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CHAPTER 5:

Critical Thinking
Slides prepared by
Mr. Hisham Muhammad Taky Eldin Kandil

What is Critical Thinking?

It is a type of thinking that


analyses & evaluates
arguments in an objective
way.
It is a type of thinking that
searches for the truth.
It is a type of thinking that
is used to make intelligent
decisions about what to
believe and what not to
believe.

(Pic shows Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,


one of the best known critical
thinkers of all time, who is also the
creator of the mystery novel
character of Sherlock Holmes.)

Critical Thinking is good for


Creativity
When a person is a
critical thinker, he
has a questioning
attitude.
He has good
analytical skills.
He can distinguish
between what is
good & what is not.

Critical Thinking is good for


Creativity (contd.)
Critical Thinking is a
collection of skills we
use every day that are
necessary for our full
intellectual & personal
development.
Critical Thinking
involves providing
logical support for our
beliefs & opinions.
All of that helps us in
our pursuit for
creativity.

Differences between
Critical Thinkers
& Non-Critical Thinkers

Non-Critical
Thinkers

see things in black &


white.
not good at going
beyond Yes & No
answers.
dont like to see
linkages & cannot
understand
complexities.
reject unpopular
views & opinions.

Differences between
Critical Thinkers
& Non-Critical Thinkers

Critical Thinkers
see things in various
colors & perspectives.
are capable of
explaining their
answers.
are able to link things
& understand
complexities.
welcome unpopular
views & opinions.
ask many questions.

Differences between
Critical Thinkers &
Non-Critical Thinkers (contd.)

Critical Thinkers

keep an open mind.


study all the facts
and evidence before
judging.
approach issues in a
systematic &
organized manner.

(Pic shows Ibn Sina, a.k.a.


Avicenne, Muslim medical
scientist & doctor.)

Critical Reading: Making

important distinctions when reading


Distinction
between the
Person & the Idea
Distinction
between Taste &
Judgment
Distinction
between Fact &
Interpretation

Critical Reading: Making

important distinctions when reading


Distinction
between Literal &
Ironic Statements
Distinction
between an Ideas
Validity & its
Expressive Quality
Distinction
between Language
& Reality

Strategy for Critical Reading


SKIM: Go over what
you need to read
quickly to get the main
ideas.
REFLECT: Examine
your views separately
from the authors.
READ: Read the whole
work & underline or
highlight important
ideas.

Strategy for
Critical Reading

(contd.)
EVALUATE: Make a
preliminary judgment
& ask questions about
unclear points.
EXPRESS YOUR
JUDGMENT: Fully
judge what you have
read, explaining
clearly where you
disagree with the
author.

Reading in the Life, Medical,


and Physical Sciences

Be prepared to spend more


time studying if you are a
student of the above fields.
Scientific information is
usually presented
sequentially, so make sure
you understand earlier
lessons first.
Understand applications of
theories, ideas, & principles.
Learn scientific notation
systems, such as writing
using signs & symbols.
(Pic shows Ibn Al-Bitar, author of

13th century Dictionary of


Medicine & Food.)

Reading in the Life, Medical,


and Physical Sciences (contd)
Translate formulas into
words.
Learn scientific
terminology smartly, by
for example studying
prefixes, suffixes and
roots of terms.
Use sketching while
studying.
Be prepared for lab
sessions.

(Pic shows Jabir Ibn Hayyan, pioneer


Muslim chemist.)

Reading in the
Social Sciences and History
Courses in the above
disciplines are highly
factual, with lots of
principles, rules, dates
and facts to learn.
Students in the above
fields are required to
read extensively.
Maps, graphs and
charts are commonly
used, so students
should be comfortable
with them.

Reading in the
Social Sciences and History
(contd.)

These fields are


research-oriented, so
students are expected
to be familiar with the
relevant research
studies in their area of
specialization.
These fields also
emphasize theories
and their theorists,
which students are
expected to be familiar
with.

Reading in the
Humanities and Liberal Arts
Courses in literature
and the arts focus on
the search for reasons,
values and
interpretation of
human interest and
experience.
Most humanities and
arts courses require a
lot of reading and
writing.

Reading in the
Humanities and Liberal Arts

(contd.)

