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KEYS TO SUCCESS

Critical Thinking
and Problem Solving

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 1


Critical Thinking
and Problem Solving

When you need to solve


a problem or make a
decision, combining
analytical, creative, and
practical thinking skills
gives you the greatest
chance of achieving your
goal.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 2


Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Can Help You to
Understand more about how the brain works
and develops.
Define critical, creative, and practical thinking.
Improve critical thinking skills including analysis,
comparison, and evaluation.
Develop creative thinking skills.
Improve practical thinking skills.
Identify, analyze, and solve problems effectively.
Define and think through decisions.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 3


Questions to evaluate your own critical
thinking and problem solving skills
(Part 1):
1. Do you discover information, make decisions,
and solve problems by asking and answering
questions?
2. Do you question facts for use, truth, and logic?
3. Do you look for biased perspectives that can
lead you in the wrong direction?
4. Do you brainstorm to think of other options?
5. Do you avoid letting the way things have
always been stop you from other approaches?
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 4
Questions to evaluate your own critical
thinking and problem solving skills
(Part 2):
6. Do you manage your emotions and see how
you affect others in a group?
7. Do you think about solutions before you take
action?
8. Do you research different possibilities before
you take action?
9. Do you avoid spur of the moment decisions?
10.To do you consider how your choices will affect
others?
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 5
The Questioning Mind

Biology

Developing
Brain

Executive
Function

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 6


Thinking and Questioning

Create
Ideas
Practical
Analyze
Solutions

Kinds of
Questions

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 7


Keys to Thinking

Know
why
Want
to think

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 8


Analytical Thinking

Step 1 Gather Information

Main Ideas
Step 2 Supporting Evidence

Examine
Step 3 Evaluate

Step 4 Make Connections

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 9


Gathering Information Consider

How much How much


information time to spend
you need. gathering it.

Whether it is
relevant.
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 10
Breaking Information into Parts

All Information

Separate Ideas

Identify Evidence
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 11
Argument

A set of connected ideas,


supported by examples,
made by a writer
to prove or disprove a point.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 12


Examine and Evaluate
Is the evidence
biased?

Do causes and
Do examples
effects link
support ideas?
logically?

Is the information
factual and
accurate, or is it
opinion?

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 13


To examine evidence effectively,
be aware of
Bias A preference or inclination, especially one
that prevents even-handed judgment.
Perspective A characteristic way of thinking about
people, situations, events, and ideas.
Assumption A judgment, generalization, or bias
influenced by experience and values.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 14


Make Connections

Compare and Themes, Patterns,


Contrast Categories

How bits of
How ideas
information
are similar
relate to
or different
one another

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 15


Perspective

Support or
Assumptions
Negate

Fact or Getting
Evaluate
Opinion Analytical

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 16


Examples of Creativity

Creativity

Combine Generate ideas


elements in from how
a new way Make things relate
unusual
connections

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 17


Five Ingredients of Creativity

Belief that you


Curiosity and
can develop Time alone.
exploration.
creativity.

Acceptance of
Risk taking and
mistakes as part
hard work.
of the process.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 18


Developing Creative Thinking

Braingaming

Taking risks Shifting


Perspective

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 19


Braingaming

Avoid looking for


one right answer
Mix collaboration
with private time
Keep recording
tools at the ready

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 20


Shift Your Perspective

Try on
Challenge
another point
assumptions.
of view.

Ask what if
questions.
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 21
Leave Go Against
Comfort Established
Zone Ideas

Take
Risks

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 22


Practical
Thinking

Emotional
Action
Intelligence
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 23
Emotional Intelligence

Thinking about Understanding


emotions emotions

Perceiving Managing
emotions emotions
Emotional
Intelligence

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 24


How can you take practical action?

Stay motivated.

Make the most of your strengths.

Manage time.

Seek help from instructors and advisors.

Believe in yourself.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 25


Solving Problems
Use probing
questions to define Analyze carefully.
problems.

Consider how
Generate possible
possible solutions
solutions based on
affect you and
causes, not effects.
others.

Evaluate your
solution and act on it
in the future.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 26


Making Decisions

Look at the given Think about how


optionsthen try your decision
to think of more. affects others.

Gather Look at the long-


perspectives. term effects.

Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 27


Plan for Solving Problems and
Making Decisions
Step 2:
Step 1: Define Step 3: Create
Analyze

Step 5:
Step 4: Step 6:
Practical
Evaluate Reevaluate
Action

Step 7:
Practical
Action
Copyright 2015, 2012, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. 28
Conclusions and Questions?

Copyright 2012, 2009, 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. 29