There are many different Patterns or formulas of analytic channels for Critical Thinking. Of course critical thinking is used in many different areas of profession each having different structures. Most critical thinking patterns are used in the analytic stage prior to decision making to become well informed by disclosing falsities and confirming facts or simply used in gathering and categorizing data evidence for measurement purposes such as whether prediction or forecast. In NLP terms a person may be investigating data for the purpose of becoming well informed enough to make decisions that serves the person well or simply protecting the unconscious mind from accepting false impressions and enforcing disbelief.
What would happen if a person had misleading beliefs and false data stored at the unconscious level to which they were unaware they were continually comparing incoming data to for analysis? How well would it serve the person if they were thinking they were right when they were in fact wrong? For example, if they believed they had free choice when they technically had no real freedom of choice at all? Now, we can change those misleading bits of information that have been stored very quickly and easily and I will speak about that later. Critical thought teachings have been recorded as far back as Socrates. Critical thinking is thinking that assesses itself, so that means if you’re a person that needs to be told you’re doing well then you’re not in patterns of critical thought!
Self assessing critical thought just means Meta-Analyses, that is to say, critical thinking that assess analytically the patterns of thought used in processing incoming data or stimuli (assessing the assessor). It seems to me that when we speak of analysing patterns of critical thought that we are speaking about a list of criteria from which the employment of a select few in arranged orders and varieties will produce a specific analytic pattern of thought. So if we have say, eight main criteria that we used for critical thought and we made a list of two criteria to represent one pattern of critical thought then that means we could develop, using only eight criteria multiplied by itself, sixty four different patterns of critical though. Now, that’s a lot of patterns when you think about it, isn’t it! Now, we know that there are more than eight criteria to critical thinking in any given field but, this simply demonstrates how we may create pattern variances in a critical thought processes. This indicates to me that Critical Thinking is an art!
Here are a couple of quotes from research I’ve been doing into critical thinking. Published in 1999 it may seem somewhat old but I found it very appropriate for this article and culminating a larger picture for you the reader.
“For Critical Thinking advocates, all of us need to be better critical thinkers, and there is often an implicit hope that enhanced critical thinking could have a general humanizing effect, across all social groups and classes. In this sense, both Critical Thinking and Critical Pedagogy authors would argue that by helping to make people more critical in thought and action, progressively minded educators can help to free learners to see the world as it is and to act accordingly; critical education can increase freedom and enlarge the scope of human possibilities.”
“The Critical Thinking tradition concerns itself primarily with criteria of epistemic adequacy: to be “critical” basically means to be more discerning in recognizing faulty arguments, hasty generalizations, assertions lacking evidence, truth claims based on unreliable authority, ambiguous or obscure concepts, and so forth. For the Critical Thinker, people do not sufficiently analyse the reasons by which they live, do not examine the assumptions, commitments, and logic of daily life. As Richard Paul puts it, the basic problem is irrational, illogical, and unexamined living.”
Critical Theories in Education, Thomas S. Popkewitz and Lynn Fendler, eds. (NY: Routledge, 1999).
Critical thinking not only assesses incoming data analytically, it also assesses the criteria involved with the thought process itself and the pattern it generates, thus checking its own methods of skill sets updating them as required. Let’s take a look at some of what occurs at the conscious level in 4 steps and may even be one of the most important ways to becoming your own conscious authority by applying the Art of Critical Thinking at the right times and in ways that will serve you well.
Continued in Part 2