Reflection: Critical Thinking

Many institutions believe that critical thinking can be measured, especially the SAT. However, many institutions believe that their teaching can be qualified, but not quantified. Many institutions boast of instilling critical thinking in its students. However, the reality is quite the opposite of the college’s claims. In fact, “there is emerging empirical evidence that suggests that college students’ academic has dramatically declined in recent decades( Arum and Roksa, 3). Many teachers tend to instill knowledge into their student with intent on scholarship and research instead of teaching. Is the amount of information a student knows indicative of critical thinking? Personally, I believe that critical thinking is the ability to solve problems in real world using the different fields of knowledge I have acquired. Arum and Roksa explain an exam that highlights this belief. A College Learning Assessment is a test that “consists of…a performance task and two analytical writing tasks…the CLA was designed to assess…critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving and writing” (Arum and Roksa, 21). Unlike the SAT, one cannot simply prepare for the exam through preparation. It is test that tests “how well the student assesses the quality and relevance of evience, analyzes and synthesizes data and information, draws conclusions from his or her analysis, and considers alternative perspectives…”(Arum and Roksa, 22). Through this exam, there finally is a form of measurement that tests not how much one knows, but how one solves issues from what he knows. This is a great test because it will force institutions to focus more on improving not what to teach, but how to teach. This test ultimately shows that critical thinking is a skill that does not depend on what field and how much one studies. There is no use in learning of one can not apply it to the real life.

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