This chapter explores critical thinking. Critical thinking is a type of thinking in which one reflects, considers, and analyzes when making decisions and solving problems. Based on careful reasoning, critical thinking is purposeful thinking guided by logic and supported by evidence. Critical thinking involves defining problems, identifying arguments, evaluating data, raising questions, and using information to make sound judgments. Someone engaged in critical thinking is typically making perceptive observations, establishing careful connections, asking probing questions, and making meaningful distinctions. Critical thinking involves analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating evidence; applying knowledge; and thinking both independently and interdependently. Critical thinking competencies include self-direction—the self-awareness and self-regulation to manage our thinking and our motivation for thinking—and the ability to ask productive questions; in fact, asking the essential significant questions is as important as answering them.
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