Writing Program at New College
Critical Thinking: An Engine for Inquiry
You have probably heard teachers talk about “critical thinking” as a method of problem solving. At the risk of being repetitive, we will briefly discuss the foundational importance of critical thinking.
Critical thinking is the activity that joins reflection and research in a process of inquiry, a careful analysis of our own experience and knowledge undertaken even as we gather more information and increase our knowledge. Definitions abound, but we ask you to adopt this definition of critical thinking at least for the duration of this course:
Critical thinking is the habit or practice of non-prejudicial and uncompromising analysis and inquiry, thinking from multiple perspectives, and adopting positions in light of all available information.
But rather than just accepting this definition without question, let’s practice the concept with these exercises.
When you are finished, check out the video, titled simply “Critical Thinking.” It offers an extended overview of this important concept.