Unit 5: Thinking and Analysis
Unit 5 centers on the importance of being able to think critically and creatively in order to make judgments and solve problems. What is the difference between the two ways of thinking? Critical thinking analyzes information and roots out the true nature and facets of problems, whereas creative thinking drives progress forward when it comes to solving these problems. To help you gain skills in thinking both critically and creatively, this unit guides you in exploring and applying patterns of thought. It illuminates the value of technology in expanding thinking. By challenging your thinking processes, you grow as a student, a learner, and a thinker.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- identify different patterns of thought, such as those found in Bloom's taxonomy;
- describe the role that logic plays in critical thinking and how critical thinking skills can be used to solve problems and evaluate information;
- identify strategies for developing yourself as a critical thinker;
- identify the value of creative thinking in education;
- describe the role of creative thinking skills in problem-solving; and
- explain the role of technology in researching, thinking and learning.
5.1: Why It Matters: Thinking and Analysis
Thinking and analyzing in the twenty-first century entails questioning the information that's put before us, developing new ways of doing things, thinking on our own, and being adaptable. How have you been exposed to these skills in your schooling? It's important to learn how to think, not just what to think.
5.2: Patterns of Thought
Thought is the act of thinking that produces ideas, images, sounds, or even emotions within us. What are your personal patterns of thought? How does Bloom’s taxonomy categorize thought? Learn about the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning.
5.3: Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking is clear, reasonable, reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do. It entails asking probing questions like, "How do we know?" and "Is this true in every case or just in this instance?" Are you thinking critically when you are skeptical and when you challenge assumptions? Are you thinking critically when you memorize facts or blindly accept what you hear or read? No matter where you are on the road to being a critical thinker, you can always more fully develop and finely tune your skills.
5.4: Creative Thinking Skills
All humans are innately creative, but what does creativity mean to you? Do you consider it a talent, a gift, or something that can be taught as well as learned? In fact it is a mixture of talent, gift and skill, and it is invaluable to college student success. Creative thinking helps you look at problems, situations and solutions from a fresh perspective.
5.5: Thinking with Technology
“The number-one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.”
These are the words of Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft Corporation. Learn about many ways in which technology enhances thinking.
5.6: Putting It Together: Thinking and Analysis
Analyzing information and generating solutions on our own can be difficult. But critical and creative thinking skills expand our thinking processes and help us be more successful in educational environments. All endeavors can be enhanced with critical and creative thinking.