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Enhancing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills. Bhoendradatt Tewarie Director, Institute of Critical Thinking UWI St. Augustine. I Some basics to stimulate discussion. “I think, therefore, I am”. René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician and physicist

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Enhancing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills


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    1. Enhancing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Bhoendradatt Tewarie Director, Institute of Critical Thinking UWI St. Augustine

    2. ISome basicsto stimulate discussion © Institute of Critical Thinking

    3. “I think, therefore, I am” René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician and physicist “Father of Modern Philosophy” In his Discourse on the Method (1637) he attempted to arrive at a fundamental set of principles that one could know as true without any doubt (a foundation of knowledge). To achieve this, he employed a method of systematic doubt, where he rejected any idea that could be doubted, i.e. everything he perceived through his senses. Descartes then arrived at the principle: “Je pense, donc je suis” or “I think, therefore I am” (Latin: cogito ergo sum) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    4. “I become what I think” © Institute of Critical Thinking

    5. “High thinking and simple living” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi © Institute of Critical Thinking

    6. People, events, things, issues, ideas, concept – the mundane, material, the world around us, the meaning of things © Institute of Critical Thinking

    7. The material, the philosophical, the spiritual © Institute of Critical Thinking

    8. Is there any relationship between the focus of one’s thoughts and the quality of one’s existence, the quality of life? © Institute of Critical Thinking

    9. IILogical thinking and lateral thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

    10. Logical thinking A process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion The ability to understand and to incorporate the rules of basic logical inference in everyday activities Cause and effect © Institute of Critical Thinking

    11. Logical thinking examples • A doctor diagnosing a patient’s illness • An engineer trying to determine why a machine is not working • You have six pairs of black socks and six pairs of white socks in a drawer. In complete darkness, and without looking, what is the least number of socks must you take from the drawer in order to be sure you get a matching pair? • A milkman has two empty jugs: a three gallon jug and a five gallon jug. How can he measure exactly one gallon of milk without wasting any? © Institute of Critical Thinking

    12. Lateral thinking “methods of thinking concerned with changing concepts and perception” - (Edward de Bono) It is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic Thinking “outside the box” © Institute of Critical Thinking

    13. Lateral thinking examples Connect the nine dots below using four straight lines without lifting your pen from the paper. How could a baby fall out of a twenty-storey building onto the ground and live? A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink of water. The bartender thinks for a minute, pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, "Thank you," and walks out. What happened? © Institute of Critical Thinking 13

    14. Deductive reasoning • In deductive reasoning onearrives at a specific conclusion based on generalizations • All apples are fruit. Some apples are red. Therefore some fruit are red. • The houses in this area vary in size so that some houses may have more rooms or larger rooms than others. © Institute of Critical Thinking

    15. Inductive reasoning • In inductive reasoning one makes generalizations based on individual instances • All observed corbeaux are black. Therefore: All corbeaux are black. • All known cases of human bleeding reveal that the colour of blood is red. Therefore the colour of human blood is red. © Institute of Critical Thinking

    16. Analysis – the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it Reason – to think in a connected, sensible, or logical manner; to find a rational motive for a belief or action Rationality – the state of having good sense and sound judgment Logic – the study of the principles of valid inference and argument Analysis → Reason → Rationality → Logic © Institute of Critical Thinking

    17. IIIStrategic thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

    18. Strategy • A long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal • military strategy • marketing strategy • political campaign strategy • game strategy © Institute of Critical Thinking

    19. Strategic thinking • Focuses on finding and developing unique opportunities to create value • facilitated by enabling a provocative and creative dialogue among people who can affect for example, a company’s direction • solving a problem • finding new ways of doing something • Strategic thinking in an organization, involves synthesis, using intuition and creatively forming a shared vision of where the organization should be heading if it is to survive and prosper in the current and future market place. © Institute of Critical Thinking

    20. Strategic thinking Jeanne Liedtka. (1998). Strategic thinking; can it be taught?, Long Range Planning, 31, (1), 120-129 Systems perspective – see the system as a whole and the linkages between the individual parts Intent focus – convey a sense of direction and discovery Hypothesis driven – embrace hypothesis generation and testing as core activities Think in time – able to connect the past with the present and link it to the future Intelligent opportunism – open to new experiences © Institute of Critical Thinking

    21. Strategic thinking “Taken together, these five elements describe a strategic thinker with a broad field view that sees the whole and the connections between its pieces”. (Liedtka 1998) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    22. Analytical thinking • In analytical thinking, one uses a methodical step-by-step approach to break down complex problems or processes into their constituent parts, identifies cause and effect patterns and analyzes problems to arrive to an appropriate solution © Institute of Critical Thinking

    23. Strategic planning • Strategic planning is about analysis (breaking down a goal into steps, determining how the steps could be implemented, and identifying the possible consequences of each step) • An organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people © Institute of Critical Thinking

    24. Strategic implementation and the achievement of outcomes © Institute of Critical Thinking

    25. IVCreative thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

    26. Creative thinking Joseph Schumpeter (1934). The Theory of Economic Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press • Creative thinking – generating new ideas by combining, changing, or re-applying existing ideas • Schumpeter (1883-1950) described an entrepreneur as an individual who carries out “new combinations” such as: • Introducing a new good • Introducing a new method of production • Opening a new market • Identifying a new source of supply of raw materials • Forming a new organization of any industry © Institute of Critical Thinking

