This Article is About
thinking and reasoning
critical thinking
individuality
common sense
conclusions
How To Learn
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How To Learn

Critical Thinking and Reasoning

Wondering about our commonly held learning methods might seem silly, but it's actually a very important and timely topic. No matter how much money we throw at our educational system, the U.S. still ranks embarrassingly low in test scores. It's not just the children either, adults seem to be increasingly partisan with only the most superficial of thoughts. What are some of the causes for an increasingly dumbed down American public? One major reason is the lack of critical thinking or reasoning skills. Without these skills it's almost impossible to learn and comprehend serious issues.

What exactly is critical thinking? How can it improve your life and learning abilities? Most scholars trace critical thinking or reasoning from Socrates. Called the Socratic Method, it involved the questioning of commonly held beliefs and ideas. Socrates would take peoples answers and conclusions to problems big and small and examine them for contradictions and illogical conclusions.

Today, broadly speaking, critical thought would be defined as evaluating information with our intelligence and reason. Reason is one of the most unique and valuable skills we as humans possess. Unfortunately it is rarely discussed, used or examined by the majority of people.

Reason and Common Sense

The importance of using reason and common sense to analysis issues and problems cannot be understated. Coming to your own thought out conclusions and opinions is important for people to maintain their individuality. It is also a great way to prevent the mass brainwashing and herding of so many people who simply take in what they are told by the 24/7 media.

Having the means to make your own decisions is invaluable in being independent and creative. Creative action and risk taking seem to be on the decline as more people seem to be content to simply follow their chosen media spokesman and mimic their ideas and words.

The problem of so many being led around by their noses without an original thought in their heads doesn't have to be a foregone conclusion. College you say? Negative. College is incredibly expensive and filled with thought police who seem to be interested in ascetic diversity, but conformity of thought. Too many professors in higher education seem intent on propagandising their students and not encouraging and nurturing critical thought or reasoning.

The problems of the thought police in the university system is thought by many to be a liberal problem. This is really not true; lack of open discussion and thought provoking debate effects every bodies ability for unbiased learning.

Home Learning

The best and fastest growing method, for many people, is online learning. Almost all colleges, including the so called elite schools, have increased their online class offerings. Excellent DVD's and online learning is available for numerous subjects and all levels. Don't let yourself get caught up in the myth of having to get a brick and mortar college education. Learn about your online and at home options to improve your education at your own pace and without an hidden agenda. At home learning is not only fast growing in size, but respect.


Street Talk

  

Thanks McK. Yes, I agree and also think apathy and lack of critical thinking is really damaging our country more then most realize.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I am not sure how I missed such a gem of an article, but great job on a subject that needs more attention! Common sense is necessary as we use our reasoning skills to discern our life's paths. Hope to see more great articles from you, Joe

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn

Reply
  about 7 years ago

A very timely article Joe. Thanks!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Couldn't agree more; learn how to think, not what to think. Thanks for stopping by Rob

Reply
  about 7 years ago

it seems a shame that the subjects I was taught at school seem to be disappearing of the syllabus at schools. In the old days one was taught a basic but encouraged to use your own head to learn further. School taught you more how to learn, that seems lacking today.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you Maria

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Very informative indeed Joe. Thanks for the advice.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Barbara9  

very nice article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you Barbara

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Joe, my husband was home schooled and we're strongly considering doing the same for our children. With this in mind, your article greatly rings with me. I want my children to know how to think! Have you ever heard of classical education? It's neat stuff.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Yes, I have heard of classical education. My niece goes to a school that teaches that way. She's pretty quick so I'm pretty impressed. They focus on classical ideas like John Locke and Greek traditions right? And they teach in a progress way to promote critical thinking? I'm not real sure of all of the aspects, but I like the results.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yeah, I'm also learning about it myself. "And they teach in a progress way to promote critical thinking?" That's a good way to put it. Also, in classical ed there's a lot of attention given to reading and the knowing of history. That's neat that your niece goes to a classical school.

  
  about 7 years ago
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