Attitude and effort will distinguish you. Critical thinking
will help you and your team meet your goals. If you
supply only A&E without Critical thinking, you might be
easily misled and “spinning your wheels.”
One of the leading proponents of critical thinking is
Richard Paul, whose book we have mentioned in
a previous post. When a team first comes together
it is important to define goals, roles and the meaning
of terms. If you just pose questions without displaying
positive attitude, you could be “blacklisted” as not
part of the team effort. Distinguish yourself with
positive attitude and effort, implying that your critical
thinking is well placed.
Richard W Paul, “Critical Thinking: What every
person needs to survive in a
rapidly changing world,”
ed. By Jane Willsen and A J A Binker 1993
Foundation for Critical Thinking
CRITICAL THINKING IN ACTION
Two examples follow that offer case studies– one
from a news commentary on often misunderstood
terms, the second on a student’s critical self
Some ‘often used’ terms carry different meanings to
people. It could be due to context or experiences.
The terms “research” and “innovation” are such
terms. L. Kwoh wrote about “innovation” in WSJ
as having widely different definitions and care and
specificity are needed in its use. Kwoh clarifies
three classes as efficiency, sustaining and disruptive.
This critical thinking is helpful.
A student recently asked about what they could do
to improve her control of their emotions, her
self control. While not an easy topic, there were
two references I offered. Burmeister and Tierney’s
book, “Will-power…” suggests
“self-regulation is the major social pathology
of our time,… contributing to divorce, … crime and
“People with good self control mainly use it
not for rescue in emergencies, but rather to develop
effective habits and routines.”
Pier Forni’s excellent reference, “The Thinking Life…”
speaks of self control as not so much refraining from
seeking our own advantage. Rather he points out
refraining from doing it at another person’s expense.
Reaching your goals by helping others reach theirs
is self control at its best.
I applauded the student for asking her question
realizing the critical thinking that went into it.