    27. Creativity Creativity – a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts © Institute of Critical Thinking

    28. The creative process • One of the earliest models of the creative process is attributed to Graham Wallas (1926) who proposed that creative thinking proceeds through four phases: • Preparation (definition of issue, observation, study, information gathering) • Incubation (laying the issue aside for some time) • Illumination (emerging of the new idea) • Verification (checking it out) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    29. The creative process • Several other models have been proposed, but one common theme is that the creative process involves: • Analysis (breaking down the problem/issue into smaller more easily understandable parts) • Evaluation (determining whether an item or activity meets specified criteria) • Imagination (forming images and ideas in the mind) • Synthesis (combining existing ideas/concepts into something new) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    30. The creative process at work Music Art Dance Inventions – airplane, telephone Innovations – Apple iPhone, Gateway (Dell personal computers) Creative problem solving – using a knife/letter opener to tighten a screw when a screwdriver is not available © Institute of Critical Thinking

    31. VCritical thinking © Institute of Critical Thinking

    32. Critical thinking • “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action” (Scriven & Paul, 1992) • “reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do” (Ennis, 1992). © Institute of Critical Thinking

    33. Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain Bloom, B., Englehart, M. Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green © Institute of Critical Thinking

    34. Critical thinking, creativity and the critical/creative process • Both creative and critical thinking involve the use of high order thinking skills • In the creative process one uses: • creative thinking skills (synthesis and imagination) in the preparation and verification phases • critical thinking skills (analysis and evaluation) in the incubation and illumination phases © Institute of Critical Thinking

    35. Creative vs critical thinking (Isaksen and Treffinger (1985), Creative Problem Solving: The Basic Course) Creative thinking is described as: • making and communicating connections to think of many possibilities; • think and experience in various ways and use different points of view; • think of new and unusual possibilities; and • guide in generating and selecting alternatives. Critical thinking is described as: • analyzing and developing possibilities to compare and contrast many ideas • improve and refine ideas • make effective decisions and judgments, and • provide a sound foundation for effective action. © Institute of Critical Thinking

    36. Creative vs critical thinking Creative thinking Divergent Right brain (global, parallel, emotional, subjective) Synthesis Critical thinking Convergent Left brain (analytic, serial, logical, objective) Evaluation © Institute of Critical Thinking 36

    37. Scientific thinking – using the scientific method (1. Identify a problem you would like to solve; 2. Formulate a hypothesis; 3. Test the hypothesis; 4. Collect and analyze the data; 5. Make conclusions) to study or investigate nature or the universe Innovative/adaptive thinking – the ability to react to unexpected changes Problem-solving – the ability to analyze information related to a given situation and generate appropriate response options Judgment – the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation Decision-making – the process of choosing between alternative courses of action © Institute of Critical Thinking

    38. Summary of elements of critical thinking Critical thinking involves using the following skills to make a decision, come to a conclusion or solve a problem. • Conceptualization: forming ideas • Application: using information in new situations • Analysis: breaking down problems/issues into smaller more easily understandable parts • Synthesis: combining existing ideas/concepts into something new • Evaluation: determining whether an item or activity meets specified criteria © Institute of Critical Thinking

    39. 12 pillars of economic competitiveness Institutions Infrastructure Macroeconomic stability Health and primary education Higher education & training Goods market efficiency Labour market efficiency Financial market sophistication Technological readiness Market size Business sophistication Innovation © Institute of Critical Thinking

    40. Global Competitiveness Index (Ranks 1-20) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    41. Global Competitiveness Index (Ranks 21-40) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    42. Global Competitiveness Index ranks in Latin America and the Caribbean © Institute of Critical Thinking

    43. Global Competitiveness Index ranks in some small states © Institute of Critical Thinking

    44. T&T Global Competitiveness Index ranks from 2001 to 2009 © Institute of Critical Thinking

    45. Trinidad & Tobago economy [source: ECLAC (2008 preliminary figures)] • GDP (ppp): $24.2 billion • GDP per capita (ppp): $18,087 © Institute of Critical Thinking

    46. T&T – Share of GDP [source: CSO Pocket Digest 2008] © Institute of Critical Thinking

    47. T&T – Labour force [source: LABORSTA (ILO database on labour statistics) <http://laborsta.ilo.org/>] (2008 projections) © Institute of Critical Thinking

    48. T&T – Employment by economic activity [source: LABORSTA (ILO database on labour statistics) http://laborsta.ilo.org/] (2008 figures) • Agriculture: 3.8% • Mining and quarrying (incl. petr. & gas extraction): 3.5% • Manufacturing: 9.2% • Construction and utilities: 19.5% • Services and other: 64.0% • Public sector: 26.5% • General government sector:23.1% • Publicly owned enterprises: 3.4% • Private sector: 73.5% © Institute of Critical Thinking

    49. T&T Exports • Exports: $15.9 billion • Oil and gas account for 80% of exports [source: World Factbook (2008 estimates)] © Institute of Critical Thinking

    50. Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) Main objective is to provide short term employment relief while enhancing the skills of individuals in the community Work is provided on a rotation basis, every two to three fortnights (four to six weeks)  URP workers are not entitled to any employment benefits or vacation leave Labourers are paid a stipend of about $650 a fortnight (about $1,300 per month) URP employs 50,000-60,000 people © Institute of Critical Thinking