It is well understood that the current reality requires a new type of thinking. Not linear and one-sided, and flexible, rational, critical. Without this mindset people will drown in the vast ocean of questionable, unverified and inaccurate information, will make hasty and unfounded conclusions and generalizations, make incorrect decisions, look at what is happening in the world processes and phenomena superficially, distorted, stereotypical, black-and-white.

The term “critical thinking” appeared relatively recently. It was first used theorist of education John Dewey in his book “How we think” in 1910. But wrong to say that in itself critical thinking appeared only in the early twentieth century. No, of course. It has always been. And even people who have never heard the term, or otherwise uses the principles and techniques of critical thinking.

It is fair to say that critical thinking throughout the history of mankind, was the privilege of elites. Philosophy, rhetoric and theology, dialectics, and sophistry — all of this is a kind of intellectual “entertainment” is not for everyone. Not everyone was allowed to think critically, to reason freely and to be guided solely by logic. Sometimes even thinking was dangerous — could easily be burned at the stake, burn the witches, or lock you in the dungeon as the evil warlock. In General, it was always much easier and most importantly safer not to be a “white crow”, to be, to focus on social habits, dogmas, traditions and stereotypes.

Skills of the future

Something has changed since then? Of course! Proof of that is the research that conducted by the world Economic Forum. Davos experts have identified which skills will be in demand and relevant in the very near future, namely in 2020. Among them were: the solution of complex problems, critical thinking, creativity, people management, communication, emotional intelligence, decision making, customer focus, negotiation, cognitive flexibility.

In the first place — a complex solution to complex problems, this is true. But in second place — critical thinking. What is the reason? It’s simple. Humanity is freed from the usual routine cognitive tasks. The computer system will count themselves salaries, sistematizirovat clients, send out emails mailing will reduce the debit with the credit and even will interview with the help of online bots. The computer largely replaces the human. But until he learned the main thing: to think beyond the prescribed algorithms. Perhaps it’s a matter of time.

A recent study by The Boston Consulting Group says that from 9 to 50% of all existing professions may disappear in the next decade because of digitization. 19% of all workers can be replaced by robots by 81%. Some professions that will be in demand in the twenty-first century simply doesn’t exist yet. And those that have — over time, of course, transformirovalsya. I think everybody understands that a person without flexibility and criticality simply will not be able to adapt to the changes.

There is also the concept of the “4 Cs”. In 2002, America was created by the learning Partnership 21st-century skills, which included representatives of the U.S. Department of education, national Education Association NEA, other government and non-profit organizations, and several companies, among which were Microsoft, Apple, Cisco and Dell. The community has reviewed and identified four key skill needed for learning in the first place in the XXI century. It was Critical Thinking (critical thinking), Creative (creativity), Communication (communication skills), Collaboration (team work). It is these key skills are integrated in all educational environments.

How to learn to think critically?

What is this type of thinking, so relevant, relevant and vital?

Here one reads some article, which reveals sensational new results of research by British scientists or analytical article a new-fangled business portal, or watching the news on the Federal channel, where the presenter justifies the need for the new bill, or attending talks and listens to the arguments of his opponent. So what you need to do in order to think critically?

The first step. First we need to analyze information, interpret data, if necessary, to assess the introductory. This is the most important competence, which is associated with the skill of working with information. What is primary and what is secondary? What is important and what is secondary? What is the cause and what is effect? How one is interconnected with the others?

Second step. After parsing the information of the block into components, it is necessary to move to the next step. Critically thinking person, it is difficult to cheat, because it can easily detect all logical errors and inconsistencies in reasoning. Use the simple algorithm of critical issues. Is it clear what the subject matter? There are no substitution theme or intentional switching? Not narrows or expands the subject? All arguments can be called true? If all the arguments are revealed and proven? Are there any contradictions? Is there a clear causal relationship?

The third step. It’s one thing to find a logical error, it is another to explain and justify his opponent. The skill of argumentation and justification is key competency of critical thinking. To convince beautiful should not flow or form, and comprehensively proven, and open arguments.

A fourth step. Finally, most importantly. A person can in theory perfectly analyze the information to find logical errors in the exercises in the textbook on logic to build arguments in the artificial format of “debate”, but it is worth nothing if he cannot translate all these knowledge and skills into business practice and solve real practical cases. That’s why the fourth component of critical thinking — application of results to solving problems.

If we combine these four key components, we get the following definition. Critical thinking is a way of thinking that helps analyze incoming information and put it into question, to formulate valid conclusions, to create their own assessment of what is happening and to make decisions in conditions of uncertainty.

To develop critical thinking can and should be. It’s a skill that requires constant work. Critical thinking is not about criticism. It’s about how to navigate in the vast flow of information about how to put incoming information into question. Need to doubt and ask questions, different and many. The more complex the idea, statement or idea, the more questions should be. It is important to recheck the information and not be afraid to look for the sources, preferably by comparing several sources. Categorically believe anything is impossible. And this article in particular.

See also

Asset: ten skills of an ideal employee, the Brain and meditation. Than knowledge of the Tibetan monks will help the business to Become a chameleon: five abilities that will definitely need in the future

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