In the above fields, there


is often no right or
wrong answer, but
students may be asked
to defend their answers.
To analyze and interpret
art and literature, a
student must activate
his/her feelings and
imagination, as well as
use their critical
reasoning skills.
Often students need to
identify themes,
symbolism, motives and
character traits.

Critical Listening
We need to think,
evaluate & question
what we listen to on a
daily basis, whether it
is:
what our friends are
saying to us,
a talk given by
somebody,
a debate between two
persons,
a speech given by a
personality,
a radio or TV
program.

Barriers to Critical Listening


When listening,
avoid the following
barriers to
listening:
Avoid closed
mindedness.
Avoid selective
listening.
Avoid judging the
speaker instead of
the message.

Strategy for Critical Listening


Set aside preconceptions. Dont let your
perception of the speaker interfere with the
message.
Focus on the message.
Identify key assertions & supporting
information.
Evaluate the message. Make a
preliminary judgment & ask questions about
unclear points.
Express your judgment. Judge & include
explanation for points raised by the speaker
with which you dont agree.

Critical Surfing
People nowadays use the
Internet to communicate
with others, for example
through social media.
Many users use the
Internet to entertain
themselves, especially in
the domains of video
games and video clips of
the performing arts.
They also surf the
Internet to get
information, for example
through websites and
blogs.

Critically Evaluating
Websites and Blogs
Determine whether the source of the
information is reliable.
If the source of information is a person, find
out his/her name and credentials.
If the source of information is an
organization, find out whether the
information provided is credible.
Ask yourself if the information given is
adequate?
Apply critical thinking when reading
opinions, editorials, and reactions to events.

Critical Viewing
There are various
types of visual
communication
that need to be
critically viewed by
us.
These include:
Statistical Graphs.
Advertisements.
Drama.

Critical Viewing
of Statistical Graphs
These are numbers
or statistics
represented by
pictures,
drawings,
graphics, including
figurative graphs,
pie-charts, and barcharts, among
others.

Critical Viewing
of Statistical Graphs
To critically view
Statistical Graphs,
we should be
concerned with:
The accuracy of the
data.
The creativity of the
design.

Advertisements
These can be in the
static form (still
advertisements) or
the dynamic form
(moving
advertisements).
Advertisements on
radio & TV are
commonly called
commercials.

Critical Viewing
of Advertisements
Many advertisements
contain inaccurate
information.
The primary aim of
advertisements is to urge
you to try a product by
buying it because it is
supposedly good for you.
Many people are easily
influenced by
advertisements.
Viewing ads critically
means asking some
questions.
Also, an analysis of the
words, sounds, & visuals
needs to be made.

Questions to ask as you


critically view Advertisements
Is the advertisement about a product or a
service?
What is the name/brand of the product or
service?
Describe the picture(s) or graphics.
What kind of information is given?
Criticize the picture, graphics, & information.
Do you like the general design of the
advertisement? If not, why?
Will the results advertised happen to you if you
buy the product?
Do I need the product being advertised?

Examples of Criticism of
Pictures/Graphics
Picture is too large
or too small.
Picture/Graphics
are unclear.
Picture/Graphics
contain
inappropriate
material.
Picture/Graphics
are irrelevant to
the advertisement.

Examples of Criticism of
Information
Information may
be missing vital
points or details.
Information may
be too much
(wordy).
Information may
be unsubstantiated
(having no proof or
evidence).

Examples of Criticism of Design


Design is too
simple.
Design may be oldfashioned or
conservative.
Design is
uninteresting.
There are too few
or too many colors.

Critical Viewing
of Drama
There are various
types of drama
like:

movies,
sitcoms,
mini-series,
episodic drama,
soap opera.

When viewing
drama, questions
need to be asked.

Questions to ask while/after


watching TV drama
Is the plot logical or not?
Is the setting conducive to
the plot or not?
Is the drama just for
entertainment, or are
there lessons to be
learned?
Are some elements
uncalled for or irrelevant
to the plot?

Too many technical


terms.
Frequent obscene scenes.
Too much violence.

Questions to ask while/after


watching TV drama
Does the film-maker
have an agenda (such
as certain prejudices)
presented in the
drama, & is this
agenda suitable or not,
relevant or not, timely
or not?
Does the drama have
anti-Islam rhetoric or
un-Islamic elements?

End of Chapter.
It is cool to be a
Critical Thinker.
Look at the two
creative drawings
on the left and try
to critically analyze
them.