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Friday, July 13, 2012

critical thinking

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Introduction


This essay portraits my journey of learning habits, experiences and strategy I will be using to successfully complete my masters degree. One of the important way of learning I feel is reflective writing and critical thinking which helps to evaluate ones strategies and also to evaluate the overall approach to ones work and their effectiveness in applying skills.


In recent years the word critical thinking has become a buzz in education system. For many reasons educators have started teaching thinking skills with contrast with teaching information and content. In a brief version of critical thinking can be stated as the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion weve arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome.


Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 16.


livepaperhelp.com



(http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm)


Critical thinking can be seen as having two components


1. a set of skills to process and generate information and beliefs, and


. the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to


guide behaviour.


It is thus to be contrasted with


1. the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, (because it


involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated,)


. the mere possession of a set of skills, (because it involves the


continual use of them,) and


. the mere use of those skills (as an exercise) without acceptance of


their results


(http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html)


Reflection lies somewhere around the notion of learning and thinking. We reflect in order to learn something, or we learn as a result of reflecting. Reflective writing is the expression on paper/screen of some of the mental processes of reflection. Other forms of expressing reflection are in speech, in film, in graphic portrayal, music etc. The expression of reflection is not, however, a direct mirror of what happens in the head. It is a representation of that process within the chosen medium and reflection represented in writing, for example, will be different to that encompassed in a drawing. In other words, in making are presentation of reflection, we shape and model the content of our reflection according to many influences. Factors that could shape your reflection into reflective writing might include


• the reason why you are writing reflectively (personal reasons � eg in a diary or for academic purposes etc)


• whether others are going to see what you have written and who they are (eg no-one else; a tutor who will mark it; a tutor who will not mark it, friends etc.);


• your emotional state at the time of writing, and emotional reaction to what you are writing (eg - a disturbing event that you do not want to think about or something you did well and want to enjoy in the rethinking process);


• related to the above, how safe you feel about the material and anyone


seeing it;


• what you know about reflective writing and how able you are to engage


in it (see below)


(http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf)


Critical reflection is defined as deliberate process when the candidate takes time, within the course of their work, to focus on their performance and think carefully about the thinking that led to particular actions, what happened and what they are learning from the experience, in order to inform what they might do in the future. (QCA, 001, 8). Reflective writing includes each of these elements of rigorous critical thinking, with an added emphasis on reconsidering preconceptions, exploring conflicts between competing values and concepts, and carefully considering the implications of various views for the writer’s actions. Variety of outcomes can be expected as a result of reflective writing for e.g. development of a plan or formulation of plan of action or decision or resolution of some problem solving activity. Finally reflective writing might provide self development, empowerment, knowledge and most importantly lead to the process of learning.


Let me begin by asking what is learning ? learning is the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge. I have been accustomed to this process since my childhood, the process of learning from that period has been changed constantly, the difference been at this stage this process has become more stressful and challenging. One of the example of my learning experience is the university of Sheffield Hallam where I am pursuing my masters degree.


To relate to my personnel experience the module critical thinking and investigation methods have moulded me in way that helped me to think effectively in relation to the subject matter, that is, how to properly understand and evaluate it. But did not start at the very beginning as I mentioned earlier the first impression was the negative effect which led to me loosing interest. It began when I started reading and discovered that critical thinking could be responsible in making decisions which might effect ones life. The example I could think for critical thinking is my practice of learning which has been dramatically changed while doing this masters degree. My previous education has been pursued in India where the learning process is totally different. The teaching method India is spoon fed wherein the teacher does all the talking and the students only have to write down notes and then read the same notes and answer their examination papers. Thus this system unable oneself to think or put forward ones views and opinion. Similarly in my case I had never experienced such a leaning process which would enable me to critically ask appropriate questions, gather relevant information, efficiently and creatively sort through this information, reason logically from this information, and come to reliable and trustworthy conclusion. Well my learning activity was opening my textbooks and start learning important matters by heart without even understanding the logic behind it. But this began to change when I went to pursue my bachelors in Switzerland where the learning was based on research methodology. Hence my learning practice has been changed from the past to the present where i have been given opportunities to put forward my ideas by doing some research work. Learning can be done through various ways like reading a book, watching a video, listening to your lecturer or audio piece, through actions etc, but it depends upon oneself as to how you learn best. According to my opinion I believe that if you hear the lecturer giving seminar or a lecture you grasp only 10% of the total matter taught, but at the same time when you see a demonstration or a video clip of that particular topic it is believed that you learn around 50%. In my case I believe in practising things which I learnt and research tells us that people tend to learn around 0% by doing in practical. Yes I believe that I learn best when go through practical training. I would like to give an example of my previous educational course diploma in hotel management which i pursued in India. The term hotel management as the name sounds does not only deals with managing the hotel and the front of the house areas but it also briefs us about the back of the house functions and how they work in connection with the front of the house departments. I only understood this concept when I underwent a 6 month practical training at one of the India most popular hotel the Taj Mahal , Mumbai. There I worked in departments like kitchen, human resources and sales and marketing and realised that cutting an onion in the kitchen also requires skills when compared to being a sales personnel whos job is to meet big corporate and sell his hotel. Hence the best way in which I learn is by doing things practically.


