Monday, March 18, 2013

Dr. Faulkner: What do ya’ think?


Quick!  What is the topic of our QEP?  If you are asking yourself, “What is a QEP?” then you are really behind. 

Our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) topic is critical thinking.  We have determined that a need among our students is to have better critical thinking skills.  And, we have created a five year plan to incorporate more critical thinking in our classes and student experiences.

A recent article in Training Magazine asks, “How Do You Think?”  It caused me to pause and think (intentional use of term) about what we are doing as administration, faculty, and staff to improve our own critical thinking skills.

The article talks about critical thinking styles and a recent survey using a Pearson Publishing product that assesses My Thinking Styles. You can take the assessment for $15 and receive a report that measures your thinking style.    The author proposes that there are seven thinking styles.
(Analytical, Inquisitive, Insightful, Open-Minded, Systematic, Timely and Truth Seeking)  The article continues by offering “Five Steps to Thinking Better” duplicated below:

-Stop and think about your thinking.  What are you trying to achieve?

-Recognize assumptions that may not be true.  Sort out the facts from opinions.

-Evaluate information in a systematic and objective way.  Is the information relevant?  Are you being objective?

-Draw conclusions that match the information at hand.  Are you missing anything?

-Develop a plan of action that brings your decision to life.

There are a couple of lessons we can draw from this article: Different people have different thinking styles – different ways of approaching problems and decisions.  That is a good thing.  There is strength in diversity of thought.  We shouldn’t be come disagreeable just because we disagree.  We need to consider as many factors as possible to make the best decisions possible.

We could all strengthen our critical thinking abilities.  If it is a skill we say students should have, then we should model it in our own approach.

-Dr. Faulkner

Reference:
Chartrand, J. “How Do You Think.”  Training Magazine.  Vol. 50, No. 1. January/ February, 2013

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