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Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Strategies

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  1. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Strategies Debbie Dillman, MSRS, RT(R) Program Chair, Radiologic Technology Ivy Tech Community College, Marion, IN

  2. Objectives • Define critical thinking • Discuss the major elements of critical thinking • Name the components of critical thinking • List some obstacle of critical thinking • Discuss critical thinking in the classroom • List steps for problem solving and critical thinking

  3. What is “Critical Thinking”? • The use of metacognition, or the awareness and monitoring of one's thinking • Thinking about thinking • Thinking about an issue for the purpose of deciding what to believe or to do • The attitude of openness or willingness to change one's point of view

  4. What is “Critical Thinking”? • "Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action" (National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1996).

  5. What is “Critical Thinking”? • “The art of thinking about your thinking while you are thinking in order to make your thinking better” Paul & Elder (1992)

  6. What is “Critical Thinking”? • The use of higher order thinking skills as in Bloom's taxonomy • Classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning

  7. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Knowledge • Recall of information • Key descriptors: • Defines, describes, identifies, knows, labels, lists, matches, names, outlines, recalls, recognizes, reproduces, selects, states

  8. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Understanding or comprehension • Understand and can interpret the instructions and problem • Able to state a problem in one's own words • Key descriptors: • Classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate

  9. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Application • Use a concept in a new situation • Apply what was learned • Key descriptors: • Apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, use, write

  10. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Analysis • Separates the material or concepts into component parts • Distinguishes between facts and what was inferred • Key descriptors: • Analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test

  11. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Synthesis • Builds what we know • Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure • Key descriptors: • Arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write

  12. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Evaluation • Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials • Select the most effective solution • Key descriptors: • Appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose, compare, defend, estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate

  13. Left – logical, judging, evaluating Language Logic Linearity Analysis Numbers and sequence Right – creative, idea-generating Images / imagination Colors / geometry Patterns, face & map recognition Dimension Parallel processing What Influences Critical Thinking

  14. In Imaging • Clinical reasoning, clinical decision making, clinical judgment • No two patients or procedures will be the same • Pt.’s condition, injury, mental stability, age • May need to alter from the “norm”

  15. Critical Thinking in Rad Tech • To improve overall patient care by producing skillful (competent) imaging technologists

  16. Learning to Think Critically • A long-term developmental process • Must be practiced, nurtured, and reinforced over time • An ongoing process

  17. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Perception • Assumptions • Emotion • Language • Argument • Fallacy • Logic • Problem Solving

  18. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Perception • How we receive and translate our experiences • A significant filtering system • Defines how we think • Based on our sense of smell, taste, hear, feel, and see • Can we trust our perceptions?

  19. Julian Beever

  20. Julian Beever

  21. Julian Beever

  22. Julian Beever

  23. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Assumptions • Central to Critical Thinking • Implied, not conscious of them • Not always bad • We think some ideas are obvious • Make us comfortable with present beliefs & shut out alternatives

  24. Question? It is time to elect a new world leader, and your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:Candidate A: Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day. Candidate B:He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used Opium in college and drinks a quart of whisky every evening. Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extramarital affairs. Which of these candidates would be your choice? Franklin D. Roosevelt Winston Churchill Adolf Hitler

  25. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Emotion • Try to “Leave emotion out of it!” • Part of everything we do and think • Personal barriers • Critical thinkers don’t ignore or deny emotions • Accept and manage them

  26. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Language • Thinking can’t be separated from language • Three primary purposes: • Inform • Persuade • Explain • It can fool us

  27. Am I Reading This Right? • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead  • Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks      • Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training • Include your Children when Baking Cookies 

  28. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Argument • Three basic elements • Issue • One or more reasons • One or more conclusions • Can be valid or invalid based on structure • Goal of Critical Thinking is sound arguments • Valid (proper structure) • Most have true premises

  29. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Fallacy • Reasoning that doesn’t meet criteria for sound argument • Is an incorrect pattern of reasoning • Does not always mean conclusion is false • Ads & editorials

  30. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Logic • Two methods of reasoning • Deductive • Facts • Certainty • Validity • Sound arguments and conclusions • Inductive • Diverse facts • Probability • Generalizations • Hypotheses

  31. Logic Problem • Mary's mom has four children • The first child is called April • The second is May • The third child is June • What is the name of the fourth child? Mary is her mother’s 4th child!

  32. Logic Problem • THE PILOT'S SON: A man and his son were traveling on a scheduled flight across the Atlantic.  The man asked the flight attendant if his son could have a look inside the cockpit.  The boy was allowed to do this and the pilot gladly explained about the plane and its controls.  After the boy left, the pilot turned to the co-pilot and said to him, "That was my son.“ How can that be? The pilot is the boys mother!

  33. Major Components of Critical Thinking • Problem Solving • Techniques: • Understand the problem • Read & heed • Identify unknowns & knowns • Relationships between these • Generate strategy • Apply and solve • Repeat if necessary

  34. More Components of Critical Thinking • Domains • Cognitive • Psychomotor • Affective

  35. Components of Critical Thinking • Cognitive: Knowledge-base • Theoretical knowledge • Information acquired from books, stories, guides, etc. • Materials presented in reading assignments and didactic lecture • “But the (text) book says . . .” • Serves as a reference point, but not a “road map”

  36. Components of Critical Thinking • Cognitive: Knowledge-base • Experimental Knowledge • The human brain remembers best when it experiences real situations • Learning (and therefore thinking) happens by getting “deeply” involved

  37. Components of Critical Thinking 1. Cognitive: Knowledge-base • Experimental Knowledge • Real life events have a more dramatic effect compared to a book • Experimental piece is the most important piece of the equation

  38. Components of Critical Thinking 2. Psychomotor • Technical Skills • Slow systematic method of assimilating knowledge into practice • Development of manual dexterity

  39. Components of Critical Thinking 3. Affective – Interpersonal Skills • How we communicate to others • “People skills” • How one feels about situations • Personal, moral, and ethical beliefs • People think better when they like, trust, and get along with others

  40. Components of Critical Thinking 3. Affective – Interpersonal Skills • Analyzing personal values and feelings • Managing uncomfortable ethical situations • Students need to be creative and active learners • Observe and be involved • Critical thinking is rarely done in isolation

  41. Open to new ideas Flexible Willing to change Innovative Analytical Creative Assertive Persistent Energetic Risk-taker Knowledgeable Communicator Resourceful Intuitive Traits of Effective Critical Thinkers

  42. Traits of Effective Critical Thinkers • Traits need to continuously nourished • If well-developed, other elements for critical thinking will come more naturally

  43. What Hinders Critical Thinking? • Perceptions • Beliefs • Religious up-bringing • Attitudes of society • Cultural traditions • Biases • Personal environment • Advertising • Endorsements from celebrities

  44. What Hinders Critical Thinking? • Assumptions • Personal Experiences • Group loyalty • Social groups • Herd instinct • Desire to gain status and seek approval • Protection • Hinders ones ability to make sound judgments and logical decisions

  45. What Hinders Critical Thinking? • Frozen mind-set • Maintaining status quo • “We’ve always done it that way” • It takes courage to step forward and suggest new way • Emotional baggage • Something one feels strongly about • Keep emotions in-check • Take efforts to research both sides

  46. What Hinders Critical Thinking in the Workplace? • Factors effecting staff members’ ability to think critically: • Workplace Culture • Policies and Procedures • Management Style

  47. How Can You Promote Critical Thinking? • Encourage students and fellow co-workers • Ask questions • Formal training • Experience • Be aware of attitudes and your approach to situations