Critical Thinking: Nine Strategies for Everyday Life.

Essay by charliemd1University, Master's January 2004

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Most people are not critical thinkers by nature. It takes years of practice and commitment to become a highly productive and efficient critical thinker. In order to develop the right frame of mind in becoming a critical thinker there are certain stages that can be followed to help students practice their critical thinking skills. "Stage one: The Unreflective Thinker" this stage entails students who are unaware of any problems that they might have in the critical thinking process (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.1). "Stage Two: The Challenged Thinker" this is the stage where the students begin to become familiar with any problems they might have in the critical thinking process (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.1). "Stage Three: The Beginning Thinker" in this stage the student begins to improve their skills but without much practice (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.1). "Stage Four: The Practicing Thinker" here the student begins to realize the importance of practicing their critical thinking skills (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.1).

"Stage Five: The Advanced Thinker" advancement is directly correlated with practice. The more the student practices the more advanced he/she becomes (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.2). "Stage Six: The Master Thinker" at this stage, the student begins to become a highly skilled critical thinker and it becomes second nature (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.2). A question a student might want to ask themselves is, what stage best fits me? And, how can I improve myself to become a more proficient critical thinker?

These stages are useless unless a student is willing to accept the fact that there is some deficit in their critical thinking skills. In order to help students progress through the rankings of these stages, a list of nine strategies has been devised to aid in the student's progress. "Strategy #1: Use "Wasted" Time" a...