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If you allow yourself to respond to the discomfort -- that's partially an issue of personal development -- you'll try to figure out where it comes from, and to come up with other ways to understand the situation.Ultimately, if you persist, you'll have a new perspective on the event itself, and will have broken through to a more critical understanding.Critical thinking is tremendously important in health, human service, and community work because it allows you to understand the actual issues involved, and to come up with an approach that is likely to address them effectively. Some see it as a particular way of handling information.
The word "critical" here means approaching everything as if you were a critic -- questioning it, analyzing it, putting it in context, looking at its origins. "Everything" includes yourself: thinking critically includes identifying, admitting, and examining your own assumptions and prejudices, and understanding how they change your reactions to and your interpretation of information.
It also means being willing to change your ideas and conclusions -- and actions -- if an objective view shows that they're wrong or ineffective. In health, human service, and community work, the main goal of thinking critically is almost always to settle on an action that will have some desired effect.
Does he live in a place that's seriously affected by pollution? Finally, you might want answers to some questions about the context of the statement.
What's the record of private industry over the last 10 years in cleaning up its own pollution without government intervention, for instance?
People interested in political and social change see it as challenging and providing alternatives to the generally accepted beliefs and values of the power structure.
They're all right to an extent: critical thinking is all of these things, and more.There are a number of ways to look at the process of critical thinking.Brookfield presents several, with this one being perhaps the simplest.Suppose an elected official makes a speech in which he says, "The government doesn't need to be involved in cleaning up pollution from manufacturing.Business can take care of this more efficiently." What's your reaction?"), or on the fact that this elected official supports programs that are in your interest, even though they may not be in the best interests of everyone else.What's important about critical thinking is that it helps you to sort out what's accurate and what's not, and to give you a solid, factual base for solving problems or addressing issues.Without thinking critically, you're only looking at the surface of things.When you come across a politician's statement in the media, do you accept it at face value?Knowing whether or not you agree with someone is not necessarily the same as critical thinking, however.Your reaction may be based on emotion ("I that guy!