How To Enhance Critical Thinking Skills

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Running is natural; nightclub dancing is so to a lesser extent; but ballet is something that you can only do well after investing time and money in painful, intensive training for years.

Underpinning an opinion, providing reasons to justify a statement are not innate basic reasoning skills.

As a consequence, attending a short course is not enough to turn somebody into a critical thinker; critical thinking is something that requires a sustained effort.

Take tennis, for example, which is a higher-order skill.

The problem is that this theory of the mind doesn’t work. Instead of general, abstract faculties that can be improved with non-specific training, improvements to the mind tend to be extremely specific.

General improvements, when they happen, tend to result out of the accumulation of many, many specific improvements, rather than unrelated and general ones. The faculty view says that learning Latin will improve your linguistic faculties.To play good tennis you must be able to run, hit a forehand and a backhand and watch your opponent.But mastery of these separate skills is not sufficient.While there’s some benefit of this, most of the work of learning a language is learning specific vocabulary.Thus, if you want to learn Japanese, you’re best off learning Japanese vocabulary—mastering Latin first won’t help too much.That only happens when you practice intensively in a way that is also called `deliberate practice`: practice that is specific, determined and concentrated.Critical thinking should be trained as a separate discipline within a course; in addition, students must learn how to apply the acquired knowledge, skills and attitude to the other fields of their study.Being able to think critically is an essential skill. With that said, what’s the best way to improve your ability to think critically?You need to wade through what everyone is saying and pick out the truth from the nonsense. I’m going to start with what I believe is the wrong way to improve critical thinking, which is sadly the kind most often taught in schools.Critical thinking isn’t just for detecting fake news, however. This approach starts by teaching you some basic rules of logical deduction, modus ponens, some examples of fallacies and a whole bunch of Latin terminology that philosophers use. Each of these decisions is difficult and important, so being able to think critically about them can make a huge difference in your life.

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