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Thinking Journal #1

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Thinking Journal #1

Start by reading the article posted by the Critical Thinking Community:

Critical Thinking in Everyday Life: 9 Strategies (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

       You will be keeping a thinking journal this semester and I will provide you with comments to help you move through some of the stages of becoming a better critical thinker (we’re shooting for stage 4 from the article). All my comments for you will be coming at you from stages 4 and 5, although we all have our moments of brilliance, I have yet to meet a Master (although I’ve met many people who say they are!)

 For this assignment you will reflect on all of the 9 sections each for each module:

  1. Use wasted time – reflect on when you did your best thinking and decision making and when you did your worst during this module period. Use some of the prompts in this section of the article to write a reflection for the module (each module is a 3 week period of the class during a regular semester or 1 week in an intersession), and, in the end, write down what could you do to improve next module, then in next module assess how that went.
  2. Choose 2 problems from the module that stand out and follow the analysis in the article for those 2 examples.
  3. In each module choose one of the intellectual standards from the article and then follow the recommendations. If you have used up the list make up some you would like to work on and keep going.
  4. Wow, you’ll already be doing this one, but I will add to #4 in that you should find 2 arguments each module that you encounter outside of class, online, in a newsfeed, log or book, video or other media source, or just in conversation. Follow the format for argument deconstruction presented later in this module and do that for these 2 examples you have chosen. You should include the link to the original source as well.
  5. Choose one intellectual trait each module and try this out. Once again when you run out of the list in the article add some you want to work on and keep going.
  6. Just a reflection here for the selfish highlights and a plan on how you might take a few steps to become more like that ideal of a rational person.
  7. Sometime during each module try to redefine the way you see something – or explore looking at something from another point of view and reflect on that process.
  8. During each module notice if your emotions get in the way of being rational and you feel some regrets and reflect on how you want his interaction to go in the future and what steps you might take to achieve this balance . By the way, having too little emotion is also something to be considered, Dr. Spock, and one hint that this is happening is when many people around you indicate frustration at your lack of emotional response.
  9. Monitor your identification with groups and their ideology and look broadly at groups that might include friends, family or colleagues that might have a bigger role than you think in your biases. Take some time each module and question some of the assumptions and biases that being part of these groups may have imposed on your thinking. Can you balance being part of a group and being a free thinking individual?

You will post all 9 of the section complete on the Sunday at the end of this module but you have surely recognized that you cannot do all of these in one day so you should plan your time wisely and do them as they arise during the module period.  For example, if you hear a political argument on T.V. that you think is B.S. write it down and do the critique right then, save it and that becomes one of the 2 you need for the journal this module.

To help you with this in the first module there will be 2 due dates so you can post a few assignments half way through and get some feedback.  So for Part 1 of the Journal assignment for the first module choose any 3 of the 9 and  post them to this assignment by the first due date.  You’ll notice the second due date on the assignment below in the module and you should have the rest done by then.  

Note: at anytime you can message me any part of this journal assignment and ask for feedback.

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