We’ve talked a number of times about the need for students to use critical thinking to effectively evaluate and process new knowledge [see here and here]. It helps, though, to understand the specific steps that make up the critical thinking process. Here are nine steps, adapted from an infographic designed by Mentoring Minds.
Use a variety of methods to explore the information and to analyze what it means.
Seek out additional information on the topic that excites your curiosity and inspires learning.
Use effort and determination to focus on tasks that are challenging.
Adjust your actions and strategies to accomplish tasks relating to the information when your original approach doesn’t work.
Work with other students to obtain new perspectives and achieve better outcomes.
Review your thoughts and experiences to guide your actions regarding what you do with the information.
Apply your knowledge concretely to gain new understanding.
Use your knowledge, understanding, and imagination to express new and innovative ideas.
Use clear language to express your ideas about the new knowledge and share information with fellow students.
New information is useless unless you can communicate it to others. When you’re able to accurately and completely explain what you’ve learned, you have mastered that knowledge.
Which of these steps do you find particularly useful when learning new information and connecting it to what you already know? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.