-Shartle is located in Saratoga working with Saratoga & Queensbury students Her hours are: Mondays 12pm-2pmWednesdays 3pm-6pmThursdays 4pm-6pmContact Mary to make an appointment :(518) 587-2100 ext 2827 or

____________________________________________________________________Meet the Learning Coaches


The Pieces of Academic SuccessTime ManagementEffective ThinkingGoal SettingUnderstanding Learning StylesDeveloping a Study PlanActive ReadingWritingCritical ThinkingAcademic ResearchStress Management

Office of Academic SupportHelping You Connect the Pieces

5These are the services offered by the Office of Academic Support. There are a variety of topics and ways in which we can assist students with their academic success. Updates are made frequently on the Academic Support @ NEC Website and resources will be available in the online community group in the ANGEL learning environment.

Critical ThinkingPurposeful, self-regulatory judgment which manifests itself in reasoned consideration of evidence, context, methods, standards, and conceptualizations in deciding what to believe or what to do.The Delphi Report: Executive Summary: (1990), The California Academic Press, or ERIC Doc ED315 423


Critical ThinkingEverybody thinks its just that some people think better than others; their thinking is more insightful, sophisticated, and profoundCritical thinkers are people who have developed thoughtful and well-founded beliefs that guide their choices in every area of their lives. In order to develop the strongest and most accurate beliefs possible, you need to become aware of your own biases, explore situations from many different perspectives, and develop sound reasons to support your points of view. These abilities are the tools you need to become more enlightened and reflective a critical thinker.Chaffee, J. (1998). The Thinkers Way: 8 Steps to a Richer Life. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company.


Critical ThinkingThinking is an art, with its own purposes, standards, principles, rules, strategies, and precautions. And it is an art well worth learning, for every important thing we do is affected by our habits of mind.

Thinking is a purposeful mental activity over which we exercise some control. Control is the key wordThinking is any mental activity that helps formulate or solve a problem, make a decision, or fulfill a desire to understand. It is a searching for answers, a reaching for a meaning.- Vincent Ryan Ruggiero, The Art of Thinking: A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought


Critical ThinkingCritical thinking:A productive and positive activityIncludes identifying and challenging assumptions Exploring and imagining alternativesA process, not an outcome It is not passive. Manifestations depend on context Triggered by positive as well as negative eventsInvolves alternating phases of analysis and actionCombines reflective analysis and informed actionIs emotive as well as rational

COMPONENTS of Critical ThinkingIdentifying and challenging assumptionsChallenging the importance of contextImagining and exploring alternativesReflective skepticismBrookfield, Stephen D. (1987). Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting


Skills Dispositions Critical Thinkingis about being Able & Willingto THINK CRITICALLY


Thinking as a SKILL & DISPOSITIONThinking is a skill that can be improved by training, by practice, and through learning how to do it better.

Thinking is no different from any other skill and we can get better at the skill of thinking if we have the will to do so.

Edward DeBono, Thinking Course



The performance of a car does not depend on the horsepower of the car, but upon the skill with which the car is driven by the driver. So, if intelligence is the horsepower of the car, then thinking is the skill with which that horsepower is used.

Intelligence is a potential. Thinking is an operating skill.

Thinking is the operating skill through which intelligence acts upon experience- Edward DeBono Thinking Course, p. 2


Characteristics of Strong Critical Thinkers(from Vincent Ruggiero, Beyond Feelings, A Guide to Critical Thinking):

Critical Thinkers... "Are honest with themselves, acknowledging what they don't know, recognizing their limitations, and being watchful of their own errors."Critical Thinkers... "Regard problems and controversial issues as exciting challenges."Critical Thinkers... "Strive for understanding, keep curiosity alive, remain patient with complexity and ready to invest time to overcome confusion."Critical Thinkers... "Set aside personal preferences and base judgments on evidence, deferring judgment whenever evidence is insufficient. They revise judgments when new evidence reveals error."Critical Thinkers... "Are interested in other people's ideas, so are willing to read and listen attentively, even when they tend to disagree with the other person."Critical Thinkers... "Recognize that extreme views (whether conservative or liberal) are seldom correct, so they avoid them, practice fair-mindedness, and seek a balanced view."Critical Thinkers... "Practice restraint, controlling their feelings rather than being controlled by them, and thinking before acting."

Critical thinking is about understanding, analyzing and evaluating texts in order to comprehend, judge accuracy, & relevancy.


Critical Thinking


Mental Muscle Activity #1Making Pictures


What Do You See???


How Old Is this Woman?




What Am I?


Processing INFORMATION - Ink Blot Picture





Pablo Picasso's black on white drawing of Don Quixote






The Dahlak Archipelago is an island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea.

The Archipelago of Albion

Input & Mathematical SchemaEach numeral is made up of small line segments. MOVE ONLY ONE SEGMENT to make the math correct.


Input & Mathematical SchemaEach numeral is made up of small line segments. MOVE ONLY ONE SEGMENT to make the math correct.


Blooms Taxonomy

KNOWLEDGE - Student recalls or recognizes information, ideas, and principles in the approximate form in which theywere learned. COMPREHENSION - Student translates, comprehends, or interprets information based on prior learning. APPLICATION - Student selects, transfers, and uses data and principles to complete a problem or task with a minimum of direction. ANALYSIS - Student distinguishes, classifies, and relates the assumptions, hypotheses, evidence, or structure of a statement or question. SYNTHESIS - Student originates, integrates, and combines ideas into a product, plan or proposal that is new to him or her. EVALUATION - Student appraises, assesses, or critiqueson a basis of specific standards and criteria.

Critical Thinking Process




The actual textand purpose for reading&What you bring to the critical thinking process

The Text The Assignment The Reading The Lecture The Movie The Conversation

Personal Characteristics Your Learning Style Your Experience Your Attitude Your Filter Your Schema/Prior Knowledge



The meaning you gain/makeas you read