Critical thinking is the process in which one challenges their emotional, self-centered way of thinking. It causes one to test his or her own assumptions and question their reasoning. Critical thinking is the process in which one mentally explores deeper than the superficial matters at hand into the deeper layers in order to find out what the real issues are. Successful critical thinking is a process that allows one to creatively problem solve and open his or her mind to new ways of thinking by learning to overcome the personal barriers that exist.
Logic and PerceptionThe Encarta World English Dictionary defines logic as, sensible rational thought and argument rather than ideas that are influenced by emotion or whim. Logic is rooted in reason. Facts and finite realities play a role in reaching a logical conclusion. Logic requires an unbiased view. Perception is rooted in ones senses and therefore can be easily influenced or corrupted. Perception is not reality; it is the view that one creates based on his or her own experiences.
Realization of Personal Barriers to Critical ThinkingWorking in a group home offers frequent opportunities to discover the barriers that exist to thinking critically. There are those barriers that cannot be changed but once identified can be assets instead of barriers. This writer cannot hide from the fact that she is a middle-aged Caucasian woman who was raised in a traditional family setting. No amount of experience can change the instinctive reactions that persist due to that upbringing. However, experience can teach one to think in different ways and change his or her individual perceptions.
The concept of gratitude comes to mind. Culturally this writer was taught that one gives gratitude freely. Saying please and thank you were drilled into childrens heads until it was as natural as breathing. Giving to others if one could was a way of showing gratitude for all that was given. This writer brought this perception into her work, both volunteer and eventually professional. It was assumed, perhaps on an unconscious level, that all children understand or were taught gratitude. Then last Easter happened. There was a young lady that the writer worked very closely with as a counselor. The girl had deep biases against Caucasians that resulted from her own cultural upbringing. On top of the bias that the writer had that gratitude was an innate quality, she also felt that putting forth the effort of building a relationship with this girl would help transcend any cultural differences. It had been a long day, attempting to bring a home-like Easter celebration to a houseful of girls, some of whom had never even died an Easter egg. Toward the end of a 16 hour day of cooking and caring, this writer had to approach the girl mentioned previously to direct her...