2. The Questioning Toolkit identified 17 kinds of questions:
1. Essential question
2. Organizing question
3. Elaborating question
4. Divergent question
5. Subsidiary question
6. Probing question
7. Unanswerable question
8. Irrelevant question
9. Hypothetical question
10. Sorting and sifting question
11. Inventive question
12. Telling question
13. Clarification question
14. Provocative question
15. Planning question
16. Strategic question
17. Irreverent question
Remember your last class when the instructor asked for questions? Or the last time you went to a presentation with a question-and-answer session?
•Describe the situation
•What question did you find most helpful? Why? Which kind of question was it?
•What question did you find least helpful? Why? Which kind of question was it?
3. Refer to the readings in week 1 concerning the qualities of a critical thinker.
What is weak vs. strong critical thinking?
In what elements of critical thinking do you find you have strengths?
What elements of critical thinking do you think you can improve upon?
Provide an example for each.
4. Take the Egocentricity Quiz:
If you scored more than nine, read “If you are egocentric, what can you do?” at this website:
Pick one characteristic from the left column (Non-Egocentric) of the Egocentricity Quiz that describes you somewhat. Describe a time when this trait helped you.
Pick one characteristic from the right column (Egocentric) of the Egocentricity Quiz that describes you somewhat. Describe a time when has this trait hurt you.
5. Take the “How Good Are Your Problem-Solving Skills?” survey:
•What was your score?
•Scroll down until you see the stages of problem solving (below Figure 1: The Simplex Process)
•For which strategy did you have one or two stars?
•Describe something you can do to improve that problem-solving skill.
•For which step(s) did you have four or five stars?
•Describe a time when this problem-solving skill came in handy.
6. Find a newspaper editorial that uses poor reasoning. Describe the reasoning, and identify the type of poor reasoning used.
7. Start with the types of ethical reasoning discussed in the reading. Describe an ethical decision in your life, and identify its type (utilitarian, egoism, deontology, relativism, justice).
Do you think you made the right decision? Why?
8. In the Strategic thinking article, the author gives multiple examples of strategic thinking. Describe an incident in your life when you used strategic thinking. Did it work?
1 Match the stage of critical thinking with its characteristic:
A. Advanced thinkers
B. Challenged thinkers
C. Unreflective thinkers
D. Beginning thinkers
E. Master thinkers
F. Practicing thinkers
Make beginning attempts to improve their thinking.
Actively analyze their thinking in most areas of their lives.
Unaware of the role thinking is playing in their lives.
Aware that problems in thinking are causing problems in their lives.
Actively analyze their thinking in many areas of their lives.
Have taken charge of their thinking, and try to improve their thinking.
Definition of Critical Thinking
The first reading contained the following definition of critical thinking:
“According to Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987 located at http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”
This definition uses words with which you may be unfamiliar.
First, write the definitions for the following words:
Second, re-write the definition of critical thinking in your own words. If you like, use more than one sentence.
Be sure to include citations as needed and write in first person
2 Eight Elements of Thought and Reasoning
The Eight Elements of Thought and the Eight Elements of reasoning both have eight parts, but there are only four real distinct categories. For example, Point of View and Assumptions are two aspects of the same thing.
Re-organize the eight elements of thought and reasoning into four categories. Briefly describe each category. Include the characteristics of the original eight elements in your descriptions.
3 After reading each of the qualities needed to be a fair-minded thinker, pick one quality you feel you possess and describe how you fulfill this quality. Then choose two qualities that you need to improve upon and describe why you chose these two qualities. You will need to include a detailed plan (at least 500 words) for overcoming the obstacles that are preventing you from fulfilling the characteristics of the two qualities you have chosen.
4 Intellectual Standards
From the article on Universal Intellectual Standards, select one standard. Describes how using that standard has helped you in your:
1. Work life
2. School life
3. Personal life
Write three paragraphs, one each for your work life, school life and personal life. Each paragraph should contain at least one example.
5 Applying the 21 Synectics Steps
The need for thinking and problem-solving skills dominates our lives. Individuals must analyze problems in the workplace, at school, as a parent, and in many other daily situations. You have an opportunity to practice your problem-solving skills through this assignment.
Assignment: Select one problem from the following list or define your own problem.