The way I learn I think is the most appropriate, but only thing I would like to do differently to learn is practice more as I preach because I normally say that I will do my assignments today and I never end doing it up, therefore I would like to be more truthful to myself which would further enhance my learning. I believe that education is never a waste the more u learn the more it adds to your knowledge. But there are certain factors that may act as a barrier and effect my learning process


• lack of confidence


• lack of tutorial support when studying


• lack of personal support


(http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceoflearning.htm)


I might want to change a certain things which would help me to improve my learning those include


• Paying more attention


• Practice as I preach


First day at Sheffield Hallam university and I was beginning to feel homesick already. I still remember the very first day in the university such huge that I was totally lost and didnt know where to go. After finding out for which class I was scheduled for the first day I quietly went and attended my induction classes. The first week was rather very interactive as came across many students in this university. As the weeks passed by I started coming in contact with all my modules and found out these modules related exactly to the course I had chosen. I still didnt even open by books and the assignment started to flow in, the pressure mounted and the stress had started to take over me. But I decided that I need to start from somewhere and here I am writing my first assignment on critical thinking and investigation methods. This module is relatively new and I would need to plan out as how I would manage and enhance my learning,. There were certain thoughts that were running down my mind as to what should I do to make my learning more effective. The only thought I found valid for this process was critical reflection. This meant that being a good thinker I started thinking rationally about the lectures, seminars, taking notes, drawing mind maps as from where I will begin my research, analyse them and then present them.





CD-ROM


After being in Sheffield Hallam university I have found that things here are very different when compared to home, for e.g. the teaching method, modules, learning materials provided etc.. The first thought that landed in my mind about this module of critical thinking was totally negative which really made me lose my interest towards this subject. This thought appeared because the handing over of the CD as the only learning material used by the lecturer to teach this module was something really absurd which I had never experienced before.


But gradually as the weeks flew and I watched the CD my perception began to change I really started forward to know more about this module and finding ways of how this module will groom me in future. The CD has played an important role in helping me to learn better and effectively. The CD is an introduction to the module and a meaningful attempt to pursue mastery. The journey of learning is designed to be engaging, interactive and not necessarily turning pages. The CD marries the video and text together and makes it more interesting for students. It makes the learning process more active than passive, the concepts which the developer has tired to portray is clearly understood through this CD with the help of audio, video and text demonstrations. CD enables the learners to use video controls, set pace and use video to relate task. The CD emphasises on writing skills and critical awareness of the subject. It also contains information on text, sounds and images which is also known as media richness. The other feature about the CD is that it points out about Mastery which not to repeat and learn theories, but to analysis and evaluate ideas. (Hart 16, 15).





There are certain advantages and disadvantages of CD provided to us for this module


Advantages


Good for permanent data storage- shelf life of a CD-ROM is long and data can be referenced frequently, Easy to store- The CD-ROM being mobile and occupies very limited storage space, Interactive presentation- the use of audio video presentation could enhance learning process , Security- It can be secured through a password.


Disadvantages


Maintenance cost- Hardware, software, expertise, Limited Access- Once information stored on the CD cannot be changed, Readability- It is difficult and tiring to read a book on a computer when compared to its paper version


Conclusion


In this piece of work I have tried to relate the theory and my personal experience. These two sections in my opinion are not interconnected as things are very different when you apply them in real life. The books we refer to may provide only the base my listing the core concepts, but the understanding of these concepts are solely dependant on how one practices. In the same way thinking skills are develop by students with the help of critical reflection as it has the ability to control ones thinking. This kind of assignment on critical thinking and investigation method, will help to become more communicative and active in learning. This work has motivated to seek for information and think about the issues more seriously and critically. It has also helped me to get into the habit of thinking reflectively as I sought to identify issues that I could write about. This also helped me to improve my problem solving skills and analytical skills.


Bibliography


1. Bell, Judith Doing your Research Project a guide for first time researchers in education and social science, rd ed. Buckingham Open U.P. ; (1)


. Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (001) How to Research, nd ed, Buckingham Open University Press


. Burns, R (15) The adult learner at work Business and Professional Publishing Sydney


4. Hunt, Cheryl (1) - Reflective Practice.


5. Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. (16).


