Monday, January 2, 2012

Critical Thinking Skills Are Essential To A Successful College Education

The entire college experience is based on stimulating, developing, and honing a student's scholarly faculties. This involves diverse curricula that motivate thinking, reasoning, and logic. In short, a college education is rooted in critical thinking. Critical thinking involves the use of reasoning and logic to solve problems or make decisions. This article will review some of the basic critical thinking skills that can help you achieve your college education goals.
When you examine two objects for similarities and differences, this is utilizing the skills of comparing and contrasting. This concept involves identifying similarities or common characteristics, and contrasting involves identifying differences. Using this analytical application can help discover details that you might have otherwise overlooked. Comparing and contrasting skills are often used in English and literature courses as well as science courses.
Using your knowledge about one situation to make sense of similar situation is the skill of applying concepts. Relating two situations and being able to transfer your knowledge from one situation to another reveals your understanding of that particular concept. Applying concepts skills are used throughout the science field. Conducting experiments and applying learned data to solve different problems is a good example of applying concepts.
Textbooks are filled with diagrams, photographs, and maps. They are included to help students understand the subject matter content. These various illustrations show processes, places, and ideas in a visual way. Understanding these illustrations is a skill called interpreting illustrations. This skill is important for visual learners, as captions and labels identify key concepts and important parts of the written information. This helps students gain a complete understanding of what is being taught.
Determining the relationship between two events uses a skill called relating cause and effect. If one event causes another event to occur, the two events are said to have a cause-and-effect relationship. This type of critical thinking is used primarily in science classes, where students carry out experiments to determine whether a cause-and-effect relationship exists. Some education classes utilize this skill as well.
Not all critical thinking skills are targeted at academic success. Some critical thinking skills are used for personal development as well. Making generalizations is a skill that helps students formulate legitimate conclusions. For a generalization to be valid, the source of information must be credible and authenticate. Generalization skills are typically used in courses like statistics and economics, but they can also be applied to the purpose of individual growth and development.
Most people associate problem-solving with critical thinking. Problem-solving skills are instrumental in resolving a particular issue or deciding a course of action. Mathematical classes are ground zero for learning how to solve not only mathematical problems but also simple and complex issues in every area of your life. Strategies such as brainstorming and making models help develop problem-solving skills.

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