Recently critical thinking has become a buzzword in education and even in business, but what is it? Critical thinking includes skills we use to examine ideas, present and analyze arguments, categorize information, interpret meaning, and make conclusions. It also includes attitudes like critically examining our own ideas, keeping an open mind until we have evidence, and being curious about the world. We can develop these skills and attitudes with practice, and they make us better thinkers.
At MIC, students develop critical thinking through active learning. In typical classrooms, students listen to lectures and then try to remember the information, but when a teacher uses active learning, students can participate in discussion and debate, develop and test their original ideas, and solve problems creatively. Active learning also gives you many opportunities to communicate effectively with your classmates and professors. Since you discuss many topics, you become precise in saying what you mean and your thinking becomes well organized and more logical.
Critical thinking is important for several reasons.
Developing critical thinking through active learning has always been an important educational goal for students and professors at MIC. At the end of every semester students evaluate the effectiveness of active learning and critical thinking, and professors use the students’ evaluations to improve their classes. Also, surveys of graduating students show that they are highly satisfied with MIC’s educational method. Finally, employers value MIC graduates because they are good at communicating effectively and problem-solving, two essential skills for success.