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Cornerstone of higher education Thinking process? Why? - important Examine life, work toward goals, make decisions, decide career, analyze issues Make sense of the world, our lives Improve thinking abilities – carefully examining your thinking process – challenging activities

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critical thinking

Cornerstone of higher education

Thinking process?

Why? - important

Examine life, work toward goals, make decisions, decide career, analyze issues

Make sense of the world, our lives

Improve thinking abilities – carefully examining your thinking process – challenging activities

College – unique opportunity to develop your mind – community – dedicated to learning

Educated thinker – knowledge and skills – adapt

Elevate your understanding of the world, develop insight into your 'self'

Thinking critically and thinking creatively

Critical Thinking
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Critical thinking
  • Question everything, reflect
    • What is the purpose of your life?
    • Who are you?
    • What do you want to become?
  • Examined life
    • College or work? Why?
    • Intelligent decisions – reevaluate – choices
    • Foolish opinions, thoughtless decisions, confused communication, destructive behavior, self-absorbed, thoughtless people
    • Understand how mind works, improve thinking ability
  • Goals
    • Organize your thinking – giving your life order
    • Something to aim for – sense of accomplishment
    • Understand – mind works – think effectively
    • Use to improve thinking ability
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Critical thinking
  • Short term goals
    • Metacognition – self awareness during comprehension process
  • Long-term goals
    • More complex, challenging
    • Job – do for the rest of your life?
    • Ever changing, evolving – as grow and mature
  • Images, perceiving, thinking – communicate – tell a story
    • Images and reading – content of an image – elements that work together to convey a message
  • Making decisions
    • To identify and reach the goals – make informed, intelligent decisions
    • Consequences
    • successful/unsuccessful outcome

Examining Your Life

Imagine you are lying in bed with your friends and family all around you. You are gravely ill and about to pass away. Who would be surrounding you? What kind of things are they saying about how you have lived your life? Suppose you could decide how others might sum up your life. Imagine if you could choose who would be there to support you in your final days. How would you like your epitaph to read? Here are some sample epitaphs. Are there any that fit your life? Are there any which might inspire a change in the direction of your life?

Famous Epitaphs:

- "Nothing's so sacred as honor and nothing's so loyal as love." -Wyatt & Josephine Earp

- "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it" -Karl Marx

- "A genius of comedy, his talent brought joy and laughter to all the world" -Oliver Hardy

Other possible epitaphs:

- Lived adventurously * Died fulfilled.

- She embraced life and followed her dreams to the end.

- "I told you I was sick"


To help clarify your world view, ask yourself the following questions:

* How do you see people? Are they good? Selfish? Insecure? Fair?

* How do you see life? Is it fair? Surprising? Interesting? Difficult?

* How do you see society? Is it going in the "right" direction? Are there insurmountable problems?

* Do you have strong spiritual beliefs? What are they?

* Do the actions you see every day support how you see people, life, or society?

* Do you feel the world is moving away from your spiritual beliefs?

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Critical thinking
  • Decision-making process
    • Define the decision clearly
      • Be specific – give clear direction
    • Consider all possible choices
      • Not just the obvious ones
    • Gather all relevant information and evaluate the pros and cons of each possible choice
      • Seek all information – do not make an uniformed choice
      • advantages/disadvantages
    • Select the choice that seems to best meet the needs of the situation
      • No simple way to identify
      • Some useful strategies
      • Prelive the choice
    • Implement a plan of action and then monitor the results, making necessary adjustments
      • More concrete and specific the plan the better the chance of success
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Critical thinking
  • Discovering who you are
    • What career is for you?
    • What are your deep and abiding interests?, your unique talents?
    • Your unique qualities, special abilities?
    • Are you creative?
      • Becoming more creative
      • Creative process – confident
        • Absorb yourself in the task
        • Allow time for ideas to incubate
        • Seize on the ideas when they emerge and follow them through
      • Eliminate the voice of criticism
      • Establish a creative environment
      • Make creativity a priority
      • Flexibility – adapt to change – constantly shifting environment, industry, technology, commerce – constantly shifting
      • Transformational imperative – transforming inner and outer worlds
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Critical thinking
  • Essence of life – not getting things right, but taking risks, making mistakes, getting things wrong
  • Creativity – produce something – original, useful, meaningful
    • No correlation between IQ and creativity
    • Mindlessness vs. mindfulness
    • Creativity – mind working at the peak of its ability – mind's best work

Fields of study

  • Accounting - measures business activities, processes information into reports, communicates results to decision makers - Sarbannes-Oxley (SOX)‏
  • Marketing - learning what customers want and need and providing those services - marketing satisfies needs



Fields of study

  • Management - process of accomplishing goals, with and through people
  • Finance - how to create and maintain wealth - administering and managing money
  • Economics - studies how people make choices when faced with scarcity



Fields of study

  • Information systems - collect data, process it, and turn into useful information



How - increase your chances of success

  • Analyze your skills, learn about different careers, determine the best possible match
    • Internships - work experience related to your field
    • Networking - meet as many people as possible
    • Business skills assessment - skills that you learn
    • Like/don’t like - good at/not good at - help to determine the type of position and career
    • Research - look up, talk to people
    • MBA


Name BADGE - readable
  • Assignment #1: read chapter 1, ½ page – why go to college, ½ page – pg. 7, top of page (due 1/12); bring schedule of classes to class; get NIS account, golden eagle card.
  • Assign #2: ½ page – favorite picture and why – include copy of picture; ½ page – pg. 21, thinking activity 1.4; ½ page – pg. 22, thinking activity 1.5 (due 1/14).
  • Assign #E1: On campus event – ½ page, (due 2/9).
  • Assign #6: 2-4 minute talk – narrative about you – who you are – where from, grow up, family, friends, high school, significant other, how did you get here, culture, etc.