6. Moon, J (1) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development, Taylor and Frances, London


7. http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm


8. http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html


. http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf


10. http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceoflearning.htm


Critical Thinking and Investigation Method


Reflective Writing


Assignment 1


Unit Tutor


Mr. Colin Beard


Student ID10880


Introduction


This essay portraits my journey of learning habits, experiences and strategy I will be using to successfully complete my masters degree. One of the important way of learning I feel is reflective writing and critical thinking which helps to evaluate ones strategies and also to evaluate the overall approach to ones work and their effectiveness in applying skills.


In recent years the word critical thinking has become a buzz in education system. For many reasons educators have started teaching thinking skills with contrast with teaching information and content. In a brief version of critical thinking can be stated as the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion weve arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome.


Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 16.


(http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm)


Critical thinking can be seen as having two components


1. a set of skills to process and generate information and beliefs, and


. the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to


guide behaviour.


It is thus to be contrasted with


1. the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, (because it


involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated,)


. the mere possession of a set of skills, (because it involves the


continual use of them,) and


. the mere use of those skills (as an exercise) without acceptance of


their results


(http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html)


Reflection lies somewhere around the notion of learning and thinking. We reflect in order to learn something, or we learn as a result of reflecting. Reflective writing is the expression on paper/screen of some of the mental processes of reflection. Other forms of expressing reflection are in speech, in film, in graphic portrayal, music etc. The expression of reflection is not, however, a direct mirror of what happens in the head. It is a representation of that process within the chosen medium and reflection represented in writing, for example, will be different to that encompassed in a drawing. In other words, in making are presentation of reflection, we shape and model the content of our reflection according to many influences. Factors that could shape your reflection into reflective writing might include


• the reason why you are writing reflectively (personal reasons � eg in a diary or for academic purposes etc)


• whether others are going to see what you have written and who they are (eg no-one else; a tutor who will mark it; a tutor who will not mark it, friends etc.);


• your emotional state at the time of writing, and emotional reaction to what you are writing (eg - a disturbing event that you do not want to think about or something you did well and want to enjoy in the rethinking process);


• related to the above, how safe you feel about the material and anyone


seeing it;


• what you know about reflective writing and how able you are to engage


in it (see below)


(http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf)


Critical reflection is defined as deliberate process when the candidate takes time, within the course of their work, to focus on their performance and think carefully about the thinking that led to particular actions, what happened and what they are learning from the experience, in order to inform what they might do in the future. (QCA, 001, 8). Reflective writing includes each of these elements of rigorous critical thinking, with an added emphasis on reconsidering preconceptions, exploring conflicts between competing values and concepts, and carefully considering the implications of various views for the writer’s actions. Variety of outcomes can be expected as a result of reflective writing for e.g. development of a plan or formulation of plan of action or decision or resolution of some problem solving activity. Finally reflective writing might provide self development, empowerment, knowledge and most importantly lead to the process of learning.


Let me begin by asking what is learning ? learning is the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge. I have been accustomed to this process since my childhood, the process of learning from that period has been changed constantly, the difference been at this stage this process has become more stressful and challenging. One of the example of my learning experience is the university of Sheffield Hallam where I am pursuing my masters degree.


To relate to my personnel experience the module critical thinking and investigation methods have moulded me in way that helped me to think effectively in relation to the subject matter, that is, how to properly understand and evaluate it. But did not start at the very beginning as I mentioned earlier the first impression was the negative effect which led to me loosing interest. It began when I started reading and discovered that critical thinking could be responsible in making decisions which might effect ones life. The example I could think for critical thinking is my practice of learning which has been dramatically changed while doing this masters degree. My previous education has been pursued in India where the learning process is totally different. The teaching method India is spoon fed wherein the teacher does all the talking and the students only have to write down notes and then read the same notes and answer their examination papers. Thus this system unable oneself to think or put forward ones views and opinion. Similarly in my case I had never experienced such a leaning process which would enable me to critically ask appropriate questions, gather relevant information, efficiently and creatively sort through this information, reason logically from this information, and come to reliable and trustworthy conclusion. Well my learning activity was opening my textbooks and start learning important matters by heart without even understanding the logic behind it. But this began to change when I went to pursue my bachelors in Switzerland where the learning was based on research methodology. Hence my learning practice has been changed from the past to the present where i have been given opportunities to put forward my ideas by doing some research work. Learning can be done through various ways like reading a book, watching a video, listening to your lecturer or audio piece, through actions etc, but it depends upon oneself as to how you learn best. According to my opinion I believe that if you hear the lecturer giving seminar or a lecture you grasp only 10% of the total matter taught, but at the same time when you see a demonstration or a video clip of that particular topic it is believed that you learn around 50%. In my case I believe in practising things which I learnt and research tells us that people tend to learn around 0% by doing in practical. Yes I believe that I learn best when go through practical training. I would like to give an example of my previous educational course diploma in hotel management which i pursued in India. The term hotel management as the name sounds does not only deals with managing the hotel and the front of the house areas but it also briefs us about the back of the house functions and how they work in connection with the front of the house departments. I only understood this concept when I underwent a 6 month practical training at one of the India most popular hotel the Taj Mahal , Mumbai. There I worked in departments like kitchen, human resources and sales and marketing and realised that cutting an onion in the kitchen also requires skills when compared to being a sales personnel whos job is to meet big corporate and sell his hotel. Hence the best way in which I learn is by doing things practically.


