“Critical thinking "

Critical Thinking outside the four walls of classroom


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Author:Akshata Tagalpallewar
(Pursuing B.E. , Nagpur)

Critical thinking, as a concept, has become a corporate buzzword, much like “diversity” and “core competency”. Critical thinking helps us in determining what is real or true and what’s not. And I realized that when I attended a unique session of ITM by Niche Advocacy Foundation, called “Critical Thinking skill”
In this session, groups were allotted and our group got the topic “what points do you consider before buying clothes?” So, we summed up all points and I presented on behalf of my team. It was when I analyzed “why and how critical thinking is important in solving not only academic problems but also day to day life problems.”

Far from being the exclusive purview of academics, I believe that everyone benefits from critical thinking to solve real-world problems. Everyone can learn to think in a better way and use this core life skill of critical thinking to solve real- world problems as critical thinking doesn’t belong to any single group of people; anyone can practice it too.

These days, I’m interested in bringing critical thinking out of academia and using it on the ground.

  • For example, reading new books. Even better, you can start a reading group too where you may organize some book reading & summarizing events. A reading group, where you talk about new ideas every month will be very innovative. If you live in the boonies, you may start an online reading group or can read some hard stuff. We must keep reading and thinking in order to master the skill of critical thinking.
  • Teach a class. There are literally zillions of platforms from where you can teach. It might be difficult to teach your traditional university courses on such platforms but, you can surely teach something new that you’ve always wanted to teach.
  • Start a website or any blog about your personal passions. You can try new kinds of writing. Talk about some innovations or new ideas.
  • Be a reviewer. Being a reviewer is great fun. Not only do you get to read new and amazing stuff, but also you get to comment on it. Be a peer reviewer for a journal. Review some books or get some book reviews published.

I think that we, as academics, need to have conversations about critical thinking outside of the classroom and engage the public, business leaders, our communities and everyone into such discussion. It will surely hone their creative sides too. I’m convinced that learning the skill of critical thinking needs to be a compulsory activity available to everyone, not just to the students in the classroom. That session of ITM made me realize that “critical thinking skill is something that is beyond the four walls of a classroom and can be applied to the daily world also.”

According to me, “Critical thinking is like thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”

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