This paper examines the close connections between critical thinking and cognitive development, logic, and emotionality and the growing importance of promoting and developing higher-order thinking processes in education systems and work environments in an era of rapid change. Students and employees require advanced critical thinking skills to carefully evaluate and effectively use vast amounts of information and data from a growing number of sources. Educational institutions in many countries have given priority to the development of critical thinking skills in curricula, most notably at the university level. Teachers at all levels of education have been advocating the use of critical thinking skills in classes in recent years. Critical thinking skills can be improved by training students in the use of Socratic dialogue and by promoting an advanced self-awareness of thinking processes (Braun, 2004). Logical reasoning, problem-solving and related skills are important elements in critical thinking, but emotions may also play an important role in thinking processes. Emotions may influence logical, objective thinking and a certain level of emotional self-awareness and self-control may enhance critical thinking processes (Ruggiero, 2004). Critical thinking has become an important topic in education systems in many countries, and the need for self-aware, resilient, and resourceful students and employees who can think critically, flexibly, creatively, and independently is increasing.
Nathaniel Edwards, Yamaguchi National University, Japan
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development
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