The way I learn I think is the most appropriate, but only thing I would like to do differently to learn is practice more as I preach because I normally say that I will do my assignments today and I never end doing it up, therefore I would like to be more truthful to myself which would further enhance my learning. I believe that education is never a waste the more u learn the more it adds to your knowledge. But there are certain factors that may act as a barrier and effect my learning process


• lack of confidence


• lack of tutorial support when studying


• lack of personal support


(http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceoflearning.htm)


I might want to change a certain things which would help me to improve my learning those include


• Paying more attention


• Practice as I preach


First day at Sheffield Hallam university and I was beginning to feel homesick already. I still remember the very first day in the university such huge that I was totally lost and didnt know where to go. After finding out for which class I was scheduled for the first day I quietly went and attended my induction classes. The first week was rather very interactive as came across many students in this university. As the weeks passed by I started coming in contact with all my modules and found out these modules related exactly to the course I had chosen. I still didnt even open by books and the assignment started to flow in, the pressure mounted and the stress had started to take over me. But I decided that I need to start from somewhere and here I am writing my first assignment on critical thinking and investigation methods. This module is relatively new and I would need to plan out as how I would manage and enhance my learning,. There were certain thoughts that were running down my mind as to what should I do to make my learning more effective. The only thought I found valid for this process was critical reflection. This meant that being a good thinker I started thinking rationally about the lectures, seminars, taking notes, drawing mind maps as from where I will begin my research, analyse them and then present them.





CD-ROM


After being in Sheffield Hallam university I have found that things here are very different when compared to home, for e.g. the teaching method, modules, learning materials provided etc.. The first thought that landed in my mind about this module of critical thinking was totally negative which really made me lose my interest towards this subject. This thought appeared because the handing over of the CD as the only learning material used by the lecturer to teach this module was something really absurd which I had never experienced before.


But gradually as the weeks flew and I watched the CD my perception began to change I really started forward to know more about this module and finding ways of how this module will groom me in future. The CD has played an important role in helping me to learn better and effectively. The CD is an introduction to the module and a meaningful attempt to pursue mastery. The journey of learning is designed to be engaging, interactive and not necessarily turning pages. The CD marries the video and text together and makes it more interesting for students. It makes the learning process more active than passive, the concepts which the developer has tired to portray is clearly understood through this CD with the help of audio, video and text demonstrations. CD enables the learners to use video controls, set pace and use video to relate task. The CD emphasises on writing skills and critical awareness of the subject. It also contains information on text, sounds and images which is also known as media richness. The other feature about the CD is that it points out about Mastery which not to repeat and learn theories, but to analysis and evaluate ideas. (Hart 16, 15).





There are certain advantages and disadvantages of CD provided to us for this module


Advantages


Good for permanent data storage- shelf life of a CD-ROM is long and data can be referenced frequently, Easy to store- The CD-ROM being mobile and occupies very limited storage space, Interactive presentation- the use of audio video presentation could enhance learning process , Security- It can be secured through a password.


Disadvantages


Maintenance cost- Hardware, software, expertise, Limited Access- Once information stored on the CD cannot be changed, Readability- It is difficult and tiring to read a book on a computer when compared to its paper version


Conclusion


In this piece of work I have tried to relate the theory and my personal experience. These two sections in my opinion are not interconnected as things are very different when you apply them in real life. The books we refer to may provide only the base my listing the core concepts, but the understanding of these concepts are solely dependant on how one practices. In the same way thinking skills are develop by students with the help of critical reflection as it has the ability to control ones thinking. This kind of assignment on critical thinking and investigation method, will help to become more communicative and active in learning. This work has motivated to seek for information and think about the issues more seriously and critically. It has also helped me to get into the habit of thinking reflectively as I sought to identify issues that I could write about. This also helped me to improve my problem solving skills and analytical skills.


Bibliography


1. Bell, Judith Doing your Research Project a guide for first time researchers in education and social science, rd ed. Buckingham Open U.P. ; (1)


. Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (001) How to Research, nd ed, Buckingham Open University Press


. Burns, R (15) The adult learner at work Business and Professional Publishing Sydney


4. Hunt, Cheryl (1) - Reflective Practice.


5. Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. (16).


6. Moon, J (1) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development, Taylor and Frances, London


7. http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm


8. http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html


. http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf


10. http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceo


Please note that this sample paper on critical thinking is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on critical thinking, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on critical thinking will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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