Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. (Albert Einstein)
With the advent of advanced technology and proliferation of social media, critical thinking has become a buzzword. But it’s not just another buzzword. Many people, when they hear the words “critical thinking”, think that it means something negative, in the sense of fault-finding and criticism. It does have negative overtones, but it’s not at all a negative characteristic. Critical thinking is a very important life skill, like problem-solving, decision-making and communication. It’s a pity that most of the schools don’t teach this skill; they teach us to memorize information and regurgitate it for assignments and exams, instead of teaching us how to think and apply the knowledge in our daily lives. That’s why we come out of school as good test-takers, instead of critical thinkers.
Without further ado, here are 10 characteristics of critical thinkers. Read each characteristic and before moving on to the next, ask yourself if you possess the characteristic:
Based on the above characteristics, can you say you are a critical thinker?
I know I can (and it took years to get where I am), and hope that you can, too!