1. Design a new textbook for a psychology class, science class, etc.
2. Invent a new telephone.
3. Design a new suitcase.
4. Design new clothes for soldier/teacher/cook/student/etc.
5. Invent a new style for a video game.
6. Create a short story.
7. Design a new computer.
8. Invent a new way to protect computers from viruses.
9. Create a new type of credit card.
10. Work on solving a problem of your own choosing - a problem that is related to your major field of study.
•Remember that you don’t need to create anything physically. You may use images or just descriptions of your ideas.
•What is important for this assignment is your ability to generate ideas.
•Number your ideas 1 through 21.
•Generate 21 ideas about solving it, using the 21 Synectics steps listed below:
•Response should be at least 500 words
Note: The 21 Synectics steps were developed by SynecticsWorld, inc.
Invention Labs & Workshops | Synecticsworld. (n.d.). Synecticsworld. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from http://synecticsworld.com/invention-labs-workshops/
6 Using the 8 elements of reasoning that were outlined in week 2 (Purpose, problem, information, concepts, assumptions, inferences, points of view, implications or consequences) choose a news article and break it down according to those elements. You will also describe how each of the 8 intellectual standards (clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, and fairness) were used or not used in the article, supported by an example. The conclusion of your paper will then need to describe how you feel the article is biased. Please be sure to include the URL for the article that you have chosen. Your response should be at least 500 words.
7 Moral Reasoning
The following is a true story - and it made national headlines several years ago. A Houston Texans football player and his wife got the call from a hospital in Dallas that his wife's mother (the football player's mother in law) was dying and only had a few minutes left to live. They hopped in the car and sped toward the hospital around midnight. Not many cars were on the road. As they were approaching the hospital, they ran a couple of red lights to get them there faster. A police officer saw this, and pulled them over as they were pulling into the hospital. The couple seeing the lights called ahead to the hospital to have a nurse meet them to substantiate their story that their mother was dying and only had a few minutes left.
When the couple jumped out of their car, the police officer drew his gun and told them to get back into the car. He walked over to them and they explained the situation. The police officer said he did not care, and they drove wrecklessly and broke the law. The nurse substantiated the claim, and the doctor came out as well and substantiated the claim. The police officer called for back-up and told everyone to stay in their car. He gave the football player a ticket. After the process, they ran inside but it was too late and the mother had died.
From your lectures and readings this week, what type of moral reasoning was the police officer using? What type of moral reasoning was the football player using? What would you have done in this situation? Was the police officer in the right to hold them and do his job as a police officer to enforce the laws, despite a mitigating circumstance? Discuss the moral and ethical ramifications of the decisions and what you think you would have done as not only the police officer but the driver. All Grantham assignments must be formatted in APA format. This assignment should be at least 500 words long and directly integrate the readings and vocabulary from the readings at least once in your assignment
8 Situational Reactions
Read the following three situations. Describe what you would do in the situation. Integrate the elements of reasoning and/or intellectual standards in your writing to show a textbook understanding of the material behind your personal example. Your work should be at least 500 words and integrate specifics into either the elements of reasoning, the intellectual standards or both. Do not worry about your answers being right or wrong – you are going to be graded on your connection to the material – not the behavior you would engage in if it happened to you.
Choose 2 elements of thought and 2 intellectual standards and describe for each scenario.
Scenario A: You are deployed in a country. A raid went wrong, and your squad opened fire on several innocent people. Your commander asks you and the rest of the squad to make it look like they opened fire up on you first. How would you respond?
Scenario B: As a police officer, you pull someone over. After searching their vehicle, you confiscate several ounces of marijuana. The computer system is down so you cannot chronicle this bust. Your partner tells you that his wife is sick and he could really use that marijuana at home for medicinal purposes to help her with her pain. How would you respond to your partner?
Scenario C: As a parent, your child has a first year teacher who gives ridiculously hard assignments. Your kid has a four year scholarship waiting for him if he can pass this last course – even with a C. The last assignment is an assignment that you did your graduate work on – so you know there’s no way a high schooler should be expected to do this assignment – but if your child fails this assignment, they would lose a four year scholarship. Do you actively help them complete the assignment – or let them do it themselves – knowing they can’t do the assignment themselves and the assignment is likely to be poor because it was an inappropriately assigned paper.
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