ToDo…narrow down this definition which came from Wikipedia….
Generally refers to higher order thinking that questions assumptions.
The concept is somewhat contested within the field of education due to the multiple philosophical frames in which it is contextualized.
In a narrow sense, critical thinking has been described as “the correct assessing of statements.” or "thinking about thinking".
"the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action
More recently, critical thinking has been described as "the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which uses reasoned consideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria
Critical thinking clarifies goals, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, accomplishes actions, and assesses conclusions.
Critical" as used in the expression "critical thinking" connotes the importance or centrality of the thinking to an issue, question or problem of concern. "Critical" in this context does not mean "disapproval" or "negative."
There are many positive and useful uses of critical thinking, for example formulating a workable solution to a complex personal problem, deliberating as a group about what course of action to take, or analyzing the assumptions and the quality of the methods used in scientifically arriving at a reasonable level of confidence about a given hypothesis. Using strong critical thinking we might evaluate an argument, for example, as worthy of acceptance because it is valid and based on true premises. Upon reflection, a speaker may be evaluated as a credible source of knowledge on a given topic.
Critical thinking can occur whenever one judges, decides, or solves a problem; in general, whenever one must figure out what to believe or what to do, and do so in a reasonable and reflective way. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically. Critical thinking is crucial to becoming a close reader and a substantive writer. Expressed most generally, critical thinking is "a way of taking up the problems of life."
"Fluid Intelligence" directly correlates with critical thinking skills. You are able to determine patterns, make connections and solve new problems. When you improve your critical thinking skills you also improve your fluid intelligence which also helps increase your problem solving skills and deep thinking elements. All of these skills relate to one part of the brain, and the more you use them the easier it will be to put your skill to the test
What I'm trying to get at with this term is to enable people to have productive discussions amongst themselves in an efficient and meaningful way. A big part of critical thinking is to see patterns, and to give this context, an anti-pattern would be to have a "conspiracy theory mind set". Need to talk about discernment and logic
Critical Thinking is thinking logical with a set of rules that are conducive to clarity
See C:\Users\John\My World\TorahLawForm Web Site\Articles Clear Thinking by Hebrew4Christians.doc