A person is not born as a good critical thinker. The first thing that is needed is a level of maturity having the ability to conceptualize and understand the world (Boss, 2010). The skills that are associated with a person that has good critical thinking are:
Analytical Skills: recognize and evaluate arguments to filter through to the truth.
Effective Communication: ability to listen, speak, and write effectively.
Research Skills: ability to gather, evaluate, and create supporting evidence.
In teaching critical thinking, Dr. Chan and Dr. Lau (n.d.) explain good critical thinking, “as the foundation of science and a liberal democratic society. Science requires the critical use of reason in experimentation and theory confirmation. The proper functioning of a liberal democracy requires citizens who can think critically about social issues to inform their judgments about proper governance and to overcome biases and prejudice.” A person with a level of maturity that is able to be research issues, through being analytical, and done by using good communication skills can be considered a good critical thinker.
In my life, I have gone from not being a good critical thinker to getting much better as I have matured. In my younger years I used many of the resistances to critical thinking. The one that I used most often was distraction. This was especially true when I was in college for the first time. Many things were able to distract me from focusing on the tasks at hand. Now in my forties returning to school I have more clarity around the goals and this lets me accomplish the tasks more easily. I can listen, analyze, and research the issues more quickly and with more focus to accomplish the mission then in my younger years.
The idea of being narrow-minded when it comes to the concept of critical thinking stops the analyzing of new information. A person will be prejudiced to certain opinions without exploring all sides of an issue. People create barriers that stop the gathering of information and analyzing that are key to being a critical thinker. A few of the resistances that foster narrow-mindedness are denial, the refusal to believe something despite overwhelming evidence, avoidance, not seeking out opposing views but staying with only those that agree with your position on an issue, and ignorance, not seeking out information that is available(Boss, 2010).
The two resistances that I have used are avoidance and conformity. These two go hand in hand with me that I will often seek out those that agree with my thoughts and avoid those that do not see things the way I do. At times, I will be with those that I do not agree with and those times instead of having a conversation, I will go with conformity to fit in at those times. Adjusting my thinking to overcome these will first require me to seek out and listen to both sides of the issues. Having the knowledge that is not based on biased opinions will help make...