EMP 758 D. Surel 3 credits
Critical thinking is about using and developing our cognitive skills to their deepest levels. Critical thinking is about questioning: not only information but our whole intellectual environment as well as our way of approaching and analyzing issues. Because critical thinking goes beyond the simple and oftentimes mechanical logical and rational processes, it provides a wider and scope to our perception of reality.
In this course we refer to the term critical thinking as a mere label describing how we can develop our intellect and cognitive skills so that we are able to break through our visible and invisible walls of assumptions, opinions, and all the other filters and boundaries that we may or may not be aware of that prevent us from creating a more objective and clear view of reality.
This course will introduce the concept of critical thinking with its various elements and how to apply them to one’s personal and professional lives. The course will establish a foundation of different types of thinking processes to include, for example, the difference between the Socratic method of teaching and Sophism, and address intellectual pitfalls such as logical fallacies, inferences, and assumptions. Students will stretch their minds by learning to look at the unthinkable and identify some events and social behaviors today that were once thought to be impossible, and to be aware of other unthinkable, or impossible, events that might manifest in the future.
The objective of the course is for the student to initially explore his/her present process of thinking, and by learning the different components of critical thinking, to develop his/her own style of critical thinking. Students will be given weekly or bi-weekly written exercises based on reflection so that they can implement and apply their new knowledge to their professional and/or personal lives.
The topics below represent the general outline of the course. Depending upon the students’ background, knowledge, and interests, certain topics may be emphasized, replaced or added.
This course is a transformational process whereby students will learn the elements of thinking and the concept of critical thinking. They will explore and dissect their own thinking process and discover how they can develop objectivity and clarity of thought while broadening their scope of perceptions. Students will discover their intellectual potential and learn how to continuously develop it by using the principles of critical thinking. They will also learn hot to integrate intuitive insights into the decision-making process.
Once students embark on this transformational process, they will realize how they are in charge of their intellect and recognize the moral responsibilities that are intrinsically linked to the implications of thinking. Students will learn how to sharpen their intellectual senses so that they are aware of how they can unconsciously absorb others’ ideas and opinions without questioning. They will learn how to either get out of a robotic type of thinking process or how to avoid falling into it.
By learning how to develop their personal critical thinking process students will also build self-confidence in their intellectual and communications skills. They will learn to develop their own critical thinking process that best responds to their professional and personal lives. They will stretch their minds beyond boundaries by learning to look at the unthinkable through events or concepts that were once deemed impossible.Learning to develop our intellect to a higher level is a crucial quality for leadership in the 21st Century. By acquiring a grounded knowledge base and learning how to intelligently articulate their thoughts, students will establish credibility and enhance their inspirational leadership skills.