With the development of human society, we have stepped in to the information age, leading the cost of decision-making significant increased. This special age has focused attention on good thinking as an important element of life success (Huitt, 1995; Thomas & Smoot, 1994). This report will provide an overall description of what critical thinking is, and explain what it means for students to do critical thinking.
Overall description of critical thinking
The definition of critical thinking has changed somehow over the past few decades. Critical thinking first used by Plato and Aristotle in about 350 BC, the writings of Socrates, encouraged their followers to explore theories and concepts, because they believe that the final result of analysis of facts and conditions, were usually not what they appeared on the surface(Sam & Frederick,2006). Chance described critical thinking is the ability to analyze facts, generate and organize ideas, defend opinions, make comparisons, draw inferences, evaluate arguments and solve problems in 1986. Then in 1995, it has been defined as a skillful, responsible thinking that facilitates good judgment because it is sensitive to context, and is self-correcting (Lipman, 1995, p. 146).
Moreover, numbers of separate groups have made significant contributions to the definition of critical thinking based on their perspectives. Philosophy reminded that critical thinking is a process of thinking to a standard, psychology established the operational definitions that associated with critical thinking, and Content specialists demonstrated how critical thinking can be adopted in different content areas (Huitt，1998).
What it means for student to be able “critical thinking”
According to Ferrett’s suggestions in 1997, there are some characteristics of a critical thinker:
• The critical thinker is able to admit a lack of understanding or that the information available is not substantive enough to make a good analysis and evaluation of the issue under review.
• The critical thinker looks for evidence to support assumptions and beliefs.
• The critical thinker asks pertinent questions.
• The critical thinker is able to reject information that is incorrect or irrelevant.
• The critical thinker is able to adjust opinions when new facts are found.
As a student, most of the times we analyze problems based on theories we have learnt. It is lucky, if we face some structured problems, which are well-defined and familiar, and the goal is clear, and then can be solved by programmed decisions. But, it is not always in this situation, we also face some unstructured problems, which are new, rare or not well-defined, and the goal is not usually clear. Therefore, they can not be solved by programmed decision unless we are able to find another appropriate decision through critical thinking. And these are the main reasons why this is an objective of Management Decision and Control System refers to “apply and critique decision and...